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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Sports with a Z6
Rob Dicker, Photographer
Lake Villa | IL | USA | Posted: 10:11 AM on 05.08.19
->> Does anyone in this community have any real-world sports shooting experience with a Z6? I'm considering selling off my backup body and getting a Z^ and using all my current lenses. About 90% of my assignments are sports that I shoot with two bodies (currently both D4S bodies) and my D4 just sits in my car waiting for a D4s breakdown. I don't want to have a body that just sits there unused - some of the Z6 features seem nice, but I want to get some outside input.
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Jason Burfield, Photographer
New York | NY | USA | Posted: 10:50 AM on 05.16.19
->> I'm also a bit curious about this.

Also wondering how the new eye AF for the Z6 works. Anyone that can compare it to that of the A9? I believe that firmware update was just released yesterday, so maybe a bit early for anyone to have real world results.
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Samuel Lewis, Photographer
Miami | FL | USA | Posted: 11:43 AM on 05.19.19
->> I picked up a Z6 to see what it was capable of doing. The prior firmware caused too long of a blackout in the viewfinder to follow any action with a long lens. Switching to silent mode, the blackout problem went away, but I've encountered distortion that may be unpleasing to some (distortion like a soccer ball that does not appear round).

When the AF works, it is spot on. I've used it with my 70-200/2.8 and 300/2.8 shooting basketball under poor lighting conditions. The camera missed some shots that the D4s would have caught, but caught some that the D4s would have missed. High ISO performance appears to be about on par with the D4s if not a little better, and that's with higher resolution.

The latest firmware update is supposed to fix the blackout issue when using the mechanical shutter. It also adds the ability to track focus on the eyes, although the implementation of that is still a bit wonky.

When you play with the eye focus feature, you'll see why one of Nikon's ambassadors uses the feature with a 300/2.8 shooting tennis (where there is only one subject in the frame). The feature is easily confused between eyes, and since the eye focus feature only works in Auto Area AF, you can't select which set of eyes to track until it finds all of the eyes in the frame.

I was excited about the prospect of trying the new eye focus firmware with my 600/4 AFS series II, and took it out to a baseball game I shot yesterday. However, when I mounted the camera and adapter to the lens, I got the fEE error and a message obscuring the viewfinder that says “Lock lens aperture ring at minimum aperture (largest f/-number).” The lens was at the minimum aperture and locked in that position.

The same lens works just fine with my D4s/Df/D800 bodies. The only hangup seems to be the Z6.

I also tried the Z6/FTZ combination with series I AFS 300/2.8 and 400/2.8 lenses. Both of those lenses worked. I also tried a friend's 400/2.8 series II AFS lens (the same generation as my 600/4), and it worked.

I've got an inquiry in to Nikon to see if they screwed up or otherwise have a bug in their firmware that lacks support for lenses like my 600/4.

The other problem I've encountered, even with the latest firmware, is the low-light focus. For some reason, even with its own focus assist (which seems to be different from the low-light focus approach when using a SB-800 or SB-910), it completely missed the focus in circumstances where even a Df would have nailed it.

Finally, everything you've heard about the battery/power issues is true. I'm lucky to get 300-400 frames on a charge. If you're going to buy one of these, make sure you carry a stack of extra batteries with you.

If you want to get a sense of the mirrorless experience, the Z6 is not a bad way to go. However, IMHO, the camera is not ready for prime time.
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Thread Title: Sports with a Z6
Thread Started By: Rob Dicker
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