Nikon Z6 II Camera Review

bythom z6ii lens
nikon z6iiz7ii button(3)

What is It?

This is probably going to be a different sounding review than you expected. I'll get into my normal "full" review style in a bit, but first we have a ginormous elephant in the room to deal with: just how different is a Z6 II from the Z6, and might that actually be important?

The full list of differences. The Z6 II has:

  • Dual card slots: adds Primary slot selection, Secondary slot function, Video recording destination options
  • MB-N11 grip support: plus CSM #F9 allows customization of the two extra buttons and multi-selector
  • Dual EXPEED processors
  • Buffer capacity increased
  • EN-EL15C battery; USB Power Delivery can be enabled with optional external charge source
  • New DISP capability of no overlays/info (must be assigned to a button, default is movie button), but this removed Split-screen zoom display
  • Extended shutter speeds via CSM #D6 (up to 900 seconds in Manual exposure mode; includes countdown in top LCD)
  • Minimized Virtual Horizon display
  • New AF Area modes: people and animal versions of Auto Area AF and Large Area AF
  • Interval shooting; adds focus before shot option, exposure bracketing option, time-lapse movie option
  • Time-lapse movie: adds focus before shot option, destination choice
  • Removed Stack peaking image capability from Focus shift shooting
  • Added 4K 50P/60P (in firmware 1.10 update on Z6 II)
  • Removed Face Detect option in CSM A settings
  • Added i menu customization options
  • Added some CSM #F2 customization options
  • Added ability to reverse the lens focus ring direction (now CSM #F8)
  • AF Fine-tuning options now allow tuning for zoom lenses (wide and tele ends)
  • Focus position can be saved on power down
  • Pixel mapping added to refresh the image sensor (removes hot pixels)
  • Added a new Energy saving mode for still photography
  • Removed TIFF support
  • Slightly changed AF-On button, shutter release
  • The viewfinder hump is shaped slightly differently
  • The eye detect sensor’s performance is a bit different, particularly with the rear LCD out

That seems like a long list, right? The question a lot of folk will have is how much does that actually translate to in terms of tangible and meaningful differences? You'll note, for example, Nikon tweaked or removed some options. So if you're one of those folk that are down in the weeds using a very particular aspect/feature of the Z6, you might find that the Z6 II changes that in ways you didn't want. 

I have no idea why Nikon leaves off or changes features—5:4 aspect ratio and TIFF on the Z6 II for example—but it's annoying, and sometimes breaks people's workflows. I suspect that part of the problem is that Nikon has a fixed size for firmware, and that as they add new things into firmware, they sometimes need the space, so they take something else out, or tweak it in ways that use less firmware memory. 

So right up front, let me state a few things about the Z6 II:

  • In terms of image or video quality, I see no meaningful differences between a Z6 and Z6 II.
  • Many of the smaller things that were changed should have also been done in a firmware update for the Z6.
  • Yes, the top, most obvious changes "fix" a few things that some Z6 users complained about.

As I write this, there's a US$400 price differential between the Z6 and Z6 II. The question that most of you might ask is this: are the changes worth it? 

My answer is no and yes, in that order. I don't find myself particularly appreciating (or using in many cases) many of those changes. They fall into a category I'd call "okay nice, but doesn't change things for me." I could do without those things, so no, those changes aren't worth it.

The yes part of my answer has to do with only three things, so I'd suggest that if they don't interest you much, just go read my Z6 review and consider that version of the camera. What are those three items?

  1. Buffer performance. If you're running the camera at top frame rates and filling the buffer, the Z6 II is simply better, and not by a small amount. It's not that the Z6 had an especially restrictive buffer, it's that the Z6 II has a buffer big enough that you can generally ignore buffer constraints, particularly if you're a JPEG shooter. 
  2. Focus performance. Yes, the Z6 II's focus performance is slightly better. A bit faster to find focus, a bit better at tracking focus, and detects faces and eyes at longer distances. This is a tough one to quantify, but it's an observable difference that is mostly meaningful to people who shoot action. Moreover, the addition of “people/animal” AF Area modes partly fixes a problem in terms of switching the focus system quickly.
  3. USB power. The Z6 II can stay powered from USB or charge the battery in the camera. At different times I find both things useful.

Now it's possible that the dual slots or vertical grip option answers a question for you personally, but the former adds complications to the camera, and the latter adds an additional cost. 

So, that's probably the short answer for many of you reading this review. Now let's get to the full review. As before, my review is going to look a lot like previous reviews (but with editing where the new features/handling/performance comes into play). That's because Nikon has produced five cameras (Z5, Z6, Z6 II, Z7, Z7 II) that are all very much alike in much of their abilities. There's more the same about those cameras than there is different.

The Z6 II, like the Z6 before it, cribs a great deal from the DSLR lineup, particularly the D850, which seems to have served as the primary base for the Z series. The Z6 II also shares accessories with the DSLR lineup. Unlike the Nikon 1, the Z series is almost fully integrated into Nikon's long SLR/DSLR legacy. 

Let's start with the Z6 II basics.

The Z6 II is a 24mp full frame (36x24mm) mirrorless camera. The image sensor itself is the same as in the Z6, and appears to be similar to the one used in the Sony A7m3. In other words, it’s a BSI (backside illumination) Exmor-type design with the addition of phase detect photosite masking embedded in the microlens layer. Base ISO is 100, with the directly selectable range going to 25,600 (extendable with the HI settings to 204,800 equivalent).

The Z6 II sensor measures slightly different than the Z6 sensor in one thing: fixed pattern noise. It appears that Nikon caught their mistake with the focus pixel rows and corrected their math. All other measurements I made came up identical within sample error.

On top of the Z6 II image sensor we have a low pass filter, unlike the Z7 and Z7 II. This filter steals a little acuity from edges and anti-aliases the data, but that also has the tendency to mask some of the shot noise, too. This isn’t a particularly aggressive AA filter as we used to have many years ago, but you need to know it’s there, as this makes the Z6 II not quite a high resolution beast, though it is still highly capable of producing excellent 13x19" prints at 300 dpi without upscaling. Note that the aliasing is mostly on the long axis. It's not clear why Nikon made the aliasing asymmetrical, but the overall result is less overall aliasing than most regular AA filters.

