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Author Topic: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850  (Read 6750 times)

kers

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nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« on: June 07, 2023, 08:29:02 pm »

Some month ago i had tested a Nikon Z9 and liked it, but even for me having a lot of large Sigma primes i found the body too heavy.

So it is a good thing Nikon came with a lighter version of the Z9 called the Z8. It lacks a few options of the z9 like GPS, but mostly it is a Z9-light.
The camera grip and weight is like the D850 - larger than a Z7 and more heavy. It has the same amount of pixels as the D850, but a very different sensor that builts the image in 1/270 of a second instead of 1/15s ( source Jim Kasson). Because of that Nikon decided to skip the mechanical shutter all together.
Coming from a d850 i must say it is a very different camera to use and I do not like to use them together for i get completely mixed up.
I have bought only one Z-mount lens ; the 40mm f2 lens  - a small capable walkaround lens was missing and i really like 40mm and this one is very cheap and also better than expected good.
strong colors,( good coatings) , sharp enough, no color fringing - only some purple fringing...and very nice rendering and bokeh.
My other lenses are all F-mount that i use with the adapter and every thing work perfectly, even the Sigma primes.
The pure sensor quality at basis iso has a bit less dynamic range than the D850 and it has dedicated pixels for focussing, so all in all the D850 still has it place.
However with moving subjects the Z8 can make photos you never can make with a d850, its focus system is leaps ahead.
High iso is a bit more noisy than the d850, but the colours have more purity and produce beautiful images.
Not before it was so easy to get the shot sharp where you wanted it to be; even in dark circumstances it can lock on the eyes of moving persons.
what more is there to like:
very fast working camera. Because of 20fps focusstacking and bracketing is also much faster.
the possiblity of 1/32000 shutter speed and even preshoot (jpeg only) ( saw a picture of a bullet leaving a gun)
silent shooting at 20fps in raw with no shutter shock or electronic shutter distortion
less problems with banding shooting projection screens at events ( good flicker reduction)
a very good VR that enables 1/4s sharp images with 40mm
a very nice tilted monitor
many custom buttons to make the camera your own.( a puzzle, but rewarding)
many kinds of custom displays in the monitor/viewfinder with the possibility of a completely clear viewfinder.
Better accuracy in focus and exposure because it is now all happening per pixel.
a beautiful electronic viewfinder that can show the actual exposure ( or not) and the resulting colour
ethernet to send your photos out to the web
etc
Not to mention 8K video at 60fps in RAW - all inside the camera.
All in all a very different camera than the d850 and much new to learn.

What is missing for me:
I would like Nikon to built in a wireless remote function inside the camera...
pixelshift as Sony has but more perfect implemented.

The Z8 inspired me to  buy a 55 inch 8K LG TV ( cheaper than i expected)
Now i can really see how my complete photos look on screen for the first time and since i have a large printer i can do both the same size.
Great for refection of what you are doing. Essential really.
« Last Edit: July 01, 2023, 04:19:20 am by kers »
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francois

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2023, 05:36:11 am »

Thanks for providing your input. It's always valuable to get different opinions.
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Francois

shalimarphoto

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2023, 04:38:51 pm »

Thanks for this! I just received my Z8 and I'm looking forward to getting started with it!
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2023, 03:59:13 am »

Nikon has some good videos of how to use the Z9/Z8 ; for instance this one on focus modes:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oAuQ7TxFjPg

i have bought three new batteries from Nikon - battery live is OK and about the d850 if you use live view a lot.
I will not use any third party batteries. power supply is an essential part of the camera, also the z8 is more choosy.

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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2023, 12:02:56 pm »

Some more remarks after working with the Z8.
My work is also making photos of experimental sound art and exhibitions often in very dim  and extreme light conditions.

The z8 gives a very good exposure even in fierce + dim light conditions- colours are very good and delicate even at high asa.
With quicly changing fierce stagelights the focus and viewfinder get more problematic also the auto focus ( extreme conditions) ; However zooming in at 100% makes a very good manual focus possible in these conditions.
Colour and contrast are very good even in these conditions with led lamps giving pure colours. i have less post work to do. (work in LR but not relevant i think)

The camera gives more white noise pixels at high asa than the d850. I remove them with a dedicated action in photoshop.
Noise is a special thing with the Z8; i can have noisy photos at 1600 asa and very clean photos at 4000 asa (?)
One thing is to expose to the right at any asa. That seems a solution - but need further study on it.
The camera has better controlled to the right exposed colour than the d850, also it has detailed dark tones even at high iso

on the video side:

i have managed to put about all video on my TV screen direct from camera-connection even the nRaw 8K 60P.
but maybe not all 8KTV's are able to do that (?)
Have not yet tried all types of video, but 8k Hvec works and even prores 4k60P

« Last Edit: June 19, 2023, 03:27:19 pm by kers »
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fdisilvestro

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2023, 06:36:29 am »

Thanks for sharing your experiences with the Z8

Noise is a special thing with the Z8; i can have noisy photos at 1600 asa and very clean photos at 4000 asa (?)
One thing is to expose to the right at any asa. That seems a solution - but need further study on it.

