Nikon’s Z8 is an stunning mirrorless camera for the stamp

Nikon is arguably the field’s most smartly-known camera worth, nonetheless with the decline of DSLRs it has lagged within the encourage of Canon and Sony. In 2022, it released the Z9, a flagship mirrorless camera that might maybe well well within the fracture take dangle of its own against opponents, nonetheless the $5,500 stamp worth build it out of attain for most. To allure to a wider viewers, Nikon unveiled the Z8 final 365 days with the identical sensor and with regards to the identical specs because the Z9 for $1,700 much less.

With a 45-megapixel stacked sensor and the most standard Expeed 7 image processor, the Z8 can attain everything from sports activities to natural world to scenic photography. It be also a strong video camera, offering 8K RAW internal settle at up to 60 fps.

The utterly varied model that might maybe well primarily compare in phrases of urge, resolution and video is the Sony A1, nonetheless it completely costs a whopping $2,200 more. To learn the perfect diagram the Z8 stacks up against that model and others, I rented a Z8 and shot with it around Vancouver, Canada with my photographer cousin.

Body and handling

Develop-shiny, you might maybe well name to mind the Z8 because the Z9 with the battery grip chopped off. It be level-headed a plump camera at 910 grams (2 kilos), even supposing, when in contrast to 737 grams for the Sony A1. That will maybe well well lunge smartly with consultants or folks who esteem an even bigger camera body, nonetheless the scale and weight don’t appear to be ideal for stir. By the components, a $346 battery grip (the MB-N12) with secondary controls is on hand for the Z8, effectively remodeling it into a Z9 for loads much less money.

The Z8 has a pleasant huge grip and all the controls you’d search data from, alongside with a joystick, D-Pad vogue menu take care of a watch on, swap for camera/video settings and front and rear dials. Nikon customers will expertise the structure as it is largely same to past devices, nonetheless everything is precise varied ample that it might maybe maybe well well primarily feel awkward for customers coming from varied producers.

Now not just like the A1, the Z8 incorporates a present on top that presentations key settings esteem shutter, aperture and battery life. Even even supposing it takes up dwelling that might maybe well well be old faculty by buttons or dials, it is a helpful components to survey everything at a search and I pass over it now on devices that haven’t got it. Must you attain need to dive into the menus, they take dangle of comparatively of aging faculty to, nonetheless work smartly whenever you are over the discovering out curve.

Surely one of many predominant harmful parts is the dearth of a entirely articulating present. As a alternative, the rear 3.2-poke 2.36-million dot cowl cowl utterly tilts up and down and to the left or simply. That’s too contaminated, for the rationale that Z8 is on the total a strong vlogging camera and a flip-out present is need to for that vogue of work (especially as it makes solo taking pictures more straightforward).

The 3.69 million-dot digital viewfinder is comparatively low-res for a camera on this stamp vary, especially when in contrast to the 9.4 million-dot present on the Sony A1. Even Canon’s cheaper R5 has a 5.76 million dot present that makes it considerably more straightforward to check level of curiosity.

Battery life is on the extinct facet at 420 shots (one to two hours of video taking pictures looking on resolution), when in contrast to 490 shots for the Canon R5 and 530 for the A1, per CIPA ratings. Again, even supposing, you might maybe well with regards to double that with the battery grip. Utterly different principal ideas embody UHS-II and CFexpress B reminiscence card slots, a fat-sized HDMI port for exterior settle, as smartly as two separate USB-C ports for power provide and data.


With the fastest high-resolution stacked sensor within the market, the Z8 is unbelievably like a flash for a 45-megapixel camera. That you just might shoot RAW photographs at 20 fps, comparatively slower than the A1’s 30 fps RAW functionality, nonetheless the Z8 can shoot 30 fps in JPEG mode. It’ll tackle 40 uncompressed RAW frames earlier than the buffer fills, nonetheless can retailer more compressed photos whereas you might maybe well desire a fleet CFexpress card.

The hybrid segment-detect autofocus is Nikon’s simplest so a ways which capability that of the upgraded image processor, stacked sensor and mammoth option of AF tracking parts. It affords respectable topic tracking, and the face, search and animal detection is fleet and precise as smartly. In level of truth, the corporate has acknowledged it is with regards to same to the worthy more costly Z9 as of the most standard firmware.

That acknowledged, the Z8’s AF isn’t comparatively as real as Sony’s A1 when taking pictures on the superb speeds. It every now and then had trouble tracking matters, in specific these shifting against the camera, ensuing in some out-of-level of curiosity shots. The Z8 (and Z9) is comparatively sensitive to setup, so it is simplest to beautiful-tune the AF settings till it primarily works the components you desire.

