Nikon Z6 & Fuji X-E3 Contemporary Worship Service

Photo Above Data [NIKON Z 6, Sigma 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0 ART, ISO 16000, ƒ/6.3, 1/200, Focal Length = 95]

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/80, Focal Length = 24]

I have owned the Fuji X-E series cameras a few years. I love them. Then I bought the Nikon Z6 to be able to shoot mirrorless with some of my Nikon glass.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 6400, ƒ/4, 1/200, Focal Length = 105]

I think the Fuji X-E3 compares pretty good to the Nikon Z6. I like that the Fuji X-E3 when you are close to someone will not only find their face but their eyes as well. 

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 800, ƒ/4.8, 1/100, Focal Length = 300]

Now the Nikon Z6 camera automatically detects the subject and selects the focus area. At default settings, the camera gives priority to portrait subjects; if a portrait subject is detected, the selected subject will be indicated by a yellow border (if multiple faces are detected, you can choose your subject using the multi selector). 

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 1000, ƒ/4, 1/125, Focal Length = 143]

Just so I could get some photos to use from the service I left the 55-200mm on the Fuji X-E3 and the 24-105mm on the Nikon Z6.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/60, Focal Length = 95]

No question that the larger full-frame sensor on the Nikon Z6 had less noise. However I was pretty happy with the noise on the Fuji X-E3 as well.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [NIKON Z 6, , ISO 51200, ƒ/4, 1/50, Focal Length = 35]
Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 12800, ƒ/3.5, 1/25, Focal Length = 83]

I think that the dynamic range is better with the Nikon Z6. You can see some of that comparison here.

Contemporary Service at Roswell Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 30, 2018 in Roswell, GA. [X-E3, XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, ISO 2500, ƒ/4.8, 1/100, Focal Length = 300]

I love the smaller size and weight of the Fuji system. I think the quality is excellent.

I do think that the quality of the images and higher ISO is definitely in favor of the Nikon Z6.

Nikon Z6 & D5 at Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Top photo specs [NIKON D5, 14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 20000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 17]

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 450, ƒ/5.3, 1/100, Focal Length = 90]

I was able to do some testing of the Nikon Z6 at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl game of Florida vs. Michigan. For those interested in the score the final was Florida 41 and Michigan 15.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 18000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 150]

I can say that the Nikon Z6 sensor gives you great dynamic range and very little noise at high ISO numbers.

Andy Stanley – Invocation Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 40000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 300]

The mirrorless Nikon Z6 was using electronic shutter at 1/4000, which gave some lines if the LED signage was in the photo at those shutter speeds. At the slower speed of 1/100 the jumbotron came out just fine.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 22800, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 320]

I found that when it came to the fast action on the field that my Nikon D5 did a superior job of focusing. I do not think the Nikon Z6 is in the same league for sports as the Nikon Flagship D5.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 125]

Due to the performance not being equal to the Nikon D5 I put the Nikon 28-300mm on the Nikon Z6 and shot some with it in the Red Zone.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 14400, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 300]

When you compare the image quality the Nikon Z6 is awesome. Good dynamic range.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 25600, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 600]

The big difference to me was whenever the LED boards are in the photos the Z6 gave those lines and the D5 didn’t at the 1/4000 shutter-speed.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 32000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 550]

I am still very pleased with the Nikon D5 for sports, however I do love seeing what you will get with the EVF of the Nikon Z6.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON D5, 120.0-300.0 mm f/2.8, ISO 40000, ƒ/5.6, 1/4000, Focal Length = 460]

So for sports I will continue to rely on the Nikon D6, but for most everything else I think the Nikon Z6 is much more fun to shoot.

FanZone at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 2800, ƒ/4, 1/100, Focal Length = 52]

I love walking around with the Nikon Z6. It is a lot lighter than the Nikon D5.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 640, ƒ/4.2, 1/100, Focal Length = 48]

Another thing that the Nikon Z6 is great about, but not really a factor at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium is how quiet the camera is when clicking the shutter.

Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl 2018 Florida vs. Michigan [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 22800, ƒ/5.3, 1/4000, Focal Length = 105]

By the way many people would think that I should lower the ISO and shoot at a slower shutter speed of 1/1000. I can tell you that for me I can see the sharpness go up with the higher shutter-speed.

Hope you enjoyed seeing the results from the the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. In summary buy the Nikon D5 for shooting sports and for most everything else the Nikon Z6 is just perfect.

Focusing & High ISO with Nikon Z6

First Christmas Eve Contemporary service at Roswell Presbyterian Church [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 51200, ƒ/3.5, 1/50]

The main reason I bought the Nikon Z6 over the Z7 was to have the extra stop for higher ISO and also lower noise at higher ISO.

