Nikon Z8 for Airshows
I was very excited to try the Nikon Z8 for an upcoming airshow that I have been looking forward to for sometime. Having many of the same characteristics of the Nikon Z9, I was eager to put it through its paces. Here is what I discovered, and keep in mind, this is only my personal experience, The autofocus was spot on and attached to my Nikon 400 f/4.5 with 1.4 tele giving me the reach of 560mm. I utilized the Auto Area AF coupled with the subject detection of airplanes. I found that my keeper rate was much higher with this setup and I attribute this to the remarkable autofocus and the fact I have been practicing panning.
Changing modes from aperture to shuttle was just a familiar as the Nikon Z9. At first having no battery grip took a minute to get used to but very quickly felt really comfortable. Now things that I found which were a bit frustrating were number one, no vertical grip, which is not an issue with the camera per se’, just something I was used to on the Z9 but was challenging. By the way, I did have the Z9 on standby if needed. The image quality was equal to the Z9 and the stills that I did get with the Z8 prior to switching, I was very pleased with. It paired well for some statics with the Platypod and ball head allowing for some nice captures.. The most annoying issue was the poor battery life of the EN-EL15c. Nikon prefers this battery versus the others that you can use you but claim best performance with the EN-EL15c. A fully charged battery only lasted for the morning session, about 2 hours, all stills with no video, before flashing red in the EVF. I went through 3 batteries and did eventually shift to the Nikon Z9 for the afternoon performances. I realize video eats more battery, but not getting more time out of the batteries was dissapointing. I found myself turning the camera off when not shooting to save the battery which was not always optimal.