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Nikon Announces Third-Generation Z6 III
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, June 17, 2024 @ 08:30 PM (EST)

Nikon has announced the latest iteration of its midrange full-frame mirrorless—the Z6 III. At the heart of the camera is the latest EXPEED 7 processor combined with an innovative 24.5-megapixel “partially stacked CMOS sensor”—a first for an interchangeable lens camera. According to Nikon, the partially stacked design offers many of the benefits of a “fully” stacked sensor—as found in big sisters Z8 and Z9—without the high manufacturing cost. The benefits apparently affect all aspects of the camera’s performance, resulting in speedier autofocus, reduced rolling shutter, faster continuous shooting speeds, a smoother EVF experience, and higher-frame-rate video recording. This is borne out in the Z6 III’s impressive spec sheet, which greatly improves on the Z6 II in almost every respect, and even bests the Z8 and Z9 in some cases.

For starters, the Z6 III’s autofocus is around 20% faster than that of the Z6 II and the camera is able to focus down to –10 EV, which is an even lower light level than the Z8/Z9 can achieve. As well as Nikon’s much-loved 3D Tracking, the Z6 III offers AI-powered subject detection across nine subjects. In addition, the mechanical shutter allows the camera to shoot full-resolution images at up to 14fps (RAW+JPEG with AF/AE); with the electronic shutter, that increases to 20fps. If you need even greater speeds, there are C30, C60, and C120 modes for shooting full-resolution JPEG images with AF/AE at 30fps, 60fps, and 120fps, respectively—although the latter incurs a significant “almost-DX (1.5x)” crop resulting in 11MP JPEGs.

There are important gains on the video side as well. While it falls short of the Z8/Z9’s 8K recording capability, the Z6 III can record 6K/60p 12-bit N-RAW and 6K/30p ProRes RAW internally, as well as 5.4K/60p ProRes in 10-bit 4:2:2—all using the full width of the sensor. Also on offer is 4K/60p N-RAW with no crop, 4K/120p N-RAW with a DX crop, and 1080/240p (H.265) with only a slight crop (~95% of the sensor width)—the last one being a feat no other Nikon camera can perform. In terms of recording limits, Nikon says the Z6 III can record continuous 4K/60p for up to 125 minutes (with the help of external power).

Nicely rounding things off are much-improved in-body image stabilization (8 stops of correction, up from the Z6 II’s 5 stops), Nikon’s brightest EVF yet (4,000 nits of peak brightness, a 33% improvement on the Z9’s) with a big resolution bump over the Z6 II (5.76 million dots vs 3.69 million dots), a vari-angle 3.2-inch rear LCD with 2.1 million dots (as opposed to the Z6 II’s non-vari-angle panel), and dual card slots (CFexpress Type B, SD UHS-II).

Available later this month, the Nikon Z6 III will retail for $2,500 body only or $3,100 in a kit with the Nikkor Z 24–70mm f/4 S lens. It should be noted that the Z6 III’s body is slightly larger than its predecessor’s—sorry, Z6 and Z6 II owners—so we will be seeing a new crop of Z6 III underwater housings in the not-too-distant future.
 



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PRESS RELEASE

IMPRESSIVELY VERSATILE, CAPABLE AND POWERFUL: THE NEW NIKON Z6III OUTPERFORMS EXPECTATIONS, SETTING THE NEW BENCHMARK FOR ITS CLASS
World’s First Partially-Stacked CMOS Sensor1 Gives Photographers & Filmmakers Flagship-Level Performance; Nikon Also Announces Nikon Imaging Cloud Online Service & Curated Image Recipes

MELVILLE, NY (June 17, 2024) – Today Nikon announced the Z6III, a 24.5MP full-frame mirrorless camera that stands in a class of its own with an unmatched suite of powerful features that bring exceptional performance to both photographers and filmmakers. The Z6III is the world’s first camera with a partially-stacked CMOS sensor, delivering ultra-fast readout that unlocks blistering speeds and high frame rates in both photo and video modes. Other benefits include a truly immersive viewfinder experience with the brightest EVF of any mirrorless camera,1 and a wide range of pro-level features inherited from Nikon’s acclaimed Z8 and Z9 flagship cameras.

