What Do the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 Do That the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III Cannot?

Hey Sony users, do the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon Z7 have you looking at a new system?

The obvious question being asked after tonight’s announcement is whether or not these cameras are the ones you want next. So we took a look at the specs. Full disclosure; we haven’t handled the Nikon products yet, but we will later.

Editor’s Note: The Nikon Z6 has an OLPF

Nikon Z6 vs Sony a7 III

The Nikon Z6 is a bigger, beefier camera than the Sony a7 III, with better weather sealing too. At least, that’s what Nikon is stating as they claim to have sealing to be the equivalent of the Nikon D850. In my tests, the Sony a7 III had issues with sealing around the lens mount. They have mostly the same specs

Nikon Z6

  • The Nikon Z6 is an all-purpose FX-format camera with 24.5 effective megapixels, back side illumination, and it supports the wide sensitivity range of ISO 100–51200. With superior performance at high ISO sensitivities and full-frame 4K UHD video capture with full pixel readout, the Z 6 responds to a variety of needs, such as shooting in dimly lit environments and high-quality movie recording.
  • Nikon Z6 has 273 focus points
  • No low pass filter
  • Both cameras are equipped with an electronic viewfinder for which an approximately 3690k-dot OLED panel has been adopted. The electronic viewfinder has frame coverage and magnification of approximately 100% and 0.8×, respectively, as well as an approximately 37.0° diagonal viewing angle.
  • The new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine helps to offer a mid-range sharpening feature. Think of this like Adobe’s Clarity engine.
  • Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip- resistance, as the Nikon D850, offered in a compact body
  • A 3.2-in., approximately 2100k-dot touch-sensitive LCD monitor, with a tilting mechanism
  • Silent photography function eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release
  • A display panel has been placed on the top plate of the camera, where information about settings can be displayed, similar to high-end digital SLR camera models.
  • Peaking stack image function9 enables confirmation of the area in focus after shooting using focus shift, which is convenient for focus stacking10
  • High-speed continuous shooting (extended)11 at approximately 9 fps (Z 7) and 12 fps (Z 6) captures fast motion
  • Interval timer photography that makes 8K (Z 7) time-lapse movie creation10 possible
  • An extended low-light metering range12 allows users to easily capture scenes such as the transition from sunset to starry night sky, using aperture-priority auto exposure
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® for direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® makes the transfer of images and movies to a computer possible
  • Support for existing digital SLR camera accessories such as the EN-EL15/a/b batteries, WT-7/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (available separately) for transferring images and movies at high speed over a wired or wireless LAN, and radio-controlled/optical controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, which makes flexible multi-flash photography possible

Sony a7 III

  • Advanced 24.2MP Back-Illuminated 35mm Full-frame Image Sensor
  • 15-stop dynamic range, 14-bit uncompressed RAW, ISO 50 to 204,800
  • Up to 10fps Silent or Mechanical Shutter with AE/AF tracking
  • 693 phase-detection / 425 contrast AF points w/ 93% image coverage
  • Eye-AF with AF-C; Direct AF point 4-way multi-selector; touch AF
  • 4K HDR3 Movie w/ full pixel readout, no pixel binning or crop
  • 5-axis in-body image stabilization, 5-step shutter speed advantage
  • SuperSpeed USB Type-C (USB 3.1 Gen 1 compatible) and Micro USB
  • Sensor Size: Full Frame Camera
  • Resolution: 24 MP
  • Max Video Quality: 4K 30fps
  • Viewfinder: Built-In Viewfinder
  • In-Body Stabilization: 5-Axis Optical
  • Wifi: Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Configuration: Body Only

Thoughts

In this case, my honest thoughts are that unless you need the higher-end weather sealing and the faster FPS shooting rate, I’m not sure that the Nikon Z6 is going to really replace the Sony a7 III. The Sony camera is lighter, arguably has better autofocus, and with Sony’s implementation of features like Eye-AF there isn’t much of an advantage otherwise. Sony has more autofocus points, is lighter, and there is a massive plethora of lenses already available.

For this round, Sony has nothing to worry about.

Nikon Z7 vs Sony a7r III

Full disclosure: I’m a Sony a7r III owner. I was a Nikon owner years ago for around half a year, but otherwise no.

Nikon Z7

  • The high-resolution Nikon Z7 has 45.7 effective megapixels, back side illumination and supports a standard sensitivity range of ISO 64–25600.
  • No low pass filter
  • The Nikon Z7 has 493 focus points
  • The new EXPEED 6 image-processing engine helps to offer a mid-range sharpening feature. Think of this like Adobe’s Clarity engine.
  • Same level of strength and durability, as well as dust- and drip- resistance, as the Nikon D850, offered in a compact body
  • The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR). The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed up to approximately 5.0 stops6.
  • Both cameras are equipped with an electronic viewfinder for which an approximately 3690k-dot OLED panel has been adopted. The electronic viewfinder has frame coverage and magnification of approximately 100% and 0.8×, respectively, as well as an approximately 37.0° diagonal viewing angle.
  • The Z 7 and Z 6 are equipped with in-camera vibration reduction (VR). The VR unit provides compensation for movement along five axes. The effects of vibration reduction are equivalent to a shutter speed up to approximately 5.0 stops6.
  • A 3.2-in., approximately 2100k-dot touch-sensitive LCD monitor, with a tilting mechanism
  • Silent photography function eliminates shake and noise caused by shutter release,
  • Peaking stack image function9 enables confirmation of the area in focus after shooting using focus shift, which is convenient for focus stacking10
  • High-speed continuous shooting (extended)11 at approximately 9 fps (Z 7) and 12 fps (Z 6) captures fast motion
  • Interval timer photography that makes 8K (Z 7) time-lapse movie creation10 possible
  • A display panel has been placed on the top plate of the camera, where information about settings can be displayed, similar to high-end digital SLR camera models.
  • An extended low-light metering range12 allows users to easily capture scenes such as the transition from sunset to starry night sky, using aperture-priority auto exposure
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® for direct connection to a smart device using SnapBridge
  • Built-in Wi-Fi® makes the transfer of images and movies to a computer possible
  • Support for existing digital SLR camera accessories such as the EN-EL15/a/b batteries, WT-7/A/B/C Wireless Transmitter (available separately) for transferring images and movies at high speed over a wired or wireless LAN, and radio-controlled/optical controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, which makes flexible multi-flash photography possible

Sony a7r III

  • 35mm Full-Frame 42.4 MP Back-Illuminated Exmor CMOS Image Sensor with Evolved Image Processing
  • Continuous Shooting at up to 10 fps
  • 399 phase-detection AF points covering 68% of image area, 425 contrast AF points
  • 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization with a 5.5 step shutter speed advantage
  • High Resolution 4K Movie Shooting with full pixel readout and no pixel binning7
  • Completely redesigned for professionals
  • Compact, Lightweight body at only 23 oz
  • Sensor Size: Full Frame Camera
  • Resolution: 42 MP
  • Max Video Quality: 4K 30fps and 24p
  • Viewfinder: Built-In Viewfinder
  • In-Body Stabilization: 5-Axis Optical
  • Wifi: Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Configuration: Body Only

Thoughts

The weather sealing on the Sony a7r III is more than good enough for me. I’ve been out with the camera and lenses many times and they’ve been fine. The biggest point of contact though is the bottom of the camera where it is said to have little to almost no sealing. Personally speaking, I have no intention of moving away. Sony’s sensor is adequate enough for what I do, and I haven’t had a problem with the system yet.