THE NIKON Z 6II AND Z 7II CAMERAS
For many full-frame Nikon shooters the appeal of a mirrorless camera had been tempered by the thought of having to invest in and master a new system by moving to another ecosystem such as Sony. For those awaiting a mirrorless system that utilized Nikon imaging technology and ergonomics, the wait is over. The Z 6II and Z 7II cameras feature an identical body, differing only in their feature sets, an ideal feature when it comes to housing the camera for underwater use. Each camera also features dual EXPEED 6 image processor to significantly improve autofocus and continuous speed shooting.
Both camera bodies are built around Nikon's Z-mount. With an incredibly wide 55mm mount diameter (17% larger than F-mount) and very short flange distance, the Z-mount is able to offer a maximum aperture of F0.95. While the current range of Z-mount lenses continues to grow, almost the entire line of F-mount lenses is usable with the optional Nikon FTZ Adapter. When using the adapter, even non VR lenses benefit from the camera's in-body stabilization. VR and Z-Mount lenses receive 5-axis stabilization whereas non-VR F-mount lenses have access to 3-axis stabilization.
There is also a dedicated e-VR (electronic VR) that combines optical and electronic stabilization for video shooting. Both the Z 6II and Z 7II will be able to capture internal UHD 4K at 60fps or 1080 HD at up to 120fps. The Z 6II will be able to record 4K/60P early in 2021 through an expected firmware update. In addition to N-Log, both cameras also feature HLG (hybrid-log gamma for HDR) which work in 10-bit 4:2:2 over HDMI 2.0 to an external recorder such as the Ninja V.
The OLED electronic viewfinder (EVF) of both the Z 6II and Z 7II gives 100% frame coverage at Quad-VGA (3.69M dot) resolution. When triggering external flashes, both cameras feature a 1/200 X-sync shutter speed.
THE NIKON Z 7II CAMERA
The Z 7II features a high resolution 45.7MP FX-format sensor that can shoot at up to 10FPS. The Z 7II features a wide ISO range of 64-25,600. Autofocus is achieved with 493 on-sensor AF points that cover 90% of the frame and the camera intelligently switches between contrast-detection and phase-detection points to achieve accurate focus regardless of light conditions.
KEY CAMERA SPECS:
- 45.7MP FX Format Sensor with no OLPF
- 10 FPS continuous shooting
- 64-25,600 ISO Range
- UHD 4K 60p recording with 1.08x crop
- 10bit UHD 4K N-log output via HDMI with start/stop support
- 5-axis VR stabilization (with Z lenses)
- 3.69M-dot EVF, 3.2" 2.1M-dot rear screen
- -3EV focusing with F2.0 lens
- 1 CFExpress / XQD card slot, 1 UHS-II SD card slot
THE NIKON Z 6II CAMERA
The Z 6II is equipped with a 24.5MP FX-format sensor capable of up to 14FPS continuous shooting with an ISO range of 100-51,200. Video is currently recorded internally at up to UHD 4K 30p. UHD 4K 60p with a 1.6x crop will be available in early 2021 through a firmware update. 273 on-sensor focus points cover 90% of the fame and the Z 6II intelligently switches between contrast-detection and phase-detection points to assure accurate autofocus.
KEY CAMERA SPECS:
- 24.5MP FX Format Sensor with OLPF
- 14 FPS continuous shooting
- 100-51,200 ISO Range
- Full Sensor UHD 4K 30p
- UHD 4K 60p recording with 1.6x crop (firmware update early 2021)
- 10bit N-log UHD 4K output via HDMI with start/stop support
- 5-axis VR stabilization (with Z-mount lenses)
- 3.6m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
- Two card slots (1x CFexpress/XQD, 1x UHS-II SD)
THE NAUTICAM NA-Z7II UNDERWATER HOUSING
The NA-Z7II underwater housing follows suit with Nauticam's drive for innovation. Both the Nikon Z 6II and Z 7II present shooters with the ability to use both the available legacy F Mount lenses via the FTZ adapter in addition to their native Z Mount optics. To support both the legacy and native lenses, Nauticam has integrated the NA-Z7II into the N120 port system. This is critical as the new Z mount lenses are being phased in over the next few years. The Nauticam NA-Z7II housing features two lens release buttons that correspond to either F or Z mount lenses. When switching between F and Z mount lenses, the camera must be removed from the housing to remove the adapter. When working within either the F or Z mount system use the appropriate lens release button to switch lenses without having to remove the camera from the housing. A vacuum system reset switch is located below the tray as well so there is no need to open the rear of the housing during lens or port changes.
