PHLEARN MagazineNikon Z7 / Z6 vs. Sony a7R III Review, Specs, Lenses, and More

Nikon Z6 Z7 Sony a7R III Comparison

Nikon Z7 / Z6 vs. Sony a7R III Review, Specs, Lenses, and More

The team here at PHLEARN has been a big fan of the Sony a7R III and we love to shoot photography tutorials with it, so we are just as interested as you might be about the new Nikon Z7 and Z6 and how they stack up.

Rather than doing a traditional review, we are going to just give you the highlights and link to helpful articles from around the web if you want to take a deeper dive.

*Note: From time to time, we link to websites such as Amazon or B&H Photo and in most cases, we will be compensated as an affiliate with a commission based on any sales generated. It helps keep the lights on here at PHLEARN and pay for Aaron’s 297 haircuts he gets per year.

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Key Differences & Specs

First and foremost, let’s be clear that Nikon knows exactly what they are up against. They weren’t going to enter the high-end mirrorless race without a true contender to take on Sony A7 line.

And they have delivered.

The quickest summary you’ll find online. See notes below for details & links.

  • Better resolution: Nikon
  • Lighter weight: Sony
  • Smaller size: Sony
  • Autofocus: Nikon
  • Better video: Nikon
  • Burst shooting: Sony
  • EF Viewfinder: Tied
  • Battery life: Sony
  • Storage: See Below
  • ISO range: Tied, slight edge to Sony
  • Metering & Focus: Sony

Z7 / Z6 Price at Launch

Nikon Z7 $3,396.95

Nikon Z6 $1,996.95

Sony a7R III (currently) $2,998.00

Release Date

September 2018. These dates sometimes shift as well know. You can pre-order from B&H currently for an expected Sept 27th ship date.


The Nikon and Sony both use back-illuminated sensors, but the Z7 packs an amazing 45.7MP compared to the a7R III’s 42.2MP. Which if you are counting your pixels is the same as the Nikon D850.

Size and Weight

Both cameras are heavily armored with magnesium alloy front, top, and backs with weather sealing throughout.

When it comes to weight, they are nearly the same with the a7R III coming in at 657 grams (1.44lbs) and the Z7 at 675 grams (1.48lbs).

The body on the Sony is smaller (126.9 x 73.7 x 95.6mm) vs (134 x 67.5 x 100.5mm) on the Z7, but the Nikon has a larger handgrip which does sound appealing to us, given the Sony is a little awkward when attached to a larger lens.

Burst Shooting

The Sony a7R III comes in at 10fps, besting the Nikon Z7 at 9fps.

ISO Range

Very slight edge to Sony on this one at 100-32,000 (50-102,400 extended) compared to the Nikon at 64-25,600 (32-102,400 extended).


While both cameras boast hybrid on-chip phase detection and contrast AF, the Nikon Z7 has 493 phase detection AF points (over 90% of the image area) and Sony’s a7R III has 399 phase detection points (over 68% of the image area).

One key point to remember is that Sony does have the EyeAF feature, which many portrait and event photographers love for its eye detection.

Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)

Pretty much tied here. 0.5-inch electronic viewfinders all around. 3.6 million dot display with 60fps. Nearly the same magnification. Hard to spot much of a difference.

4K Video (and 8K* time-lapse)

You can shoot 4K video on both the Sony and Nikon, but the Z7 does have a one new trick up its sleeve.

The Nikon shoots UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) in full-frame area or DX crop area at 30p, 25p, or 24p frame rates. It can do 1080 HD at 120p for slow motion as well.

You might say, “well so can the Sony! and you’re right. But the Z7 brings a fun new feature to allow for both 4K AND 8K time-lapse movies up to 9,999 frames in total.

Storage / Memory Cards

The Nikon Z7 & Z6 use a single XQD card slot. You might have just read that sentence and gone, “What the heck is an XQD card???” Well, it’s a ridiculously fast high-capacity storage format currently only manufactured by …..drumroll please….. Sony. (It’s a small small world right now in the high-end mirrorless space.)

For now Sony will continue to use dual SD cards for the A7 line, but we’re making a pretty strong prediction that’s going change. There are even rumors that Nikon wants to be able to support the CFExpress in the future as well.

Battery Performance

The Nikon Z7 / Z6 share the same battery at as the Nikon D850, but a slightly newer version called the EN-EL15b. It only pulls in 330 shots, which is surprisingly well below the Sony A&R III’s 530-shot battery life. In real-world testing we wouldn’t be surprised to see the Nikon perform better than 330 shots, but that number is surprisingly low.

Nikon Z7 Full Specs

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine
UHD 4K30 Video; N-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
493-Point Phase-Detect AF System
Built-In 5-Axis Vibration Reduction
0.80x 3.6m-Dot EVF with NIKKOR Optics
3.2″ 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
9 fps Continuous Shooting; ISO 64-25600
Top-Panel Dot-Matrix OLED; XQD Card Slot
8K Time-Lapse Mode; Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Nikon Z6 Full Specs

24.5MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor
EXPEED 6 Image Processing Engine
UHD 4K30 Video; N-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
273-Point Phase-Detect AF System
Built-In 5-Axis Vibration Reduction
0.80x 3.6m-Dot EVF with NIKKOR Optics
3.2″ 2.1m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
12 fps Shooting; ISO 100-51200
Top-Panel Dot-Matrix OLED; XQD Card Slot
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Sony a7R III Full Specs

42MP Full-Frame Exmor R BSI CMOS Sensor
BIONZ X Image Processor & Front-End LSI
399-Point AF System & 10 fps Shooting
UHD 4K30p Video with HLG & S-Log3 Gammas
3.69m-Dot Tru-Finder OLED EVF
3.0″ 1.44m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD
5-Axis SteadyShot INSIDE Stabilization
ISO 102400 & Pixel Shift Multi Shooting
Built-In Wi-Fi/Bluetooth, Dual SD Slots
USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C Port & PC Sync Port

Z7 / Z6 Z NIKKOR Lenses

There will be three brand new Z NIKKOR lenses available that are built exclusively for the Z line of Nikon mirrorless cameras.

Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/4 S Lens

Nikon NIKKOR Z 35mm f/1.8 S Lens

Nikon NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S Lens

FTZ Adapter for F-mount Lenses

Don’t worry though! There is the Nikon FTZ Mount Adapter for all your existing F-mount lenses.

More Reviews to Read

We gave you a quick overview of the new Nikon Z7 and Z6, but as you might guess there are hundreds of reviews being written as you read this. We will be constantly updating this list below with more as they come in.

Z7 Reviews (Hands-on Only)

DP Review – https://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikon-z7-first-impressions-review

DigitalTrends – https://www.digitaltrends.com/digital-camera-reviews/nikon-z7-review/

Camera Jabber – https://camerajabber.com/nikon-z7-review/

Ross Harvey – http://www.rossharvey.com/reviews/nikon-z7-review

Tech Radar – https://www.techradar.com/reviews/nikon-z7

Trusted Reviews – https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/nikon-z7

More to come…

Z6 Reviews (Hand-on Only)

Tech Radar – https://www.techradar.com/reviews/nikon-z6

Camera Jabber – https://camerajabber.com/nikon-z6-review

Imaging Resource – https://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/nikon-z6/nikon-z6A.HTM

Trusted Reviews – https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/nikon-z6

More to come…


Seth Kravitz

Seth is the CEO of PHLEARN and an avid writer, photographer, startup investor, and business mentor in Chicago. He joined PHLEARN in 2016 and has been focused on expanding the community to reach millions of new Phans and make learning fun for the next generation of great artists.

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