The Ultimate Review
First off, I should mention that it has been surprisingly difficult to figure out how to write this review. Unlike many reviewers, I tend to try to write my reviews from the perspective of user experience. Less about the numerical specs. More about how the product actually performs in the field. Specs don’t really amount to much if they have no practical effect on your use case. So, rather than personally measure every 1/18th megapixel, spend hours photographing a brick wall to ascertain minuscule differences in sharpness, or putting my camera in the oven to see how quickly I can get it to overheat, I personally feel as though what I want to know as a camera buyer is whether or not this tool will make my job as a photographer easier or harder. Not that I begrudge a more mathematical evaluation of a camera. Those can be extremely useful as well. Rather, I just wanted to point out my own proclivities so you understand the basis of this review.
This is also an early review. And while two weeks is a decent amount of time to put a camera through its paces, it takes months to really uncover all the hidden benefits and curses of a particular system. So, I’ll still term this an early review rather than a long-term one. Yet, having spent the last 18 months working the Nikon Z9 around the clock, and this camera having so much in common with the Z9, I feel pretty confident that I have a sense of how the Z8 will perform long term.
Actually, it’s my experience with the Z9 that made this review harder to craft. The Nikon Z8 is basically a mirror of the Z9 cameras that I own, minus a bit of girth and a handful of features. So, it was those similarities that made it difficult for me to start my review. It’s so much like the Z9, that many of the points I’m about to make are the exact same ones you would have read in any of my many write-ups of the Z9 after using that camera daily for the last year and a half since its release. That camera has absolutely positively improved my workflow as a photographer and finally cured my gear acquisition syndrome. Well, as far as cameras are concerned at least. The Nikon Z8? Well, it’s more of the same. And, in this case, the same is a really good thing.
Z8 Versus Z6,Z7,Z6II,Z7II
The choice between the Z8 and Z9, I think, comes down to a matter of preference and shooting needs. The choice between the Z8 and any other offerings in the Nikon line at the moment seems a little more clear-cut. Price, obviously, is an issue. Even though it is well priced for its category at R94999, the Z8 is still more expensive than its smaller siblings like the Z6II and Z7II. With the Z6II, there is obviously a resolution difference. But, the Z8 and Z7II have similar resolution specs. So one might want to know why they should be willing to invest more in the Z8. For me, at least, the advantages of the Z8 more than makeup for the difference in price. If you are a working professional and shoot in environments where you can appreciate a sturdier body and spot-on autofocus performance, the Z8 will be a clear winner. Less of an advantage if you shoot slower-moving subjects like landscapes. The Z8 is bigger than the Z6II/Z7II. I haven’t done this test myself. But I did hear that while the Z9 is 30% larger than the Z8, the Z8 is 30% larger than the Z6II/Z7II. So, if size is the primary driver of your purchasing decision, then the Z6II/Z7II may very well be a better choice. I personally own the original Z6 specifically because of its size. If I’m going on a walkabout or traveling on vacation and would rather not lug my Z9 through the streets of a new city, the Z6 is what gets the nod. With that said the reason why the Z7 bodies never really fit as my daily drivers for my “serious” photography is that they were always just a little too small for my hand. My pinky finger would always end up dangling off of the bottom and I never found it quite comfortable enough of a hold when I was trying to get into “the zone” on a photoshoot. I found myself missing the healthy grip of my D850 and wanting the Z7 to be just a wee bit bigger. This, of course, is 100% subjective and relates to the size of my particular hands.
You can also get the Nikon Z8 Mirrorless Camera at; https://cameralandsandton.co.za/
Fstoppers : https://fstoppers.com/