After much speculation and rumor, Nikon has made the Z8 Full Frame Mirrorless Camera official. With a 45.7 megapixel stacked CMOS Backside Illuminated (BSI) Image Sensor and Expeed 7 processor, the Z8 is capable of capturing 12-bit 8K video at 60 frames per second using Nikon N-Raw lossless codec.
Nikon says that the image sensor enjoys such a fast scan rate, that there is no need for a mechanical shutter, and rolling shutter distortion has been virtually illuminated. The camera also has a four-axis, tilting touchscreen LCD screen and a blackout-free Real-live viewfinder.
There is also an option to shoot 8K video at 30 frames per second and 4K video at up to 120 frames per second in 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes HQ, HLG, and H.265.
Additionally, the Z8 can internally capture 14-bit RAW still images and 10-bit images using Apple’s High-Efficiency Image Format (HEIF). The camera also generates a separate proxy file in 1080p.
With the ability to record 8K video internally without the need for an external SSD drive or video recorder, the Nikon Z8 has dual card slots with one Type B CFExpress/XQD slot and one SD card slot.
The camera also has 3D tracking with up to nine different tracking options.
These include animal tracking and a special airplane tracking mode. There is also face detection which becomes active at just 3 percent of the image frame.
Nikon also has three different autofocus modes including a fully customizable wide-area autofocus, a full auto-area autofocus mode, and a standard autofocus mode.
Nikon is also already planning several firmware updates which will lower the video ISO range while shooting in N-Log, plus an automatic capture function for still images, which will trigger through user-set parameters.
The Z8 is aimed squarely at imaging professionals, serious photographers, videographers, and advanced content creators.
Adding a host of additional image tools including a highly visible red REC Frame Indicator, focus peaking, zebras, waveform, linear focus, fine ISO control, customizable AF speed tracking, time code sync, and 24-bit PCM stereo audio.
With a fully sealed and gasketed body that is 30 percent smaller than the Nikon Z9, and 15% smaller than the classic D850, the Z8 is built to resist dust, moisture, and extreme temperatures of 14°F (-10°C).
The camera is built out of professional-grade carbon fiber composite and magnesium alloy, with dual optical coatings to protect the image sensor, as well as a sensor shield that falls in place when the camera is turned off.
The camera also offers fully illuminated buttons, low viewfinder brightness adjustment options, and a special starlight view to make it easier to capture in low-light environments.
The camera also has dual USB-C ports, with one being a PD-rated fast charging port and the second a communication port for additional accessories like an external monitor. There is also a full-size HDMI port.
Nikon also developed the MB-N12 battery grip as an optional accessory, which will extend battery life by nearly two times, while adding a vertical grip and shutter button control.
Through the grip, users can achieve up to 90 minutes of continual recording in 8K and up to 120 minutes in 4K. The grip will also support hot swapping when batteries require a recharge.
Pricing and Availability:
The Nikon Z8 will be available beginning May 25, 2023, for a preorder retail price of $3,999.95 (body only), while the MB-N12 Grip is listed for $349.95.
With an impressive array of specs including shooting 8K Raw video at up to 60 fps, Nikon is no longer satisfied with being a second-tier video camera maker but is seeking to become a serious competitor in the mirrorless cinema-style camera space. It’s been a long time coming.
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