The Z mount the Z6 II uses is distinguished by the smallest flange distance to date from the main competitors (16mm compared to a more typical 18-20mm). Coupled with a very wide throat opening of 52mm (compared to Sony's narrow 43.6mm), Nikon can (and sometimes does) put larger lens elements closer to the sensor than anyone else with a full frame camera. They can also consider new optical designs where the entrance and exit pupils of the optical path have more flexibility. 

Nikon has kept the lens release button in its usual position found on the DSLRs, and Z-mount lenses twist onto the Z6 II camera body exactly the same way F-mount lenses twist onto Nikon DSLRs. Which is to say, for some, backwards ;~). Still, that's the level of detail and consideration that any Nikon DSLR user would want Nikon to be making for mirrorless cameras that complement the DSLRs. Zoom and focus rings also work the same way in Z-dom as they do in D-dom: zoom in with a twist to the right (across the top of the lens), zoom out to the left. 

So, other than the fact that the mount is bigger and closer to the sensor, the Z6 II lens mount and lens attributes are recognizably Nikon to Nikon users. 

Of course, you can't mount a DSLR lens directly on the mirrorless Z6 II. For that Nikon has made an optional FTZ Adapter (F mount To Z mount, get it?). Another article on this site goes into the details about the FTZ adapter, so I won't elaborate much here. Suffice it to say that pretty much any manual focus Nikkor and any AF-S, AF-I, or AF-P autofocus Nikkor works much as you'd expect when mounted on a Z6 II via the FTZ adapter. That's good news, because while the Z-mount lens choices continue to get better, we only have 14 FX Z-mount Nikkor lenses as this review is published, and a number of them overlap in function (four mid-range zooms, for example). Even with more lenses on the Road Map and coming soon, there's still a paucity of lens choice in the Z-mount versus the F-mount that will take some time to go away. Most of you who pick up a Z6 II after reading this review are going to be using at least some of your existing DSLR lenses via the FTZ for awhile.

The exception with FTZ Adapter is D-type autofocus lenses that use a screw-drive mechanism to move the focus elements. That screw-drive was powered by a motor in the DSLR cameras, which the Z6 II does not have (nor does the FTZ Adapter). It’s unclear why Nikon chose to leave this ability off, but it would have consumed more power and made the FTZ Adapter more complex. Moreover, screw-drive autofocus lenses were the poorest in terms of focus speed (only the D3, D4, D5, and D6 type bodies had high-powered motors that could drive them fast, and the batteries to allow that). 

You're probably wondering about the autofocus system at this point, as I just mentioned that most F-mount lenses work as expected on the Z6 II with the FTZ adapter. 

Nikon uses rows of phase detect photosite masking on the Z6 II sensor. The photosites on those rows can provide both focus and exposure information. Basically every twelfth row has this dual-function nature. Nikon claims 273 points for autofocus, but that's user selectable single points using the camera controls. In reality, there are thousands of autofocus points in the camera, as is true of most mirrorless cameras using phase detect on sensor. One thing, though: none of these autofocus detection sites are cross-type, as you find in the DSLRs. That means that focus is more responsive to detail on one axis only (long axis). 

Focus performance with the latest firmware extends to -6EV with an f/2 lens attached. That's with the low light focus function enabled; normally it's -4.5EV. Those numbers are better than the Nikon D750, one of the best low-light focusing DSLRs to date. Indeed, I'd call them state-of-the-art numbers. (Note that some other makers use faster lenses to get higher numbers ;~).

The thing about phase detect on the image sensor is that the precision with which the current focus position can be calculated is less than that in the DSLRs (at least at the central positions). That mostly has to do with geometry. That's why virtually all of mirrorless camera systems default to a followup contrast detect focus step after performing a phase detect step when they're set to what's known as single servo focus (AF-S in most cameras; it means that focus is only obtained once, and does not track the subject). The Z6 II does not typically do this, though (except in Pinpoint AF mode and in Low Light AF). Somehow, Nikon has gotten the same level of accuracy without having to perform the extra step.

In continuous servo (AF-C in Nikon parlance), the Z6 II usually only performs a single phase detect focus operation. Note that whatever Autofocus Area Mode you pick in AF-C, far more than one underlying focus sensor (pixel) is being used to determine focus. That both helps and potentially hurts AF-C focus accuracy. I'll get to accuracy in the Performance section, below.

You should also know that the Z6 II respects shooting aperture up to f/5.6. In other words, focus is performed at f/2.8 if you're set at f/2.8, while focus is performed at f/5.6 if you're set at f/5.6. When you set apertures of f/6.3 and smaller, the camera focuses with the lens set to f/5.6 (or the maximum aperture of the lens if it's smaller). The unique aspect of this is that the EVF shows DOF directly up to f/5.6. Beyond that, you need to invoke a programmed button or pull off the trick I note in my book to see exact DOF in the viewfinder.

The main worry of Nikon DSLR users considering a Z6 II has tended to be focus speed. They needn't have worried. Phase detect is essentially instant—okay, there's lag in the electronics stream to account for, but that's minimal—so it really depends upon the performance of the focus motor in the lens as to whether the actual focus speed is good or not. The worry among DSLR users was that no other mirrorless camera with adapter managed to achieve reasonable focus speed with existing F-mount Nikkors. 

One thing to note is that the Z cameras don't have to filter light through a partially silvered mirror before it gets to the focus sensors. That means those focus sensors are getting considerably more light on them, which impacts accuracy. There are also more individual sensors building the depth map for any given "focus area" the camera is looking at. 

I see no important difference in how AF-S lenses on the FTZ adapter work (yeah, a confusion of terms, that's not single servo, but a lens motor designation), though in a few cases I can measure it as slower than the same lens on my D6. I actually think AF-P lenses may work a little faster on the Z6 II than they do on the DSLRs, but that "little" is so little that I can't really measure it, and you have an apples and oranges problem to deal with even trying to do such a test. Suffice it to say that Nikon DSLR AF-I, AF-S, and AF-P autofocus lenses mounted on an FTZ adapter pretty much keep their performance characteristics on the Z6 II. Fast focusing lenses on a DSLR still tend to be fast focusing lenses on the Z6 II.

What's missing on the Z6 II autofocus are some of the traditional Nikon DSLR Autofocus Area Modes in AF-C and the ability to switch Autofocus Area Modes quickly. You can't assign AF-ON+AF Area Mode to anything, as you can on the D850 and other D5-generation DSLRs. There's no Group AF mode, nor any size variations for the Dynamic AF mode. We do now have a Wide-area AF (L-people) and Wide-area AF (L-animals) mode, though (yes, the names are clunky). 

