High Resolution Nikon Z8 in the Works?

High Resolution Nikon Z8 in the Works?

Nikon Rumors has recently reported on the potential for, among other things, a 60MP Nikon Z8 with “two CFExpress cards, improved VR”, and a pixel-shift mode. As they point out, this would seem to dovetail with their earlier reporting that Nikon had previously entered into an agreement with Sony to purchase Sony’s new 60MP sensor.

The incredibly high-resolution sensors that we're starting to see across the market are very exciting. As a travel photographer interested in everything from street photography to portraits, landscapes, and wildlife photography, the flexibility they provide is fantastic. They’re obviously great when you want to eek every bit of resolution out across the full breadth of an image that you can, say for landscapes. At the same time, the high-resolution gives you the flexibility when shooting wildlife to crop in after the fact, just as though you’d been shooting with a crop-frame body in the field. And, yet, when you do need superb noise performance in low-light conditions, you can have that, too, by comparably reducing the full-frame resolution in post. This offers nearly the same noise performance you’d get if you were shooting a lower resolution full-frame camera in the field. High-resolution sensors, thus, allow you to shoot under a wide variety of conditions with relatively few trade-offs (that’s not to say that there aren’t any, obviously; or that they aren't critically important for some photographers).

The potential addition of a second card slot would likely bring a few welcome sighs of relief given the amount of controversy the single card slot on the Z6 and Z7 caused. It will also be interesting to see whether the autofocus system sees any significant update. I took the Z7 (with version 1.0 of the firmware) to a friend’s wedding and tried to get a few shots in during the reception. Even under modestly decent lighting conditions it yielded relatively few keepers. For a mirrorless body to be a full solution for many Nikon shooters the speed and reliability of the autofocus system will likely have to come a lot closer to the performance of the D810 or D850’s 3D Focus Tracking system. Unless the Z8 also sees significant improvements there, I'll be keeping the DSLR handy for a while.

Brent Daniel's picture

I love to travel and explore, to share glimpses of the world and its stories through photography. I live in the foothills above Boulder, CO where I rock climb, paddle, and hike. I have a doctorate in physics and hold down a day job researching solutions to national security challenges.

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I shot my first wedding of the years with my new Z7 also with the firmware updated and I loved it! Z7 is awesome to use really makes my life easyer compare to the D800 I had before! the Bride was stoked and my wife told me it was my best wedding to date so yeah Z7 is working great for me! Z8 surely will be a banger! At this point sony or nikon or etc, they are all great versatile cameras !

Hi Charles, I am glad you had a great experience with the Z7. I had the Z6 for a short time and I really loved it, except for aggressive default in camera noise reduction. When I got the camera, I turned off all in camera processing including noise reduction. At first, I was blown away on how clean the files were coming out straight from the camera but then when I opened the files I started noticing that the images were kind of smeared out like when you apply excessive noise reduction in post. I researched the web and found that some reviewers were seing the same. I did not keep the camera because of that. I haven't read many reviewers talking about that with the exception of 2 or 3. Have you noticed the same? By the way I only shoot raw.

On the good side, I have to say the Z6 produced the sharpest files when using long lenses like the Nikkor 400mm f2.8. The rate of keepers compared to my D850 increased on almost 98%. Owning the Z6 for a short time, made me a believer that most of the blurred images people get when using long lenses are not always due to user lack of technique, it is due to the mirror horrible vibrations. Keep enjoying the Z7. Cheers.

I have a Z6 and haven't noticed the smearing you're talking about. I've also turned off all the camera in processing I could, and shoot with raw. The Z6 has been a real joy to use. I previously had a Sony A7RIII which has better specs, but I did not enjoy using it as much. Looking forward to Z8 or whatever it's called.

What?? You mean to say the single card slot hasn’t ruined your career?. The internet will not accept this.

So, true! LOL Especially, those sponsored YouTubers like Tony Northrup, Jared Polin, etc.

a quick scroll down on my mouse roller and oooh look, somebody complaining about card slots.

Oh! Did I mention the idiotic sniff test that Polin does? And, Northrup claims he's not sponsored. But camera companies send him lenses and cameras to evaluate. He also claims they're just loaners. He must think everyone is an idiot. Hell! Nikon, Canon, Sony, etc. don't send me any lenses and cameras to evaluate. LOL!

I mainly watch Chris and Jordan, TCSTV and Wex for reviews, but i dont form an opinion of the camera its just to see it being used.

I've always enjoyed watching Chris's videos. He keeps it simple without a bunch of technical jargon like many of the YouTubers out there. I don't pay attention to Jordan because I rarely, if ever, use my camera for video.

Me either but I’m still interested in the art.. I’m a believer in soaking up as much information as possible on all aspects of the skill. Plus Jordan is a great guy too.

Agreed. Good point.

This could finally make me switch from Canon. I can pretty much assure you Canon won't have anything close to this for at least five years.

