The Complete Guide to the Z6 and Z7, Third Edition

With the proliferation of cameras, firmware updates, and camera hardware updates, it's not easy being in the camera book business. One reason why I've not really branched into books for other brands is that Nikon's iteration process keeps me pretty busy on its own. 

I was working on two general photography books at the point where Nikon announced the Z6 II and Z7 II cameras. I'll get back to those new works soon enough, but in the meantime I had an outstanding task in updating the Complete Guide to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 to a Third Edition, and I was waiting for Nikon's camera update action to decide what to do. 

Here's what I know doesn't work: trying to cram four somewhat different cameras into one book. It's tough enough with just two cameras. One of the few complaints about my Complete Guide to the Nikon D3, D3s, and D3x, which only covered three cameras, was how complex the tables and difference descriptions started to be. What happens as you try to cram more cameras into one work is that tables begin getting more complex and frequent as you try to call out all the differences, plus footnotes and other notes start to exponentially sprout as you discover all the small differences between the models. And Nikon makes a lot of small changes that often go unnoticed by many. If you thought 1090 pages was a lot, add in two more cameras and you'd end up with plenty more pages to wade through.

Moreover, I expect the original Z6 and Z7 to now remain pretty much as is in terms of firmware, while the Z6 II and Z7 II are likely to get firmware additions during their lifetime, which would further complicate a book that tried to include all of the cameras. 

I knew that when Nikon announced their two-year updates to the Z6 and Z7 that I'd have to make some sort of decision about how many books, and what goes in what book. As it turns out with this new camera introduction, there were two most logical choices of how to split things up:

  • First generation (Z6 and Z7) in one book, second generation (Z6 II and Z7 II) in another. 
  • Both Z6 generations in one book, both Z7 generations in another.

I've opted to do the first choice. 

First of all, I had a near complete Third Edition of the original Z6 and Z7 Complete Guide already in progress, just waiting to see what Nikon did with the updates (there could have been new significant firmware updates when the new models appeared). By picking the first option, I just quickly finished up the Third Edition of my original Complete Guide to the Nikon Z6 and Z7. Purchasers of the First or Second Edition should have received an email with the update offer (check your spam/junk folder). This separation of books also gives me more time to make sure that I find all the changes Nikon made in the II models, and can describe them well.

So, here's what's happening:

  1. For existing Complete Guide to the Z6 and Z7 owners, you should have received an email with a link to the Third Edition of that book. Be sure to check your Junk Mail/Spam folder first before sending me email asking where your update offer is. The email comes from an automated server that some mail providers always mark as Spam. As before, the new Edition is provided with a US$5 voluntary update fee. Given how much work I put into reorganizing, reworking, and adding to the Third Edition—it literally was thousands of changes and additions; I took a number of redundant pages out and I still added another 30!—I considered raising the voluntary price or making it a for-fee-only update. Instead I've decided that you all need something nice to happen in 2020, so we'll run with the US$5 voluntary update fee ;~). Thank you to all of you who've been making this voluntary payment as I update my books.
  2. Sometime in late 2020 or early 2021 I'll publish a Complete Guide to the Z6 II and Z7 II. The good news is that there's enough the same with the new cameras that I can quickly repurpose the Third Edition I just mentioned, paying close attention to the differences as I test and validate. However, I probably won't have a Z7 II until sometime around Christmas, and I need to do a fair amount of testing with a new camera before I'm sure I've caught all the changes. So it might not be until early 2021 that you see this new book.

There's no right way or wrong way to do this (other than trying to cram everything into one book, which I know is wrong from experience). The other thing that my choice provides is some time in between the first generation and second generation books to try to get those other two "for everyone" books further along. If I can get them done, I'm pretty sure both will blow your minds. 

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