Could the Nikon Z8 Be the Hybrid Camera of Your Dreams?


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Aug 05, 2023

Could the Nikon Z8 Be the Hybrid Camera of Your Dreams?

Nikon has released the much-anticipated Z8 mirrorless camera. Let's unpack its

Nikon has released the much-anticipated Z8 mirrorless camera. Let's unpack its features.

After a turbulent start in the mirrorless market, Nikon introduced the Z9 in October 2021. The rugged body and amazing features quickly became a hit with the professionals, putting Nikon back on the mirrorless market map.

When Nikon announced the possibility of the new Z8, many Nikon users were anticipating a camera between the hefty Z9 and the smaller Z7ii. The first look promises the same.

So, can it be the Nikon mirrorless camera you've been waiting for? Let's find out.

Nikon launched its newest mirrorless camera, the Z8, on 10 May 2023. Dubbed the baby Z9, the Nikon Z8 comes with the most impressive features of the Z9, but in a smaller body, making it suitable for intermediate and advanced users too.

The much-anticipated Z8 is a 45-megapixel full-frame mirrorless camera. It features a stacked CMOS sensor with an EXPEED 7 image processor, the same sensor as the Z9. It can shoot photos in 14-bit RAW and a new HLG RAW format. The Z8 is also one of the few cameras that can shoot videos in 8K.

Although the consensus is to compare it with the Z9, Nikon's latest mirrorless offering is a worthy successor to its widely popular DSLR cousin, the D850.

Let's look at some of the Z8's features in detail.

Nikon Z8


45.7 MP Stacked CMOS

Sensor Size

35.9 x 23.9 mm

Low-Pass Filter


Image Size

8256 x 5504

Image Processor


In-built Image Stabilization

Yes, 6 Stops



Viewfinder Resolution

3.68 million dots


1 UHS II SD, 1 CFexpress

Continuous Shooting Speed

20 fps RAW, 30 fps JPEG

Video Resolution

8K 60p, 4K 120p

Battery Life

340 Shots

Base ISO


ISO Sensitivity

64 – 25600

Focus Points


Max. Shutter Speed


Flash Sync Speed





144 mm x 118.5 mm x 83 mm



At 910 grams, the Z8 is not the lightest mirrorless on the market, but it is 30% smaller than the Z9 and 15% smaller than the D850. So the Nikon Z8 will serve you well if you're a DSLR user trying to upgrade to a pro mirrorless without all the weight of the Z9. Here are some things to consider when switching to a mirrorless from DSLR.

Also, the Z8 can be perfect for users who like the ergonomics of a DSLR.

What makes the Z8 stand out is its 8K video shooting capability. It can take 8K videos at 60 frames per second in 12-bit RAW format, giving you all the flexibility while editing videos. If you're shooting 4K, you can go up to 120 frames per second.

Thanks to the fast CFexpress card slot, the Z8 can handle your 8K videos without an issue. The lighter weight also means that shooting videos handheld or with a gimbal is breezy.

Nikon had a lot of autofocus issues with its initial mirrorless cameras. However, the Z8 features the best and latest Nikon autofocus system ever.

Leveraging the power of AI and combining traditional 3D-tracking with subject detection, the new system on the Z8 can be a game changer for taking stunning wildlife photos. Nikon claims it works in the dark and tracks the most erratic subjects.

You can shoot up to 20 frames per second in RAW, 30 frames per second in JPEG, 60 frames in DX or crop mode, and a whopping 120 frames for low-resolution 11 MP files.

The Z8 sports an electronic shutter, so you can shoot silently without disturbing your wildlife subjects. In addition, the built-in image stabilization can give you six stops of extra light, letting you shoot at a low shutter speed without introducing blur into your photos.

With its maximum shutter speed at 1/32000th of a second, you really cannot miss a moment with the Z8 in your hands.

The Z8 has an intuitive user interface. The illuminated buttons, particularly, are a nice touch. The weather-sealed body is made of carbon steel and magnesium alloy.

The real-live viewfinder promises zero blackouts and a seamless shooting experience. Also, the tilting LCD is convenient for capturing pictures and videos at low or awkward angles. The Z8 also has the option of pre-release capture, where it takes pictures moments before and after you click the shutter.

The heavier Nikon Z9 has better weather sealing compared to the Z8. The Z9 is meant for professionals who do a high volume of work, so it has two CFexpress slots, unlike the one CFexpress card slot in Z8. The notable difference, of course, is the price. The Z8 is significantly cheaper than the Z9, which retails for $5,500.

The Z9 also has a larger battery and an in-built battery pack, so it can take more pictures per charge than the Z8.

If you are excited by the Z9's specifications, but put off by its weight, consider the Z8. It can be a great hybrid camera to take both photos and videos. Are you a DSLR user planning to upgrade to a mirrorless camera? Then, the Z8 can fit your needs. Nikon also has an excellent line-up of Z lenses for every type of photography.

Aarthi Arunkumar is a writer and photographer based in Toronto. After graduating with an engineering degree and a brief stint in the software industry, she found her calling in the Arts.Aarthi has seven years of photography experience and has been a freelance writer for over a decade. She writes about camera settings, compositional tips, and photo editing for MUO.She also teaches photography for adults and children at various community centers in Toronto.