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Nikon D6 vs Z9 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D6

Nikon D6 camera

Nikon Z9

Nikon Z9 camera
Nikon D6
Nikon Z9
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
February 11, 2020
October 28, 2021
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon Z9 edges out the Nikon D6 with a score of 87/100 compared to the D6’s 80/100. Both cameras, released in 2021 and 2020 respectively, share similarities in their specifications. Each has a launch price around $6000, with the Z9 being slightly more affordable at $5500.

The Z9 outshines the D6 in several aspects. As a mirrorless camera, it is lighter (1340g) and more compact (149 x 150 x 91mm) than the D6, a DSLR weighing 1450g and measuring 160 x 163 x 92mm. This makes the Z9 more portable and easier to handle during photography sessions.

On the other hand, the D6 still holds its ground as a reliable DSLR with a solid performance. However, the Z9’s advantages in weight, size, and price make it the more appealing choice for photographers seeking a high-quality camera with a modern touch.

Nikon D6 vs Z9 Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z9 emerges as the winner, outscoring the Nikon D6 by 13 points in the optics category, with a score of 88/100 compared to the D6’s 75/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, and a similar DXOMARK score for the sensor (97 for the D6 and 98 for the Z9). However, the Z9 outperforms the D6 in several key areas, making it the superior choice in terms of optics.

The Nikon Z9 has a significant advantage in megapixels, boasting a 46-megapixel sensor compared to the D6’s 20.8-megapixel sensor. This allows the Z9 to capture more detail and produce higher-resolution images. Additionally, the Z9 has a faster shooting speed of 30 frames per second (fps), compared to the D6’s 14 fps, making it better suited for capturing fast-moving subjects and action photography.

Another advantage of the Z9 is its Expeed 7 processor, which is an upgrade from the D6’s Expeed 6 processor. This results in improved image processing and performance. Furthermore, the Z9 has an image stabilization feature, which the D6 lacks, enabling the Z9 to capture sharper images in low-light conditions or when using slower shutter speeds.

The only area where the Nikon D6 has an advantage is its lens mount, which is the Nikon F mount. This allows the D6 to be compatible with a wider range of lenses. The Z9, on the other hand, uses the newer Nikon Z mount, which may have fewer compatible lenses available.

Taking all factors into consideration, the Nikon Z9 is the superior camera in terms of optics, offering higher resolution, faster shooting speed, an upgraded processor, and image stabilization. While the Nikon D6 may have an edge in lens compatibility, the Z9’s overall performance and features make it a better choice for photographers seeking exceptional image quality and performance.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
20.8 MP
46 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
5568 x 3712 px
8256 x 5504 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
35.9 x 23.9 mm
23.9 x 35.9 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
14 fps
30 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon F
Nikon Z
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 6
Expeed 7
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
900 s
900 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 8000 s
1/ 32000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Optical (pentaprism)
Viewfinder Resolution
3,686,400 dots

Nikon D6 vs Z9 Video Performance

The Nikon Z9 outperforms the Nikon D6 in video capabilities, scoring a perfect 100/100 compared to the D6’s 83/100. Both cameras share some common video specifications, such as having a built-in time-lapse functionality. However, the Nikon Z9 surpasses the D6 in several key aspects.

The Z9 boasts a maximum video resolution of 8K, which is double the D6’s 4K resolution. This difference results in the Z9 producing significantly sharper and more detailed videos. The max video dimensions of the Z9 are 7680 x 4320, while the D6 offers 3840 x 2160. This substantial increase in dimensions provides more flexibility in post-production, allowing for better cropping and reframing options.

Another advantage of the Nikon Z9 is its maximum video frame rate of 120fps, which is double the D6’s 60fps. This higher frame rate enables the Z9 to capture smoother slow-motion footage, providing greater creative possibilities for videographers.

While the Nikon D6 falls short in comparison to the Z9’s video capabilities, it still offers solid video performance with its 4K resolution and 60fps frame rate. These features are suitable for most professional applications, and the built-in time-lapse functionality is a bonus for both cameras.

Ultimately, the Nikon Z9 excels in video capabilities, making it the superior choice for videographers seeking the highest-quality footage and creative options. The Nikon D6, while not as advanced in video performance, still provides reliable and professional-quality video for a variety of uses.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
3840 x 2160 px
7680 x 4320 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
60 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.

Nikon D6 vs Z9 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D6 and Nikon Z9 both have a feature score of 87 out of 100, indicating that these cameras are equally matched in terms of their features. Both cameras share several specifications, including a 3.2-inch screen size, touchscreen capability, GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth connectivity.

The Nikon D6 outperforms the Nikon Z9 in screen resolution, with 2,359,000 dots compared to the Z9’s 2,088,960 dots. This higher resolution provides a clearer and sharper display, allowing for better image review and menu navigation.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z9 does not surpass the D6 in any specific feature. However, it is essential to consider that the Z9 matches the D6’s performance in all other aspects, which is an impressive accomplishment.

Considering the shared specifications and the D6’s advantage in screen resolution, it is evident that the Nikon D6 has a slight edge over the Nikon Z9 in terms of features. Nevertheless, the Nikon Z9 remains a strong competitor, as it offers the same level of performance as the D6 in most areas.

To conclude, the Nikon D6 and Nikon Z9 both have a high feature score, with the D6 having a minor advantage in screen resolution. The Z9 matches the D6 in all other aspects, making it a worthy contender. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on individual preferences and the importance of the screen resolution to the user.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
2,359,000 dots
2,088,960 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon D6 vs Z9 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D6 outperforms the Nikon Z9 in storage and battery with a score of 100/100, compared to the Z9’s 79/100. Both cameras share common specifications, including two memory card slots and USB charging capabilities. They also accept CFexpress and XQD memory cards, with the Z9 additionally supporting SD, SDHC, and SDXC (UHS-II compatible) cards.

The D6 excels in battery life, offering 3580 shots per charge with its EN-EL18c battery, significantly more than the Z9’s 740 shots using the EN-EL18d battery. This extended battery life makes the D6 more suitable for extended shooting sessions without frequent battery changes.

On the other hand, the Z9 provides greater memory card compatibility, allowing for more storage options. Despite its lower battery life, the Z9’s versatility in memory card support may be advantageous for some users.

Considering the higher storage and battery score, the Nikon D6 stands as the superior choice in this aspect. However, the Nikon Z9’s broader memory card compatibility should not be overlooked for users who value storage versatility.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
CFexpress, XQD
CFexpress, XQD
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
3,580 shots
740 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
26.3 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.4 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon D6 vs Z9 – Our Verdict

Nikon D6 vs Z9 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D6 or the Nikon Z9:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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