Nikon crams flagship features into compact Z8 full-frame mirrorless
Nikon has announced the successor to 2017's D850 full-frame DSLR camera, in the shape of the mirrorless Z8. The new pro-focused model inherits many features from the flagship Z9 but crams them into a more compact body "that’s ready for action in the field, the studio, the ceremony, the street or on-set."
The Z8 is built around a flagship 45.7-megapixel FX-format (35.9 x 23.9 mm) back-illuminated stacked CMOS sensor and Expeed 7 image processing engine combination, which is said to result in "a scan rate so fast that no mechanical shutter is needed."
Nikon says that pro users can look forward to silent shooting and almost no rolling shutter distortion, ISO64 to 25,600 light sensitivity can be extended to ISO102,400, and the new Z Series camera also makes use of the same hybrid phase-detection/contrast autofocus system found in the Z9, with deep-learning subject detection for photo and video.
Internal 12-bit RAW footage can be recorded at up to 8K/60p in Nikon's new RAW video format (N-RAW) – with a 1080p proxy file also generated for editing ease – or as ProRes RAW 4K/60p. The camera can record up to 90 minutes of 8K/30p footage or 125 minutes at 4K UHD/60p.
Slow motion frame rates of up to 120p are also available for 4K shooting, and useful video features trickled down from the Z9 include a Hi-res zoom function for 4K, focus peaking, fine ISO control, customizable AF speed tracking, timecode sync and 24-bit/48-kHz stereo audio. Color profile options include an "easily gradable Flat color profile," N-Log, HLG and 10-bit Pro-Res 4:2:2 HQ.
On the stills front, photographers can opt to grab images in 10-bit HEIF format instead of JPEG for improved color performance, and 14-bit RAW plus HLG RAW formats are cooked in too. Continuous shooting of full resolution JPEGs can rock up to 30 frames per second, full-res RAW+JPEG bumps that down to 20 fps but cropping to DX format yields 60 fps and lowering the resolution to 11-megapixel JPEGs will get you 120 fps. And Synchro VR can manage up to six stops of combined in-body/lens shake compensation.
Framing up shots or footage can be undertaken via the blackout-free 3,690k-dot live viewfinder or 3.2-inch, 2,100k-dot vari-angle touchscreen LCD display. The camera sports a CFexpress card slot and a UHS II SD slot, there are two USB-C ports for charging/accessories plus full-size HDMI, Bluetooth 5.0 is onboard too, along with 802.11ac Wi-Fi.
The camera body is constructed from carbon fiber composite and magnesium alloy, and is fully weather sealed. At 5.7 x 4.7 x 3.3 in (144 x 118.5 x 83 mm), the latest Z Series camera is reported to be 15% smaller than the D850 it replaces, and 30% more compact than the Z9.
The Nikon Z8 goes on sale from May 25 for a body-only recommended retail price of US$3,995.95. An optional weather-resistant battery grip is also available for more time away from a power outlet. The video below has more.
Product page: Z8
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