z6/7iii - 2022? 2023?

I was wondering what the consensus is on when Nikon will bring out the next iteration of the prosumer lines with at least some (sensor/processor) upgrades showcased in the z9

Obviously it won't be soon as they will want the pro's to order/get hold of the z9 and they will no doubt want to rightly give the Z9 its own space for awhile but is 2022 too much to hope for?

I ask as the Z9 effectively signals that the improvements that so many z6/7II owners (myself included) had hoped would come through firmware updates simply won't. Mark Cruz (on Adorama's z9 panel discussion today) effectively closed that door with his comments about the improvements seen in the z9 being hardware driven so while I am sure they will continue to iterate the current z cameras very little of that z9 goodness will trickle down until the next generations are released - which then begs another question - how much of it will they put in the less expensive bodies?

Don't get me wrong they are stellar cameras and for many no significant updates are needed but aspects like tracking/better AF to put them on par with competitor cameras would be very welcome for the type of images I enjoy capturing.

What do you guys think?
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Comments

  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 572Member
    edited November 2021
    The Expeed 7 is 10x faster than the Expeed 6 putting it even a wee bit above the Digic X that Canon use(depending on how conservative they are being). So aye, the wish of making the Z6ii and Z7ii have all the subject detection abilities js just a dream and I suspected as much when working my way through fiddling about with the hardware.

    I think we will see a second Expeed 7 based camera very soon to keep people in the Nikon world. I don’t think it’ll be a Z6iii or Z7iii though. I think we’ll get something else that might just be a Z7iii with a different name so that in 2022 it can be launched without making every Z7ii and Z6ii owner kick themselves. If they can get a firmware update to detect human eyes from more profiles that might help hold people over, but that extra processor was just to let those cameras run without being at the red line all the time.

    Edit: The speed improvement quoted by Nikon is "10x faster than a Z 7II" so that implies it is 10X faster than Dual Expeed 6.
    Post edited by photobunny on
  • kevgaleukkevgaleuk Posts: 8Member
    I feel like many z6ii & z7ii may already be kicking themselves! I have a little bit if I am honest

    Don't get me wrong in many ways the current z cameras are great, I love mine for the most part and despite its flaws I haven't found myself considering moving to the other brands because the overall experience of a Nikon camera/lenses is just so good.

    That said I bought the ii hoping that with firmware it would close the gap on the other brands in key areas like AF & Tracking for the type of photography I like. The inclusion of dual expeed 6 suggested capability but that belief has been shattered by the fact that those elements on-par/exceeding the competitors can only come from the new sensor and new processor - which basically means the ii's won't ever compete with the other prosumer cameras for other brands which is a huge shame for current owners.

    Again, don't get me wrong - it took Sony 3 iterations to get to what has long been heralded as gold standard in prosumer bodies so for Nikon to do the same is certainly no bad thing. Sony (and canon - who did it in 2) then gave the world even more with their pro flagship cameras meaning they have great and stellar

    With the z's Nikon didn't really hit the prosumer heights creating good (great for certain photographic genres) cameras and have now announced stellar with the z9. I just struggle to see how they can bring that tech strategically to the prosumer lines quickly - which they kind of need to in order to really gain share back from Sony/Canon

    If I had to guess I'd estimate a Q4 2022 refresh which would be in-line with the 2 year I-ii iteration we have already seen meaning we'll likely be living with the current z's for a while yet which is frustrating when we know Nikon has the goodness to offer

    The challenge they face is that they can't put that z9 tech straight into the z6/7iii at those camera's current price points even at the end of next year else (bar the pro body) given likely huge wait times to get z9's in hands, why would people buy the more expensive camera?

    If it was me I would push the 6 more into video (35mp to allow 8k 30) with 20/30/120FPS in the same smaller frame while make the 7 more image focused with the 45mp sensor with 15-20 fps but with limited video specs (maybe 4k 120 max) Both could share the AF/Tracking capabilities via the new sensor/processor wile the 6 could have a fully articulating screen while the 7 gets the new vari-tilt screen from the z9.