Meanwhile, manual focus lenses on the Z6 II shine. That's because we have a plethora of "helpers" to help you nail focus. The full list—which requires a chipped lens—includes rangefinder focus distance display, the usual Nikon >o< focus indicator, the focus sensor indicator being used turning from red to green, the ability to magnify the display in the viewfinder, and focus peaking overlays. (Non-chipped lenses will lose the rangefinder and perhaps more depending upon how you've set the camera, but are still quite usable on the Z6 II.)

Even though I'm just outlining features, I'll say this right up front: if you're deep into using manual focus Nikkors that are chipped (basically AI-P and some third party lenses), the Z6 II is the second best camera you can use them on (the Z7 II is the best, because of the added resolution). No doubts about it. The chipped Voigtlander and Zeiss (ZF.2 and later) primes fit into this category, as well. You're simply going to get to correct focus visually faster and more accurately with your lens on the Z6 II via FTZ adapter than you will with any other camera mounting those lenses. I'd even include the Fujifilm X and Sony A7 series in that statement. 

For a company that caters to legacy users, all those AI and AI-S manual focus Nikkor owners can relax: Nikon designed the Z6 II+FTZ adapter so that it can work with those lenses, though you'll probably need to set focus peaking to use them well and you'll need to set Non-CPU Lens Data for sensor-based VR to work. And, of course, all the owners of autofocus lenses with built-in focus motors (AF-I, AF-S, AF-P) can relax, too. I'm surprised and thrilled at how much compatibility Nikon has managed to retain while moving over into the mirrorless realm from DSLR. 

Unfortunately, if you have a screw-drive autofocus Nikkor—lenses that require a motor in the camera body to move the focus elements in the lens—you will lose autofocus if you mount it on the FTZ Adapter. It's entirely possible that someone, including Nikon, might eventually build an adapter that works for all those older screw-mount autofocus lenses, but I wouldn't hold my breath. That has power implications, among other things.

Since I just mentioned power, the Z6 II uses the same basic battery as Nikon has used for the advanced small body DSLRs for some time: the EN-EL15, though this time it's a slightly more beefier version, the EN-EL15C. Yes, you can use your older EN-EL15 in the Z6 II. You can use your EN-EL15a or EN-EL15b, too. But the Z6 II comes with the new variation of that battery, the EN-EL15c. 

Both the EN-EL15b and EN-EL15C can be charged in camera (while Nikon supplies the EH-7P charger and cable to do this with the Z7 and Z7 II, those do not come with the Z6 or Z6 II, you have to buy those separately). The older batteries can't be charged this way, only the EN-EL15b and EN-EL15c (I have gotten a third party EN-EL15c to work, as well). One new thing with the Z6 II is when  you've got an AC power source that supports USB Power Delivery plugged into the camera, you can operate the camera from that source (a battery with some charge still needs to be in the camera, though). I use my Z6 II as a continuously on Webcam using this facility.

bythom nikon mbn11

Related to this, Nikon now makes an MB-N11 Battery grip that features two battery slots and a full set of vertical-oriented camera controls (shutter release, front/rear dials, AF-On button, programmable button, thumb stick). This new accessory only works with the Z6 II and Z7 II; it can't be used with the older cameras. 

I glossed over a feature in the sensor description, above: on-sensor VR. The Z6 II has on-sensor stabilization. The implementation is robust, though Nikon's sensor-VR has a bit less physical movement capability than Sony’s. Nikon’s version powers down into a locked state rather than let the sensor platform dangle in space when in your bag. Nikon claims 5-stops CIPA from the on-sensor VR. Yes, the on-sensor VR works with manual focus lenses, too (including unshipped lenses if you set Non-CPU Data for them). As I wrote above, the Z6 II is a Nikkor manual focus user's dream. 

Not all is perfect with that on-sensor VR, though. First, with video Nikon is claiming only a 2-stop improvement at the sensor, which can be improved to 5-stops via turning on an additional feature, Electronic VR (only works with video, as it moves the scan area). 

The other thing you need to be aware of is that if a Nikkor lens has VR and a switch to control that, that switch controls all VR, in the lens or on the sensor. If the lens doesn't have VR or no VR switch, then only the camera menu system controls VR operation. Third party lenses with stabilization, especially older ones, may not correctly interface with the camera's VR, though. I've seen several where the lens switch doesn't seem to be recognized by the camera, and others that stay powered even when the viewfinder is off.

It doesn't end there. In one of the biggest design dissonances in the DSLR to mirrorless transition, the type of VR is controlled by the lens, unless it isn't. If the lens has Off, On, and Sports modes in its switch, great, everything matches, and that lens switch does indeed sets Off, On, and Sports modes. But if the lens has Off, On, and Active modes on its switch, oops. The switch only controls On and Off: Active mode will be the same as On.

This, of course, is a simplification. Other simplifications abound in the Z6 II design when compared to the higher-end DSLRs. First up is the removal of the Mode button and the inclusion of a locking Mode dial. This also removes the Bank settings from the menu and provides the U1, U2, and U3 user settings of the consumer Nikon DSLRs. One problem with that is that not all functions are actually saved in U1, U2, and U3. One primary one that isn't remembered: the drive function (self-timer, single shot, continuous shot, etc.). Meanwhile, while you can save your camera configuration to your memory card, you can only do that once on a card; Nikon still doesn't support multiple, named settings files. Worse, the camera configuration saved to card doesn't include the U1/U2/U3 settings.

Another issue with the U1, U2, and U3 design is that you can't switch exposure modes ;~). This was one of the things that Nikon eventually addressed with extended banks in the pro cameras (having a user-defined exposure mode associated with a bank that can be overridden while shooting). While most shooters won't be upset by the simplifications inherent in the U1 type settings over banks, we do lose flexibility in the camera with this design. 

Since the Z6 II is slotted in the same basic position as the D780, which also uses a Mode dial and U1/U2/U3, I don't terribly mind the control simplifications; they also seem more appropriate on the Z6 II than on the Z7 II. 

Which brings me to the card slots.  

The Z6 II gets one CFexpress slot (which can use XQD cards, as well), and one SD slot (which is UHS II enabled). I'm not a fan of mismatched slots, and I'm not sure why the Z6 II needs the speed of CFexpress. I'm pretty sure that Z6 II users would have been perfectly happy with two matched SD slots (ala the Z5). 

