Nikon Z6 III – Your Questions Answered

Share with your friends!

The Nikon Z6 III is a powerful mid-range camera in Nikon’s mirrorless catalog. As with most mirrorless cameras these days, there is much to understand. In this guide, I have attempted to gather the most frequently asked questions about the Z6 III. If you have additional questions, please add them to the comments section.

Nikon Z6 III Batteries and Charging

Which Battery Does the Nikon Z6 III Use?

Nikon EN-EL15c battery
Nikon EN-EL15c battery for the Z6 III.

The Nikon Z6 III ships with a Nikon EN-EL15c battery. If you need a spare battery, I recommend sticking with the OEM battery and buying another EN-EL15c. Older EN-EL15a and EN-EL15b batteries are also compatible with the Nikon Z6 III, though fewer pictures can be taken on a single charge than with the EN‑EL15c. Much older EN-EL15 batteries with no letter suffix (a, b, c) are not officially supported. Some users report success with them; however, they will only work if the battery was manufactured after an unspecified date. Thus, it is best to assume that the original EN-EL15 batteries will not work.

What Is the Capacity of the Nikon Z6 III Battery?

The Nikon EN-EL15c battery for the Z6 II operates at 7.0V and has a capacity of 2280mAh.

Can You Use Third-Party Batteries in the Nikon Z6 III?

SmallRig’s EN-EL15c alternative has a built-in USB-C port for charging.

Third-party batteries are not officially supported in the Z6 III. Some will work, while others will display an error message: “This battery is unable to provide data to the camera and cannot be used. For safety, choose a battery designated for use in this camera.” Unfortunately, it’s hard to know which third-party batteries will work. You can carefully read the product specifications, but even then, there is a chance that Nikon will issue a firmware update to the Z6 III that will prevent previously-working third-party batteries from functioning.

For this reason, I do not recommend third-party batteries for Nikon cameras. You might save yourself $20-$30 in the short term, but you may create a headache in the future. There are also no guarantees that even if you find a working third-party battery, it will match the performance of the OEM battery. Some third-party options do not have the same capacity as the OEM option. If you really must buy a third-party battery alternative to save a few dollars, perhaps look at the SmallRig EN-EL15. At least that one has a built-in USB-C charging port, adding a useful feature that may negate potential pitfalls.

Does the Nikon Z6 III Come With a Battery Charger?

No, the Nikon Z6 III does not come with a battery charger. Instead, Nikon includes the UC-E25 USB Cable, a standard Nikon-branded USB-C to USB-C cable. This USB-C cable can be used with any off-the-shelf USB charger to charge the battery inside the camera, although a USB charger with Power Deliver and a minimum of 18W is recommended.

Can I Buy a Battery Charger for the Nikon Z6 III?

Yes, Nikon makes three battery charging solutions for charging the Z6 III camera batteries outside of the camera:

  1. MH-25a – A standard mains 120v/240v battery charger for the EN-EL15 battery series. This is the same charger that comes in the box of the Nikon Z8.
  2. MH-34 – A USB-C charger for the EN-EL15 battery series. You must supply your own USB-C cable and USB-C power supply.
  3. MB-N14 – The Nikon Z6 III’s dual battery vertical grip can be used to charge a pair of EN-EL15 batteries using USB-C. It can do this whether the grip is attached or detached from the camera.

These days, I would choose option 2 or 3 because I prefer to travel with devices that can be charged over USB-C only. This greatly simplifies my charging setup when I’m on the road. A single multi-port Anker USB-C charger can power all my cameras, a laptop, phone, GPS devices, Airpods, and more at my accommodation. Additionally, a portable USB-C battery bank can then be used to charge all those same items in the field.

Do you need a separate charger since the battery can be charged to the camera with a USB-C cable? If you never use more than one battery for your Z6 III, there is no point in buying an external battery charger. Just plug the cable into the camera and keep things simple. Charging the batteries outside the camera offers no great charging speed advantages. On the other hand, if you have a spare battery or two for your Z6 III, an external charger is very useful, allowing you to charge multiple batteries simultaneously at the end of the day.

Is There a Car Charger Available for the Nikon Z6 III?

