Nikon Z8 or Nikon Z6iii why now and what’s next?
Nikon Z8 or Z6iii are we about to find out what’s next for Nikon?
I originally heard about the suspected new model release of a Nikon Z8 or Nikon Z6iii being announced by Nikon about two months ago from a source very close to Nikon. As well as what I have been told by a few sources over the last number of weeks I also have my own personal hopes and dreams for what it will not only bring to Nikon but also to all of us photographers and videographers out there.
This leaves most people with two questions…. Why now and what can we expect next?
So why a new camera model now ( Nikon z8 )?
Well, that’s a fairly obvious one as Nikon only recently kind of announced the death (strong word maybe) of their DSLR range of cameras so they were almost certainly going to announce something really positive about their mirrorless range of cameras soon to have something to shout about and finally push forward 100% in the mirrorless market. Let’s face it Nikon have been the sleeping giant in the mirrorless market until recently, the Z9 has shown some serious intent but I think the next camera launch (probably Z8 with the Z6iii to follow shortly after) could really propel them forward again and it looks like they will use the Nikon z8 for just that.
We also haven’t had an update to either the Nikon Z7ii or Nikon Z6ii models now for over two years, by modern camera standards they are overdue an update now.
I have some serious hopes for the Nikon Z8 and the Z6iii and from what I am hearing they are both going to be a seriously positive releases. A bit like the Z9 only more affordable and something to rekindle the company and strike a bit of fire into the heart of those Nikonites out there (I am one of them by the way).
Once the first nail was cast in the coffin of DSLR cameras by Nikon I just knew now was the time and we would soon have something else to get excited about and this could really be it. Over the last two weeks rumours have been widespread about a pending Nikon Z8 announcement so fingers crossed this is now the time that Nikon fire a shot across the bow of all those mirrorless camera companies out there.
Is DSLR Dead?
Now going back to DSLR cameras I personally think the greatest all-round DSLR camera ever made was the Nikon D850 and I know if there is ever an apocalypse I am gonna hide behind mine as it’s built like a tank. I still can’t bring myself to sell my D850.
The D850 was more than just a camera to me, we were partners on so many shoots where I not only trusted it but totally relied on it to work with me. Today I have both the Z6ii and the Z7ii but I still find myself pulling the D850 off the shelf occasionally and using it. So, for me personally I am not there yet with Mirrorless cameras that bond or trust just isn’t there as of yet. I have to say I am very slowly getting there and this new camera the suspected Nikon Z8 could just well be the thing to get me all excited about mirrorless cameras and finally push me to sell my D850.
Maybe I am the only one feeling this way, have you a new best friend in your latest Nikon mirrorless camera? Is DSLR already dead or do you think it will live on for years to come?
Now again I have to say I have also upgraded my glass to Z lenses and I love the 14-30mm F4, 24-70 F2.8, 70-200 F2.8, 105mm F2.8 and the 50mm f1.8 (maybe I should have bought the 1.4 here?). I also bought the 2x teleconvertor which is great, so no complaints with the glass at all. I have the FTZ adaptor for my old lenses also but I hardly ever use them apart from a few the Sigma Art primes I have.
My friends know I have this issue and last year I nearly jumped ship to Sony and then Panasonic but I just couldn’t do it… After using several different cameras I came back to Nikon again as for me I just love the feel of a Nikon camera in my hand and when you are on a fashion shoot for 8 hours handholding your camera it’s important it feels like a natural extension of you. I just had a disconnect with the other makes and it just seemed wrong for me personally.
Which brings me to several conversations with other photographers and camera testers around the world. Now I don’t want to get anyone in trouble here but this info came from the same source that told me the DJI Mavic 3 drone would come with a Micro FourThirds sensor 2 months before that info was shared anywhere. The one thing here though is I now believe Nikon are deliberately letting slip a few different contradicting rumours right now which is what’s confusing everyone.
Nikon Z6iii or Nikon Z8 which one will come first?
What do we need from the Nikon Z8?
- Resolution… A higher resolution sensor would be nice and 60mp plus is great and all but I would personally be more than happy with 46mp like the Z7ii, Z9 and D850 with a slightly improved higher ISO performance and a tiny bit more Dynamic Range. Surely that would be a better option for most of us than a resolution race to the top with no serious benefit for the end user. I have been told that the Z8 will have a 46mp sensor not the 60mp plus version.
- AF Improvements… A better AF system (Z9 AF performance) would be awesome and for it to work straight out of the box without waiting for updates and firmware additions. The latest firmware updates on the Z7ii are great and all but my D850 is still better in low or very low ambient light, studio photography is where the Z7ii really struggles for me. I am not going to get into the AF system and how it works here as that’s not the point of this post… There are always work arounds but surely at this price you shouldn’t have to compromise and we should all demand perfection. Again the news here is that the AF is going to be at the Z9 level so a big step forward there also.
- Burst Shooting rates… Doesn’t 20fps sound great for Raw files here? I am thinking we will drop down to somewhere between 12 to 16 fps though as let’s face it this would kill the Z9 otherwise. What I am hearing has more or less confirmed this also.
- N-Log internal recording… This would be obvious of course with unlimited recording times thrown in straight out of the box on the Z8. Come on Nikon you know you want to do it 🙂 Again this is going to happen I am told.
