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Nikon’s Full-Frame Mirrorless Cameras vs Sony: What Should You Buy?

At long last, Nikon today announced its first two full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and the Z7. Due out in November and September for $1,995 and $3,399, respectively, these two cameras look to compete directly with Sony’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, the A7 III and the A7R III. Let’s see how they compare.

Nikon Z6 vs Sony A7 III


Nikon Z6
Sony A7 III
Price (body only)$1,995$1,998
MP/Sensor24.5MP BSI CMOS
24.2 MP Exmor BSI CMOS
ISO Range100-51200 (expandable to 50-204800)
100 - 51200 (expandable to 50 – 204800)
Max Photo Size6048 x 4024
6000 x 4000
Max Video Resolution4K/25p
4K/25p
Shooting SpeedUp to 12 fps
Up to 10 fps
Autofocus90 percent coverage/273 hybrid phase/contrast detection93 percent coverage/693 phase detection points, 425 contrast detection
Image Stabilization5-axis in-body
5-axis in-body
Memory Card SlotsOne XQD
Two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots
Viewfinder3.69 million (Quad VGA) OLED
2.36 million dots (XGA OLED)
Display3.2-inch LCD touchscreen (2100k dots)
3-inch LCD touchscreen/ 922K dots
Size (body only)5.3 x 4 x 2.7 inches
5 x 3.9 x 2.9 inches
Weight (body only)1.3 pounds
1.4 pounds
Battery Life (CIPA)Approx. 310 shots (EVF only)
710 shots

Nikon Z7 vs Sony A7R III


Nikon Z7
Sony A7R III
Price (body only)$3,399$2,998
MP/Sensor45.7 MP CMOS
42.4 MP Exmor BSI CMOS
ISO Range64-25600 (expandable to 32-102400)
100 - 32000 (expandable to ISO 50 – 102400
Max Photo Size6048 x 4024
6000 x 4000
Max Video Resolution4K/25p
4K/25p
Shooting SpeedUp to 9 fps
Up to 10 fps
Autofocus493 hybrid phase detection/contrast points (90 percent coverage)
399 focal-plane phase-detection points (68 percent coverage), 425 contrast points (47 percent coverage)
Image Stabilization5-axis in-body
5-axis in-body
Memory Card SlotsOne XQD
Two SD/SDHC/SDXC slots
Viewfinder3690k (Quad VGA) OLED
2.36 million dots EVF (XGA OLED)
Display3.2-inch LCD touchscreen (2100k dots)
3-inch LCD touchscreen (1440k dots)
Size (body only)5.3 x 4 x 2.7 inches
5 x 3.9 x 2.9 inches
Weight (body only)1.3 pounds
1.4 pounds
Battery Life (CIPA)Approx. 330 shots (EVF only)
650 shots

Compared to the Sony A7R III, the Nikon Z7 appears a bit more robust in terms of ISO range and focus points, and, like the Z6, has a sharper EVF and touchscreen. However, the Z7 is about $400 more expensive than the A7R III.

While Sony has a large head start when it comes to full-frame mirrorless cameras, Nikon has a potential competitive advantage in its lens selection. While only three Z-mount lenses will be available at launch (six more will be launched in 2019), the F-to-Z mount adapter means that more than 90 of Nikon’s F-mount lenses can also be used with the Z6 and Z7. Currently, Sony only has 26 A-mount lenses.

From a consumer’s standpoint, it’s nice to see one of the largest camera companies challenge Sony in the fastest-growing segment of the camera market, and we’re interested to see how the Nikon Z6 and Z7 perform.

Mike Prospero

Michael A. Prospero is the deputy editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing the home, smart home, drones, and fitness/wearables categories, as well as all buying guides and other evergreen content. When he’s not testing out the latest running watch, skiing or training for a marathon, he’s probably using the latest sous vide machine or some other cooking gadget.