• Andrew JK Tan

Nikon Z6 - First Impressions of JPEG FINE* digital file


Hi everyone,

I was conducting a Low Light / Night Photography workshop last night for Nikon participants. We were photographing the Marina Bay Sands skyline during blue hour. I took 2 shots using JPEG FINE* format as I wanted to get an impression of how good the Z6's JPEG performance was with a straight forward hand-held shot.

For me, photographing a high dynamic range scene using JPEG is a "worst case" type condition. If the JPEG file performs well then I can safely assume that Nikon's NEF RAW file with the same exposure would perform even better in terms of dynamic range recovery.

Photography Setup for the shot

Nikon Z6

Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/4.0S

Captured at 24mm focal length

Hand-Held

JPEG FINE*

AUTO ISO (ISO selected was 6400)

1/30s

f4.0 (wide open)

Exposure Compensation -0.3 stops

In-Camera Noise Reduction : Normal

Picture Control : STD

JPEG FINE* NOT Post processed

As you can see from the above Z6 JPEG unedited file:

- there are a couple of areas with blown highlights

- other than that exposure looks good in other areas

- shadow details also look good

Z6 / Nikkor Z 24-70mm F4.0/S Impressions

DETAILS

Screenshot of UNEDITED ISO6400 JPEG file at 400% magnification

- details looks superb even at ISO6400

- fine details are nicely rendered and clearly seen

- magnified image looks relatively clean & smooth even at ISO6400

EDGE DETAILS / GRAIN CONTROL-NOISE PERFORMANCE

Screenshot of UNEDITED ISO6400 JPEG file at 400% magnification

- EDGE Details & Crispness are excellent , consistent & comparable to details away from the edge

- A really excellent performance at ISO6400

- Grain control / Noise Performance of the Z6 at ISO6400 is just fabulous

HIGHLIGHTS RECOVERY

Area 1

Original Screenshot of UNEDITED ISO6400 JPEG file at 300% magnification

Highlights Recovered version

Area 2

Original Screenshot of UNEDITED ISO6400 JPEG file at 300% magnification

Highlights Recovered Version

Final Version of Highlights Recovery

FINAL IMPRESSIONS

Overall a superlative performance in terms of

- Details

- EDGE Details

- Grain Control / Noise Performance @ISO6400

- Highlights Recovery for a JPEG file

The above says a lot & provides a great initial impression of BOTH the Z6's sensor implementation AND the Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/4.0S lens performance even at the edges.

The Z6 and Z7 definitely are producing image files of the highest quality at extremely high ISOs which rival my current reference the mighty Nikon D850 with equivalent F-mount Lens.

I am very happy that these 1st generation Full Frame Mirrorless cameras are providing the results that I am expecting from a Nikon.

More testing & sharing to come.

Till then, take care, stay safe & HAPPY HOLIDAYS !!

Cheers,

Andrew

#Z6 #2470mm #NikkorZ #JPEG #JPEGPerformance