Nikon’s Brand New Z 8 Mirrorless Camera Finally Gets Announced

a camera with a lens attached to it.

After tons of anticipation and speculation, Nikon has finally unveiled its new Z 8 mirrorless camera and it’s remarkably good.

After having first released its Z5, Z6, Z6 and Z9 cameras, Nikon left many people wondering about the absent Z8 in the sequence. Now, whatever Nikon’s exact reasons for leapfrogging it at first, the Z8 has arrived and while very similar to the Z9, it’s also quite distinct.

Essentially, this latest Nikon model is much like the Z9, which was released in 2021. However, it comes with its own tweaks.

For starters, the Z8 offers pretty much the exact same 45.7-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor as its Z9 cousin. It also shares the same sensor cover that automatically closes if you remove the camera lens for some reason.

a group of cameras sitting next to each other.

The Nikon Z8 (middle) compared to the Z9 (right) and Z7 (left)

Additionally, the Z8’s autofocus system is the exact same as that of the Z9. This includes a dedicated AF mode button right on the camera body’s lower left-hand corner.

Other identical features include the same EXSPEED 7 image processor, the same 20fps raw shooting speed (30fps shooting only JPEGS), and even the same ability to fire off 11MP JPEGs at a whopping 120fps.

What’s more, the Z8 comes with the same ability to shoot in HEIF format and comes with the same pre-shutter click capture capacity as the Z9. The Z8 also even has the same blackout-free live viewfinder tech as the Z9.

Then, in terms of video recording specs, the Z8 nails down all the features found in the Z9. These include 8.3K N-RAW going up to 60p, ProRes 422 HQ, ProRes RAW HQ, internal 10-bit N-log, and the whole bunch of other formats that so many filmmakers loved about the Z9.

In basic terms, the best aspects of the Z9 are right here in the new camera. However, because this is a 2023 device that costs a much more affordable $3,999.95, it obviously comes with a couple of reductions.

a camera with a microphone attached to it.

Curiously, despite its $1,500 lower price tag, the newly released Z8 doesn’t lack much of what the Z9 offers.

In fact, if your main worry is being able to enjoy the same high-powered photo and video recording specs that the predecessor camera offers, but at a discount, then the Z8 is a perfect choice.

If however, you need extras such as much longer battery power, then the extremely long-running charge of the Z9 is a better option.

Nikon does however also sell a separate extra battery grip called the MB-N12, which you can attach to the Z8 for an additional charge. This however will set you back by another $349.95.

If you also need dual CFexpress slots, then the Z9 might be your animal of choice. The Z8 instead offers only one CFexpress/XQD slot and an SD slot as its second option.

For the vast majority of users, this won’t be a problem, but if you need tons of memory for extended field use without offloading content, the Z9 is, once again, the better choice.

a camera with a lens attached to it.

The Z9’s dual CFexpress card slots do however offer a unique benefit for recording in 8K N-RAW, since you can store video simultaneously in both cards for the sake of having an immediate footage backup.

The Z8 doesn’t offer this fairly niche 8K recording feature but then again, for the vast majority of people, it won’t be a problem. The same goes for its lack of an Ethernet port, which the Z9 does have.

In basic terms, with the Z8, Nikon fans can get all the essential best that the Z9 offers and then some, with only a few niche aspects missing, but they’ll save roughly $1500 in the exchange.

The Nikon Z8 is going to start shipping as of May 25th, but considering its likely popularity, it might be a good idea to preorder your own edition as early as possible.

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Shotkit Journalist, Writer & Reviewer

Stephan Jukic is a technology and photography journalist and experimental photographer who spends his time living in both Canada and Mexico. He loves cross-cultural street photo exploration and creating fine art photo compositions.

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