Nikon Canada Inc. has announced the Nikon Z 8, a full frame mirrorless camera made to meet the needs of imaging professionals, serious photographers, videographers, and advanced creators.
The Z 8 features the latest innovations and speed inherited from the flagship mirrorless Z 9, in a lighter, more compact form factor.
The Z 8 provides high-resolution images and video up to 8K 60p. It’s approximately 30% smaller than the Nikon Z 9, and 15% smaller than the Nikon D850, to which it is the true successor.
“The new Z 8 is the latest example of Nikon’s commitment to expanding the entire mirrorless ecosystem to support users,” says Amanda Mohammed, Director, Sales and Marketing, Nikon Canada Inc. “We continue to break new ground in optical and technological innovation by rolling out more Z series cameras and Nikkor Z lenses — powerful tools that allow users to easily turn their vision into reality.”
Nikon’s EXPEED 7 image processing engine is at the core, combined with the full-frame (FX-format) 45.7MP BSI stacked sensor, featuring a scan rate so fast that no mechanical shutter is needed. This configuration can be completely silent, has virtually no rolling shutter distortion, while the removal of moving parts reduces wear and tear.
Other favourite flagship features include the blackout-free Real-live viewfinder, internal 12-bit RAW video recording in a variety of formats and frame rates, while adding more new features for portrait photographers.
Like the Z 9, the camera uses Nikon’s powerful and precise AF system, which has been developed with deep learning technology. The focus is responsive and reliable, offering a range of functions from fully Auto-Area AF, Nikon’s 3D tracking and a fully customizable Wide Area AF. These modes take advantage of the enhanced Subject Detection capability for photo and video that recognizes humans, pets, birds, trains, cars, motorbikes and bicycles, and now various types of airplanes.
The Z 8 provides cleaner files from a variety of frame rates and resolutions. Because of its reduced body size and internal recording, it’s ideal for gimbal use, but also suitable as an A-cam for extended events and weddings, corporate clients, documentaries, or even independent cinema.
The 8K60p (N-RAW) and 8K30p allows for editing in post, including cropping and panning. Expansive 4K UHD video options includes cinematic to slow motion, ranging from oversampled 24p/30p, all the way to 120p with sound. The Z 8 can record up to approximately 125 minutes in 4K UHD/60p1 and up to approximately 90 minutes in 8K UHD/30p2.
Internal 12-bit RAW footage can be captured as ProRes RAW 4K60p, or up to 8K60p in N-RAW, Nikon’s RAW video format that is approximately 50% smaller file size. N-RAW also creates a 1,080p proxy file for easier editing. Capturing RAW footage allows for the most image data and highest bit rate for maximum range and flexibility.
For more latitude with colour, footage can be captured internally in 10-bit ProRes 422 HQ, while other profile options are available in-camera, including an enhanced N-Log, HLG as well as the easily gradable Flat colour profile.
The camera features two USB-C ports which are dedicated to charging (PD) and communication for accessories, further opening options for a truly modular configuration to fit any production. It also uses a full-size HDMI, minimizing the use of adaptors.
The camera focuses on videographer centric features, including those added to the Z 9 in subsequent firmware updates. These include: Hi-res zoom3 function for 4K, highly visible red REC Frame Indicator, focus peaking, zebras, waveform, linear focus capability on many Nikkor Z lenses, fine ISO control, customizable AF speed tracking, timecode sync, 24-bit stereo audio, and more.
The Z 8 is fully sealed and gasketed, exceeding the durability of the D850 and built with maximum consideration for dust and drip resistance, while it can also be operated down to -10°C/14°F. Materials including a new pro-grade carbon fibre composite and magnesium alloy are used in the construction to reduce weight and enhance durability. To resist dust, the optical filter includes a dual coating to repel dust in front of the sensor, in addition to a sensor shield that protects the sensor when the camera is turned off.
The Z 8 makes it easier to capture in low light environments, with illuminated buttons, warm display colour option, low viewfinder brightness adjustments, and Starlight View which enables focusing down to -9 EV.7. Dual card slots include one CF Express Type B / XQD and SD balancing speed and widespread availability.
The MB-N12 battery grip will be an optional accessory that provides approximately 1.8x more battery life while adding a vertical grip and vertical shutter button/controls. The grip is also weather resistant to the same level as the camera and allows for hot-swapping batteries.
The new Nikon Z 8 will be available in late May 2023 for an MSRP of $5,399.95. The MB-N12 battery grip will be available in May for an MSRP of $479.95.