Nikon has released details of its first ‘full-frame’ mirrorless cameras, which will feature a new Z-mount with a flange focal distance of 16 mm and inner diameter of 55 mm.

A screen grab from the Nikon event showing key features of the Z7  and Z6 Nikon mirrorless cameras.

We have just watched the ‘Special Event Livestreaming’ broadcast from Nikon that provided details of the new system but have yet to receive technical specifications and product photos from Nikon to post for our readers. In the interim, the following information is what we gleaned from the broadcast, accompanied by screen grabs from the event.  There will be two cameras in the initial launch: the Z6  and the higher-resolution Z7. The table below provides the details of both cameras that we have been able to obtain, compared with the nearest DSLR equivalent, the D850.

Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7 Nikon D850
Lens mount Nikon Z   Nikon Z   Nikon F
Sensor size 35.9 x 23.9 mm
Effective resolution 24.5 megapixels 45.7 megapixels 45.7 megapixels
Processor EXPEED 6 EXPEED 5
Media Options to use 1x XQD card or 1x CF Express card SD/SDHC/SDXC
(UHS-II compatible)  plus XQD
Native ISO range 100-51200 64-25600 64-25600
Stabilisation 5-axis Sensor-shift Lens based
AF system Hybrid PDAF system Hybrid AF system
AF points 273 493 151
Max. burst  speed 11  fps 9  fps 7  fps
Shutter speeds 30 to 1/8000 second
Monitor 3.2-inch tilting TFT-LCD with 2,100,000 dots & touch controls 3.2-inch tilting TFT-LCD with 2,359,000 dots & touch controls
Viewfinder EVF with 3,600,000 dots (QVGA) Optical
Max. video resolution 4K UHD at 30/35 fps
Battery/capacity EN-EL15b EN-EL15b EN-EL15a / 1840 shots/charge
Video 4K UHD at 30/25 fps,  FullHD 120/100p, N-LOG profile (4: 2: 2 10-bit HDMI output) 4K UHD at 30/25 fps,  FullHD 120/100p, 8K time lapse, N-LOG profile (4: 2: 2 10-bit HDMI output) 4K UHD at 30/25 fps,  FullHD 120/100p, 8K time lapse
Weight 675 grams 675 grams 915 grams
Dimensions 134 x 100.5 x 67mm 134 x 100.5 x 67mm 146 x 124 x 78.5mm

Both cameras are equipped with new backside illumination Nikon FX-format CMOS sensor with built-in focal-plane phase-detection AF pixels, and the latest EXPEED 6 image processor. While differing in resolution, they combine a familiar interface with the benefits of a mirrorless, including rapid FPS, hybrid AF, silent shooting and advanced multimedia capabilities. The hybrid AF system uses an algorithm optimised for the FX-format sensor, to automatically switch between focal-plane phase-detection AF and contrast-detect AF to achieve focus. Lenses designed for the new system can take full advantage of this system, providing faster, quieter and with increased AF accuracy for both stills and movie shooting.

The new cameras will feature a QVGA electronic viewfinder with 3,600,000 dots, which  provides frame coverage and magnification of approximately 100% and 0.8x, respectively, as well as an approximately 37-degree diagonal viewing angle. A fluorine coating has been applied to the eyepiece protection window to repel dirt and grease.

The Z 7 and Z 6 support recording of not only full-frame 4K UHD (3840 x 2160)/30p movies using the FX-based video format, but also Full-HD/120p movies. Sharper 4K UHD movies are made possible, using the full-pixel readout. Additionally, Active D-Lighting, electronic vibration reduction, and focus peaking can be used with 4K UHD and Full-HD movie recording. Nikon’s original N-Log colour profile can also be used with 10-bit HDMI output. The N-Log setting utilizes extensive colour depth and twelve-stop, 1,300% dynamic range to record a wealth of tone information from highlights and shadows for more effective colour grading. Timecode support makes synchronising video and sound from multiple devices easier. Additionally, the control ring built into NIKKOR Z lenses can be used to quietly and smoothly adjust settings such as aperture and exposure compensation.

A new lens mount will be introduced with a shorter flange focal distance to support faster lenses.
An important piece of data is the specifications for the new Nikon Z-mount, which has a flange focal distance of 16 mm and an inner diameter of 55 mm. This enables it to provide  support for lenses with apertures as fast at f/0.95, one of which – the Z-NOCT-Nikkor 58mm f/0.95 S lens – appears to be in production.

The Z-Nikkor 24-70mm f/4 S lens.

It seems three lenses will be available when the cameras are released: the Z-Nikkor 24-70mm f/4 S, Z-Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 S and Z-Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 S.  Backwards compatibility with F-mount lenses will be provided through the FTZ Adapter that works with sensor-shift stabilisation system in both cameras. Along with the proposed Z-NOCT-Nikkor 58mm f/0.95 S lens, Nikon is also developing the AF-S Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR lens.

The new cameras will be integrated into the Nikon system through compatible accessories.

According to a press release from Nikon USA, the Nikon Z 7 will be available September 27 for a suggested retail price (SRP) of US$3399.95 for the body-only configuration, or for US$3999.95 SRP as a kit with the new NIKKOR Z 24-70 f/4 S lens. The Nikon Z 6 will be available in late November for the US$1995.95 SRP for the body only configuration, or for the US$2,599.95 SRP with the NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S lens kit. Local pricing and release dates ‘will be announced at a later date’ according to the local press release. For more information on the new Z 7 and Z 6, please click here.

UPDATE: The first Australian re-sellers are taking pre-release orders for the new Nikon cameras, enabling us to publish details of the asking prices for the new cameras. The consensus of the re-sellers whose sites we checked appears to be (within +/- $1) as follows:
Nikon Z6 body only with FTZ Adapter: AU$3499
Nikon Z6 body plus Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S lens: AU$4199
Nikon Z6 body plus Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S lens and FTZ Adapter: AU$4499
Nikon Z7 body only with FTZ Adapter: AU$5499
Nikon Z6 body plus Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S lens: AU$6199
Nikon Z6 body plus Nikkor Z 24-70 f/4 S lens and FTZ Adapter: AU$6499