It has been three years since Nikon and Sony released the Z6 and A7III. But consumer tech is constantly evolving, and there’s always a new device packing exciting features. As a result, you must wonder whether comparing Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7III is still relevant.
Given that there have been numerous technological advancements and new releases in the time since their release, you would expect these older cameras to be at a disadvantage. But, surprisingly, both mirrorless cameras hold their own against newer releases. The Nikon’s Z-series and Sony’s Alpha range are versatile full-frame mirrorless devices. They are excellent for photographers and YouTubers. This article will help you decide between two capable all-rounders so that you don’t need to buy a new camera every year.
We compared the features on both shooters that are crucial for photography, video recording, and outdoor content creation. By the end of this article, you’ll know which gadget can withstand the test of time.
- Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7III Quick Comparison
- The Best Overall – Sony Alpha A7III
- Runner-up – Nikon Z6
- Here’s a Lowdown on the Sony A7III
- The Nikon Z6 Features
- Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7III Similarities
- Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7 III Differences
- Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7 III – Which Camera Should You Pick
Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7III Quick Comparison
The Best Overall – Sony Alpha A7III
There can only be one camera winner between Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7III. Sony’s A7III might seem slightly pricey over its Nikon counter player, but the specs are worth every dollar. We settled on Sony’s full-frame mirrorless camera because it excels at even the basic parameters like AF and battery life. The Sony A7III is also lighter and ergonomically satisfying.
The Alpha A7III stands out for its quality video recording. The camera tops the Nikon when capturing scenes with a lot of action, such as dance routines. Therefore, you won’t get any blurs and will be able to enjoy crisp and clear shots.
Runner-up – Nikon Z6
While the Nikon Z6 is also a standout full-frame camera, it loses to Sony’s masterpiece in a few critical aspects. Although the two deliver almost the same quality shots, the Nikon tips the scales by 25 grams. Also, it is slightly cheaper and has a more robust build when compared with Sony’s Alpha A7III. Here’s what we liked about the Nikon Z6:
Here’s a Lowdown on the Sony A7III
The Sony A7III is a popular shooter and was a best-seller in 2018 and 2019. This camera is a true all-rounder that can take pictures and record top-notch videos.
The Sony A7 III has a dynamic range and boasts relevant specs to whet your content creation appetite. The shooter is a favorite among content creators and pro photographers alike. It has an impressive autofocus system that blew away the competition as soon as it launched. Also, the camera delivers superior image quality that is good for printouts even under low light scenarios.
Here are some of its standout features:
Design and Build Quality
The Sony A7 III is a compact device that weighs in at just over a pound and a half. The camera is well built and feels solid to hold as compared to the previous A7II. The magnesium finish and sturdy dials give the camera a premium feel.
You’ll thoroughly enjoy snapping those pictures, especially if you’re outdoors. The camera’s knobs and dials bolt tightly onto the chassis. These buttons improve its weather-sealing and can withstand some water splashes and a bit of dust blowing over. But remember that it isn’t waterproof, and you should avoid submerging or shooting in the rain.
The camera also handles well in hot environments. The performance remains top-notch with minimal lag and hardly overheats.
The Alpha A7 III ships with a 3-inch touch-sensitive rear LCD screen. The intuitive display allows you to toggle different image setups and select autofocus modes while shooting.
The touchscreen controls focus selection, triggers the shutter, and allows you to preview images and videos. You can also transfer manual focus to physical buttons.
The screen tilts up and out and is pretty handy when selecting your focus points and subjects. Also, if you are holding the camera at waist level, the upward-facing display gives you a comfortable viewing angle.
A lot of photographers faulted the rear LCD screen quality on the Alpha A7 III. Sony downgraded the quality from 1,288k-dot on the A7II to 921k-dot on the A7 III. However, you’ll be hard-pressed to notice this fault even if you’re shooting under the glaring sun.
Autofocus And Performance
The Sony A7 III is a winner when it comes to autofocus in full-frame mirrorless cameras. The AF system is similar to that in the advanced A9, which sells for twice the price of the A7 III. The 693-point phase-detect system hardly misses any object. The device spots ultrafast face and eye-tracking capabilities with Sony’s Eye AF.