    That way the tech trickles down but not to the point where you question why you'd buy a z9 - it also leaves the door open for the z8 to be medium format offering in the future

    Again; if it was me I would announce it in Q1/2 for shipping Q3 and offer enhanced trade-ins on old Z6/7 i's & ii's to slightly appease current owners / tempt them to switch. I feel they need to leverage the really positive noise around the z9 to land into the larger non-pro market where Nikon has taken a battering last few years
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    edited January 11
    Do you really think that your Z6ii or Z7ii isn't "on par" with the equivalent Sony? I think that you should read a bit of Thom, who praises both. You will see that they are closer than you think and if auto-focus is your concern, then buy Thom's book like I did and practice using it.

    Thom would summarize it this way. If you want the camera to do af for you decently, buy a Sony. If you want your camera to do af for you well, buy a Nikon and learn how to use it.
    Post edited by spraynpray on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    And don't get me started on the Nikon Z5 vs the what? A four year old Sony?
  • kevgaleukkevgaleuk Posts: 8Member

    Do you really think that your Z6ii or Z7ii isn't "on par" with the equivalent Sony? I think that you should read a bit of Thom, who praises both. You will see that they are closer than you think and if auto-focus is your concern, then buy Thom's book like I did and practice using it.

    Thom would summarize it this way. If you want the camera to do af for you decently, but a Sony. If you want your camera to do af for you well, buy a Nikon and learn how to use it.

    As I said in many respects on par if not better than Sony/Canon equivalents. Landscapes, slow moving wildlife, slower portraiture all excellent and very happy with the results. The ergonomics of my Nikon, the files that come out of it and just the feel of my camera I would take over other brands all day long - 80-90% of the time I am super happy which is why I was desperate for the upgraded capabilities to come to these z's to improve on its only real weakness

    Where it currently struggles, like most acknowledge, is that speed of eye AF/tracking pick-up, & stickiness. I typically use the U123 modes a lot jumping from landscape settings to wildlife or portrait. When flicking into wildlife the time it takes to position the box on or around the animal/bird's face to grab the eye the moment can be over. If the scene is complex it can misfire. Now can I improve my application - of course I can, and that wouldn't change if I had a Sony or a Z9 - but having used a friend's Sony, similar momentary scenes are just easier to capture. I assume that's a combination of their algorithm, processor, application or a combination of the three.

    Clearly with the z9 Nikon have shown they can easily compete in this super specific area if the hardware is in place

    One area I think they can do via firmware is the application of AF/tracking even if they can't implement the speed and accuracy they have achieved on the z9; You would assume that they can implement the logic of the new Eye AF/subject detection (even if they keep it limited to people and animals) and you would further assume they can implement the mechanics of how it is used too e.g the new modes and always on approach. If they can do that; even if its not as good as they have made it for the z9 I think most of us would be happy
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,767Member
    Agree- I think they can make some improvements with the vII models via firmware to close a lot of the perceived gap. From what I understand there isn't too much difference in hardware between the vII Z's and the similar Sony or Canon models.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    That is reasonable.
  • manraymanray Posts: 3Member
    Isn't it possible Nikon has reserved the "Z8" nomenclature for an upgrade to the Z6 II/Z7 II? A Z8 with some of the Z9 hardware upgrades, perhaps? Like Expeed 7 and so on. There must be some reason they skipped ahead to Z9.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 572Member
    mhedges said:

    Agree- I think they can make some improvements with the vII models via firmware to close a lot of the perceived gap. From what I understand there isn't too much difference in hardware between the vII Z's and the similar Sony or Canon models.