Nikon doesn’t sell a specific car charger for the Z6 III. However, since you can charge the camera using a USB-C cable, a generic 12v USB “cigarette lighter” charger will do the job if it offers at least 18W and uses the Power Delivery (PD) standard. I recommend the Anker 67W car charger as it supplies more than necessary 18W to both USB-C ports simultaneously. This means you can charge a battery in the Z6 III using one port while charging your spare battery in the previously mentioned Nikon MH-32 USB-C charger using the second USB-C port. Leave the third USB-A port empty to ensure enough power to both USB-C ports.

Can You Use Any USB-C Cable to Charge the Nikon Z6 III?

Although the USB-C standard was supposed to simplify all your charging needs, it has been anything but simple for consumers to understand. USB-C cables come with all types of specifications, which are often not listed on the cable, leaving consumers clueless about what they have in their hands once a few Type-C cables are accumulated in a household.

Thankfully, the Nikon Z6 III is not too fussy, and almost any modern USB-C cable will charge it. Though a short USB-C to USB-C cable comes with the camera in the box, you can also choose to use just about any other USB-C to USB-C or USB-A to USB-C cable. The latter is helpful if you want to pair it with an existing USB-A charger.

The only thing to remember is that some cables come with a specific maximum power rating. For best performance, your cable should be rated for at least the maximum power of your charger. If they are not, the charger will run at a lower power, and your device will charge slower. That said, the Nikon Z6 III draws less than 15W while charging, so you do not need an overly power USB charger, and most USB-C cables made in the last ten years will be rated for more than 15W.

If you want to use the same cable to charge the camera as you do to connect it to you computer to download images, this requires some further understanding.

What Is the Best USB-C Charger for the Nikon Z6 III?

Anker 511 USB charger

Nikon would love to sell you its EH-7P or EH-8P USB-C chargers, but I urge you to avoid them. They are bulky, overpriced pieces of junk. You can get a better charger for less than a quarter of the price, and it’ll also be a quarter of the size and weight. Seriously, Nikon should be ashamed that they try to sell people this crap.

Anker makes the best USB chargers for the Nikon Z6 III. My current favorite is the Anker 511 with foldable pins. This delivers up to 30W of power, and while this is more than the Z6 III will ever draw, it also allows me to use the same pocket-sized charger to fast charge my phone and tablet and even power my Macbook Air. You might also consider this 3-pack of 20W Anker chargers, which is still less than half the price of Nikon’s charger and allows you to keep one at home and a couple in your camera bags.

Remember, the Nikon Z6 III does not draw much power when charging over USB-C. A 15-20W charger is more than enough. A more powerful charger will not harm the camera in any way but will not charge it any faster. The only reason to buy a more powerful charger is to use it with other more powerful devices, such as phones and laptops, that take advantage of higher outputs.

Are there any safety concerns with using a third-party USB-C charger? No, none whatsoever. USB-C charging is a standard, and now that the EU has a mandate that all consumer electronics must be rechargeable via USB-C, a camera like the Nikon Z6 III must be compatible with all off-the-shelf USB-C chargers.

Which Battery Grip Works With the Nikon Z6 III?

The Nikon MB-N14 is the dual battery vertical grip designed for the Z6 III. The same grip also works with the older Z6 II and Z7 II. The MB-N14 battery grip can hold two EN-EL15c batteries, delivering 1.9x more stills and video shooting time than a single camera battery in the camera. When the MB-N14 battery grip is installed on the Nikon Z6 III, a third battery cannot be used in the camera.

The MB-N14 grip will work with older EN-EL15a and EN-EL15b batteries and the newer, recommended EN-EL15c. However, only EN-EL15c and EN-EL15b batteries can be charged in the grip. It is, therefore, not really recommended to bother with the very old EN-EL15a model batteries since they negate one of the primary reasons for using the battery grip.

The batteries inside the MB-N14 grip can be charged through the grip’s USB-C port. This design is great because you can do this when the grip is attached to the camera or detached. This gives you a dual-battery USB-C battery charger for your Nikon Z6 III. When I travel, I like to ensure all my electronics can be charged over USB-C, and that’s not the case with the standard battery charger.

