First look at the Nikon D6

10 Jan

Nikon D6: First look

We don’t know much about Nikon’s forthcoming pro sports flagship camera, but CES 2020 did give us an opportunity to get a first look – albeit at a sample under glass. Click through this slideshow for a closer peek, and a digest of what (little) we know so far.

Nikon D6: First look

It’s no surprise to see that the D6 looks a lot like the D5. In fact, aside from the slightly more D850-inspired sculpting of the pentaprism you’d be hard pressed to tell the two bodies apart. As Nikon’s high-end DSLRs have matured, it’s pretty much inevitable that we’re not going to see major changes to body shape or control layout.

From the front you can see the D6’s deep vertical grip, which houses a high-capacity lithium-ion battery, and the heavy duty rubber covers which protect its remote control and flash sync ports from dust and moisture.

Nikon D6: First look

From the back, the D6 is again almost indistinguishable from the D5. There are in fact no noticeable changes to button layout at all compared to the previous model. While unconfirmed, the LCD looks to be the same or very similar to the D5, too. Assuming we’re right about that, it’ll be a 3.2″ panel. We fully expect the D6 to follow the D5 in offering back-lit controls for low-light shooting, too.

The D5 was among Nikon’s first DSLRs to offer 4K UHD video, and we expect the D6 to build on this feature set, perhaps also offering an enhanced video / live view autofocus experience of the kind we’ve seen in the new D780.

Nikon D6: First look

The D6 features the same unusual eyecup attachment method as the D5, with the cup screwed into a removable panel, which releases via a pair of catches to the lower left and right of the finder. This view shows off the D6’s large upper status LCD, which displays key exposure settings, battery level, etc.

It remains to be seen what kind of autofocus features the D6 will offer, but we still consider the D5 to be a gold standard for DSLRs, so any improvement on its excellent 153-point system will just make a great system even better. What we really want are improvements to live view autofocus, to bring the D6 more in line with what we’ve seen from the Z6 and Z7 (and now the D780). We’ll have to wait a while longer to see whether our wishes are fulfilled.

Nikon D6: First look

On the opposite side of the D6’s top plate is the main drive mode dial, which lets you quickly select from a range of advance options. No word yet on maximum framerate, but we’d expect a jump from the D5’s maximum shooting rate of 12fps. The trio of buttons which top this dial are MODE / BKT / metering pattern, and are unchanged from the D5.

Eagle-eyed readers will also notice the WiFi and Bluetooth symbols printed on the D6’s shoulder.

Nikon D6: First look

A view from the top shows off the D6’s fairly sparse upper controls, which will be very familiar to D5 and D850 shooters. While – again – unconfirmed, the seam in the pentaprism hump just in front of the hotshoe looks a lot like a polycarbonate ‘window’ for those previously-mentioned wireless connections and / or GPS.

And that’s it – for now. We’re hoping for more information on the D6 soon, ahead of its expected release before the Tokyo Olympics this summer. We’ll keep you posted!

Articles: Digital Photography Review (

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