A Firmware 3.0 upgrade greatly improved the Eye AF allowing continuous autofocus tracking. The camera locks on to your subject as they pose freely. This way, the camera will continuously maintain image clarity throughout the shoot.
And if you’re taking videos, you won’t miss a thing save for fast and unpredictable motions. Otherwise, the shooter excels during sports or wildlife photography. The A7III is equally capable when shooting a game, a dance, or your highly active pet. What’s more, you can use the intuitive LCD screen to switch between AF modes.
The AF performance scans up to 93% of the frame covering 693 phase-detection points. So, no matter where your subject is, you’ll hardly miss a single detail.
The superior face tracking was a game-changer when the Sony A7 III launched. You’ll appreciate the dynamic AF system when shooting portrait photos. You’ll find Sony’s in-body image stabilization quite handy when taking hands-free shots. The 5-axis, 5-stop system allows you to ditch heavier tripods when venturing outdoors.
Uncropped 4k Video
This camera’s strengths come to focus when taking high-quality videos. You can shoot full-frame 4k videos at 24fps. But you’ll need to crop the frame for 30fps 4k videos.
If you reduce the output to Full HD, you can record at 24, 30, or 60fps with 50Mbps or 100Mbs. You can also capture slow-motion videos at 120fps using 60 or 100Mbs.
When Sony released the A7 III, the video specs were revolutionary and seemed future-proof. But the competition never sleeps. The Nikon Z6, for instance, supports higher bitrate recording at 144Mbs and gives better quality flicks. But part of the reason for the higher speed is the added XQD card inside the Nikon.
Where the Sony A7 III lacks in quality, it makes up for its ease of video editing. You can seamlessly work on videos and photos and create content faster. The files are easy to edit on a computer, and you don’t need a ton of processing power to get the job done.
The Sony A7 III uses a Z-type battery that is also present inside the upgraded A9 snapper. This battery is good for 650 shots after a full charge on the Sony A9 and A7R III – cameras with significantly higher power consumption.
On the A7 III, the Z battery can last an entire day’s worth of photography. As most content creators prefer to haul as little equipment as possible, you’ll appreciate the extended battery life. Also, the camera comes fitted with a grip for attaching two batteries. Now you don’t have to seek out charging outlets if you are shooting a wedding. The camera doesn’t ship with an external charger but has a pair of USB ports. You can use either micro-USB or USB-C to boost your batteries.
Accessory Ports and Attachments
Some photographers swear by Sony shooters because of the access to a wide range of accessories. You can use the Sony E lens mount and switch between several Sony lenses.
You can buy the established FE 28-70mm F3.5-5.6 lens alongside this camera at just over two thousand dollars. There are plenty of other lenses to consider if you are looking to expand your shooting experience.
The camera also has several ports and attachment points, including a micro-USB and USB-C charging points. Additionally, there’s a microphone jack, headphone jack, and HDMI ports on the sides.
There’s also a hot shoe that is pretty useful for content creators. This port has electrical contacts that are essential when connecting a cordless Sony digital microphone. You can enjoy better quality audio with several settings to fine-tune your sound setup.
Sony A7 III Drawbacks
Granted, Sony’s A7 III has a phenomenal autofocus system. However, you’ll discover that it is quite a process to put it into subject-tracking mode.
Additionally, the LCD is not as responsive as what you’d get on a Nikon. You cannot just tap on the subject in frame and track. You’ll need to put it into autofocus, select the focus point and hold on to the button to track continuously. But other more expensive Sony cameras received firmware upgrades that improved subject tracking.
Low-Quality Mic Jack
A lot of bloggers complained about the sub-par mic jack, which frequently broke. You can still use the hot shoe to work around the mic jack problem. Buy a Sony digital microphone and mount on the hot-shoe input instead of the jack for recording audio.
The LCD screen should make it easy to go through different menu options. But Sony’s interface is rather complicated with at least 35 tiles. But if you can use the multi-selector dial and avoid getting lost on Sony’s interface.
The Nikon Z6 Features
The Z6 is a lower-spec version of Nikon’s improved full-frame mirrorless Z7. Nevertheless, the camera incorporates some of its big brother’s impressive specs. Both devices share a similar construction and Nikon’s new Z mount.
Design, Build Quality, And Ergonomics
From the get-go, you’ll quickly find the Z6 design quite functional, unlike other Nikon DSLRs. The camera features magnesium alloy on the front, back, and top sections. The material makes the camera body rigid and durable.