    The Digic X in the Canon R5 and R6 is significantly more powerful than even a dual Expeed 6. It isn't known if the Expeed 7 but the Expeed 6 and Digic 8 where way more comparable and a Digic X replaced a dual Digic 8 and then some just like the Expeed 7 did with the Expeed 6. There is still some hope for the old models getting a good firmware update given 3.40 on the Z6 and Z7 once more made those cameras punch well above their weight class, but lets not build up to much hope when the real 'fix' to those bodies faster readout sensors and Expeed 7 (perhaps cut down/binned) processors.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 572Member
    manray said:

    Isn't it possible Nikon has reserved the "Z8" nomenclature for an upgrade to the Z6 II/Z7 II? A Z8 with some of the Z9 hardware upgrades, perhaps? Like Expeed 7 and so on. There must be some reason they skipped ahead to Z9.

    If there is a Z8 line it'll be its own thing. Nikon seem to have went for a logical naming structure and if we got a Z7iii with a faster readout and Expeed 7 processor then it is already a rival to the Canon R5 without having to be renamed Z8. Also on naming, Sony have the 7 series and 9 series and (confusingly) 1 series. Canon have the 6 series , 5 series, and 3 series. Nikon don't need to fill in all the numbers, perhaps 7 and 9 are more lucky than 8, 7 is a prime number after all.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,767Member
    I’ll be surprised now to see updates in 2022, given the parts shortages. Sony’s stopped making almost all of their APS-C and at least one recent FF model. And I gotta think they have more sourcing power than Nikon.
  • MrFotoFoolMrFotoFool Posts: 326Member
    edited January 10
    Here is what Thom Hogan predicts will happen (not just with Z6iii and Z7iii, but with the entire lineup):
    https://www.zsystemuser.com/nikon-z-system-news-and/which-z-camera-will-be-next.html
    Post edited by MrFotoFool on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,767Member
    I was just reading that when you posted. Some interesting ideas. I'd be all over a shutterless Z6III (or possibly Z7III) but I would be very surprised to see it.

    I would also be very interested in a Z90 assuming the price wasn't too high and it didn't have a built in grip. Again, I will be surprised to see that too.

  • kevgaleukkevgaleuk Posts: 8Member
    Thom's article, as always, makes for an interesting and informative read. I posed the Q well before z9 launch and all of the positivity around its performance - I mean as of today even Mr Polin is saying the Nikon system is no longer behind the other brands to be worth a damn which is high praise indeed given the last few years!

    My current thinking is thus...

    Nikon still, IMO, needs to ride the positivity train. It still has a problem in the lower end models with perception (and some reality) and from a marketing perspective it simply cannot go silent and announce nothing. Equally, however, the state of production capabilities for all brands globally means there is a gap between what they want to do and what they can do

    If I had to guess I think (in line with TH's view point) the Z6/7 refresh has to be a certainty. Whether we get it this year I don't know but I think for certain it will be announced and a "few" bodies will be seen in 2022 As for what I think it will have?

    Z6 - if they can I think they would put both the new expeed processor and the new sensor in too - I think they would bump it to 33-36mp to allow for 8k (probably limited to 30fps)

    Z7 - Again I think the new expeed processor is a given and if they can a higher MP count else the Z6 will be too close in resolution - maybe 50, maybe 60

    Of course like Thom's article mentions retaining the same sensors could be an option (not sure how much impact that would have on the AF system) especially given no one really complains about the files they get from them!

    Between the 2 I would expect the FPS to be higher (maybe 12-15) on the z6 and maybe 10-12 on the z7 and naturally in a smaller body the pro features like tethering / full HDMI etc will be gone. Ultimately they will need to trickle down enough of the z9 to improve the 6/7 in the eyes of consumers and (often mis-)informed commentators BUT they won't want to trickle everything down and cannibalise the z9 sales

    For me this means there won't be a z8 this year and if it comes in 2023 is likely to be a very different camera (I thought baby z9). I do think a z90 might be a possibility though - if it wasn't for the production issues I would have said around April for a summer release in a similar vain to the release of the D500

    Much of this could be utter horseS*** and certainly its all pure speculation on my part. I would definitely like them to bring out a Z6iii with 36mp, 12-15fps and the AF/Tracking system in the z9!!
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,767Member
    I think it's really unlikely that the Z6III/Z7III use the same sensors as the V1 and V2 models. When Z6II specs were posted on the main blog there was a note that it would be the last 24 MP model. Best guess is that V3 would use a sensor very similar to A74. Although that won't get you to 8k. You need 40-45 MP in FF 3:2 to do 8K. That sensor is also somewhat slow to read and will limit the FPS.

