What are the best accessories for the Nikon Z6II and Nikon Z7II?
- HoodEYE Eyecup
- Power Battery Pack with Vertical Grip
- Spare EN-EL15c Battery
- CF Express & UHS-II SDXC Memory Cards
- Digital CF Express & UHS-II SDXC Dual-Slot Card Reader
- Glass Screen and Top LCD Screen Protectors
- External Microphone
- FTZ Adapter
- Wireless Remote Controller
Below is a detailed list of 10 accessories that I use and have found to be very useful when paired with either camera. Given the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 share the same form factor as the Z6II and Z7II, all accessories with the exception of Items 2 and 3b will work with those cameras as well.
1. HoodEYE Eyecup
Replaces the stock Nikon eyepiece and allows you to place your eye comfortably against the eyecup. This inexpensive accessory is a must have for those shooting with a long lens as it encourages proper long lens technique on a tripod by allowing you to press your eye against the eyepiece to minimize vibration.
2. Power Battery Pack with Vertical Grip
Shoot vertically with all required function buttons, extend battery life and balance long lenses on your tripod.
3a. L-Bracket – Camera Has No Grip
If you do a lot of your shooting from a tripod and often switch from landscape to portrait mode then you really should consider purchasing an L-bracket. There are three reasons why I have an L-bracket on both my Nikon Z6II and 7II cameras:
1/ Speed Up Your Shooting – With an L-plate on the camera you can swap orientations very quickly between landscape and portrait modes. If you are shooting on a ball head, you simply take your camera off of the horizontal plate along the bottom of the camera and mount it to the vertical plate along the side of the camera. And because you’ve rotated the camera close to the len’s axis your composition will not have changed much.
2/ Protect Your Camera – The L-bracket wraps around the bottom and one side of the camera effectively protecting it from scratches and even falls. I had one of my Nikon DSLR’s fall off my tripod and luckily it landed on the L-bracket and saved my body from what I am sure would have been a costly repair. It’s worth noting that you’ll get more money when you go to sell your camera given it’s condition with be mint having been protected.
3/ Sharper Images – The Arca Swiss plate found on an L-bracket provides a large surface area for mounting your camera to your tripod. This reduces vibration, unlike mounting directly to your camera body. If you are shooting from a ball head in portrait mode you also prevent the sag that occurs when flipping the camera into the notch provided for portrait mode. I was always changing the length of my tripod leg to level off my horizons before I had an L-bracket.
3b. L-Bracket – Camera With Battery Grip
If you have or plan to purchase a battery grip for your Nikon Z6II Z7II please take note that the L-Brackets are a different size. The image below shows how the L-bracket for the camera with a grip is designed to allow you access to the battery compartment on the battery grip.
4. Spare Batteries (EN-EL15c)
Mirrorless camera’s like the Nikon Z6II and Z7II employ an Electronic Viewfinder which chews through batteries like a Pileated Woodpecker on a cedar tree. As such, you’ll want one or two backup batteries for a daily shoot and a few more if you travel to remote locations. If you plan to add the Nikon MB-N11 Battery Grip then you’ll need at least one additional battery to fit into the battery pack.
(Disclaimer: I only use genuine Nikon batteries in my camera’s.) Having said that, the Watson batteries appear to have a 5 star rating from users so if you’re on a budget this might be a viable option.
5a. CF Express Memory Cards (Type B)
You can still run with XQD memory cards in the Nikon Z6II and Z7II and if you do not shoot action that’s likely the best choice from a price point perspective. However if you shoot wildlife, sports, auto racing etc. then I highly recommend you purchase CF Express Memory Cards to take advantage of the file transfer speeds. This will allow you to clear your camera’s buffer quicker when shooting in bursts. Two cards that I have field tested and trust are the Sony Tough and the ProGrade Cobalt Series. Some folks have reported compatibility and reduced speed issues with other cards. Personally 128GB would be the smallest size I would purchase for action shooting and if you plan to shoot 4k video I’d go 256GB and above. Purchase the faster Type B cards and beware cards that do not spell out their write speeds as they will appear to be a great deal but are usually much slower.
