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Nikon D780 vs Z6 Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D780

D780 camera image

Nikon Z6

Nikon Z6 camera image
Nikon D780
Nikon Z6
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 12, 2020
August 23, 2018
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon D780 and Nikon Z6 both have a score of 81/100, making them equally impressive cameras. They share a common release year of 2018 and have similar specifications, such as camera size and weight. The D780, a DSLR camera, has a size of 144 x 116 x 76mm and weighs 850g, while the Z6, a mirrorless camera, measures 134 x 101 x 68mm and weighs 675g.

The D780 outshines the Z6 with its launch price of $2299, as it offers more value for the money. On the other hand, the Z6 has a lower launch price of $2000, making it more affordable for budget-conscious photographers.

Both cameras excel in their respective categories, with the D780 providing better value and the Z6 being more budget-friendly. The choice between the two ultimately depends on the photographer’s preferences and needs.

Nikon D780 vs Z6 Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z6 outperforms the Nikon D780 in optics with a score of 83/100 compared to the D780’s 77/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a 12 FPS shooting speed, a CMOS sensor, an Expeed 6 processor, a full-frame sensor size, and a DXOMARK sensor score that is quite close (95 for the Z6 and 97 for the D780).

The Nikon Z6 takes the lead in optics due to its image stabilization feature, which the D780 lacks. Image stabilization helps to reduce blur in photos, particularly when shooting in low-light conditions or using slower shutter speeds. The Z6 also has the advantage of the Nikon Z lens mount, which provides better compatibility with the new Z-mount lenses, designed specifically for mirrorless cameras.

On the other hand, the Nikon D780 does have a slightly higher megapixel count at 25 compared to the Z6’s 24.5. This difference, however, is minimal and may not be noticeable in most real-world situations. The D780 also has the Nikon F lens mount, which is compatible with a wide range of Nikon lenses, albeit without the benefits of the newer Z-mount lenses.

Both cameras have their strengths in optics. The Nikon Z6 is superior due to its image stabilization and compatibility with the new Z-mount lenses, which can enhance image quality and user experience. The Nikon D780, while slightly lacking in these areas, still offers a high-quality optical performance with its higher megapixel count and compatibility with a vast collection of Nikon F lenses. Ultimately, the choice between the two cameras depends on the user’s specific needs and preferences.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
25 MP
24.5 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
6048 x 4024 px
6048 x 4024 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.
23.9 x 35.9 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.
12 fps
12 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 6
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
30 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/ 8000 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
3,690,000 dots

Nikon D780 vs Z6 Video Performance

The Nikon D780 outperforms the Nikon Z6 in video capabilities, scoring 91/100 compared to 83/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as 4K maximum video resolution and maximum video dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both cameras have built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Nikon D780’s higher score is due to its superior maximum video frame rate of 120fps, while the Nikon Z6 only offers 60fps. This means the D780 can capture smoother slow-motion footage, which is particularly useful for filming action scenes or sports events. The D780’s higher frame rate allows for more flexibility and creativity in post-production, giving users the ability to slow down footage without losing quality.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z6 still provides solid video capabilities with its 4K resolution and 60fps maximum frame rate. Although it may not be as versatile as the D780 in terms of slow-motion capture, it is still capable of producing high-quality footage suitable for most videography needs.

Comparing the video capabilities of the Nikon D780 and Nikon Z6, it is evident that the D780 offers superior slow-motion capture due to its higher maximum video frame rate. However, the Z6 remains a competent option for those who do not require the advanced slow-motion capabilities provided by the D780. Both cameras provide 4K resolution, large video dimensions, and built-in time-lapse functionality, making them suitable choices for a variety of videography projects.

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
3840 x 2160 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.
120 p
60 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 D780 vs Z6 Features and Benefits

The Nikon D780 and Nikon Z6 both receive a feature score of 87/100, indicating that these cameras share many similar specifications. Both cameras have a screen size of 3.2 inches, touchscreen capabilities, and are equipped with WIFI and Bluetooth. Despite their similarities, each camera has distinct advantages over the other.

The Nikon D780 edges out the Z6 with a higher screen resolution of 2,359,000 dots compared to the Z6’s 2,100,000 dots. This difference allows for a clearer and more detailed display on the D780. Additionally, the D780 has a flip screen, which the Z6 lacks. The flip screen is beneficial for capturing images and videos from various angles, providing more versatility for photographers.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z6 has some advantages over the D780. Although the Z6 has a lower screen resolution, it still provides a high-quality display that is sufficient for most photography needs. Furthermore, both cameras lack GPS functionality, which may not be a significant drawback for many users.

Based on these comparisons, the Nikon D780 has a slight advantage over the Z6 due to its higher screen resolution and the presence of a flip screen. However, the Nikon Z6 remains a strong contender as it shares many of the same features as the D780, including screen size, touchscreen, WIFI, and Bluetooth capabilities. The choice between these two cameras ultimately depends on the individual photographer’s priorities and preferences.

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
2,100,000 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 D780 vs Z6 Storage and Battery

The Nikon D780 triumphs over the Nikon Z6 in storage and battery with a score of 97/100 compared to the Z6’s 35/100. Both cameras share similarities, such as accepting the same battery type (EN-EL15b) and providing USB charging capabilities.

However, the D780 outperforms the Z6 in terms of battery life and storage capacity. With 2260 shots per charge, the D780 offers significantly more battery life than the Z6’s 310 shots. Additionally, the D780 has two memory card slots that accept SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards (UHS-II compatible), whereas the Z6 only has one slot for XQD cards.

The Z6 does not have any apparent advantages in storage and battery compared to the D780. Consequently, the Nikon D780 emerges as the superior choice for photographers seeking longer battery life and more flexible storage options. The Nikon Z6 falls short in these aspects, making it less suitable for extended shooting sessions or situations requiring ample storage space.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible)
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.
2,260 shots
310 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.'
25.3 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.'
14.3 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'

Alternatives to the Nikon D780 and Z6

Nikon D780 vs Z6 Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D780 or the Nikon Z6:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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