    I'm still not sure there is any solid reason to expect a Z8, other than the number being unassigned. As far as I know Nikon has not so much as hinted at the camera.
  • photobunnyphotobunny Posts: 572Member
    mhedges said:


    I'm still not sure there is any solid reason to expect a Z8, other than the number being unassigned. As far as I know Nikon has not so much as hinted at the camera.

    Canon never had a 2D, 3D, 8D. Sony have a 6, 7, 9, and 1 series. I wouldn't doubt that Nikon will have the 5, 6, 7, and 9 series with no need to put out a 8. I don't know why it is expected really when the Z6/Z7 and their mark 2 bodies are very similar in size and weight as the Sony a7's and Canon R5 and R6. I am sure if new controls are needed the Z6iii and Z7iii can get a different button layout.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    kevgaleuk said:

    Thom's article, as always, makes for an interesting and informative read. I posed the Q well before z9 launch and all of the positivity around its performance - I mean as of today even Mr Polin is saying the Nikon system is no longer behind the other brands to be worth a damn which is high praise indeed given the last few years!

    My current thinking is thus...

    Nikon still, IMO, needs to ride the positivity train. It still has a problem in the lower end models with perception (and some reality) and from a marketing perspective it simply cannot go silent and announce nothing. Equally, however, the state of production capabilities for all brands globally means there is a gap between what they want to do and what they can do

    If I had to guess I think (in line with TH's view point) the Z6/7 refresh has to be a certainty. Whether we get it this year I don't know but I think for certain it will be announced and a "few" bodies will be seen in 2022 As for what I think it will have?

    Z6 - if they can I think they would put both the new expeed processor and the new sensor in too - I think they would bump it to 33-36mp to allow for 8k (probably limited to 30fps)

    Z7 - Again I think the new expeed processor is a given and if they can a higher MP count else the Z6 will be too close in resolution - maybe 50, maybe 60

    Of course like Thom's article mentions retaining the same sensors could be an option (not sure how much impact that would have on the AF system) especially given no one really complains about the files they get from them!

    Between the 2 I would expect the FPS to be higher (maybe 12-15) on the z6 and maybe 10-12 on the z7 and naturally in a smaller body the pro features like tethering / full HDMI etc will be gone. Ultimately they will need to trickle down enough of the z9 to improve the 6/7 in the eyes of consumers and (often mis-)informed commentators BUT they won't want to trickle everything down and cannibalise the z9 sales

    For me this means there won't be a z8 this year and if it comes in 2023 is likely to be a very different camera (I thought baby z9). I do think a z90 might be a possibility though - if it wasn't for the production issues I would have said around April for a summer release in a similar vain to the release of the D500

    Much of this could be utter horseS*** and certainly its all pure speculation on my part. I would definitely like them to bring out a Z6iii with 36mp, 12-15fps and the AF/Tracking system in the z9!!

    Regarding the Z6, if you want 8k you need a 45mp ish processor.

    I also think that you are talking about alot of sensors. With lower volumes, those could end up being expensive.

    I actually don't think they will come out with "one" camera with a high MP sensor. I think the bodies will focus on ergonomic design and we are more likely to see a body with a low MP option (Z9 sensor) and a high mp option - minimum 72mp.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    mhedges said:

    I think it's really unlikely that the Z6III/Z7III use the same sensors as the V1 and V2 models. When Z6II specs were posted on the main blog there was a note that it would be the last 24 MP model. Best guess is that V3 would use a sensor very similar to A74. Although that won't get you to 8k. You need 40-45 MP in FF 3:2 to do 8K. That sensor is also somewhat slow to read and will limit the FPS.