The NA-Z7II is part of the N120 port system which allows for full support of Nikon F mount lenses with the same ports needed for their application on Nikon SLR housings. As more Z mount lenses become available Nauticam will add supported configurations.
INTELLIGENT CONTROL PLACEMENT
Nauticam engineers are obsessed with functionality and this is evident in the location of essential controls. Regardless of where the control is located on the camera, the Nauticam housing puts them where you need them to be underwater. For those switching between photo and video modes, an easily reachable switch is located on the right rear of the housing. The right side double thumb lever, easily reached from the right handle features access to the AF-on and Record buttons respectively. Between the double thumb lever and the multi-stage shutter release is an ISO lever allowing quick changes to sensitivity.
The left double thumb lever accesses the DISP and Playback controls. The Zoom In and Zoom Out controls, located on the right rear of the camera body is relocated to the left side of the housing to a location more familiar to Nauticam housing users.
The switch that allows for switching between the LCD display and the EVF, a crucial and much used control with mirrorless systems is located close to the left handle within easy reach.
Front and rear control dials are readily accessible by the familiar large knurled dials at the right handle. The ergonomic housing handles are rubberized and feature stainless steel stiffening brackets to ensure a stable platform when using large strobes or video lights attached to the pre-installed 1" mounting balls.
The NA-Z7II comes with Nauticam's self powered manual flash trigger preinstalled. The flash trigger plugs into the hot-shoe of the camera and uses LED lights recessed into each of the two optical bulkheads to trigger supported underwater flashes when used with the correct fiber optic connection. The flash trigger is powered by coin cell batteries that provide thousands of flashes per battery. The flash trigger can be upgraded to support TTL triggering (PN 26308 TTL Converter for Nikon).
INTEGRATED VACUUM CHECK AND LEAK DETECTION SYSTEM
The Nauticam vacuum check and leak detection system is shipped with NA-Z7II as standard equipment. Combined with an accessory M16 vacuum valve (PN 25625), this monitoring system provides constant updates on the water tight and safe-to-dive status of the housing. A simple color coded LED lighting system lets the user know that the vacuum is solid, or that the housing is losing vacuum. Leak detection is built into the same circuit, so if there is water intrusion, an audible and visual indication will occur. The Nauticam system is temperature compensated, eliminating false alarms caused by a change in outside temperature, or from a camera heating up on an action packed dive.
PREMIUM PROFESSIONAL OPTICS
Optical performance is just as necessary as camera performance and this becomes even more critical given the challenges of filming underwater. The Nauticam NA-Z7II uses the same N120 Port System as the previous NA-Z7 which makes for a seamless transition for those upgrading to the "II." While this system provides exceptional optical-glass and flat port solutions for a wide variety of F and Z Mount lenses, the real power of the Z 6II and Z 7II can be realized using Nauticam's Water Contact Optics. This lineup of dry and wet lenses are conceived using commercial lens-design software to achieve truly unparalleled underwater image quality both for stills and video in both macro and wide-angle situations. The WACP-1 and WACP-2 achieve ultra-wide 130º fields-of-view with reduced distortion over conventional optics while featuring ~0" minimum focus distances, zoom through capabilities and unbeatable corner sharpness at even wide-open apertures such as F5.6. The SMC-1 and SMC-2 macro wet-optics, when used with the Nikon 105mm f/2.8G VR macro lens provide 2x and 4x magnification respectively and the SMC-1 actually provides a resulting image with increased contrast and sharpness than the 105mm lens itself can achieve in air without a magnifier.