There’s no mechanical shutter, nonetheless the Z8’s sensor is fleet ample that rolling shutter isn’t an challenge, even on fleet-shifting objects esteem airplane propellers. The 5-axis in-body stabilization reduces shake by six stops, ample to win engaging photographs down to a quarter 2nd or so. That’s superior to the A1, nonetheless falls components wanting the EOS R5’s 8 stops.

Image quality

The Z8 has the identical very good sensor because the Z9, so needless to issue image quality is same in all respects. With 45.7 megapixels on faucet, it delivers engaging photographs on par with the 50-megapixel A1 and 2nd utterly to Sony’s 60 MP A7R V within the fat-frame realm. Dynamic vary is also excellent, arguably a contact better than the A1.

JPEG photos are radiant and punchy straight out of the camera, with the perfect ends in phrases of colors from the Natural Gentle Auto white balance surroundings. Colours are precise, even supposing pores and skin-tones aren’t comparatively as warm as Canon’s R3 or R5.

1 / 31

Meanwhile, the 14-bit RAW photos take dangle of a good deal of factor that might maybe well well be teased out in Lightroom or ON1, in particular within the highlights. Esteem the Z9, the Z8 now no longer has an “uncompressed” risk, nonetheless now affords “lossless compression” and two high-efficiency lossy modes. I every now and then old faculty the RAW surroundings with the superb compression, on myth of it is dapper efficient and frankly, I can no longer gaze any distinction between that and lossless compressed RAW.

The Z8 performs reasonably smartly in low-gentle, too. Grain is smartly-managed up to about ISO 6400, and shots are usable at ISO 12800. Previous that, noise can develop into distracting. That traces up with Canon’s R5, nonetheless Sony’s A1 performs comparatively better in dim lighting fixtures.


The Z8’s video specs are shiny ideas-blowing for a non-cinema camera and exceed the A1’s capabilities. That you just might shoot RAW video at up to 8K 60p in Nikon’s 12-bit N-RAW or 8K 30p with 12-bit ProRes RAW HQ internally, to CFexpress cards utterly, needless to issue. It also captures 4K video oversampled from the fat width of the sensor at up to 60p, and fat-width 4K up to 120p — all but again, all in RAW.

It be worth noting that Nikon these days purchased RED cameras, so it now owns the RED RAW video patent that stymied so many varied companies, alongside with Apple. It’ll be interesting to survey if Nikon loosens up that enforcement, and if the acquisition impacts the tech in its own future devices.

As with photographs, video autofocus is fleet and respectable, whereas doing a precise job tracking matters, faces and animals. It’ll tackle no longer easy cases esteem matters shifting against the camera, even supposing all but again, no longer comparatively as smartly because the A1.

Nikon Z8 hands-on

Rhonda Dent for Engadget

8K and 4K oversampled video is amazingly engaging. Colours are precise, nonetheless all but again, pores and skin tones aren’t comparatively as shiny as on Canon’s most standard devices. Dynamic vary is top-notch, in particular within the ISO 400-800 stage in ProRes mode, making it easy to alter shadows and highlights in post. Must you esteem taking pictures ProRes photography, ensure to win some high-ability CFexpress cards, for the rationale that data can win mammoth.

One space where the Z9 bests the Z8 in video is with thermal efficiency, because the Z9’s bigger body enables for 125 minutes of 8K 60p recording when in contrast to 90 for the Z8 earlier than overheating. There are utterly a couple of inform creators that will need to continually shoot 8K video for that prolonged, alternatively.


Nikon’s Z8 is an extremely succesful camera and presentations that the corporate might maybe well well level-headed provide as worthy urge and power as that you might maybe well well be name to mind if it needs to win up to Canon and Sony. For a range of hybrid shooters, the Z8 is an even bigger risk than Sony’s A1, in particular in phrases of video.

While it does out-spec the Sony in a option of areas, the Z8’s autofocus isn’t comparatively as precise — and that’s arguably the largest characteristic on any camera. Shooters who require a mechanical shutter (for flash photography, and many others.) might maybe also need to survey in varied locations. One other 8K-succesful fat-frame mirrorless model is Canon’s R5 that falls wanting both devices in many regards, nonetheless is cheaper at $3,200.

A technique to purchase this camera might maybe per chance smartly be primarily based mostly totally on what machine and lenses you’re already into. On the opposite hand, if I modified into beginning from scratch, I’d lunge for the Z8 over Sony’s A1, as you win the camera plus a extremely precise lens for the identical amount of cash.

This article incorporates affiliate links; whereas you click such a hyperlink and make a win yelp, we might maybe well well manufacture a commission.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button