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Nikon Z8 vs Nikon Z9: How do they compare?

A brand new camera has joined Nikon’s Z line-up, sitting right below the ultra-high-end Z9

The Z8 is actually considered the successor to Nikon’s D850 DSLR, marking another shift toward the mirrorless format for the company. 

The Z8 takes a lot of inspiration from the Z9. Nikon hasn’t just given it the same 45-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and Expeed 7 processor, but the Z8 also benefits from the same 8K/60p video resolution, 4-axis tilting display, 120fps burst speed and subject tracking AF system as the Z9. 

With so much in common, you might find it difficult to choose between these two Nikon cameras. We’ve narrowed down the biggest differences to help you decide which Z-range camera is right for you. 

The Nikon Z8 is smaller and lighter 

The most noticeable difference between the Nikon Z8 and the Z9 is how much smaller and more compact the Z8 is compared to the older camera. 

The Z9 is a huge camera and heavy too at 1340g. In fact, the size and weight were two of the only cons we noted when reviewing the camera. Some photographers will appreciate the second grip and portrait shutter button the larger design affords, but many will be put off by the chunky design. 

The Z8 is 30% smaller than the Z9 and weighs just 910g, making it a better option for photographers who want something compact and lightweight for travelling. 

Nikon Z8 being used in lifestyle shot
Nikon Z8

The Nikon Z9 has a second grip and shutter button 

As mentioned above, the Nikon Z9 has a second grip and shutter button built into its side that makes portraits just as comfortable to shoot as landscapes. It also includes a few more programmable buttons. 

The Nikon Z8 has a more typical single-grip design that allows the camera to remain small. 

The Nikon Z8 supports the HEIF image format 

The Nikon Z8 supports the HEIF image format, allowing users to capture up to one billion more colours with higher dynamic range at the same file size as JPEG. This makes it possible to capture more detail in-camera. 

Like the Z9, users can continue to shoot JPEGs if they prefer. 

A close-up look at the Nikon Z8
Nikon Z8

The Nikon Z8 has a new subject tracking mode 

The Nikon Z8 includes all the same AF subject tracking modes as the Z9, including people, cats, dogs, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles and trains. 

The Z8 also benefits from a new aircraft-specific subject tracking mode that makes it possible to track planes and drones with the autofocus system. 

The Nikon Z9 has a bigger battery 

The Nikon Z9 continues to carry a larger battery than the Z8 making it possible to record video and shoot stills for longer. Users can record more than two hours of 8K video without the camera overheating. 

The Z8, meanwhile, is capable of recording 8K/30p video for up to 90 minutes or 4K/60p video for more than two hours before overheating. 

The Nikon Z8 is cheaper 

Perhaps the most exciting benefit of the Nikon Z8 is how much cheaper it is than the Z9, a camera that carries very similar specs. 

The Nikon Z8 is priced at £3999/€4799 for the body only. That’s £1300 less than the £5299/€5299 Nikon Z9.

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