The combination of the Z6III’s unique new sensor design and EXPEED 7 image processing engine results in an approximately 3.5x increase to readout speed compared to the previous-generation Z6II. This unlocks enhanced performance across the board, enabling benefits such as 6K internal N-RAW and ProRes RAW video, Full HD video up to 240p, and rapid continuous shooting of stills up to 120 fps with Pre-Release Capture. However, the camera’s incredible performance goes far beyond just frame rates. The Z6III features an impressively fast AF system inherited from the Z8 and Z9, which includes highly advanced multi-subject detection with the speed and accuracy needed for maximum confidence.

“Offering a camera with this level of performance, reliability and an appealing price is a winning formula for all kinds of users who need a camera that will help them excel in every job or creative endeavor,” said Naoki Onozato, President and CEO, Nikon Inc. “The Z6III represents much more than simply a generational update—it’s a major leap forward that’s going to establish a whole new concept of what a mid-range camera should be capable of.”

OUTPERFORM WITH UNMATCHED FEATURES

  • World's first partially-stacked sensor: The Z6III is the first mirrorless camera to adopt this new sensor architecture, which features multiple high-speed processing circuits stacked in layers above and below the imaging area of the sensor. The high-speed readout made possible by this new sensor in combination with the same EXPEED 7 processing engine as the Z8 and Z9 enables a range of powerful features.
  • Upgraded autofocus: AF is fast and accurate, clocking in at a full 20% faster than the Z6II. In challenging light, the AF detection range has been extended to an incredible −10 EV2, superior even to the flagship level cameras. This enhanced sensitivity makes it easier to focus in dark situations like nighttime sports or an event reception.
  • Advanced subject detection: The Z6III draws on the advanced subject-detection technology of the Z8 and Z9 to automatically detect nine subject types, including people, animals and various vehicles. Users can lock onto these subjects with advanced AF modes including 3D-tracking, Auto-area AF, Wide-area AF and Dynamic-area AF. Custom wide-area AF patterns allows for the detection and tracking of subjects within a custom designated area.
  • Pre-Release Capture up to 120 fps: This powerful feature enables photographers to capture shots that might have otherwise been missed, such as the moment a bird takes flight, a lightning strike or the game-winning goal. A half-press of the shutter-release button starts buffering images3, and when the shutter is pressed all the way, the Z6III saves images taken up to one second prior.
  • Internal 6K RAW video: The Z6III is capable of capturing 12-bit 6K/60p N-RAW and 6K/30p ProRes RAW, as well as 10-bit 5.4K ProRes 422 and H.265 video formats. The ability to capture super high-resolution video footage affords filmmakers the freedom to crop, trim, track and stabilize a 4K timeline in post with ultimate clarity. Furthermore, filmmakers can take advantage of the Z6III’s maximum video resolution of 6K to create oversampled 4K UHD/60p video footage4. The Z6III’s efficient heat-dissipating design allows continuous 4K UHD/60p recording for up to 125 min.5

