This more affordable 24.5 megapixel full-frame model offers nearly all of the same specifications as the Z 7. Aside from the lower resolution, differences include fewer phase-detection autofocus points (273 compared to 493) and an added anti-aliasing filter. The fewer megapixels allow for some benefits: a higher ISO equivalent, faster 12fps (vs. 9fps) drive speed, greater burst depth and the ability to capture oversampled 4K video in full-frame (not only with APS-C crop) recording.
Three Z-mount lenses were available by December 2018, the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/4 S
FX AF, the 35mm f/1.8 S FX AF and the 50mm f/1.8 S FX AF. The F-to-Z mount adapter accessory allows for using Nikon lenses from the digital SLR series with full compatibility. In late 2018, Nikon also published a "roadmap" of lenses to be released between 2019 and 2021. A total of nine products were included in that list.
The preliminary review by Imaging-Resource in the U.S. offered this summary of its conclusion after preliminary testing had been completed: "Overall, the Nikon Z6 is shaping up to be a very nice, all-around, enthusiast-grade mirrorless camera. ... I'm having a hard time finding any sizable criticism for the Z6. The image quality is fantastic, ... and the build quality is superb. The camera ... was easy to pick up and operate without much, if any, confusion. ... The camera feels great, works great and produces great photographs. I honestly can't ask for much more." The only negative comment at that time was that the Z 6 offers only a single XQD card slot; such cards were still quite expensive at the time and a single slot does not provide any "backup security".
The Digital Photography Review site rated the camera's sensor as providing excellent resolution and high ISO performance, "though on rare occasions you may see banding if shadow areas are brightened ... While fine detail isn't as well preserved at low ISO or at high ISO as the best of its peers, the Z6 generally strikes a nice balance between noise and detail. Low light Raw performance is competitive with the best of its peers, which is to say it's essentially class-leading." The editors suggested that the Z 6 may be preferable to the Z 7 for some photo enthusiasts. "While the Nikon Z7 may garner the most attention, the cheaper Z6 may actually prove the more impactful of the two cameras, since it'll be within reach of a larger number of photographers. And, since it captures oversampled video without a crop, it might be a more logical choice for video shooters than the higher-resolution Z7."