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Nikon D850 vs Z6 II Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon D850

Nikon D850

Nikon Z6 II

Nikon Z6 II image
Nikon D850
Nikon Z6 II
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.
August 23, 2017
October 14, 2020
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon Z6 II edges out the Nikon D850 with a score of 83/100 compared to the D850’s 82/100. Both cameras share similarities in their specifications, such as being products of the Nikon brand and having high-quality imaging capabilities. However, the Z6 II is a mirrorless camera, while the D850 is a DSLR.

The Z6 II’s advantages include a more compact size (134 x 101 x 70mm) and lighter weight (705g), making it easier to carry and handle. Additionally, its release in 2020 and lower launch price of $1995 make it a more budget-friendly option.

On the other hand, the D850, released in 2017, boasts a more robust build (146 x 124 x 79mm) and heavier weight (1005g), which may appeal to photographers who prefer a sturdier camera. However, its launch price of $3300 is significantly higher than the Z6 II.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon Z6 II is a better choice for those seeking a compact, budget-friendly option, while the Nikon D850 may be preferable for those who value a more substantial build.

Nikon D850 vs Z6 II Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z6 II outperforms the Nikon D850 in optics with a score of 83/100 compared to the D850’s 79/100. Both cameras share several specifications, including a CMOS sensor, full-frame sensor size, and the same brand lens mount (Nikon F FX for the D850 and Nikon Z for the Z6 II).

The Nikon Z6 II surpasses the D850 with its faster shooting speed of 14 frames per second (fps) compared to the D850’s 7 fps. Additionally, the Z6 II features a dual Expeed 6 processor, which contributes to its superior speed and performance. The Z6 II also boasts built-in image stabilization, providing an advantage for capturing sharp images in various conditions.

On the other hand, the Nikon D850 has a higher resolution with 45.7 megapixels compared to the Z6 II’s 24.5 megapixels. This allows the D850 to capture more detailed images. Furthermore, the D850 has a higher DXOMARK score for its sensor at 100, while the Z6 II scores 94, indicating better overall image quality.

While the Nikon Z6 II wins in terms of shooting speed, processing power, and image stabilization, the D850 excels in image resolution and sensor quality. The choice between these two cameras depends on the user’s priorities. For those who require fast shooting and image stabilization, the Z6 II is the better option. However, photographers who prioritize high-resolution images and superior sensor quality should opt for the D850.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
45.7 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.
8256 x 5504 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
35.9 x 23.9 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.
7 fps
14 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 FX
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 5
Dual 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.
30 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 D850 vs Z6 II Video Performance

The Nikon Z6 II outperforms the Nikon D850 in video capabilities with a score of 91/100 compared to the D850’s 70/100. Both cameras share some common specifications, such as a maximum video resolution of 4K and dimensions of 3840 x 2160. Additionally, both cameras have built-in time-lapse functionality.

The Z6 II has a significant advantage over the D850 due to its maximum video frame rate of 120fps, which is four times higher than the D850’s 30fps. This higher frame rate allows the Z6 II to capture smoother slow-motion footage and provides more flexibility in post-production editing. This difference in frame rate is a major contributing factor to the Z6 II’s higher video score.

The D850’s video capabilities are not entirely outclassed by the Z6 II, as they share the same 4K resolution and time-lapse functionality. However, the D850’s lower maximum frame rate limits its versatility in comparison to the Z6 II.

Taking these factors into account, the Nikon Z6 II is the clear winner for video performance due to its higher maximum frame rate of 120fps. The Nikon D850 remains a capable camera for video recording, but the Z6 II provides more flexibility and options for videographers in need of higher frame rates.

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.
30 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 D850 vs Z6 II Features and Benefits

The Nikon D850 and the Nikon Z6 II both have a feature score of 87 out of 100, making them equally strong contenders in terms of features. They share several specifications, including a 3.2-inch screen size, touchscreen capability, absence of GPS, and the presence of WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity.

The D850 has a higher screen resolution at 2,359,000 dots compared to the Z6 II’s 2,100,000 dots. This results in a sharper and more detailed display on the D850, making it easier for photographers to review and edit their images directly on the camera.

On the other hand, the Z6 II does not have any standout features that make it superior to the D850 in this comparison. Both cameras have similar specifications, making them equally suitable for various photography needs. However, it is essential to consider other aspects, such as performance, optics, and video capabilities, when choosing between the two models.

In terms of features, the Nikon D850 and Nikon Z6 II are evenly matched, with the D850 having a slight edge in screen resolution. This similarity in features means that photographers should base their decision on other factors, such as their specific requirements, budget, and personal preferences. Both cameras are excellent options, and the choice ultimately depends on individual needs and priorities.

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 D850 vs Z6 II Storage and Battery

The Nikon D850 outperforms the Nikon Z6 II in storage and battery with a score of 84/100 compared to 71/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and compatibility with UHS-II SD cards. The D850 accepts SD/SDHC/SDXC and XQD cards, while the Z6 II uses SD, CFexpress Type B, and XQD cards.

The D850’s superior battery life of 1840 shots, using the EN-EL15a battery, surpasses the Z6 II’s 410 shots with its EN-EL15c battery. This significant difference makes the D850 more reliable for extended shooting sessions. However, the Z6 II offers USB charging, providing a convenient option for on-the-go charging, which the D850 lacks.

Considering these factors, the Nikon D850 wins in storage and battery performance due to its longer battery life and versatile memory card compatibility. The Nikon Z6 II, while scoring lower, still has the advantage of USB charging for added convenience.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
SD / SDHC / SDXC (UHS-II compatible), XQD
SD, CFexpress Type B / XQD (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.
1,840 shots
410 shots
USB Charging
Photography Genre
Graded from the first-hand experience of one of our writers
Beginner Friendly
Sports and Action
Value for Money
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.'
26.4 bits
25 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.'
14.8 EVs
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'

Alternatives to the Nikon D850 and Z6 II

Nikon D850 vs Z6 II Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon D850 or the Nikon Z6 II:

User Scores
B&H photo video
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