- Frame Rates… More video frame rates to choose peaking at 120fps at 4k and 60fps on 8K (again that’s gonna be 30fps) would that be too much to ask for? I am hearing the Z8 will have 8K 30p with only a very slight chance of having 60p.
- ProRes Raw… Could we also get ProRes raw internal recording straight out of the box? This would be a game changer on so many levels. Again rumours are this could really happen!!!
- Larger Body… The main issue I have with mirrorless cameras is the grip height, it could do with that last little bit and hopefully the Z8 is going to bring that as with the double processors and 8k 60p it’s going to need more room for cooling. The one thing I hate about mirrorless cameras is that my small finger keeps slipping off the grip which is super annoying. It also makes the camera feel less stable in your hand. The good news though is I am told this is happening and we are going to get a bit more height.
The increase in body height for me would be only second to the better AF system out of the list above. Nikon please keep the wonderful grip though.
Nikon please keep the ENEL15 battery format also (I have 7 of them) unless you are going to dramatically increase the capacity in another form factor.
What do we need from the Nikon Z6iii?
Well obviously the below would be awesome…
- Higher resolution sensor… I am really hoping that Nikon opt to pop in a 36mp sensor in the Z6iii not only for stills but also for 8k video. Rumours are this is going to happen which would dramatically increase the capability of the Z6iii for both video and photography
- Video Resolution… 4k 120fps and 8k 30p are what I am hearing about and personally hoping for also… Now 8k 60p would be better again but I don’t see how they are going to do that in a compact body, I think we are going to have a cooling issue here unless Nikon can somehow manage to perform a minor miracle. There are so many conflicting reports and rumours here that it seems like this camera may well be further from launch than the Z8.
- Internal N-log or N-raw recording with unlimited internal recording time is happening.
- ProRes raw enabled straight out of the box. Sounding like this is a maybe or a possible paid upgrade!!!
- No time limit on internal recordings. That is happening from what I hear.
- AF system… a better AF system would be spectacular Nikon. Again the AF performance is going to be the big step forward here and I think we are all looking forward to that.
Keep the wonderful grip Nikon has always had and the ENEL15 battery format.
All of the above would be awesome and I am hearing there is a very good chance that the AF is going to be next gen, recording times will be limitless and internal N-log or N-raw will be built in also. Even just those three things would be a massive improvement over the z6ii and make it a very worthwhile upgrade.
8K is mixed as I am hearing different things from different sources so for now I think we are looking at 4k 120fps with 8k 30p and 8K @ 60p just being a dream.
I have a post up here about the Nikon Z8 vs Nikon D850 if you want to read it?
What will happen to the Nikon Z7ii now?
I personally believe the Z7ii will stay around for another year or so as it will probably get a nice price reduction and slip in below the Z8 and just above the Z6iii prices. The Z7ii is still a stunning camera and will still be relevant in a year in my mind. The colours and Image quality on the Z7ii are going to be very hard to beat and I think both Canon and Sony still haven’t got to that level just yet. Now that’s gonna start a huge fight, you can even ask Fro and he will tell you the colours are stunning :-).
Which leaves us with the question will there ever be a z7iii? I believe there will be a Z7iii and this will be our 60mp plus monster for those of ye that dream about megapixels or need that super high res. The pricing structure will start with the Z6iii staying around the same price of the Z6ii with the Z7iii being positioned between the Z6iii and the Z8. This will give us a complete line up for Nikon Pro mirrorless cameras with the king being the Z9 of course.
So when can we expect news or an announcement?
This is where the serious speculation comes from but I personally haven’t heard any dates as of yet so I would presume it would be late August 2022 at the earliest before we get any announcement and we all start foaming at the mouth with a product launch or product hitting the shelves or more than likely just being delivered to pre-ordering consumers in the first quarter of 2023.
With the current semiconductor shortages it would be an amazing feat to release this camera before then and I believe it’s just not possible. So go on Nikon prove me wrong I throw down the gauntlet to you now and hope you smack me right across the face with it and drop a new product in 2022.
This is all speculation on my part and the only people that know when the new product will really be available are in Nikon’s HQ…
What can we expect Next from Nikon?
The next step after these camera announcements from Nikon just has to be a broader range of lenses, the Z series of lenses are great already don’t get me wrong but we are still missing some serious primes in the line up and let’s face it with the largest lens mount of any mirrorless full frame camera it should be a lot easier to produce say an 85mm F1.2 that will blow your mind or an 105mm f1.2 or F1.4 to make your brain melt with butter smoothness. All at a reasonable cost I should add unlike the Noct 58mm F0.95 which will make your wallet and brain melt at the same time, Unless you have about €10k burning a nole in your pocket of course…
So, are they on the way and what will Nikon do next? Well, I believe this could kick start a serious revival of Nikon cameras and more importantly sales which is all really positive for Nikon shooters out there and let’s face it Canon, Sony, Fuji and Panasonic shooters also as the more competition there is in the market place then the better it is for all of us consumers.
What would you like to see in this new camera and do you feel the tide is turning now and Nikon are reaching the top of the hill again? Could this be another Nikon D3 moment where they produce something special yet again?
When you look at the last few model releases they have all been fantastic… just look at the Z50, ZFC and the Z9 they are all amazing cameras at their price points so no pressure Nikon but what’s next???
I am waiting patiently here with my hand in my wallet so come on take my money Nikon,it’s your move Nikon.
Don’t forget to check out my article on the Nikon Z8 vs Nikon D850 if you want to find out which one is best.
See you out there,