Nikon Z6II First Impressions

I’ve been extremely happy with my “Holy Trinity” of Nikon cameras…the D5, D850, and D500. In my opinion, these are 3 of the most formidable DSLR cameras on the market. They have similar menus, focusing systems, and ergonomics…allowing me to seamlessly switch from one to another. Yet they each have their unique strengths! D5 = fast and durable with extreme high-iso performance. D850 = high resolution with fantastic dynamic range. D500 = light and nimble with extra reach from the crop sensor.

Until recently, mirrorless cameras have been lacking. But with new strides in mirrorless technology, I thought I should get out and play with one! So I called my friend David Archer, who recently purchased a Nikon Z6II. And I called my friend Gary Coleman, who is also considering adding a Z6II to his lineup as well. My friend Valerie Weeks brought her beautiful daughter, Bethany. And my friend Sarah Hairell brought Brian, an exchange student from Tanzania who is staying with them. Bethany and Brian were fantastic models and we had so much fun working with them!  Gary was hilarious to work with, as usual!  And David was so kind and generous to let us play with his camera and answer questions for us.

So what do I think of the Z6II after about an hour of real-world experience? It’s a pretty cool little camera!!! It doesn’t seem to have the same “robustness” as my DSLR bodies. But it is smaller and lighter. It doesn’t have the same speed and responsiveness that I’m used to. But it certainly is quieter. It will take a little getting used to the EVF. But being able to “see” the exposure through the electronic viewfinder is pretty cool. There will be a small learning curve to get acquainted with the new menu items. But ergonomically it still feels as “at home” as any other Nikon in my hands. There are definitely a couple things I truly wish Nikon had included, such as the 10-pin terminal for use with their wireless flash transmitter. But there are certain things that I absolutely loved, such as the eye-detect autofocus system!

The Z6II is a beautiful little camera! I’m sure one will find it’s way into my bag soon. In the meantime, I can’t wait to see what the next generation of mirrorless cameras will bring!!!

Summerville Cuties

Last night I had the pleasure of photographing portraits for my good friend, and amazing photographer, Frank!

We created a natureal portrait studio in his back yard with the beautiful woods as the backdrop and an elegant earth-tone chair for posing. I used the Nikon D5 with the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 on a Manfrotto Carbon Fiber tripod. For lighting, one SB-5000 was fired through a 24″ Lastolite EZY Box on camera left, and a bare SB-5000 with 1/2 CTO gel on it was fired from behind the chair to camera right. Since it was such an overcast day, this gave a little character and warmth to mimic a setting sun. Both were triggered with the new Nikon AWL system using the WR-10 transmitter.

Thanks for a great evening, Frank!