But it is what it is, and so we have the two mixed slots. I know some of you will be disappointed that you need XQD or CFExpress cards to use both slots in the Z6 II, but I'm not disappointed by that. The Type B CFExpress cards are an appropriate state-of-the-art card for a product such as the Z6 II. This has increased the buffer size over the Z6 by more than 50%, and with my fastest CFexpress card in the camera I found that you can actually shoot continuously at about 3 fps in many cases, even with the buffer full!

Two slots means that the full set of Nikon second slot card uses is available, including a new playback option. For some reason, Nikon took out the ability to save TIFFs, though.

Shutter lag is technically 65ms (the D850, for example, maxes out at 45ms). That's not bad at all: we used to have pro DSLRs that were worse. The problem, however, is that the EVF view has a lag of 1/60 all on its own. Thus, you may see people reporting much longer shutter lag numbers, as they're adding in both lags together. Put a different way, a DSLR user doesn't have to adjust what they're seeing to reality: when they see that they should press the shutter release, they get a very brief delay before the shutter opens (again 45ms on the D850 in best case). 

The mirrorless user has to better anticipate the moment, as if they go solely by what they see in the viewfinder, by the time they press the shutter release another 20ms or more may have passed. I don't see this as an issue on the Z6 II as the "bundled lag" is still less than many consumer DSLRs. I'm just telling you that DSLR and mirrorless users that are trying to capture the same moment with a single press need to adjust when they do that to the circumstances slightly differently. Inherently, the shutter lag on the Z6 II is in what I would call the pro realm, and not meaningfully different than many of the higher-end DSLRs.

You're probably wondering about the viewfinder, though. Nikon made big promises about the original Z6 having the "best" EVF on any camera, and the Z6 II uses the same one. The 3.69m dot half-inch LCD is basically a quad VGA monitor (1280 x 960) sitting behind some impressive Nikon glass for a very excellent eyepiece. That nets a 0.8x magnification with a 21mm eyepoint. With my rather thin glasses I have to strain to see all of the image area that magnification is so big. If you'd rather shoot without glasses, Nikon's provided a larger than usual -4 to +2 diopter adjustment, as well.

Is it the "best" EVF still? No, I've seen a couple of better ones on higher-priced cameras now. Still, the Z6 II EVF is one of the most natural looking I've encountered, and quite nice to work with. Nikon has graded the view well, and doesn't degrade to a lower resolution view as some EVFs do in certain situations. But it's still an EVF. That means that you'll sometimes see exposure or focus "pumping" that you wouldn't see in an optical viewfinder. In bright (but not extreme contrast) daylight scenes I would tend to agree with Nikon that this is the best EVF so far; I often forget I am using a mirrorless camera.

For those of you who want an overlay free viewfinder, the Z6 II adds a function to provide that, though you have to assign a button to toggle this on and off.

As I noted above, there's a tiny bit of lag to the EVF—it's a 60Hz device—but unless you're shooting fast and erratic moving subjects you're probably not going to notice it. The bigger issue with the EVF is that it isn't up to the frame rates that the Z6 II can shoot at. Up to 5.5 fps, everything is fine, and you get that slightly lagged view with a very short blackout between frames. Above that, the camera switches to a "slide show" type approach, which means you're now looking at a clearly lagged 14 fps of still images in the viewfinder with no blackout. It becomes very difficult to follow action when that happens due to the lag.

Indoors and particularly in low light, the EVF starts to show that's it an EVF. In particular, noise can start to show up in really low light. Still, it's not the terrible contrast-crushed view that we had in many earlier mirrorless cameras.

bythom z6ii lcdout

Out back we get the excellent 3.2" 2.1m dot touchscreen Nikon has been using lately. It's on a platform that allows tilting up a bit more than 90° and tilting down about 45°. The basic touchscreen interface is the same as the D850, which is to say, quite good, about as good as we've gotten from anyone. Navigating playback or menus is fast, and touch-to-focus-and-shoot works quite rapidly compared to some other implementations I've seen (starts with an S... ;~). 

What else should you know about the camera itself? Well, a lot. I'll try to stay as brief as I can be here, as I really want you to read the handling and performance sections of the review.

The Z6 II does not have a built-in flash. It does have the regular Nikon hot shoe up top, and is compatible with all the recent CLS (i-TTL) Speedlights. One thing to note: flash sync speed is 1/200, not 1/250, and you can't shoot flash with the silent shutter (you can use electronic first curtain electronic shutter, though). If you want to go radio wireless with flash, you'll need an SB-5000 and the WR-R11b transmitter, which plugs into the rectangular 10-pin slot at the bottom of the connector area and is pretty much out of your way. That same connector is used for wired remotes like the MC-DC2, and for other accessories such as the GP-1A GPS unit. Optical wireless remains the same as with the DSLRs. 

GPS data can also be obtained via SnapBridge from your smartphone, which these days is up to version 2.5.x and now quite useful, though not without some lingering faults. One interesting change is that SnapBridge now allows you to shoot raw files and still push over 2mp JPEGs to your smartphone (I requested that four years before it finally appeared). You can even update the camera firmware via SnapBridge now, which is very handy and works well. Nikon also added one somewhat useful thing to the Wi-Fi capabilities of the Z6 II beyond SnapBridge: the ability to speak both AdHoc and Infrastructure modes, which gives you access to your computer via your router. The problem with this implementation is that it is slow and requires a Nikon software utility on your computer. When I say slow, I mean slower than your Wi-Fi is capable of, and almost slow enough not to be useful. Almost. 

Likewise, the USB 3.0 (SuperSpeed) connector on the camera doesn't seem to really move data at 5MBs. That's probably not the fault of the electronics, but more the fault of the camera OS driving the electronics. Fortunately, it is more than fast enough for studio-type tethered shooting.

There's been some confusion about frame rates with the Z6 II. You top out at 5.5 fps with a Live View update. To get the 14 fps you need to select High-Speed Continuous (Extended), which puts the camera into that slide show type of viewfinder update. Autofocus and exposure work as normal at the top frame rate. 

