Nikon Z7ii vs Nikon Z8 which one is right for you?
Which one is better for you? The Nikon Z8 vs Nikon Z7ii and why?
Nikon Z8 vs Nikon Z7ii and why this is such a tough one, for a whole host of reasons. Before we get into that can I just say it’s great to see Nikon producing yet another exceptional camera again in the Z8.
If you are thinking about buying a new camera and are trying to choose between the Nikon z8 or the Nikon Z7ii (lucky you) or if you are looking to upgrade from the Z7ii to the Z8 I hope this article is going to seriously help you find the best camera for you.
Let’s make this easy and break this review down into photography genres, not forgetting video either of course which I will cover at the end. To save you time if you are interested in video then just go buy the Z8 it’s a pure beast for video.
Nikon Z7 ii vs Nikon Z8 which is better for Landscape photographers?
If you are a landscape photographer and you don’t really shoot a lot of video then the Z7ii is going to be cheaper, lighter, smaller and in reality it will produce the same results as the Nikon Z8.
Although the sensors are different the results are practically the same.
I would personally think the Nikon Z7 ii is the clear winner here for nearly all landscape Photographers out there. Yes I said nearly all landscape photographers…
If you are a landscape photographer and you already own a Nikon Z7 ii you probably don’t need to upgrade to the Nikon Z8.
The only serious upgrade in the Z8 for landscape photographers so to speak of would be the mechanical sensor cover or shutter that pops down in front of the sensor when you change your lens. I must say I like that in the Z9.
The issue here that DSLR users might not know about is your cameras sensor can literally act like a magnet to dust as when it’s charge it can create a build up of static which attracts dust particles and fine debris in the air.
That can be a pain and something you don’t seriously encounter with DSLR cameras due to both the mechanical shutter and mirror protecting the sensor.
Another point to note here is the grip, height and feel of the Z8 are completely different to the Z7ii as the Z8 just fits in your hand a lot better (just like the D850) but hey if you use a tripod a lot then that’s of no benefit to you again.
Now, does this mean that every landscape photographer should stick with their Nikon Z7ii? No it doesn’t as yes there are differences but in all honesty Landscape photography isn’t really where you are going to see them.
So why did I immediately order the Nikon Z8? Well we are getting to that now.
Nikon Z7ii vs Nikon Z8 for Portraiture
The Nikon Z8 is the clear winner here with much improved AF it locks onto moving subjects a lot better than the Z7ii ever could, the Eye AF works in the same way as the Z9, spot focus locks on and just keeps working also.
Now the other advantage here is burst rates with the Z8 being capable of 20fps in RAW which is staggeringly fast, now do you need it? Possibly not but it could come in handy the odd time.
The Z8 also has an electronic shutter so you could possibly see issues with your speedlights here but we will only know more about that when we get a proper hands on with a variety of speedlights on the Z8.
Is the Nikon Z8 better than the Z7ii for portraits?
Yes it is but if you shoot in manual focus or if are really happy with the focusing on the Z7ii then there is clearly no need for you to upgrade here.
The low light performance of the Nikon Z7ii for studio work is ok but it really is only ok, My DSLR Nikon bodies were and are far superior. The improved focusing system on the Nikon Z8 is going to give you a better focus lock a lot more frequently than the Z7ii ever could.
Usually when shooting portraits I am hand holding the camera and this camera just feel and fits better than the Z7ii ever did, even though with the L Bracket I use did help solve the issue of my small finger constantly falling off the grip which made the Z7ii uncomfortable in comparison to how my D850 felt.
Nikon Z7ii vs Nikon Z8 for wildlife and sports photography
Hands down the Nikon Z8 is the winner here with that 20fps burst rate it’s going to capture jaw dropping images for you. Perfecting your time for birds in flight and helping freezing the action in a game at exactly the right time. Yes, you can get 30fps in Jpeg and go completely nuts and hammer out up to 120fps in 11mp files but that might be a little bit too much or am I wrong in that? Would you use 120fps?
The other point here is if you are shooting with a longer focal length lens the Z8 is going to feel that bit more substantial in your hands due to two factors, the larger grip so you have more purchase on your gear and secondly the added weight is again going to help balance the setup a bit more.
So for sports and wildlife I would say it has to be the Z8 here again.
What’s my next move and will I sell my Z7ii now?
Interestingly I have decided to keep my Z7ii and sell my Z6ii so I will have the Z7ii and Z8 with me on fashion/commercial shoots and possibly just the Z7ii with me on long hikes or when travelling.
The Z7ii is possibly the perfect backup camera for me and let’s face it the Z8 is going to be a powerhouse for video so in essence the Z6ii has to be the one going.
I am hearing a lot of people saying the Z8 is just a baby Z9
Yes many have criticised Nikon for just chopping the battery grip off the Z9 and they are also very critical about why it has taken so long (18 months) to do that…
Well it’s not that simple as all that as you have to remember two very important things here.
1.- With the smaller form factor heat dissipation is going to be far more difficult.
2.- Up until recently Nikon were in a court battle with RED over internal raw recording rights. Now this is exactly what delayed the Z8.
The Z8 was to be released last year and was ready willing and able to take the camera market by storm and I truly believe this is the new D850 and it’s going to sell incredibly well.
Now just to throw the cat amongst the pigeons I will also argue the point that this is not the only camera currently in pre production for Nikon, yes we can expect three more model release from Nikon in the full frame market in the not too distant future I am told.
2023 could be a very big year for Nikon and we could finally see them turn the corner in the mirrorless market now that they have let the DSLR market go (nearly).
Looking forward to sharing more details and news with you all soon, until then…
See you out there,