Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7III | 2019 Mirrorless Camera Comparison

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We compared the picture quality, the video quality, dynamic range and autofocus testing of the Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7III. Which one will come out on top?

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Nikon Z6

Sony A7III

Nikor S 50mm f1.8

Sony Zeiss 50mm f1.4

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Jay P. Morgan has been working as a Commercial Photographer and Film Director in the Los Angeles area for more than 20 years developing an impressive list of clients from Paramount to McDonald’s. Jay P.’s experience with elaborate set design and extensive lighting are key to the success of his illustrative work.

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The Slanted Lens says:

Interested in having your work critiqued by Jay P? Send them over the [email protected] for a LIVE Critique on Tuesday at 5PM PST!

William Ridenour says:

Nikon looks over sharp?!?!? Really. Turn the sharpening OFF or down— a simply adjustment that takes 10 seconds, tops. Are you guys shooting default?
Anyway, I'm a video shooter and have shot mostly Sony for 10 years–always struggling with skin tone/color.
The Nikon 6 is not a perfect camera–but the video out out of it looks much better than the Sony, and the best skin tone/color out of the camera than any camera I've ever shot, including my Fuji X-H1/X-T3.
I'm really happy I sold my Sony A7III and got the Z6. It's much better made as well.

likewayt says:

I prefer the video output of the Z6 with visibly greater detail. Very strong high ISO performance from the sensor too.

Dave Silo says:

I have seen enough video from the Z series that I think you guys missed something with the settings in the video portion.

Michael Nylif says:

Really Cool!

michael mckee says:

With the brick sharpness, is that JPEG? Same question about the video. Did you go and adjust the menus settings for sharpness?

Abdul Samad says:

This was done on compressed raw or uncompressed raw?

R Nuttmann says:

I have watched a lot of videos on the Z6 and A7iii. This is by far the best I have seen. Your detailed comparisons of the images is +++++++ great. I also loved! your video comparing medium format film to the D850 a while back. No one else does this as well as you two do.

After 2 crop sensor Nikon DSLRs and a D750 I switched to a Sony A7iii last October. I had had 4 Sony smaller digital cameras before that so was not new to Sony. I also have 5 very good Minolta AF lenses. I went to George's Camera in San Diego last Oct to buy a Z7. At the last minute I changed my mind and got the A7iii + 55 f1.8 Zeiss. I think I did it because I had the Minolta lenses at home and wanted to see how they would adapt to the Sony. Plus I have had such good luck in the past selling cameras I figured if I hated the Sony I could sell it. As it turned out almost immediately I hated the Sony as it was so confusing to operate. But after four months of use I have learned where the buttons are and what part of the menu has certain features. I like the files out of the camera on stills and video. So I don't hate the camera any more, but I don't like it all that much. I did find that adapting the Minolta lenses only worked OK. The lenses that were really great on the Minolta 600si bodies I have were only so so on the Sony. Plus the flash TTL does not work with them. So I bought the 24-105 G lens.

My point is —- The Sony A7iii technically is a very good tool but hard to love. I loved my Nikon D5500. The Sony's files are just so much better than the 5500's. I am thinking about switching back to Nikon.

Richard James Milne says:

Great comparison, something many of us have been waiting for! Although not surprised, the outcomes sure showed that SONY is finally dethroned as the King of high ISO! Otherwise, image quality is so close to tell by the human eye without a 50x crop. I definitely like Nikons color science better 🙂

My Question is do you know if the Nikon is using the same sensor and Sony and can you dial down the sharpness level on the Z6 in video?

I really enjoy when you get together for these comparisons, Thx 🍻

Five50Onyx says:

The Nikon Z6 has face detection. Not sure how you missed that.

Matias Fabregues says:

The Z6 have Face detection in AF auto.

Jason Zimmerman says:

I didn't come here and expect the Nikon to get the nod considering everything I've been hearing from other reviewers. Your video helped a ton with how your comparison was done. PS – Your model was gorgeous. Great choice.

cristirenault says:

I've logged in only to give you a thumb down 🙂

Pit 78 says:

Nikon have noise reduction!!!!! Please chec -.-

Nasir Quadri says:

Sony f1.4 lens vs Nikon 50 1.8 lens could have resulted slower autofocus for photos. What do you think guys ?

gconphotolab says:

Thanks for the the review. I know it’s hard to keep up with all the different cameras systems. I think very few people are going to shoot these cameras without making any adjustments. You may want to add a section in your reviews where you try and make the image look as good as you can in camera. Example, try and remove some of the green in the Sony and reduce the contrast / sharpening in the Nikon. By the way the Nikon does have face detection.