I've already noted that the shutter has a flash sync of 1/200, but otherwise it is the usual 30 second to 1/8000 vertical-travel focal-plane shutter type. You can set a mode where Manual exposure can set up to 900 second (15 minute) exposures in the Z6 II (this was not in the Z6). Because mirrorless cameras "double-clutch" the shutter—first they close while the sensor resets for shooting, then they open to start exposure, close to end exposure, and finally open again to restore live view—Nikon has also added an electronic front curtain shutter (EFCS) mode, which you'll pretty much want to use all the time for shutter speeds lower than 1/250 (otherwise too much shutter slap can impact the image). The Custom Settings include an automated function—the default—that will do just that: shoot EFCS up to 1/250, and mechanical shutter above that.

Note that if you set EFCS directly—instead of the auto switchover—that puts some limitations on the camera (1/2000 maximum shutter speed, and ISO 25,600 maximum). 

Nikon has thrown in a few tidbits that require a lot more evaluation to fully understand, including automatic diffraction compensation. Coupled with a new mid-range sharpening control in the Picture Controls, Nikon is touting that they're now doing different three types of sharpening to create the final image—JPEGs only— and which deal with differences in the way our eyes respond to contrast in different areas. I can say that, after using the Z6 II, I am finding that the four controls that you can impact acuity with (Sharpening, Mid-range sharpening, Clarity, and Diffraction compensation) now allow me to dial in my JPEGs a little better than I had been able to do on earlier DSLRs. But you need to be careful: these controls interact, and you can get very "crunchy" results if you're not careful. I suggest you start with default Sharpening and Clarity, minor Mid-range sharpening, plus Diffraction compensation turned On. Season from there.

Overall size and weight of the Z6 II is a bit like the D7500, a DSLR camera a whole class level down (in sensor size and more). To those that wonder: yes, there is an immediate and tangible difference in feel when moving from the D850 to the Z6 II: the Z6 II feels lighter and nimbler. If you’re moving from a D750 to the Z6 II, the difference is more minimal. By keeping the deep hand grip and traditional Nikon controls coupled with the usual Nikon high-end build quality, the Z6 II still feels like a Nikon. 

One thing many DSLR users don't appreciate until it actually comes to packing time is just how the overall volume difference due to the missing mirror box really starts to add up with equivalent camera/lens sets. I have a number of small bags now that I can fit a basic Nikon Z kit into (body plus a couple of lenses and batteries), that would never accept an equivalent DSLR kit.

That many early adapters of mirrorless cameras have been using them for travel is the result of this downsizing. Amazingly, I can fit my small basic Z6 II bag into my favorite laptop briefcase (the expensive but packed with excellence Waterfield Air Porter) and still have room for my laptop, tablet, headphones, chargers, accessories, and other travel gear. 

The Z6 II body is said to have the same dust and drip resistance as the D850 (Nikon's words, not mine). My friend Roger Cicala has torn a Z7 down (the Z6 II is virtually identical in construction), and his observations mostly match mine: Nikon has put seals everywhere on the Z series. Moreover, even just doing a partial disassembly I noted the same thing as Roger: Nikon is using overlap as well as sealing in many areas. 

Now many are interpreting that to mean that you can get the Z6 II really wet and not have issues. First, the camera will not survive submersion. There's also one very vulnerable ingress point: the card slots. As long as the card slot door is closed, yes, the rubber gaskets and overlap will probably work fine. But note that the card slots are soldered directly to the main PC board. So if the door is open and water gets in, it can get right into the one place you absolutely don't want it. 

While I don't panic if my D850 gets wet and won't panic if my Z6 II gets similarly wet, if you're going to be in inclement conditions use prophylactic practices, as I do. Be very careful when the card slot door is open or there is no lens/cap on the mount. 

Likewise, while those seals should lesson the chance of dust getting into the body, changing lenses and any air pumping action of zoom lenses will have a tendency to get dust onto the sensor. The in-camera sensor cleaning capability is weaker than we're used to on the DSLRs, too. It works, but only if used with regularity and only on modest dust. Z6 II users should own a browser bulb (and one that is known not to have rubber preservatives it can blow out) and keep it with them. 

Video capabilities of the Z6 II are extensive, and should excite videographers. 

While no longer alone with this feature after similar launches from others, Nikon was the first to introduce a true full frame 4K with 10-bit uncompressed 4:2:2 off the HDMI port. Nikon even went so far as to work with Atomos to let the US$700 Ninja V external recorder [advertiser link] control the camera. That 10-bit data on the HDMI port can be saved in what Nikon calls N-Log, their version of the ubiquitous log-format videographers prefer for post-shoot color grading. With the Atomos Ninja V you also can see a view assist grading so you're looking at something more approaching what your graded footage will look like. 

Using the Atomos and N-Log you need to be a little careful not to overheat the camera, and autofocus performance for some reason suffers slightly. Still, for shorter takes using the kind of lens you'd normally use for video (e.g. manual focus), the results can be spectacular. 

But wait, there's more. With a trip to Nikon service stations and a small payment, the Z6 II can now produce 12-bit ProRes RAW footage coupled with the Atomos Ninja, or 12-bit Blackmagic RAW coupled with the Blackmagic Design Video Assist monitors. I wish I could say that this was a great addition, but Nikon has chosen an odd method to form the raw data, which compromises the pixel integrity a bit compared to regular 10-bit. So there's the potential for gain (bit depth) coupled with the potential for loss (artifacts from the sizing method used). 

No one expected Nikon to up their video game, but with a little help from Atomos and Blackmagic Design the Z6 II has indeed done just that. Note that Nikon is the only company so far to support both ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW.

At 4K, the Z6 II shoots using the full frame—actually a very slight crop that uses the full data set—and does so at 30/25/24P. This is trickier than you might think, as Nikon appears to do this slight crop via lens corrections, so the actual number of pixels being looked at varies to as low as 5700 across the frame, which is an almost 8% crop. You can also set DX crop and get a full pixel readout 4K, as well as 60P and 50P (with the 1.10 firmware update). All those choices produce incredibly clear and rich 4K video. This puts the Z6 II into rarified company in terms of 4K video signal integrity and what you can do with the data in downstream processing.

1080P users can shoot at 24/25/30/50/60/100 and even 120 fps, again using the full frame width. If that weren't enough, there's internal timecode capability, focus peaking, on-screen zebras, and a bunch more assorted video-oriented goodies. The MOVIE SHOOTING menu has 27 options in it, and the Live View selector switch invokes those when set to video, so it's quite easy to set the Z6 II up one way for still photography, another for video. 