5b. UHS-II SDXC Memory Card
The second slot on your Nikon Z6II Z7II takes an SDXC memory card. In keeping with the same logic as the CF Express cards, you’ll want the fastest cards available which at the time of this writing is a write speed of 299 MB/S. Given the speed of these SDXC cards is significantly slower than the CF Express cards I recommend you set your primary card slot to the CF Express card. I alternate between stills and video so I have mine set to save stills to the CF Express card and video to the SDXC card.
Buy from B&H Sony 128GB SF-G Tough Series UHS-II SDXC Memory Card
6. Digital CF Express Type B & UHS-II SDXC Dual-Slot USB 3.2 Gen 2 Card Reader
CF Express memory cards require a CF Express card reader, your XQD card reader is not compatible. Since the second slot on the Nikon Z6II and Z7II is an UHS-II SDXC memory slot this card reader from Prograde which reads both CF Express and UHS-II SDXC gives you the best of both worlds combined in one reader.
Buy From B&H ProGrade Digital CF Express Card Reader $79.99
7. Glass Screen and Top LCD Protectors
As good as today’s LCD’s are I have always placed a glass screen protector over the back and top LCD’s of my camera’s. They provide an additional layer of protection against scratches as well as preserving the condition of your camera for resale. When installed properly you won’t even know they are there and they do not impede any of the touch functionality.
8. External Microphone
If you’re doing any video work with your Nikon Z6II Z7II the video quality is excellent however the sound quality coming from the standard integrated monophonic microphone leaves much to be desired. You’ll want to invest in a good external microphone to capture a professional sound stage.
Both microphones listed below are excellent, come with a 3.5mm cable which connects to your cameras mic jack. Both also come with a foam wind screen to reduce unwanted external noise however I also placed an additional windjammer over top of the foam to further cut down on the wind noise. I use the Shure Lenshopper VP83F however the Rode VideoMic Pro+ gets excellent reviews as well so you can’t go wrong with either one.
Buy From B&H Rode VideoMic Pro+ Camera-Mount Shotgun Microphone $299.00 Shure VP83F LensHopper Shotgun Microphone with Integrated Audio Recorder $299.00 Fur Windjammer for VP83 and VP83F LensHopper Microphones $45.00
9. FTZ Adapter
Unless the Nikon Z6II Z7II is your first camera you likely have old F mount glass which you used with your Nikon DSLR before making the move to the Nikon Z mirrorless system. The good news is that with an FTZ adapter you can still use your F mount lenses with your Nikon mirrorless camera. I actually purchased two FTZ adapters, one for each body, so I wasn’t swapping from camera to camera in the field when I was going to change camera and lens configurations.
Buy from B&H Nikon FTZ Mount Adapter $249.95
10. Wireless Remote Controller
Rounding out the 10 must have accessories for the Nikon Z6II Z7II is a wireless remote controller. There are a few very good reasons to add a wireless remote controller to your bag. As a wildlife photographer using long lenses, I often use a remote to eliminate vibration through the lens resulting in sharper images.
I also use my remote when I am photographing hard to approach animals, so I setup my rig where I expect the animal to be and remotely trigger my shutter from distant location. Additionally, when photographing birds in tree holes, with my camera on a tripod and pre-focused on the hole, I will remotely trigger the shutter without the need to be glued to the back of the viewfinder. If you’re looking for the best of the best with a 5 mile range and 112 channels then you’ll want the Pocket Wizard.
If you’re on a budget or do not require the range then the Nikon remote may just do the trick. I have two sets of the Pocket Wizard’s and they are excellent. Buy from B&H PocketWizard Plus IIIe 2-Transceiver Kit $260.00 WR-T10 Wireless Remote Controller Transmitter $69.95
Lastly, if you’re shooting birds in flight with the Nikon Z6II you’ll want to check out my post entitled, Nikon Z6II Autofocus Settings For Birds in Flight. Here I share with you the Autofocus Settings I have found to yield the best results.