Nikon Z6 III vs Nikon Z6 II: 5 reasons to twist, and one reason to stick

I’ve been shooting with the Nikon Z6 II for years now, and it’s a superb all-rounder mirrorless camera that has served me well for personal and professional work – so when the Nikon Z6 III was in the works I was in an excellent position to write about the three things I most wanted in a Z6 II successor. 

In short, those three things were more versatile subject-detection autofocus, improved design and handling, and improved speed. Now the Z6 III is official, and it’s a surprisingly big upgrade, delivering on all three of the above counts but also bringing so much more to the table. Where the Z6 II was a minor upgrade over the Z6, the Z6 III delivers a raft of improvements. 

Having thought about the latest model’s specifications, and following my Z6 III hands-on time, I’ve put together a list of the most meaningful improvements that the Z6 III offers over the Z6 II. Both cameras are excellent, but the Z6 III has me seriously considering an upgrade – here are my top five reasons why the Z6 III could become my new main camera, and one reason why I might hold off. 

1. Better subject-tracking and low-light autofocus

Basketball players, captured with the Nikon Z6 III

Basketball players, sharply captured with the Nikon Z6 III (Image credit: Future | Tim Coleman)

Earlier this year I took the Nikon Z6 II, with a pro 400mm prime lens, on safari, and I felt held back by the camera’s subject-detection autofocus performance for various subjects, including animals. I’d previously had a taste of the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z8’s superb autofocus for people, animals and vehicles, and now, going back to the Z6 II, I was making do with a simpler system, and I often needed to manually intervene to acquire sharp focus – a luxury that isn’t usually afforded to you by fast-moving wildlife. 


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