Bit rates are probably the weakest spot on the Z6 II video, as internally you max out at 144Mbps in 4K. That's a decent bit rate, and higher than on the Sony A7 Mark III, but not spectacular (the GH5 does 400Mbps in 4K). For 1080P, the bit rates max out at 56Mbps (and require 50 or 60 fps to do so; 24 fps drops to 28Mbps). 1080P slow motion tops out at 36Mbps. Generally, broadcast television wants at least 50Mbps for source material, preferably higher, as the signal you see on your screen will have multiple downstream compressions that are added.

That said, I'd say that the video from the Z6 II looks very good, and recorded on an Atomos Ninja or Blackmagic Design Video Assist, the Z6 II can clearly compete with pro video cameras.

Video uses the same autofocus system as stills, and if you've complained about Live View, and thus video, autofocus performance on Nikon DSLRs, you're in for a big, important, and useful change shooting video with the Z6 II. Nikon now has probably the best follow focus I've seen out of any ILC camera doing video. Not that I tend to use that, but for casual use, it's very effective with minimal annoying hunts and misses. Do note that the autofocus performance does tend to get impacted if you are shooting N-Log to the external HDMI; apparently there's just too much processing going on for Nikon to keep the focus system running at the same refresh rate.

The Nikon Z6 II is made in Thailand, with about three-quarters of the assembly done by automation according to Nikon. The camera lists for US$2000. 

Source of the review camera: purchased via NPS Priority Purchase

Nikon's page for the Z6 II

Thom’s Book for the Z6 II

How's it Handle?
While the general consensus has been good about how the Z6 II handles—many people write "it handles like a Nikon DSLR"—don't get too caught up in those easy assessments. They're somewhat wrong. I can find plenty of places where the Z6 II does not handle like a Nikon DSLR. Whether those are important to you or not will depend a lot on how you shoot and what features you use. 

Gone, for instance, are the double-button shortcuts (Reset and Format). While I don't miss the former, the latter was a handy shortcut. Everyone's now going to want to consider setting up a customizable button to MyMenu and putting Format as the first thing on that menu. Otherwise you'll get into menu diving pretty quickly every time you want to reformat a card. Frankly, that was a mistake by Nikon. They could have used the ISO/Delete buttons the same as on the D850 as a short cut. I see no good reason why they took this feature out.

Other annoying "moved to menu" things abound, as well. 

Take bracketing, for instance. It's the 29th thing on the PHOTO SHOOTING menu (I kid you not). Nikon's going to say "just add bracketing to your i (quick) menu," but which of the other deeply buried menu items that also reside in the i menu are you going to give up? Metering? Picture Control? Image Quality? VR? Focus settings? WB?

Which brings me to the one semi-critical handling issue with the Z6 II: it just doesn't have enough customizable buttons for the sophisticated shooter. We've got FN1 (default is WB) and FN2 (default is Focus modes), AF-On (which you'll probably want to leave set to AF-On), the thumb stick button, and the red Record Movie button. That's not enough buttons (nor are there enough i menu positions) for all the things you're going to want to promote up to a higher level than a full menu dive. 

Which makes the Z6 II a bit of a "slow" camera to work with compared to the best Nikon DSLRs. Yes, you can use MyMenu and the U1/U2/U3 settings to try to flesh things out, but you still have a finite number of slots for what seems like an infinite number of settings to control. You really need to think things through very carefully to maximize the customization of the camera, and I'll bet that even if you do that, you'll still wish you had more things you could assign. 

Tip: The camera does have a Drive button (frame rate, self timer), and that's duplicated up in the i menu defaults. So there's one thing you can consider replacing on the i menu.)

VR is something you'll need to come to grips with. Yes, the Z6 II has on-sensor VR. But you can also mount lenses (currently via the FTZ adapter) that have VR. If the lens has the same VR controls as the camera (Off, Normal, Sport), then the VR setting is always controlled by the switch on the lens. If not, well, things get a bit more problematic. As far as I can tell, there's no way to set Active on the lens: you still get Normal. And if there's no VR on the lens, then the only way you can control the sensor VR is via the menu system. The good news is that all your non-VR lenses now have VR (on sensor). The bad news is that you have to pay attention to where you're controlling when VR is active or not. It's easy to turn off the VR in the camera, then mount a VR lens and control VR from there, then forget that you've left VR off in the camera when you mount another non-VR lens. 

Tip: VR can be assigned to a space on the i menu.

A somewhat bigger issue with the Z6 II handling is the startup delay. It’s a bit faster than the Z6, but still not instantaneous. Using any mirrorless camera is not as instantaneous as with a DSLR. That means you really don't want to have the camera off if you're doing anything that approaches spontaneous shooting. The good news is that the delay coming out of standby mode is pretty short. Still not quite as quick as the DSLRs, and just long enough that you could miss shots if you're quick on the draw. 

Something that I don’t believe was implemented correctly is focus peaking and zebras. Unlike Sony, where you can pretty much select those things to appear in the EVF all the time, Nikon has put limits on both. Zebras are only available when you're shooting video, for some reason. Focus Peaking only works when you're manually focusing. That normally includes being in an autofocus mode and manually overriding the focus, but there's a bit of a gotcha if you're a back button focusing addict: you have to hold that button down while manually focusing, which seems counterintuitive.

The arrival of the 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens produced another strange handling issue: how the focus and third ring are configured. There's a hidden Custom Setting #A13 that pops up when you mount a three-ring lens. But the wording and the interaction with the Custom Setting #F2 ring configuration is clumsy, confusing, and not well thought out. There shouldn't be an #A13, there should be a better handled #F2. 

Something that some might find a handling issue is the charging of the battery via USB-C. The bad news here is that charging works only with the EN-EL15b and EN-EL15c batteries, and only with the camera turned off. In other words, you can't charge your older batteries this way, nor can you do anything with the camera while the battery is charging. The MB-N11 doesn’t completely solve this, moreover, you have to plug your USB cable directly into the MB-N11 to charge batteries in it.

You'll note that I've identified quite a few minor handling issues. Virtually all of these are "down in the weeds" issues, though. For many of the more casual shooters, they're not going to be limitations. It's when you compare the Z6 II against the D780 or the Sony A9 that the Z6 II starts coming up a bit short in a few handling areas (that said, Sony's buttons and menus present a bigger handling problem, which fortunately Nikon hasn't replicated in the Z6 II). 