George Rady says:

So my understanding is that – when Nikon & Atmos come out with their ProRes RAW all of this becomes moot ie you’ll record HDMI into the Ninja and can do just about everything in Post/FCPX (rather than use the camera’s compression/compromise)

Quetzalcoalt says:

Can you make a video comparing a ISO variant and ISO invariant camera?

Abu Faisal says:

Great Video … Thanks

Mike Mears says:

Thanks for another good review, Might be good to mention that the Nikon has video settings which, when adjusted, give a more pleasant video result. See "Nikon Z6 3 months later" from "The Everyday Dad"

magottyk says:

Initially I thought that the lens selection would interfere with the results due to the fact that one cost twice as much as the other and would have correspondingly better glass overall. I was surprised at the results overall that the zeiss lens didn't give a huge advantage to the Sony, but still I think it did affect the results.

Given that both mirrorless cameras can utilise non native lenses, it would have been interesting to see the results with not only the native lenses, but also with a 50mm 1.4 lens compatible to both, not so much for feature testing but IQ comparison with both bodies seeing through the same bit of glass for contrast, colour and sharpness, like the wall shot of the chalked pub sign which to me weighted more towards a test of the lens rather than the body and sensor. Any test where auto focus was not critical to the end result could have benefited from a control test with both using the exact same lens, or alternately something like the Sigma f1.4 50mm art which comes in both E mount (sony native) and F mount which can be used with an adaptor or just the F mount using an adaptor on both. This would eliminate a bias with lens differences of contrast colour and sharpness, which the pub wall shot looked to be heavily influenced by.

Eric Havard says:

Just love the work you guys put into these comparisons and how hard the both of you keep your fan-boy feeling in check, ( everyone has a inner fan-boy in them for something!! )

trevorpinnocky says:

if you're using LR, it does not process Sony raw well. For some reason the colors are usually wrong and the contrast levels as well. COP is a much much better raw interpreter for Sony images. If you're processing Sony correctly, the majority of shooters will be more than happy with the images and thrilled with the video.

tpantig says:

Thank you so much for this! I've been debating between two exact cameras for awhile now!!!

Alex Claudio says:

you are comparing ISO on both cameras but you add +1 exposure to Sony? In your mind that is a correct comparison?

Brent Powell says:

Out of curiosity, did you try dialing back the sharpening in the picture profile on the Nikon. Just curious if the images could be more similar with adjustment.
EDIT: I'm talking about video, not stills in this case. Is the Nikon image over-sharpened in all profiles? Thanks to @GE KO for pointing my lack of specificity out.

Rajasekharan Vichattu says:

Quiet amazing to see that now a days you are safe with any camera from any manufacturer .. They all perform similarly.. Unless you are some crazy science nerd… There seems to be no point in comparing one camera to another one anymore.

Mark Shirley says:

I'd have shot the flat profile on the Nikon – it takes out the over sharpening. A few tweaks to the profile settings and you can easy match the Sony.

ottawamountainman says:

There are some odd observations you have made in this video. I understands the difficulty in making real world A vs B comparaisons, the amount of work in doing so. Although there isn’t any data available for the z6; if we look at the A73 iso vs say the D850 we see that setting iso to 100 the a73 is actually iso 73 and the d850 is iso70. That’s less than a 6% difference – far from a full stop or more. Is it possible that you accidentally had exposure compensation not at zero? Also, how was the white balance set in camera ? If it was in auto then it’s really hard to compare any two cameras (the white balance/Colors will vary with even just minor changes the the composition or change in ambient light). And for the continuous focus still sequence, what focus modes were used respectively. Cheers. And Thanks for all the great education videos.

Dave Dugdale says:

I like the format of this comparison where you placed an enlarged eye to show things like noise while showing the full image from both.

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