Can you Use the Nikon Z9 Battery In The Z6 III Battery Grip?

To some, this may sound like a silly question. However, Nikon has a history of allowing users to use high-capacity batteries from their pro camera in the battery grips for smaller cameras. For example, the battery grip for the Nikon D850 DSLR, the MB-D18, allowed you to install a pair of smaller EN-EL15 batteries or a single, larger EN-EL18 from the D5/D6/Z9. Unfortunately, this is not the case with the Z6 III battery grip. You cannot use a Z9 battery in the MB-N14 grip.

Why Does My Z6 III Say That I Need to Recharge My Battery Even When Full?

The Nikon Z6 III works with the Nikon EN-EL15a, EN-EL15b, and EN-EL15c batteries. If you accidentally insert a much older EN-EL15 battery with no letter suffix (a, b, or c), the battery indicator on the top of the camera will flash, and a message on the back of the camera will display “Shutter Release Disabled. Recharge Battery,” even if you have recently charged that battery. To fix this problem, use the EN-EL15c battery that came with the camera or purchase a new one if the original has been lost.

Nikon Z6 III Memory Cards

What Kind of Memory Cards Can I Use in the Z6 III?

The Nikon Z6 III features two memory card slots. One is for CFexpress Type B memory cards, while the second is for SD cards. To be more specific, the CFexpress slot can be used with CFexpress Type B 2.0 and 4.0 cards, as well as older XQD cards. The SD card slot is of the UHS-II variety and is compatible with SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.

While having an SD card slot for those budget-conscious photographers with a collection of SD cards is nice, I honestly think the time has come to move on from SD and fully embrace CFexpress cards. The price of CFexpress cards has decreased considerably in the last few years, and the unlimited buffer with RAW photos while shooting to a CFexpress card in the Z6 III is a fantastic feature. When you can get a good 128GB, sometimes even a 256GB, CFexpress card for under $100, why limit the performance of your new $2500 camera?

Can You Use Two Card Slots Simultaneously on the Z6 III?

Yes, you can shoot photos simultaneously to the CFexpress card and the SD card in the Nikon Z6 III. In the Photo Shooting menu, select the [Secondary Slot Function] and change it from the default value of Overflow to Backup. When the Secondary Slot Function is set to Backup, photos will simultaneously be written to the CFexpress card and the SD card. A word of warning, though: when the Z6 III writes photos to both card slots as a backup, your continuous shooting burst depth will be limited by the speed of the much slower SD card. You will lose the unlimited RAW buffer capability that you get when you only shoot photos to the CFexpress Type B slot.

What Is the Best CFexpress Card for the Nikon Z6 III?

I tested several CFexpress Type B cards on my own Z6 III and concluded that the best two options for most people are the ProGrade Digital Gold 512GB Type B 4.0 and the OWC Atlas Pro 512GB Type B 4.0 cards. These cards from US brands offer the best combination of performance, capacity, and price. Both cards can maintain the Z6 III’s unlimited RAW photo buffer and handle the highest bitrates and RAW video capabilities during 6K video recording. The 512GB size will hold thousands of photos and is a real sweet spot in the current cost-per-GB calculations.

As they are CFexpress Type B 4.0 cards, they offer twice the read speed of slightly older Type B 2.0 cards, which means that your end-of-day image download time is cut in half when used with a compatible USB4 card reader like the OWC Atlas USB4 reader or the ProGrade Digitial USB4 reader. Again, I tested both readers and recommend either one.

What Are the Officially Supported Memory Cards for the Z6 III?

Nikon always publishes a list of compatible memory cards for its cameras. This means that Nikon has tested these cards in the Z6 III. Please understand that this does not mean you should limit your card choices to the ones on the list. Nikon does not test all memory cards. Infuriatingly, they don’t even test the latest memory cards!

Honestly, the list is pretty pointless. I tested many cards myself, and Nikon never tested the two best cards I found (listed in the previous sub-section). In fact, Nikon didn’t bother to test any CFexpress Type B 4.0 cards, even though these newer cards can give its users significant workflow advancements with no downsides. Who wouldn’t want to download their photos twice as fast for the same price?! Still, if it gives you peace of mind to see a list of the cards that Nikon has tested in this camera, you can find it here.

