Author Topic: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor  (Read 1106 times)

dko22

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Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« on: March 03, 2022, 17:22:10 »
I recently got myself a Df rather out of the blue. I'd always been intrigued by this camera but had never come across a second hand one locally but just happened to passing our local Calumet and there one was. Enjoying it so far and soon I hope I'll be able to post a picture or two of how I'm likely to use it but first, I decided to try and test directly against the Z6 sensor using the same lenses. I was quite surprised by the initial findings. The Df sensor not only produced far more reliable white balance in both LR and Capture One but it also (after sorting out the white balance of the Z6) seems to reveal more colour detail. Perhaps there genuinely is some sort of magic about this sensor. I was particularly surprised how well the Df retains colour detail even at silly ISO's as 512k where the Z6 has lost much of it, although there is a purple cast in the deep shadows at such a figure. Of course the Z6 has higher resolution so feels slightly crisper though that's not always a good thing.

I'm just curious what those who have both cameras (or Z6ii) find. Of course the Z is in many way the more flexible camera but purely on the sensor level.

mxbianco

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2022, 17:53:31 »
The Df came out in 2013, and it has the same sensor as the D4, back in 2013 it was priced between the D800 (2012) and  the D4 (2012, too).

No wonder it takes good photos in low light, being so similar in the inside to the D4 !!!

As a matter of fact, what has always distinguished the pro level cameras was their ability to focus and shoot at light levels unattainable by semipro or entry-level cameras

I have both cameras (Df and Z6), I like the Df for its ability to mount just about any F lens that Nikon has built, it has the screw motor to focus non-AFS AF lenses, and I like the Z6 for the ability to zoom in when I try to focus a MF lens. I never tried a one-on-one, if I have some time I might do it...

Ciao from Massimo
 
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Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2022, 19:21:13 »
The Z6 and its siblings are OK, but never fascinated me in the same manner as the Df did. I  do use the Z cameras, in particular Z7,  a lot for my commisioned work but there is little fun associated. And dare I say, payments don't flow as richly as in the earlier days of digital photography :) Just work.

Hauling out a well-worn Df or the new little darling, Z fc, is much more entertaining. Not sure about my recently acquired Z9 yet, a wonder machine in all aspects, but true love? too early to say.

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2022, 01:23:26 »
I have the D200, df, Z6 and Z9.

Moving from D200 to df was amazing.
Moving from the Df to Z6 was difficult.
It took me a while to adjust to the way of shooting, and to get images that looked they way I wanted. But once I did I rarely picked up the Df again.

I find myself in the same position moving from Z6 to Z9. The transition is easier from a controls point of view, but I’m still working on how to shoot to get images looking the way I like. I feel like the files are more brittle than the Z6, but I think it is a short term phenomenon partly based on figuring the camera and post processing out, and part a factor of sharper and more contrasty modern lenses. I remain confident that I’ll manage to improve my results, and that I won’t go back.



dko22

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2022, 15:11:45 »
thanks for the interesting comments so far. Of course it's not the idea that the Df should replace the newer mirrorless camera -- obviously the Z mount has excellent (though the top tier ones are completely outside my budget) new lenses and, although I quite like the shutter click of the Df, there are many occasions when the far more subtle one of the Z6 or complete silence is desirable. I've never had an issue with dust on mirrorless cameras whereas in the DSLR's, it always seems to creep in eventually. Magnification is easier with an EVF to check results.

On the other hand, I've never actually liked EVF's despite their practical advantages - they still have some way to go. They consume far more battery. My Df can AF my beloved 80-200 f2.8D more accurately than MF with the Z6 and, like my other F lenses which still outnumber the Z variety, can be used without the ugly adaptor. Being able to preset aperture and/or shutter speed and ISO without turning on the camera can be a huge boon.

Purely with the sensor, they are different enough to warrant both and initial impression are somewhat in favour of the Df. Of course, other than backlighting which gives a slight improvement to higher ISO, the Z6 sensor is not really different from the D600 of a decade ago. There's no evidence that using current technology, sensors will significantly develop further.

Erik Lund

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2022, 15:22:02 »
Df was designed as a non-video camera - The performance Nikon was able to pull out of the sensor was partly due to this, re the sensor as well as the electronics dealing with the sensor.
,,,, There's no evidence that using current technology, sensors will significantly develop further.


IMHO your deduction is like comparing Apples to Oranges ;)
Erik Lund

dko22

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2022, 18:13:32 »
IMHO your deduction is like comparing Apples to Oranges ;)

which is perhaps the whole point!

RobOK

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2022, 04:32:53 »

No wonder it takes good photos in low light, being so similar in the inside to the D4 !!!

As a matter of fact, what has always distinguished the pro level cameras was their ability to focus and shoot at light levels unattainable by semipro or entry-level cameras

I dont find the AF of the Df to keep up with the great sensor. I still have mt Df but use Z6 mostly…

John Geerts

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2022, 08:11:45 »
Built-quality and AF with the Nikon Df are not on  the same level with the normal Nikon Pro Standards, I would say.  I never had to repair a (Nikon) camera before , but I had to replace the rubbers, despite the fact the Df hadn't been used extensively (back up mainly). Also the aperture lever had to be fixed.

With regard to the sensor, as Erik says, apples and pears, but regarding high ISO the Z6 is not a step backward- compared with the Df.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2022, 09:41:44 »
The Df thrives best with manual lenses. The simplified AF is of no concern to me.

As to the outcome of high ISO settings up to 24K (25600), either Df or Z6 is the better depending on the light and exposure.

Airy

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2022, 12:32:17 »
Built-quality and AF with the Nikon Df are not on  the same level with the normal Nikon Pro Standards, I would say.  I never had to repair a (Nikon) camera before , but I had to replace the rubbers, despite the fact the Df hadn't been used extensively (back up mainly). Also the aperture lever had to be fixed.

With regard to the sensor, as Erik says, apples and pears, but regarding high ISO the Z6 is not a step backward- compared with the Df.

Same problem here with aperture lever and rubbers. Otherwise, no complaints, and I have used the Df more and longer than any other camera before. I'm considering a Z5 (rather than Z6) for stabilization, which would also mean lower ISO and better yield on static scenes. But the Df sensor just yields better, more "natural" images than both the D700 and D800 that I used before. I currently use the D800 only for B&W.
Airy Magnien

John Geerts

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2022, 13:05:40 »
Are the sensors between the Z5 and Z6 identical?

dko22

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2022, 13:41:33 »
the Z6 has a newer BSI (back side illuminated) sensor as opposed to front sided which produces slightly better high ISO images. The Z5 is very similar to the D600/D750 generation from what I understand.

dko22

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2022, 13:45:03 »
As to the outcome of high ISO settings up to 24K (25600), either Df or Z6 is the better depending on the light and exposure.

My preliminary tests would go along with that. They're both pretty good, anyway. I do find colour retention is often better with the Df, though.

Birna Rørslett

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Re: Nikon Df v Z6 sensor
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2022, 17:13:58 »
I frequently justr pull the NEFs of the Df through Photo Ninja with no colour tweaking at all. They tend to be spot on.