On Christmas Eve I photographed our church’s service. I was shooting at ISO 51200 at times.

First Christmas Eve Contemporary service at Roswell Presbyterian Church [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 51200, ƒ/4.2, 1/20]

The Nikon Z6 has “Single-AF” as well as “Point-AF” and this week I discovered it is best not to use the “Point-AF” when trying to lock on people.

First Christmas Eve Contemporary service at Roswell Presbyterian Church [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 51200, ƒ/3.5, 1/30]
Marina Tanjga [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/160]

When I was shooting in the studio I was getting easily 20% out of focus photos when using the “Point-AF”. By switching the “Single-AF” I improved the number of in focus photos.

First Christmas Eve Contemporary service at Roswell Presbyterian Church [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 4500, ƒ/5.3, 1/100]

For accurate focusing I prefer the “Single-AF” over group setting.

Every camera I have owned there is a learning curve. You need to learn all the menu settings and find what works best for your way of shooting.

First Christmas Eve Contemporary service at Roswell Presbyterian Church [NIKON Z 6, 28.0-300.0 mm f/3.5-5.6, ISO 5600, ƒ/5.3, 1/100]

Hopefully these photos will give you a peak into me learning the Nikon Z6.

Too Much BOKEH

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/4, 2.5]

When shoot wide open aperture and then also get as close as a lens will let you get to the subject you will get the shallowest depth-of-field possible with that lens.

Take a look at the photo above shot at ƒ/4 and then this is the same photo zoomed in closer.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6,Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM , ISO 100, ƒ/4, 2.5]

Now the only way to really see what I am talking about is to shoot the same photo with different apertures.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/16, 2.5]

Now here is a closeup of that ƒ/16 photo.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/16, 2.5]

Now I shot this at a variety of apertures. Here it is at ƒ/8.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 5]

Here is a closeup of that photo.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM, ISO 100, ƒ/8, 5]

What I have discovered with all my lenses is that the depth-of-field at the widest aperture and focusing as close as the lens can will produce what looks to be an out of focus photo, but what is really happening is the depth-of-field is so shallow that it looks soft.

When getting this close to a subject I recommend starting with an aperture of ƒ/11.

Here I shot this at ƒ/11. I also changed my ISO from 100 to Auto ISO which gave me ISO 51200 because I have the shutter speed set to 1/100. As you might notice the shutter dropped to actually 1/50. That is because I had capped at ISO 51200.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, 24.0-105.0 mm f/4.0, ISO 51200, ƒ/11, 1/50]

Here is a closeup of that photo, which you will notice some noise.

Christmas Ornaments [NIKON Z 6, Sigma Art Zoom 24-105mm f/4.0 DG OS HSM, ISO 51200, ƒ/11, 1/50]

When it comes to still life photos like the ones here there is really no reason not to experiment. Shoot on a tripod, as I have done here, at different apertures. Shoot at ISO 100, ƒ/16 and for 20 seconds. Then shoot as many apertures as you can to the widest aperture. 

When you have the photos on your computer zoom in and find the photo that works the best to make your object appear sharp and in focus as well as the soft BOKEH. 

Hopefully you also see that there is such a thing as TOO MUCH BOKEH.

Headshot for Opera Singer

One of my daughter’s good friends from church youth choir Sarah Clements asked me to help her with some headshots. She is a soprano majoring in voice.

She is in her junior year of college getting closer to graduation. She is thinking of now having to promote herself for jobs. Headshots are needed since casting often involves getting someone to look the part.

Sarah Clements [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/160]

We took a lot of photos together. I enjoyed using my new Nikon Z6 camera paired with the Nikon 85mm ƒ/1.8G lens. The quality is incredible with this combination.

Sarah Clements [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/160]

This is a close up of the photo above. The detail is beyond remarkable to me.

I always want to get the best possible photos during a photo shoot. 

I started with almost 300 images that after editing for slightly missing the focus due to such a shallow depth-of-field and also occasional blinks I was able to give her over 200+ images.

Sarah Clements [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/160]

What I love about photographing artists is they understand nuance. As a professional musician Sarah has to know more than the mechanics of music theory. She knows the difference of being slightly out of tune and in tune. The difference of each note blending properly in a choral group.

Together we can work on tweaking face expressions and lighting to get that just perfect combination that captures the person’s personality in the best possible light.

Closeup of the above photo
Sarah Clements [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/160]

I am really loving the finished images I am getting with the Nikon Z6. 

Sarah Clements [NIKON Z 6, 85.0 mm f/1.8, ISO 100, ƒ/5, 1/160]

By the way today everyone needs a headshot. Do you have one?