…the new NIKON Z8

NIKON Z8 – Front
NIKON Z8 – Rear

First impressions?

Sensor – sadly, we’ve got the 45mp Z9 sensor….which is very good, but a shame they didn’t ‘push the envelope’ a bit here and go for a larger density sensor. This said, they have decided to include the protective shutter blind – this is a good thing. I wonder if it’ll ever make it into later versions of the Z6/7..?

Size – 144 x 118 x 83 which makes it bigger than the Z6/7 (134 x 100 67) by a centimetre or two, but significantly smaller than the Z9

GPS – No there isn’t a GPS – which seems odd. The NIKON site states « GPS – Via Snapbridge app ». I’ve tried this – it’s slow….

Price – 4599€ which makes this camera 1500€ less expensive than the Z9, with very similar specifications.

The top plate is like the Z9 (surprised?) with a mode dial to the left, and a large screen to the right – this said, the mode dial is not exactly the same as the Z9, and is in fact much thinner/lower to the body – which presumably means that the choice of single/continuous/multiple shots, self timer etc. are now displaced into menu items…

NIKON Z8 Top plate

Another good thing carried over from the Z9 is the eyepiece protection which clips in (release button lower left) rather than sliding-on like on the Z6/7 (which falls off regularly on these models), so this is a good move.

Two button card formatting is still there too – so much easier than having to delve through menus, and illuminated buttons too – things are looking up !

For me, it’s sad to lose the built-in grip – and that huge EN-EL18d battery which allows me almost 4000 shots on one charge which simply can’t be matched by the two EN-EL15 in the new add-on grip. However I fully understand that a lot of people don’t need this kind of autonomy.

Storage is also different – with one CFe/XQD and one SDXC slot, but then, this is a pro-sumer model…

The grip is the MB-N12 which here in France will cost just shy of 400€ – like the MB-N11 for the Z6/7 ll it’s a ‘replace the battery’ type grip which I find frustrating – sure, you can hot swap either one of the two batteries, like on the Z6/7 ll, but it makes the whole thing quite large. I would have preferred something along the lines of the D850, without the battery box ‘spike’

NIKON MB-N12 grip for the Z8

At the end of the day, what you’re actually getting for 1000€ more than the Z7ll is a better auto-focus and a shutter blind…in a slightly larger body. Duh….

And finally, I still consider sticking to the 45mp sensor limiting…in the long run. But then of course, it just allows NIKON to come out with another model in a years time….

Fun part – I posted a comment over on the Nikonrumors blog…which was immediately treated like bait, and all the bottom feeders zoomed (excuse the pun) in to criticise the fact that I had dared to mention that I was disappointed in the new toy (regardless of the fact that the vast majority would never actually own one, or know what to do with it if they ever did purchase…) I was simply expressing my opinion, that I thought it sad that there was no GPS, and my comments on sensor size from this post.

Visibly ‘self expression’ is frowned on over there – sad for Peter (who runs it)

To sum up, this is going to be a total winner for NIKON – size, weight, specs – it’s all there and if I hadn’t already ‘invested’ in a Z9 this would be seriously interesting, and I’d recommend this to any serious photographer. For the bottom-feeders, and garage ceiling crowd, you’ll have loads of things to moan about – like for all the other camera bodies you never buy.

Available from the the 25th of May 2023 it’ll be interesting to see how long people have to wait to see their orders. (The Z9 waiting list was initially an entire year)