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Nikon Z8 Compared – A Baby Z9?

Nikon Z8 FI

Nikon has announced the Nikon Z8, and it’s pretty much everything we thought it would be. Specifically, the Nikon Z8 is a baby Nikon Z9. And that’s no bad thing – after all, the Nikon Z9 is very large and expensive, while the Nikon Z8 is approximately 30% smaller and about $1000 cheaper.

Yet, the Nikon Z8 isn’t for everyone. While small compared to the Z9, it’s a large camera by most other measures and, in terms of image quality, is no better than the smaller and cheaper Nikon Z7ii.

Table of Contents

What is the Nikon Z8

The Nikon Z8 is a high-end 45.7 megapixel Full Frame camera for Nikon’s Z mount and, in effect, a small-form version of the larger, more expensive Nikon Z9.

Nikon Z8
All Z8 Pics from Nikon Rumors

As a result, the Nikon Z8 delivers 8K video, shoots lossless raw at 20fps, and boasts the best version of Nikon’s AI-augmented autofocus system. Moreover, you also get Nikon’s pre-release capture mode – a feature that continually records the last 1 second’s worth of images prior to you taking the shot, enabling you to capture the moment after it has happened.

But the Nikon Z8 isn’t a much-needed technological update of the Nikon Z7ii and Z6ii. First of all, the Nikon Z8 is considerably larger and more expensive than either camera. For this reason, carrying the Nikon Z8 only makes sense if you will make the best of its Z9 feature set. And if you were hoping that the Nikon Z8 would be the first full-frame Z camera with a flip screen, you will be disappointed.

Nikon Z9
Nikon’s flagship mirrorless camera – the Z9.

But overall, the Nikon Z8 is a seriously impressive camera that combines large files and speed in a way that wasn’t possible just a few years ago. In this regard, the Nikon Z8 feels like the mirrorless successor to the Nikon D850 – one of the first cameras that didn’t make you pick between performance and image quality.

Nikon Z8 Price

The Nikon Z8 costs around US$3999 – much less than the $5500 Nikon Z9.

Nikon Z8 Release Date

10th May 2023

Nikon Z8 Specifications Compared

SpecificationsNikon Z9Nikon Z8Nikon Z7ii
Release Date10th May 2023
Release Price (US$)US$5499.95US$3999US$2999
Sensor SizeFull Frame (35mm)Full FrameFull Frame
Sensor TypeStacked CMOSStacked CMOSBSI CMOS
Megapixels45.745.7 Megapixel45.7 Megapixel
Native ISO Range64-2560064-2560064-25600
In-body Image StablizationYesYes – 6 StopsYes
IBIS RatingUp to 6 stopsUp to 6 Stops
AF TypeIn-body Image StabilizationHybrid Phase/Contrast DetectHybrid Phase/Contrast Detect
AF Focus Points493493493
AF Sensitivity– 3EV to + 19EV– 7EV to + 19EV-3EV to 19 EV
Max Shutter SpeedN/AN/A1/8000
Max Shutter FPS (AF+AE)N/AN/A5.5 FPS
Electronic ShutterYesYesYes
Max E-Shutter Speed1/320001/320001/8000
Max E-Shutter FPS (Full Resolution)20 FPS20 FPS12 FPS
Max E-Shutter (Low Res)20 FPS120 FPS
Silent ShootingYesYESYes
Range– 3EV-3EV to 17 EV-3EV to 17 EV
Video Quality   
8K30, 25, 24p30, 25, 24pN/A
4K24, 25, 30, 50, 60p24, 25, 30, 50, 60p60, 50, 30, 25, 24p
HD 1080p24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100, 120p24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100, 120p120, 100, 60, 50, 30, 25, 24p
Max. Recording Time2 hours 5 minutes2 hours 5 minutes29m 59s
Output over HDMIYesYesYes
Video CompressionN-RAW, ProRes, H.265/HEVC, H.264H.264/MPEG4, H.265/HEVC
File Format   
Raw14 Bit Lossless14 Bit Lossless14 Bit Lossless
Card Slot 1CF Express (Type B) + XQDCF Express B + SDCF Express B
Card Slot 2CF Express (Type B) + XQDCF Express B + SDSD, SDHC, SDXC (UHS-I & II)
Resolution3690K Dots3690K Dots3690K Dots
Refresh Rate60Hz60Hz
MagnificationApprox 0.8xApprox 0.8xMagnification 0.8x
Size3.2 Inch3.2 inch3.2 inch
Resolution2100K Dots2100K Dots2100K Dots
Touch SensitiveYesYesYes
ArticulationVertical and HorizontalVertical and HorizontalTilt
Audio In (mic)3.5mm Audio Jack3.5mm Audio Jack3.5mm Jack
Audio Out (Headphones)3.5mm Audio Jack3.5mm Audio Jack3.5mm Jack
Ethernet PortYesTBCNo
BluetoothYesYesBluetooth 4.2
Internal GPSYesTBCNo
BatteryEN-EL18 SeriesENL-EL15cEN-EL15c
Battery LifeApprox 360 shotsTBCHybrid Phase/Contrast Detect
Video Record Time170 MinutesApprox: 740 Shots100 Mins
Weight & Dimensions   
Width5.9 in (149mm)144mm134mm
Height5.9 in (149.5mm)118.5mm100.5mm
Depth3.6 in (90.5mm)83mm69.5mm
Weight1340g (2lb 15.3 oz)820g body only615g body only

Nikon Z8 vs Nikon Z9

Aside from its compact dimensions and smaller price tag, the Nikon Z8 matches the Nikon Z9. Of course, there are a few differences.

First of all, you might have noticed the size difference. But while larger, the Nikon Z9 offers more in the way of control points, battery power, and a vertical grip. So whether you choose a Nikon Z8 or Z9 really comes down to whether you prioritize portability or outright handling and control.

Nikon Z8 vs Z9
The Nikon Z8 vs Z9

Nikon Z8 vs Nikon Z7ii

The Nikon Z7ii is smaller, lighter, and cheaper than the Nikon Z8. Nevertheless, the Nikon Z7ii’s image quality is at least as good as the Z9 and, likely, the Z8.

Nikon Z8 vs Z7II

However, the Nikon Z7ii is a slower camera by almost every measure. Its non-stacked CMOS sensor is slow to read out, resulting in poorer video quality, reduced drive speeds, and slower autofocus compared to the stacked-sensor Nikon Z8 and Z9. But, if you tend to shoot stills of slow/static subjects, the Nikon Z7ii is at least as competent as the Z8 while being considerably more compact and affordable.

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The Nikon Z8 is a spectacular yet niche camera for those looking to combine high-resolution video, 45-megapixel photos, and high performance. And in this regard, the Nikon Z8 succeeds while being much smaller and a fair bit less pricey than its big sister, the Nikon Z9.

While comparisons with the Nikon Z9 are highly favorable, the Nikon Z8 is much larger and more expensive than the Nikon Z7ii whilst ‘only’ offering comparable image quality. For this reason, the Nikon Z7ii remains a competitive alternative when outright speed and top-tier video do not matter.

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