Nikon D6 Review

May 25, 2020 | Gavin Stoker |

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20.8 megapixel Large JPEG setting, which produces an average image size of around 13Mb.

Although designed with a bias on speed of capture rather than resolution per se, Nikon's boast for the D6 early on was 'incredible shots… without fail.' Even on an expensive camera costing £6K, busy scenes with multiple subjects all moving in different directions can confuse the AF, and the ability to switch effortlessly to manual focus courtesy of the attached 70-200mm f/2.8 lens we had affixed in such circumstances was a real boon.

Get your subject pin sharp and it veritably leaps off the screen in three dimensions, with the Nikon D6 not only capable of delivering speed but an incredible level of detail and realism with it, despite a 'modest' by current standards 20.8 megapixel resolution that doesn't overload the full frame sensor at its heart.

When shooting a moving subject, information from all 105 focus points is used to acquire and track your subject and although busy scenes will sometimes throw it temporarily off – we were attempting to photograph cyclists weaving in and out of traffic at certain points – the camera at least provides the rapid-fire power of a sufficient velocity of frames (here up to 14fps) to help ensure you come away with at least one image, and hopefully many more, that's sharp and clear. While the ability to prioritise the subject's eyes might be helpful on occasion, this proved less relevant with subjects wearing helmets and goggles.

It has to be said, as long as you have a level and flat surface to be shooting from, the results from night photography can be a knockout, even if simply selecting an ISO1600 equivalent and using no other illumination apart from occasional streetlights. In lockdown we were limited to our local common, but we can imagine the Nikon D6 coming up trumps and delivering the necessary wow factor when its lens is directed on more expansive cityscapes. Tricky lighting conditions were what this camera was seemingly made for.

As we mentioned earlier in the review the D6 has a very expansive range of user-selectable ISO settings, ranging from an equivalent ISO50 all the way up to a frankly mad ISO3280000 equivalent, though the core range is a slightly more sensible ISO100 to ISO102400. While we generally found the Nikon D6 to be very impressive indeed in low light – even with the 70-200mm f/2.8 lens we had alongside the camera for review – which was possibly not ideal in terms of avoiding camera shake hand held - it must be noted that stray above that impressive ISO102400 option and results are largely unusable, suggesting Nikon was right to limit the core range there. Overall though we were very impressed in what we saw from the D6 in the working week we were given to have a play with it.

Noise

The Nikon D6 has an incredible ISO range that runs from ISO 100 to 102400, expandable down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 3280000.

JPEG RAW

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso100.jpg

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso400.jpg

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

ISO 51200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

ISO 102400 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 204800 (100% Crop)

ISO 204800 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 409600 (100% Crop)

ISO 409600 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 819200 (100% Crop)

ISO 819200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 1640000‬ (100% Crop)

ISO 1640000‬ (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

ISO 3280000 (100% Crop)

ISO 3280000 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso1600.jpg

Night

The Nikon D6's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds, but there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 1/2 second at ISO 1600.

night.jpg