    I'm still not sure there is any solid reason to expect a Z8, other than the number being unassigned. As far as I know Nikon has not so much as hinted at the camera.

    What was actually said was that particular sensor in the Z6 would be the last - not a 24mp sensor in general.

    I can see a Z8, though not in the next year. It will fill an ergonomic gap. The Z6/7 in my view are mirrorless D750, not D850. There is no AF mode button and only 2 function buttons in the Z6/7 bodies. On my Z7ii bodies, I have both function buttons managing AF and there is none left for anything else. On the Z9, there is really 5 (not 4) function buttons if I count that one or two function buttons are free up by the AF mode button.

    My D850 has an AF mode button and two function buttons. That is effectively two extra function buttons over my Z7ii bodies which makes the camera much better to operate.

    This an other reasons suggest, to me, that a Z8 will be forthcoming.
  • kevgaleukkevgaleuk Posts: 8Member
    edited January 14
    @WestEndFoto

    I am pretty sure its 33. something MP for 8k but could be wrong. Totally agree about the sensors (being expensive) and much will owe to whether new sensors have already been identified / procured or whether its brand new like the z9. I don't know about volumes but you would suspect that the z6/7 are the volume bodies

    I agree with you on the lower / higher mp version of the z9 sensor - but for now I still think 36 & 60 IF they have enough / can create enough before the mkiii's come out
    Post edited by kevgaleuk on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,767Member
    edited January 14
    kevgaleuk said:

    @WestEndFoto

    I am pretty sure its 33. something MP for 8k

    8k is ~33mp but its 16:9 or so ratio - image width is 7680 or 8192 depending on the standard. If the sensor is the standard FF aspect ration of 3:2 then that corresponds to 40 or 45 mp, which is then cropped when shooting video
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • kevgaleukkevgaleuk Posts: 8Member
    mhedges said:

    kevgaleuk said:

    @WestEndFoto

    I am pretty sure its 33. something MP for 8k

    8k is ~33mp but its 16:9 or so ratio - image width is 7680 or 8192 depending on the standard. If the sensor is the standard FF aspect ration of 3:2 then that corresponds to 40 or 45 mp, which is then cropped when shooting video
    Ah, thanks for clarifying!
  • DaveyJDaveyJ Posts: 1,090Member
    One thing required for a Z 6 III and Z 7 III is a sensor shield like the Z 9 has. And an increase in mp as that still sells cameras to some, especially new entrants. Somewhere around 33 mp for the Z 6 III? Although mhedges is undoubtedly right on the 8K 40-45 mp required for 8k.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    I would prefer if Nikon brought the Z9 tech to the Z6, Z7 and Z8 and made the grip in the Z7 integrated.

    That would make the bodies more expensive think $3k, $3,75k, $4.5k and $5.5k.

    Save the cheaper sensors for a Z3/5 budget counterpart to the Z6iii/Z7iii. Nikon might be able to recycle the current sensor in the Z7 as they are starting to age and should be cheaper to produce.
  • Capt_SpauldingCapt_Spaulding Posts: 688Member
    edited February 13
    The grip is not a huge selling point for me. The last two FX DSLRs I bought each came with a grip as part of the package. I installed the one that came with my D610, tried it out a bit, removed it, put it up and never opened the box afterward. For my needs it just makes the camera bulkier, and not in a good way. I'll probably never switch to mirrorless, but if I did, the Z7 is where I'd start looking. An integrated grip would be a negative for me. Just keep it as an optional accessory. Win - Win.
    Post edited by Capt_Spaulding on
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 3,675Member
    My thought is that the Z7 and Z6 are identical except for the grip. You would have a choice. I think the Z8 and Z9 should be that way to.

    The grips never comes off my D850 and the two Z7ii bodies. Originally I thought that the grip for my Z7ii that I use for my AIS/D lenses would get no use, but it is permanently attached to. Better ergonomics.
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