  • Brightest EVF of any mirrorless camera: At up to 4,000 cd/m2 (nits), the Z6III’s 5,760k-dot electronic viewfinder is the brightest ever in a mirrorless camera, delivering a clear, detailed view even in extremely bright outdoor situations while minimizing viewfinder blackout. In addition to its class-leading brightness and high resolution, the Z6III’s EVF is the first in a mirrorless camera to support a DCI-P3 equivalent color gamut1, which enables photographers and filmmakers to see a more lifelike display of colors.
  • Dynamic Full HD/240p slow motion: The Z6III can capture dramatic slow-motion footage up to 10× with 10-bit Full HD/240p H.265 video recording.
  • Amazing low-light ability: The Z6III’s wide native ISO range is from 100-64,000 (51,200 in video) and is expandable to 204,800 for ultra-low-light shooting. The Z6III’s EXPEED 7 image processing engine enables tailored noise reduction, effectively minimizing grainy noise in flat areas of the image while preserving fine details in subjects such as buildings. This results in sharper, clearer images in low-light environments.
  • 8.0 stop Vibration Reduction6: Built-in 5-axis image stabilization delivers up to 8.0 stops of Vibration Reduction, empowering photographers and filmmakers to shoot handheld with confidence. Enjoy the creative freedom of slower shutter speeds, while keeping subjects sharp and using lower ISOs. Additionally, the Z6III features Focus Point VR7, which prioritizes stabilization on the active focus point.
  • Vari-angle LCD screen: The 3.2” rear LCD touchscreen can be used as a front-facing screen for video production and self-recording, as well as framing at a low angle.
  • High-resolution Pixel Shift mode: In Pixel-shift mode, the Z6III’s sensor is subtly shifted across 4, 8, 16, or 32 exposures, for increased color and detail with an incredibly high resolution of up to approx. 96MP.8
  • Z8-level build quality: The Z6III is constructed from magnesium alloy and Sereebo® material for maximum durability and light weight. Weighing only 1.67 lbs. with a battery and memory card, the Z6III is sealed against dust and moisture to the same level as the Z8, and is rated for operation down to 14°F/−10°C, making it suitable for use in a wide variety of environments and conditions.
  • Flexible Color Picture Controls: The Z6III supports the new Flexible Color Picture Control feature in NX Studio.9 Z6III owners can use the software’s powerful Color Blender and Color Grading features to create custom presets that can be uploaded to the camera as Custom Picture Controls.

NEW NIKON IMAGING CLOUD

Nikon Imaging Cloud10 will be a new complimentary cloud service that expands connectivity and creative options for Z6III owners.11 Users will be able to browse a suite of curated Imaging Recipes courtesy of Nikon and selected creators, which provide all the ingredients necessary to create amazing images: Suggested camera settings, inspiring insights plus Cloud Picture Control presets that Z6III owners can download straight to their camera. Furthermore, when the Z6III is connected to Nikon Imaging Cloud via Wi-Fi, still images captured with the camera can be automatically uploaded to a range of popular cloud storage services including NIKON IMAGE SPACE, making the storage and sharing of images even more convenient. In addition, Z6III owners will be able to use Nikon Imaging Cloud to keep their camera’s firmware up to date automatically over Wi-Fi, avoiding the need to manually download and install via a memory card.12

NEW MB-N14 POWER BATTERY PACK

The MB-N14 (release scheduled for Summer 2024) is an optional power battery pack with an integrated shutter button for the Z6III, Z7II and Z6II. The MB-N14 can hold two EN-EL15c13 rechargeable Li-ion batteries, allowing users to record approximately 1.9× more stills and extend video shoots.14 In addition to offering the same dust and drip resistance as the Z6III, the MB-N14 can also be used in conditions as cold as −10°C/14°F, making it extremely useful when shooting for extended periods of time in harsh conditions. What’s more, the MB-N14 is a "hot swap" power battery pack that continues to supply power even when one of the two batteries is removed. A built-in USB connector enables batteries inserted in the MB-N14 to be charged even when the MB-N14 is not attached to the camera.15

PRICE AND AVAILABILITY

The new Nikon Z6III will be available in late June for a suggested retail price of $2,499.95* in the body-only configuration, or with the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 lens for $3,099.95.* The MB-N14 power battery pack will be available this summer for a suggested retail price of $359.95.* For more information about the latest Nikon products, including the vast collection of NIKKOR Z lenses and the entire line of Z series cameras, please visit Nikonusa.com.

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