It'll only cost "One Million Dollars" (said in best Dr. Evil Voice)...but maybe it'll knock down the price of the Z6 and Z7.

There's nothing wrong with the Z6 pricing. It can be had refurbished for as little as €1350 at B&H now. I imagine Nikon will start out by price matching the A7 IV at $3500 and then a little later discount it about $500. The Z6 is the golden one out of the trio. Great images, no pixels waster and no sacrifices in ergonomics, video or functionality (unlike those wanker segmenters at Canon).

im going to wait for gen 2 to consider a nikon ML camera. im pretty set deep with D4/D5 and the af needs maturing im hoping will change. and I will not buy a camera with 1 memory slot.

but no grip is a huge no no. I love the feel of the full size single digit bodies.

Z8 doesnt interest me at all. too many MP for weddings. give me 20-24mp with amazing AF and low light ability and im good.

The Nikon Z6 is the most amazing digital camera I've ever shot with (a list which includes A7III and X-T3). There's no reason to have to hold off. The Z6 autofocus is fine but you do have to switch between small and large box and move the focus box around. The one weakness is shooting something dark against a light background. Fortunately manual focus is a breeze for these cases. Set zoom to 100% and put it on the F1 button beside the lens.


no way id use a z camera for pro work with all the deficiencies. and who the heck are to tell me what I feel is good, what to buy and what to use for pro work?

it doesnt compare to my D4/D5

You can go to your cave now...

thank you mr Dinos-aur, for being the sucker, err beta tester for half assed products. because of suckers, err people like you, I get to buy a gen2 thats properly made and has better performance.

thank you from the bottom of our hearts. all the smart people who never buy beta products.

Oh dear, another troll

you df, if im a dslr nikon user, thats not trolling. df

No, you really are trolling, anonymous profile resorting to insulting people on a photography forum and talking general shit about cameras... get back under your bridge.

not when youre heavily invested in the same mfr DA.

who insulted first with the "troll" comment pathetic stewie?

you get what you give.

Feel free to miss out on these amazing cameras. Not everyone needs mirrorless. I shoot sport primarily with DSLR and optical viewfinder and like it much better that way.

It always amazes me how people can slate any modern camera, even entry level ones are light years ahead of old tech.. most of the time it’s without even seeing the thing in the flesh.

I shoot Fujifilm but would absolutely love a Z series, they have clean knocked it out of the park with the first two bodies imo.

ill consider it when the system is more mature and they honed the bugs out and added features that are either missing or lacking performance. right now I have all the nikon gear I need.

theyre not selling anyway. with huge price drops months after released it speaks volumes. gen2 will be better though. I may pickup a D850 before I consider my move to ML. my gear is just fine and has performed well for all my work. im not feeling that Im missing anything.

The only thing the price drop indicates is Nikon wants to move product. I love how people see conspiracy in everything when, in fact, most don't know squat. And before you or anyone else labels me a "fanboy," I happen to own a D850, D500, SL2, G9, and a Rx10 IV.

they want to move the products because they dont sell. the A7III doesnt have $700 price drops to tempt people to buy. the z cameras, as a gen 1 , are very good vs the sony a7 gen1, it still needs tweaking and polishing and maturing for it to be a camera that can sell for those high prices.

good cameras, but not great cameras. gen 1 is out and they now have time to address all shortcomings of them and release a proper gen2 nikon, which im curious to see.
2 slots, better af performance, and battery grip options are a must for me

im not certain im moving to ML anytime soon because there should be the D6 soon which ill get and that means more years with heavily invested dslr lenses and cameras.

I agree with most of what you said, but Sony is already on their fourth generation of FF cameras. One would expect them to have worked out the bugs by this point in their system. However, you can count on Nikon addressing these bugs or issues and refine their cameras in the coming months and years.

Can't win with you Superman. Either the cameras are too expensive or they are too cheap as Nikon are firesaling them.

How about neither. Nikon introduced the Z6/Z7 first into an October camera market at one price. When they saw what everyone else had on offer by late November, a price adjustment was in line. Not only that the internet hysterics over the (way overblown if you are not a wedding photographer shooting with a single body) single card slot meant taking steps to get camera

I was slow to try a Z6 due to the XQD slot. I have so many fast SDXC cards and readers built into all my 4K screens and MBP's that I didn't want to pay €200+ per card to replace them (like in the bad old days of fast CF).

