Nikon Z6 ~ Silent Mode

[NIKON Z 6, Nikon 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 10000, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 125)]

I was referred to the client for this project by my friend Daemon. Daemon said in his message to me, “The main stipulation is that you shoot silently, or with the very muted sound of that Z6. The reason is that video is being shot, and they’re using ambient mics.”

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Nikon 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 6400, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 28)]

I arrived early and to my surprise the lighting in the room was awesome. This past year they had remodeled the room and replaced all the lighting. This is the same court room where the Centennial Olympic Park bomber Eric Rudolph trial took place.

ExpoDisc

I put the ExpoDisc on my lens and did a custom white balance. I then did a few test shots on white solid spots, like the walls, and looked for banding.

Banding due to using the Silent Mode. [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 6400, ƒ/5.6, 1/200]

At the Carter Center in Atlanta this is a problem as you can see.

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Nikon 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 18000, 1/4000, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 28)]

As you can see in this program as compared to the one at the Carter Center there is no banding. I was good to go.

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Nikon 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 18000, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 145)]

If I could shoot all the time in Silent Mode I would. You are not announcing with the clicks that you are taking photos.

Sure the silence helps with audio issues when they are video recording or sound recording, but the benefit is far beyond the sound.

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 3600, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 62)]

When people are talking to one another, they knew I was close, but with a click you announce you are there and make people conscious of the moments. This changes how they respond to others most of the time.

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2500, 1/200, ƒ/4, (35mm = 38)]

The Honorable Regina D. Cannon was have intimate conversations with her family, friends and close colleagues. I felt like I was able to get the moments that helped define why she was chosen to be judge. You can tell in the photos how personable she is with everyone–even with those masks on everyone.

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 2200, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 48)]

I am hoping that the next generation of the Nikon mirrorless camera is able to be shot with banding not being an issue. I understand that this has more to do with the lights being used than the camera, but I hope one day it is solved for silent shooting. It is solved with the shutter.

Investiture Ceremony for Honorable Regina D. Cannon [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, Mode = Aperture Priority, ISO 7200, 1/200, ƒ/5.6, (35mm = 24)]

Tips for shooting in Silent Mode with Nikon Z6

  1. Arrive early & do test shots to see if banding occurs with silent mode
  2. Scout the location for best places to be with your camera. You may need to move during the event, so plan how you will do that early.
  3. You cannot use flash in the silent mode with the Nikon Z6
  4. While your Nikon Z6 will not be heard clicking–you can be heard. Move around like a Ninja.