Nikon Z6 review: How is it for astrophotography?

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If you’re looking for a highly capable mirrorless camera for astro and night sky photography, few models are better than the Z6. However, there’s always going to be an elephant in the room with any Nikon Z6 review, and that elephant is the Z6ii. Yes, the Z6 – which only launched in 2018 – has already been superseded by the Z6ii, so why are we testing and recommending the original model? Well, the answer is far from simple, but essentially it comes down to price and usage. For us, the cheaper original Z6 represents better value than the Z6ii, unless you’re using it for video and high-intensity shoots, like weddings. Simply put, we don’t feel you need to spend the extra money on the Z6ii. 

NIKON Z6 KEY SPECIFICATIONS

Type: Mirrorless 

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Sensor: 24.5MP backlit CMOS

Lens mount: Nikon Z (FX) 

ISO range: 100-51,200 (before expansion) 

Viewfinder size/resolution: 2.1K dots, 3.2-inch touchscreen 

Video capability: 4K 30 fps 

Weight (body only): 1.48 lbs

Size (body only): 5.2 x 3.9 x 2.6 in

Memory card type: Single slot CFexpress, XQD 

We love the Z6 for a number of reasons which we’ll discuss in more detail below, but the main ones are that it has a superb backlit sensor, perfect for low light image quality, and a staggering 100-516,200 ISO range that delivers incredible clarity even in the darkest of lights. Combine this with some market-leading, in-built image stabilization and you’ve got one of the best cameras for astrophotography around. In fact, we’d say this is among the best mirrorless cameras for any use, so you’ll be able to use it for way more than astro. 

If you do, however, want to use it for astrophotography, then you may want to combine it with some of the best telescopes around to get super clear images. For beginners looking for an easy target, we recommend lunar photography – we even have a guide on how to shoot the moon, to help you get to grips with combining your equipment.

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