The Nikon Z8, I stand corrected
At the beginning of the Nikon Z8 release, I wrote a post wondering if the Z8 was just a means for Nikon to boost their profits and capitalize on the success of the Z line of mirrorless cameras. Having had a chance to finally shoot one, I stand corrected. Althougth the Nikon Z8 seems very familiar if you own a Nikon Z9, it is more than a little brother which I don’t think is a fair comparison. Lets first look at what you give up. The Z8 has a slightly smaller battery, no GPS, an SD card slot instead of a CF Express and one less function button. Other than that, it has all the functionality of the Z9.
The programmable capabilities, AF performance, EVF and FPS are all equal to the Z9 and when paired with any Z lens delivers a file equal in quality to the Nikon Z9. Weighing 910g, the Z8 is 30% lighter than the Z9, which is a significant 1,340g, although still heavier than the Z6II or Z7II.
Most of what’s new in the Z8 is in regards to its design; its features, performance, and image and video quality are virtually the same as from its bigger sibling, the Nikon Z9. The key difference between the two cameras is their size. DSLR users can think of the Z8 as the mirrorless evolution of the Nikon D850, and if we think in the same terms, the Z9 is the modern-day Nikon D6. Its smaller size compared to the Z9 impacts the user experience in a few ways, and battery life is one. The Z9 has much better battery life, whereas the Z8’s is only mediocre at 340 shots. You will need extra batteries for longer shoots.. Charging on-the-go via USB-C is also possible, and the Z8 actually has two USB-C ports, one for power and the other for connectivity, which can be used simultaneously. I can’t think of another camera with two USB-C ports, which may make it an interesting choice for studio photographers wishing to shoot tethered while also powering the camera for hours at a time.
The body is rugged. with the weather-sealing on the Z8 being the same standard as the D850’s,. It also has some of the flagship design features that I love, especially for working in low light, like a top LCD and illuminated buttons. Love that for the night shoots and astrophotography..
- 45.7-megapixel stacked BSI CMOS sensor
- ISO range of 32-102,400
- EXPEED 7 processor
- 20 fps continuous burst rate in raw
- 30 fps continuous burst rate in JPEG
- 60 fps continuous burst rate in DX mode
- 120 fps continuous burst rate in 11-megapixel mode
- 1,000-plus image buffer
- Pre-release capture for ensuring action is caught
- Electronic shutter as fast as 1/32,000 s
- Reduced rolling shutter
- 120 AF calculations per second
- High-efficiency raw format
- Motion Blend Retouch feature
- Flash sync up to 1/200 s
- 493-point phase-detection autofocus system
- Focusing down to -9 EV in Starlight mode
- Subject Detection with Deep Learning Technology
- 3D tracking
- Internal 8K 60p and 4K 120p video
- 12-Bit N-RAW and ProRes RAW video
- Dual card slots
- Backlit buttons
I was very impressed with the camera in all aspects when having had a chance to shoot it, so much so I have changed my mind and one is now on order. As always, Nikon has delivered a very good photographic tool for photographers both professionals and novice alike who need the very best to bring back awesome images.