The camera’s handling exterior section is textured rubber. The backplate and handling points have solid traction for confident shooting.
The ergonomics on the Nikon are top-notch. The camera’s buttons are well labeled and functionally positioned next to the LCD screen. You’ll quickly get the hang of things and enjoy shooting on the fly. You can also tailor button functions using the touchscreen, so you don’t have to keep looking at the camera.
All the camera’s connection ports are on one side, and a flap cover conceals everything for a clean look. This camera ships with a USB-C, HDMI, Remote control connection, and audio jack ports.
One standout design element is the weather-sealing that is present on the Nikon D850. If you are used to DSLRs, switching to the Z6 will be a breeze. The two cameras have a similar button placement.
Nikon fitted the Z6 and Z7 with a new Z mount, 11mm wider than the previous F mount. The update will accommodate fresher optics to exploit the full-frame sensor for brighter shots.
AF And Performance
The Sony Alpha A7 III has phenomenal autofocus. However, the Nikon Z6 is an equally capable full-frame mirrorless camera. The camera has a decent 273-point phase-detect hybrid system. The coverage, spanning 90% of the frame, is Sony’s 93%.
Granted, it is not at the same level as Sony’s A7 III, but it is still brilliant. The primary Single-point AF mode includes Auto-area, Wide-area, Single-point, and Pin-point AF, depending on how much precision you are after. Nikon’s Wide-area works best if you aren’t keen on a particular subject.
You can tailor the AF point using the joystick, and the camera is quick to focus. But you’ll notice some lag under low-light environments.
Under Continuous AF mode, there’s Dynamic AF which allows you to track subjects. You can also select additional points to follow, sensitivity, and other tracking parameters.
This camera launched without Eye AF. A 2019 firmware upgrade included the feature, but the A7 III still tops the AF contest.
The Nikon Z6 contains an in-built image stabilizer that works well on slow shutter speeds. This system includes an Electronic Vibration Reduction. The E-VR reduces camera shake while shooting movies without a gimbal. Nikon Z6 also has a Quiet mode to eliminate shutter sounds.
Touchscreen And EVF
The Nikon’s LCD screen is more significant at 3.2in and has a higher resolution – 2.1million-dot resolution against a 920k-dot on the Sony. The LCD is also more responsive to touch input, and you will hardly strain while shooting outdoors.
The touch controls are versatile, allowing you more control over different settings. The menu is presented as a list of options so that you can toggle through various selections faster.
Like the Sony A7 III, the screen flips out and up. The LCD allows vloggers to monitor subjects while video recording easily. However, you won’t appreciate this angle when shooting videos hands-free.
The Nikon’s 3.6 million Dot Quad-VGA EVF also edges the Sony A7 III. The EVF boasts a fast display rate of up to 60fps. It is brighter and presents a respectable amount of information on the sides of the screen. You should quickly review your images without checking the LED on the Nikon shooter.
Image Quality and Video
Unless you are downgrading from a range-topping DSLR, a 24mp sensor is quite capable. You can get sharp images with well-saturated colors.
The Z6 is a natural performer across the ISO range. You can capture acceptable files at ISO12800, although you’ll need a little tweaking after the shoot. However, you get excellent image quality at ISO1600.
The camera records 8-bit 4k video with 30-min record limits. Unfortunately, you only get a single memory card slot. The Z6 only supports XQD cards which might work against some content creators.
Nevertheless, an XQD card writes faster and offloads heavy files to your computer rapidly. The card is rated at over 400mbps and makes video and photo editing seamless.
Nikon Z6 Shortcomings
Single XQD Card
The XQD card used inside Nikon’s Z6 is unique. Traditional micro-SD cards are much cheaper, and you can easily buy one in different camera stores. The former is a bit expensive and can limit your storage capacity.
After buying an XQD card, you’ll need accompanying accessories like compatible adapters to transfer files to your computer.
Battery Life Doesn’t Impress
The Sony A7 III has a longer battery life that delivers 710 shots. This figure dwarfs Nikon’s 310 photos. However, we aren’t taking anything away from the Nikon Z6 because it has a larger display and higher quality EVF. Also, consider that the battery will drain a lot faster when you bump the video quality to 4k.