What I wrote at the start of this section—that many think the Z6 II handles like a Nikon—is basically true. You see the Nikon DNA in almost all the handling decisions, and it's relatively easy for a dedicated Nikon DSLR user to adjust to the Z6 II quickly. But over time, that same user is likely to be asking Nikon for some changes. For example, Sony's focus peaking and zebras is more flexible and usable than Nikon's. Long term, we shouldn't be tolerating lower level of capabilities in a US$2000 camera, IMHO. 

Finally, it seems ironic that Nikon removed the DOF button on a camera (D7500) because Live View provides a perfectly acceptable rendering of what is and isn't out of focus (on the rear LCD), but then they make a camera that is basically always in Live View that requires a DOF button to see what is and isn't out of focus. 

Let me repeat something: the Z6 II normally uses the user-specified aperture for viewing up through f/5.6. So as long as you're shooting at f/0.95 to f/5.6, you're seeing the correct focus point and DOF in the viewfinder (and on the rear LCD). But the minute you go beyond that, say f/8 or f/11, you now need to have a customizable button to force the camera to stop down to show you DOF, and any lens focus shift—several Z lenses have some—is not addressed. (There's a trick I describe in my Complete Guide to the Z6 II and Z7 II that also gets you a quick DOF assessment. Indeed, there are a lot of small tricks available that address small shortcomings in the handling.)

And then there are the weird, self goals: Multiple Exposure (ME) shooting can't result in an in-camera raw (as it does in the D850). Most everything else is the same with ME, but not this one small aspect. (Nikon does do one nice thing and display the previous frame as overlay in the viewfinder as you compose the additional shot, though.) The U1/U2/U3 settings don't actually remember all camera set parameters (for instance, they don't remember Release Mode). 

Another simplification that didn't belong in this class of camera: removal of the channel highlights abilities. We only get the blinkies now for the luminance channel; there’s no way to see which channel is blowing out short of going to the RGB Histogram page, and the small channel histograms will have you looking closely to see what’s going on.

These smaller things are a problem, in my mind, as they weren’t “fixed” from the Z6 to the Z6 II update, meaning Nikon either didn’t notice them, or they don’t think these are issues. 

The reason that the Z6 II works as a first generation mirrorless platform is because so much was brought over fairly directly from the DSLRs, particularly the D850. But it wasn't a complete transplant, and there are abundant small, rough edges because of that. 

I'm being very picky and detailed here, because these are the things Nikon has to correct to make a best-in-class camera that will drive the competition nuts and put customers into a nirvana state. Hopefully Nikon corporate sees and understands all that I've written in this section. Yes, the Z6 II handles quite well and competently. It just isn't a home run. Maybe a triple off the wall. The camera business is now getting small and competitive enough that the home runs are what will still be around five years from now. 

That said, the Z6 II does handle enough like a Nikon DSLR that it is an easy transition for any Nikon DSLR user. The primary differences are dictated by the mirrorless nature of the Z6 II, not random design choices. 

I can't say the same thing for the Canon R and RP: the Canon R feels like a hodge-podge of ideas not at all fleshed out, while the RP feels like it is missing features and handling compared to the Nikon Z6 II and Sony A7 Mark III.  

So, Nikon basically nailed handling. Canon hasn't. Sony is still iterating many of their same handling errors three generations later. All that adds up to a small Nikon win, in my book. Not a perfect win, but a clear one.

How's it Perform?

Buffer: Frankly, the biggest difference I see between the original Z6 and this new Z6 II model is here. The Z6 tended to max out at about 40 images for the NEF settings I typically use (with the best XQD card; CFexpress cards tended to steal just a bit from that number). The Z6 II is getting about 65 frames at the same settings (with a CFexpress card). So over a 50% increase, which is impressive given that the frame rate on the Z6 II also increased (14 fps versus 12 fps). 

Some of the buffer difference is due to the two EXPEED6 processors, as now one of them is more dedicated to the image processing while photographing (the other is doing mostly focus work). But some of the difference appears also due to Nikon having moved to a slightly faster card slot mechanism that's tuned to CFexpress rather than XQD.

We're now in Nikon D5 range with the frame rate and not terribly behind in the buffer. Do you really hold down the shutter release for more than 4.5 seconds? Doubtful. I rarely do that even for the most intense sports coverage.

I'm tempted to say that the Z6 II buffer is mostly ignorable for most uses. Yes, I suppose a few of you will manage to trigger a full buffer and a reduced frame rate, but if you really are hitting the buffer limit shooting raw files, just dial in 12-bit and you'll get about another second's worth. JPEG shooters shouldn't have any real issues (115 shot buffer in worst case I've tested).

Autofocus: The second difference in performance on the Z6 II is the focus system. I'm going to caution that it's impossible to quantify that difference, but there is a clear difference in several areas. 

First, I do think the Z6 II is a tiny bit faster to focus acquisition than the Z6, though this is tough to notice because the focus sensor boxes in the EVF still have significant lag in them to what the camera is actually doing. I can, during fast panning, for example, see that the focus box doesn't catch up to the subject in the viewfinder, but focus was actually achieved by the camera. To me, the indicator lag is the worst performance aspect of the Z cameras to date, and has not been improved with updates. 

Thus, if you just go by what the focus indicators are doing, you might not even notice that the Z6 II is that tiny bit faster than the Z6 in acquiring focus. Or following focus.

As most of you know, I never thought that the original Z6 and Z7 were "slow" or "unreliable" at following focus. Much of the early Internet nonsense about the Nikon's not being as good as the Sony's (or Fill-in-Your-Brand-Here) was just that: nonsense. Most of those opinions were driven by not understanding how the focus system actually worked and by Nikon's bull-headed stubbornness in not bringing over all the DSLR instant focus controls (still true on the Z6 II). 

So let me start by restating a couple of conclusions I came to in the years of testing the Nikon Z's and the Sony A's side by side: (1) if you want "complete idiot mode" autofocus, yes, the Sony still does a slightly better, slightly more consistent job of getting something that looks decent, though often the focus plane is not exactly where you think it is; and (2) the Sony cameras acquire faces and eyes from a greater distance (though not as much as before with the Z6 II changes). In a pinch, I might add that Sony seems a bit more consistent on closest subject priority, but the notion that a Sony Alpha camera doesn't sometimes latch onto bright backgrounds and refuse to let go was clearly shown by Fox Sports use of A7R Mark IV and A1 cameras this past NFL season. I saw multiple instances on live television where the Sonys did exactly what fan boys claim only the Nikons do: focus on the background.