Nikon Z6 III Video Recording Questions

Does the Z6 III Have a Video Record Time Limit?

Yes. Each video can be up to 125 minutes in length.

Which USB-C Cables Can You Use to Download Images From a Z6 III?

People often try to connect the Nikon Z6 III to their computer using a USB-C cable that they already have at home and discover that the camera does not show up as a drive or source in the file browser or imaging software. The usual problem is that the USB-C cable they use is only rated for charging, not for data usage.

USB-C cable compatibility can be a complex topic, and most people do not know that a USB-C cable can have these limitations. The chances are that most USB-C cables around your house will only allow charging. The simplest solution to finding a cable allowing you to download images directly from the Nikon Z6 III to your computer is to use the Nikon UC-E25 USB-C cable that came in the box with the camera.

Spare cables are readily available if you have lost yours, or you can look on Amazon for a USB cable that states explicitly that it has USB 3.2 Gen 1 support. This might be simplified to say USB 3.2, or it might also say USB 5Gbps or USB 10 Gbps. Alternatively, a USB4 cable will also work and may be labeled as USB 20 Gbps.

How Fast Can You Transfer Data From the Z6 III Over USB-C?

The Nikon Z6 III has a USB 3.2 Gen 1 USB-C port, which means the maximum transfer speed is 5Gbps (625 MB/s). If you use SD cards in the Z6 III, the 5Gbps speed is more than enough to max out the read speed of even the fastest SD cards on the market. In other words, there is no speed benefit to using an external SD card reader to perform your image downloads.

However, if you use CFexpress Type B cards in your Nikon Z6 III, this 3.2 Gen 1 interface, with its maximum speed of 625MB/s, will present a massive bottleneck to your workflow. Most CFexpress Type B cards have a read speed far exceeding 625MB/s, and you won’t be able to access that speed if you connect the camera directly to your computer. For CFexpress B cards, using an external CFexpress B card reader with USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10gbps) or even USB 4 (20Gbps) support is much better. This will often halve your image download time with CFexpress Type B cards. I have tested and recommend the ProGrade Digital USB4 reader or the OWC Atlas CFexpress USB4 Reader.

Nikon Z6 III Support and Firmware

Where can I Download the Nikon Z6 III User Manual?

Nikon’s camera user manuals are available in the Download Centre. The Nikon Z6 III (English) User Manual (76 pages) can be downloaded directly from this link as a PDF. A more in-depth Z6 III Reference Guide (969 pages) can be downloaded from this link as a PDF. Further Nikon Z6 III technical guides and reference manuals can be found here. The User Manual will get you up and running on day 1 with the basics, but you’ll eventually want to dig into the Reference Guide to unlock the camera’s full potential. I recommend storing both on your mobile device for easy access in the field.

Where Can I Download the Latest Z6 III Firmware?

The latest firmware for the Z6 III can be downloaded from the download center by selecting the Firmware tab. If the Firmware tab is not visible, it means there are no firmware updates for the Z6 III.

Can I Buy Parts for the Z6 III and Repair It Myself?

The Nikon Z6 III repair manual contains detailed illustrations that reveal the camera’s inner workings.

Yes, the Nikon Z6 III is part of Nikon’s self-service repair program. You can download the Nikon Z6 III repair manual here as a PDF. Even if you aren’t trying to repair your Nikon Z6 III, it’s fascinating to look through the complex technical drawings to see how Nikon has managed to cram so many features into this camera.

Photo of author
Professional photographer based in Yukon, Canada, and founder of Shutter Muse. His editorial work has been featured in publications all over the world, and his commercial clients include brands such as Nike, Apple, Adobe and Red Bull.

You may like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published or shared. Comments that use abusive langugage, fake email addresses and fake names will be marked as spam. Please note that if you include a link in your comment, it will need to be moderated before it appears on the site. Required fields are marked*

By submitting a comment this form also collects your name, email and IP address so that we can prevent spam. For more info check our privacy policy.