Nikon’s SnapBridge app principally allows you to transfer images to your smartphone wirelessly. You can quickly upload your latest shots to Instagram via the interface. However, your battery life will take a hit if the connection is on full-time.
Not Compatible With Nikon FX And DX Lenses
The Nikon Z6 has a new Z mount. Therefore, if you switch from a DSLR, you cannot use its zoom lens on the Nikon Z6. So, you’ll have to spend a bit more on an FTZ adaptor to attach older optics to your new Z6. Then again, the adaptor is a worthy investment if you consider how inhibitive more recent Z lens prices can get.
Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7III Similarities
The contest of the Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7 III is closer than you imagine. Both cameras are brilliant, versatile content creation tools. And they are similarly equipped to reproduce beautiful photos and videos.
There is an LCD screen on the back of both cameras. The panel allows you to toggle various camera and video mode settings and even view captured images and raw video.
Since the two cameras include AF, the screen helps you to track subjects and vary autofocus settings. However, Sony’s AF is superior and includes Eye EF.
Some people prefer an old-fashioned feel to their cameras. And you can use the LCD screen to change the functions of various buttons.
When it comes to screen quality, the Nikon Z6 is leagues ahead of Sony’s A7 III. The panel is sharp and more prominent at 3.2inches. However, this LCD tends to drain the battery faster.
Both cameras have an EVF. The Nikon panel is crispier with 0.8X magnification. The Sony A7 III viewfinder is slightly down on quality compared to an optical viewfinder. Though Sony still registers 0.78X magnification.
The LCD screens do not feature automatic brightness adjustment. You’ll need to adjust for outdoor shooting. But the EVF works well anywhere, even on a bright day.
Autofocus Tracking and Continuous Shooting
The Sony Alpha A7 III was first launched with a unique autofocus system complete with eye-tracking. However, following a 2019 firmware update, the Nikon Z6 also features Eye EF.
The two cameras will also track your pets with the Eye AF. The Nikon only follows cats and dogs. However, the Sony A7 III is faster at focusing since it has more phase-detection points and covers a broader frame.
The Nikon Z6 outshines the Sony during continuous shooting mustering 12 frames per second. Sony’s A7 III is not severely off but trails the Nikon at 10fps.
Inbuilt Image Stabilizer
The Nikon Z6 is the first shooter with interchangeable lenses to include an in-body image stabilizer. This feature is crucial because there are a lot of F mount lenses lacking vibration reduction. F mount lenses are indirectly compatible with the Z6 because of the new Z mount.
Like the Nikon Z6, Sony’s A7 III also boasts 5-stop shake compensation on its 5-axis image stabilization. The system guarantees smooth shots even at reduced shutter speeds and better picture quality.
4K Video Recording
Since these are hybrid cameras, you can take pictures and record videos. Both allow you to capture 4k videos. Combining a superior sensor and autofocus, you can generate high-quality videos on Sony and Nikon professional cameras.
Videographers will significantly appreciate these two mirrorless cameras. Not only can you take FHD and 4k videos, but you can also record superb audio. The two cameras feature a 3.5mm audio jack for microphones and headphones. Sony, in particular, also has a hot-shoe. You can use the attachment for your Sony digital mic and get higher-quality sound in your videos.
The mirrorless cameras can connect remotely to your smartphone device using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. The Nikon has a handy application called SnapBridge. The app allows you to transfer various media wirelessly to your phone in real-time quickly. Unfortunately, this interface is quite power-hungry and tends to drain the battery much faster.
Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7 III Differences
The Sony A7 III battery has a bigger capacity and lasts longer. You can shoot up to three hours’ worth of 4k video. The smaller touchscreen also seems to extend the battery life.
Nikon’s battery is smaller than the Sony. It is rated at 310 shots compared to Sony’s impressive 710. The power reserve battery also takes a hit because of Nikon’s larger and significantly vibrant touchscreen. Also, Nikon’s SnapBridge and 4k video recording reduce how much time your camera can stay on.
There are two memory card slots on the Sony A7 III, and one houses a UHS-II compatible card. You get plenty of space to store your files, especially if you are shooting a wedding or other event. However, the second memory slot processes files at slower UHS-I speeds.
