Nikon has just presented the mirrorless full-frame camera Z 8, which not only closes the numerical gap between the Z 6 / Z 7 and the flagship Z 9. It also sits in between in terms of size and basically comes along like a smaller Z 9, with uncut video capabilities. As a more compact - and less expensive - 8K RAW camera, it should score points with the film community. Nikon is also touting it as the unofficial successor to the D850.
Nikon Z 8
The same stacked 45.7 MP CMOS sensor and EXPEED 7 processor from the Z 9 are used, and the sensor stabilization (IBIS) has been transferred to the smaller body. It measures approximately 144 x 118 x 83 mm (for the Z 9 it is 149.5 x 149 x 90.5 mm). The weight is 910g.
The native film resolution of the Z 8 is also 8.3K. Filming can be done internally with either the professional Apple ProRes RAW HQ codec (up to 4.1k 60p) or Nikon&s highly efficient N-RAW codec (up to 8.3k/60p), whose memory requirements are only half as large in comparison. In-camera Full HD proxy files are created for internal 8.3K N-RAW or 4.1K ProRes RAW HQ recordings. Of course, H.264/H.265 recording is also supported, as well as 10-bit HLG. In 4K, frame rates range up to 120p, and continuous shooting can also be created at 120 frames per second in photo mode.
Compared to the z 9, the Ethernet port and sync terminal are omitted. For multicam scenarios, the Z 9 will probably remain the camera of choice. Since it also uses a smaller battery (the EN-EL15c as in the Z6/Z7), you won&t get as far on one charge. On the other hand, the Z 8 is Nikon&s first mirrorless camera to feature two USB-C ports, which allow for fast and reliable file transfer while charging (USB LAN). There is also a dual memory card slot, though not for 2 CF Express cards but one CFexpress and one SD- memory card each.
The Deep Learning AF is said to provide precision detection and tracking for people, dogs, cats, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trains and planes at up to -9 EV. There are separate menu interfaces for movie and photo; when shooting vertically, the menus are rotated. Thanks to high-performance weather protection, it is said to have the same cold tolerance as the Nikon D6 and Z 9 (working temperatures down to -10 °C).
The Nikon Z 8 is expected to go on sale at the end of May for €4,599 (body only) or €5,549 (Nikon Z 8 Kit Z 24-120 mm f/4 S). An optional MB-N12 multi-function handgrip compatible with the Z 8, which holds two EN-EL15c batteries, is expected to cost 388 euros.