Since we should really compare as close to apples to apples as possible, you need to evaluate the Sony A7 Mark III against the Nikon Z6 II. In that comparison, I'm not sure that there's a solid difference between those two that can be pointed to. Perhaps—and that's a perhaps not a certainty—the A7 Mark III on all automatic does a slightly better job of figuring out what the subject might be. Perhaps. 

But let's get to the differences between the Z6 and Z6 II. I see three small, but useful, benefits:

  1. The new Autofocus Area modes (Wide-area AF L-people and Wide-area AF L-animals) indeed do address an issue that comes up sometimes in event and street photography. That being that if you have people scattered all over the frame, the Z6 will likely pick the face/eye that's nearest, even though that might not be where you want it to go. The Z6 II with these new modes can be more controlled as to where it looks for focus, and that's really handy in crowded scenes, and even useful in less crowded situations when there is more than one person in the frame. Nikon giveth and taketh: while the new modes are nice, you can't program them into a button where you can instantly override the Autofocus Area mode.
  2. Face and eye detection now does happen at greater distances, and it seems with a little more certainty. Not that the Z6 was bad, but the improvement helps a bit give you certainty that the camera is doing the right thing (or rather, the thing you requested). Nikon giveth and taketh: again, the focus indicator lag is a problem. If you wait for the indicator to catch up, you may miss moments when the camera would have taken an in-focus photograph.
  3. Tracking seems a little more secure. Nikon improved Subject tracking with firmware updates on the Z6 (including the ability to assign it to a button), but it wasn't as rock solid as the DSLR 3D tracking mode. The Z6 II seems a little better and more like the DSLRs now. 

Note that I wrote that these were three small improvements. The adjective is important. These aren't "OMG, wow wow wow" type changes. They're subtle but real improvements over what was already a very good system. Still, I have to say this: it wasn't the focus performance per se that was the Achilles heel of the Z6, it was the ability to do instant switchover to a different focus technique that made the Z6 less capable than the D500/D5/D850. Nikon hasn't addressed that with the Z6 II, and I see that as one of the things that they could have (should have) done that would have set the Z6 II clearly apart from the Z6. As it stands, we got small performance improvements, but not the big one that Nikon's marketing seems to be trying to say happened.

Image quality: I can be brief here: there's only one image quality difference in the Z6 II that I can detect from the Z6. That would be that the ability to raise the PD striping into visibility by bringing shadows up 4 or more stops seems to be gone. That's not surprising, as I believe the problem on the Z6 was really a small math issue that was below the level that Nikon had tested for. Nikon seems to have figured this out and addressed it.

In terms of dynamic range, pixel quality, and all the other image quality aspects that we might talk about, I see no difference in my Z6 II from my Z6 that couldn't be ascribed to sample variation. Indeed, in so many ways the actual details were so spot on between my Z6 and Z6 II I didn't bother to change out some of the illustrations in my Z6/Z7 II book. No need to do all the work to replace Example A with Example B when they were to all intents and purposes the same.

So go back and read my Z6 review if you want more information on how the image quality of the Z6 II is: it's identical except for the removal of PD striping visibility in deep shadow recovery. And the Z6 II image quality is as good as a 24mp full frame sensor gets.

Final Words

Does the Z6 II "fix" some of the "sins" of the Z6? 

Sure. From a practical aspect that really boils down to USB Power Delivery, dual card slots, and available vertical grip. If you really needed those things, then the Z6 II is the camera for you, not the original Z6.

Wait? What about the dual EXPEED processor and autofocus? Here things start to get more dicey. In terms of buffer performance, the Z6 was already pretty decent, and the dual EXPEED approach doesn't provide as much benefit on the Z6 II as it does on the Z7 II with its larger files. Yes, the buffer on the Z6 II is bigger than on the Z6, but I wasn't really hitting the buffer on the Z6. 

The autofocus improvements are more subtle and nuanced. We get two new Autofocus Area modes that do Eye/Face detect (now in bounded regions rather than full frame), faces and eyes are detected at longer distances, and yes, there are some clear but difficult to measure focus speed/tracking benefits to the Z6 II over the Z6, but I'm not sure that everyone needs those things. If you were looking for dramatic autofocus differences, you won't find them. 

Personally, I'm disappointed at the things that Nikon didn't get around to fixing or improving after two years. My wish list for the Z6 II is basically as long as it was for the Z6, minus perhaps three items (USB power, cards, vertical grip). 

That doesn't make the Z6 II a bad camera. Not at all. Like the Z6 before it, the Z6 II is an excellent camera, and as I write this, it's a better camera than the Sony A7 Mark III it competes against. But the problem is this: Nikon's left the Z6 on the market. As I write this, the Z6 is US$400 less expensive than the Z6 II (and more readily available, as well). Thus, there's the clear issue of whether or not you want to pay US$400 for the short list of things that make the Z6 II better than the Z6. 

I don't think the Z6 is going to stay on the market forever, but as long as it does and remains priced well below the Z6 II, many potential buyers in this category of camera should probably be picking up the cheaper, older model. In terms of image quality (and even video quality out to 4K 30P), the two cameras are for all intents and purposes identical, and state-of-the-art good.

Then there's the Z5. With another US$400 drop in price down to this (again, as I write this), what are you giving up by saving US$800? Again, not as much as you might expect, though if you shoot in low light a lot, the Z5's autofocus system is going to be a little more sluggish. 

Thus, it's a little difficult to see how the Z6 II is the camera for most 24mp full frame Nikon shoppers at the moment. You really have to specifically need something that was added/changed in the II iteration, and you need to value that in the hundreds of dollars. Still, the Z6 II is arguably the best 24mp mirrorless full frame camera on the market at the moment (the other would be the Panasonic S5, though its focus system lags the Z6 II), so there's that.

One final, final thought: some will question which lens to get with this camera. The only kit Nikon makes at the moment includes the 24-70mm f/4 S lens, which is a very good combination, and probably the right combination for most people. If you're tempted by the 24-200mm and just leaving that on all the time with the Z6 II, sure, that's another choice, but it's a much costlier one as Nikon doesn't have any bundle discount with it like the 24-70mm f/4 S does. While the 24-50mm is the smallest mid-range zoom option (by far), it's probably not the right one for a Z6 II; it's more the sunny Z5 shooter who wants small-as-possible lens than anything else. 

Recommended (2021 to present) (But consider the Z6 if the price is right)

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