First Impressions with the Nikon Z8

Published September 28, 2023

As the transition to mirrorless cameras has happened for all brands, it’s been perhaps the slowest for Nikon in particular. But Nikon recently made some big pushes in the mirrorless department, with its new Plena lenses and the new Nikon Z8. While the Plena lens is still rolling out, we have gotten our hands on the Nikon Z8…so let’s talk about it.

Nikon Z8 Specs

The Nikon Z8 is the latest in the Nikon flagship line of cameras, pairing the power and features of the Nikon Z9, but in a smaller package. With a 45.7MP FX-Format Stacked CMOS Sensor paired with its 20fps shooting speed (30fps if shooting in jpeg), the Nikon Z8 promises to deliver everything a photographer might need. But it’s not a camera that just tailors to the photographer class – it tackles the video market as well. Offering up to 8.3K 60p N-RAW, and 4.1K 60p ProRes RAW, many of the video features are what you’d expect to find on the latest ARRI, not a Nikon mirrorless camera. Dubbed the ultimate hybrid camera by Nikon themselves, there is a lot to unpack with the Nikon Z8, so let’s look at a more comprehensive spec sheet for the system.

Nikon Z8Specs
Sensor ResolutionActual: 52.37 Megapixel
Effective: 45.7 Megapixel (8256 x 5504)
35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full-Frame) CMOS
Image Stabilization Sensor-Shift, 5-Axis
ISO Sensitivity64 to 25,600 (Extended: 32 to 102,400)
Continuous Shooting Up to 20 fps at 45.7 MP for up to 1000 Frames (Raw)
Up to 30 fps at 45.7 MP for Unlimited Frames (JPEG)
Up to 60 fps at 19 MP
Up to 120 fps at 11 MP
Internal Recording Modes
ProRes RAW HQ 12-Bit
5392 x 3032 at 23.98/25/29.97 fps
4128 x 2322 at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
3840 x 2160 at 50/59.94 fps
Raw 12-Bit
8256 x 4644 at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [1390 to 5780 Mb/s]
5392 x 3032 at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [600 to 2960 Mb/s]
4128 x 2322 at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps [730 to 3840 Mb/s]
3840 x 2160 at 100/120 fps [1260 to 3020 Mb/s]
H.264 4:2:0 8-Bit
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps [30 to 50 Mb/s]
H.265 4:2:2 8/10-Bit
UHD 8K (7680 x 4320) at 23.98/25/29.97 fps [300 to 400 Mb/s]
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps [150 to 400 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps [50 to 190 Mb/s]
ProRes 422 HQ 4:2:2 10-Bit
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97 fps
1920 x 1080p at 50/59.94/100/120 fps
External Recording Modes HDMI
UHD 8K (7680 x 4320) at 23.98/25/29.97 fps
UHD 4K (3840 x 2160) at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/25/29.97/50/59.94/100/120 fps
1920 x 1080i
1280 x 720
Media/Memory Card Slot Slot 1: CFexpress Type B / XQD
Metering Range -3 to 17 EV

While inventory has been limited, both our YouTube channel host Andrew and LensProToGo’s own Dom were both able to get their hands on the camera, so let’s look at what they thought.

First Impressions with the Z8

Dom was able to take the Nikon Z8 out for a quick 24-hour session, to see how it compares to another favorite camera of his, the Nikon Z9. Smaller, sleeker, but otherwise similar in spec sheets, the new Nikon Z8 holds a lot of similarities to the Nikon Z9, with some quality-of-life updates in the smaller body.

Dom starts his time with the Nikon Z8 and Nikon Z 70-200mm lens out in nature, to test the handheld stabilization system built within the Nikon Z8 lenses. Overall, the stabilization was described as incredible, but unfortunately, doesn’t seem to work with older non-Nikon Z lenses – hopefully something that can change with a firmware update as people are still converting their lens lineup.

Watch the video above to get Dom’s full first thoughts on the Nikon Z8, and see some really nice video and photo footage of the wildlife he was able to capture on the nature preserve.

Low Light Testing

Andrew over on our YouTube channel was able to take the Nikon Z8 out and test the low light capabilities and low light focusing accuracy. With the help of the Aputure MC Pro RGB LED Light Panel and a few Nikon Z series lenses, Andrew took the Nikon Z8 out a night in Memphis and tested it in a variety of lighting conditions. His ~9-minute video below is certainly worth the watch, but to summarize, Andrew was incredibly impressed with the focus assist system and focus peaking, and how the camera was able to function flawlessly, even in low light conditions.

Nikon Z8 at ISO16000

So what do you think? Are you excited for the Nikon Z8? Would you like to see a full review? Feel free to chime in in the comments below, and if you could, please give both the Lensrentals and LensProToGo YouTube channels a follow.

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Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.
Posted in Equipment
  • Ed Dozier

    Dom, you probably forgot to set the “Non-CPU lens data” so that the IBIS system knows what to do. The Z8 IBIS totally works with adapted and even non-CPU lenses (even my old Rokkor lenses). You can select Sport or Normal IBIS.

  • Stephen K Mack

    I have the Z 8 and am primarily a tethered studio shooter and generally absolutely love the camera with one major caveat. I can’t for the life me understand why they split the USB-C port in two: one for power delivery and another for data. So unlike the Z 6II, Z 7II, and the Z 9, the Z 8 cannot shoot tethered and have power provided over a single USB-C cable. On my Z 7II I never had to think about the battery while shooting. Now I do. Really a mystery why they made that choice.

  • j fortunato

    I dont shoot Nikon but I love what they have done thus far with Z mount and the great tele lenses

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