Nikon recently released its new mirrorless camera, the Z8, and many photographers are curious to know how it compares to its predecessor, the D850. We had the opportunity to test the Z8 in Sweden and in the lab, and here is what we found.
The D850, which was announced in 2017 to celebrate Nikon’s centenary, was a highly regarded camera. It featured a 45-megapixel BSI sensor, the autofocus module from the professional D5, and the ability to save images on fast XQD cards. It also had a touch display, built-in Wi-Fi, and a sturdy build quality. It was considered a top camera in its time.
Given the success of the D850, expectations were high for an 8-series camera in Nikon’s mirrorless lineup. Speculations arose about a new high-resolution sensor with at least 76 megapixels. In fact, Google recorded almost 1.5 million hits when searching for a camera that had not yet been released. The anticipation for the Z8 was palpable.
The D850 and the Z8 both occupy the top tier of Nikon’s camera portfolio. Only the professional cameras, the Nikon D6 and the Z9, rank higher. These cameras are designed primarily for sports photographers and feature bulky and heavy bodies with permanently integrated portrait format handles. They also come with large and expensive batteries and a long list of features that even ambitious hobby photographers may not fully utilize.
The Z8, on the other hand, is a more compact version of its professional counterparts. It offers a perfect balance for ambitious photographers who want high performance without the added weight and costs. The Z8 aims to deliver all the necessary features without overwhelming users with excessive functions.
During our testing, we examined the equipment, viewfinder, and display of the Z8 in detail. We also compared it to the Z9 to identify any notable differences. We tested the camera in various scenarios and analyzed its technical specifications.
After our thorough evaluation, we concluded that the Z8 is indeed a shrunken top model that is perfect for ambitious photographers. Its compact size, high resolution, and advanced features make it a strong contender in the mirrorless camera market.
For a more in-depth analysis, you can read the full article in the c’t Fotografie 4/2023 magazine. If you’re interested in receiving more photography-related content, don’t forget to subscribe to the c’t photography newsletter.
Overall, the Nikon Z8 proves to be a worthy successor to the D850, offering photographers a powerful tool in a smaller and more convenient package.