Until you've shot with a Z6 or Z7 for a month, you should probably hold your tongue. The camera just fits an adult male's hands and face (unlike the Sony A7x bodies), the shutter is silent, the images are gorgeous (so are the A7 III images to be fair), video is superior (much better highlight rolloff), the viewfinder is fabulous (not just the screen which is 3.6MP OLED but the right, more distant eyepoint for comfortable viewing). These little comforts make a big difference when shooting regularly, to both enjoyment and image quality (a photographer can shoot better when he can see better and when he can manipulate the controls more comfortably).

shet you talk nonsense. if it was you in charge theyll go bankrupt in 3 months .im out

Do you really think Nikon is or will be overly concerned whether or not you purchase their mirror-less camera?

they should be. im not a $2000 z6 buyer. im a $6500 dslr buyer that down the line will be moving to ML. nikon is concerned for every potential nikon user. period

their markter share came down a few notches and while you may not be nervous, nikon is

You're complaining about the Z 6 being $2000.00? The Sony A7III is two grand as well. Nikon may be concerned about their overall user base, but they're NOT concerned with losing a "single" user. Losing one or two customers isn't going to put them in panic mode, either. Period.

ah the windows mobile/blackberry/nokia mindset of feeling too confident and feeling untouchable. sony user base is only growing. and recently nikons shares came quite a few notches. im very nervous for nikon as a loyal user (though no sucker to buy anything)

im not complaining about $2000. im saying I buy flagship models. not $2000 cameras.
and thanks for speaking on behalf of nikon as youre the nikon user base representative. nikon is in a fall. youre not helping them whatsoever with "nikon doesnt give a shit about losing any user"
speak for yourself. dont speak for nikon. Im a better potential buyer then you are and nikon is worried when an nps member goes to another company.

FYI...I happen to own a G9, SL2, and RX10IV...along with my D850 and D500. So, I guess that makes me a Panasonic, Canon, and Sony "user base representative" too, huh? And spare us with your stale diatribe of how Nikon is falling. Every camera manufacturer is experiencing decreasing sales...it's not limited to Nikon. Oh! You're a better potential buyer than me? Give me a freakin' break. I can buy ANY camera and lens I desire. I suggest you calm down and think before you claim you're in better position than another in which cameras they're able to purchase. You still don't know jack shit about the purchasing capabilities of another individual.

2.3 stars out of 5...cool.

That was a real intelligent reply to my comment. Try to be more original next time.

I have a D750 I could sell you cheap. That meets the description of your needs perfectly. The only reason I rarely use it is because D850! :)

Include 4k60 please, at least to a recorder, but I'd prefer internal.

Can someone explain this statement to me? " And, yet, when you do need superb noise performance in low-light conditions, you can have that, too, by comparably reducing the full-frame resolution in post. This offers nearly the same noise performance you’d get if you were shooting a lower resolution full-frame camera in the field."

Hey Michael, I was referring there to the effects of Shot Noise (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shot_noise). Each pixel (or well) in a sensor captures a finite number of photons during an exposure. The precise number captured, however, is stochastic. It turns out that if the mean number captured is N, the standard deviation around that mean is sqrt(N); and the signal to noise ratio is SNR = N / sqrt(N). So if we make each pixel twice the physical size (say, by using a 20MP full-frame camera instead of a 40MP full-frame camera), each pixel will on average capture twice as many photons and the SNR of each pixel will be increased by a factor of 2/sqrt(2) = 1.4. Alternatively, we could just average the values of each neighboring pair of pixels in the 40 MP image during post-processing. In that case, we'd end up with an image half the resolution of the original, but with each pixel having its SNR also increased by a factor of 1.4. So let's take a look, for example, at the DXOMARK measurements for the signal to noise ratio at the link here (https://www.dxomark.com/Cameras/Sony/A7R-III---Measurements), then click on SNR 18%. You'll find that there are two sets of results, one set labeled Screen and one set labeled Print. You'll notice that for a high-resolution sensor the Screen SNR is nowhere near as high as the Print SNR. In the case of the Print results, they've done just what I've described, they've down-scaled the image to 8MP in post and looked at the SNR of the resulting bigger "pixels". If you look at the results for the Sony A7RIII you'll see that at ISO 50 the Print SNR is 46.5 dB and the Screen SNR is 39.3 dB, a difference of 7.2 dB. The ratio of the original sensor resolution to the down-scaled print resolution is 42.6 MP / 8 MP = 5.3. So if we throw that into the equation for the SNR in decibels, SNR_dB = 20 log_10(N / sqrt(N)), we find SNR_dB = 20 log_10(5.3 / sqrt(5.3)) = 7.2 dB, exactly the difference we see on the chart. So when you decrease the resolution of an image, say when you go to put it on the web, you also are typically reducing the apparent noise in the resulting image, often by quite a lot. Cool, eh?!

So, for example, you'll see the amazing high ISO performance of the Sony A7 iii touted, but you can get the same high ISO performance with the A7R iii by down-sampling the images from 42 MP to 24 MP in post. You've got the ability with the higher resolution body to flexibly trade resolution for noise reduction as you need, whereas you can't gain resolution back in post with a lower resolution body.

Hi Brent,

Do you think the z8 will improve to around the level of the d850 in autofocus, particularly continuous autofocus? What about buffer? Are there any technical limitations preventing these improvements? I agree it would be fantastic.