But we would rather have two storage options as opposed to one like in the Nikon Z6. Moreover, the Nikon uses an XQD card which is significantly more expensive. The upside, though, is that you can enjoy rapid write speeds. You’ll also need compatible adapters when transferring files to your computer.
Weight and handling
The Sony A7 III is slightly smaller than the Nikon. And it can get out of balance if you attach a sizable native zoom lens.
On the other hand, the Nikon Z6 is a heavier camera. However, the shooter is more evenly balanced as it features Nikon’s chunkier grip handles. If you have used DSLRs in the past, you’ll quickly get used to the Z6’s handling. Also, you have quick access to the shot-adjustment buttons next to the lens mount.
Low Light Performance
The Nikon Z6 performs much better in low-light situations. The ISO range is more comprehensive, stretching 100-51200 and can go further in the expanded mode to 50-204800.
The Nikon Z6 is suitable for astrophotography, especially when you pair it with a decent telescope. There’s little noise at 12800 ISO, but pictures will suffer on expanded settings.
The Sony stable has a wide variety of impressive lenses. What’s more, third-party lens manufacturers similarly offer a ton of optics for various camera companies. You can get sigma lenses compatible with Sony’s E-mount.
The Z6 gets an all-new Nikon Z mount. However, the company only announced three native lenses as opposed to Sony. DSLR shooters have the option of buying the steeply-priced FTZ adapter to attach DSLR lenses.
Sony’s A7 III has a standard hot shoe. The added electrical contacts allow content creators to attach additional accessories like Sony’s digital microphone. Some vloggers complained about the quality of the mic jack, and the hot shoe should be a helpful alternative.
The Nikon Z6 only has traditional connective ports for data transfer. You’ll also find the microphone port along one side.
Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7 III – Which Camera Should You Pick
When it comes to full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z6 vs. Sony A7 III debate has close grading points. The two cameras have their strengths and shortcomings. And each strong point stands out with how you use the camera.
YouTube is the next frontier in content creation. You’ll need a capable machine to help you take the best pictures and videos for your channel. The two cameras are phenomenal hybrid shooters with a wide ISO range, a solid sensor, and 4k recording.
However, it is the finer details that will affect your content creation effort. For starters, the Nikon has a different memory card – an XQD card. Sony has dual card slots, but only one supports a faster UHS-II option.
The memory matters a lot because a single card greatly diminishes how much content you can store. Furthermore, an XQD card is more expensive, especially if you own a bunch of micro-SD cards. On the bright side, XQDs have much faster read and write speeds.
Battery life is also a significant determinant of how much media you are going to take. The Sony A7 III easily trumps Nikon’s Z6 as it can get 710 shots on one charge.
The Sony A7 III has better autofocus and eye-tracking that includes most pets. Sony cameras are a better option for hands-free video recording. Additionally, the hot shoe allows you to take advantage of Sony’s high-quality digital mic.
Motion And Sports Photography
Between a Nikon Z6 and Sony A7 III, the latter excels when shooting sports and other high activity events. The Sony has a bigger buffer and can accommodate 177JPEGs, 40 uncompressed raw images, and 89 compressed.
The A7III has better autofocus with Eye AF and delivers better image quality. This camera will constantly track your subjects and capture every detail in continuous shooting.
The Sony A7 III delivers more details in portrait photographs. Sony’s face and eye detection work wonders on your model since it is constantly tracking. The system is a lot faster than on a Nikon. Your subject can quickly try out several poses, and the camera won’t lose track.
If you want to try out a self-portrait, none of the two cameras is a good option. The LCD screen will only tilt up and down, unlike the rotating panel on the Canon EOS.
Whenever you are going to shoot weddings or other events, you must consider the battery and memory card. First, a bigger battery or two is exactly what you need. You certainly do not want the camera dying on you. Therefore, The Sony A7 III is a better wedding shooter for this fact alone.
Additionally, the Sony A7 III has twin memory card slots. Lastly, there is no built-in flash on either full-frame camera. If you’re planning for evening shots, then you will need to carry one.
There you have it — the ultimate guide detailing the comparison and contrast between Nikon Z6 and Sony A7III. We based our list on the many things after doing detailed research. Both cameras have their pros and cons, but it primarily comes down to the usage you have for them. We hope you have a great time creating content or just shooting random events.