That's normal, high iso does not increase noise. This is across all digital cameras.

- ISO is not part of the exposure, only aperture & shutter speed
- Noise is related to exposure

As you indicated, the best thing is to expose to the right at any ISO. Thinking the other way around, for a given exposure (shutter speed & aperture combination) use the highest ISO that does not produce blown highlights.

BernardLanguillier

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2023, 02:31:08 am »

I have had my Z8 for a few weeks to complement my Z9 for both stills and video.

Love it so far.

Cheers,
Bernard

kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2023, 12:34:42 pm »

The Z8 has a different grainstructure than the d850.
When working in LR at high iso it shows white specks quickly after increasing values for texture and/or clarity.
Much more and different than the d850.
however LR's noise reduction does a good job on it ; allthough my computer can only do one at a time or the GPU collapses and then the computer restarts.

I have bought the Z40mm f2 lens as a walk around lens but not everybody will say it is sharp enough.
It is Nikons cheapest lens at about €230 but must say it is not a contest against my Sigma 40mm f1.4 lens.
at f1.4 it concurs in sharpness with the Z at f4 !. Still, coatings and rendering are fine with this small Z lens.
Heavy but great this Sigma lens is and only 800€ because it was not easy to sell this 40mm KG to the public; used to be 1200€...
« Last Edit: June 29, 2023, 05:55:40 am by kers »
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KLaban

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2023, 03:45:26 am »

I have bought the Z40mm f2 lens as a walk around lens but not everybody will say it is sharp enough.
It is Nikons cheapest lens at about €230 but must say it is not a contest against my Sigma 40mm f1.4 lens.
at f1.4 it concurs in sharpness with the Z at f4 !. Still, coatings and rendering are fine with this small Z lens.
Heavy but great this Sigma lens is and only 800€ because it was not easy to sell this 40mm KG to the public; used to be 1200€...

I bought this delightful little lens as soon as it was released and it is the lens I was hoping it would be. I've got other Z lenses that deliver optical perfection but this little gem is something quite different, a lens with character. I live in hope that Nikon will deliver other similarly designed lenses that are similarly compact. I own other Nikkor Z lenses, but this little Nikkor Z 40 is fast becoming my go to walk-around lens. Lovely Bokeh and importantly it doesn't frighten the natives!

A selection of images made with the 40 and Z7.










« Last Edit: June 29, 2023, 04:15:33 am by KLaban »
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Simon J.A. Simpson

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2023, 05:31:12 am »


I bought this delightful little lens as soon as it was released and it is the lens I was hoping it would be. I've got other Z lenses that deliver optical perfection but this little gem is something quite different, a lens with character. I live in hope that Nikon will deliver other similarly designed lenses that are similarly compact. I own other Nikkor Z lenses, but this little Nikkor Z 40 is fast becoming my go to walk-around lens. Lovely Bokeh and importantly it doesn't frighten the natives!

A selection of images made with the 40 and Z7.


Lovely pictures.

Thank you for sharing.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2023, 05:41:54 am by Simon J.A. Simpson »
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #10 on: June 29, 2023, 06:00:20 am »


I bought this delightful little lens as soon as it was released and it is the lens I was hoping it would be. I've got other Z lenses that deliver optical perfection but this little gem is something quite different, a lens with character. I live in hope that Nikon will deliver other similarly designed lenses that are similarly compact. I own other Nikkor Z lenses, but this little Nikkor Z 40 is fast becoming my go to walk-around lens. Lovely Bokeh and importantly it doesn't frighten the natives!


indeed very fine photos!

and I completely agree on the 40mm Z f2;  maybe the relative expensive 26mm z f2.8 pancake lens has this quality too.

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2023/20230609_1500-NikonZ8-NikonZ26f2_8-examples-Backyard.html

https://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=649
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KLaban

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #11 on: June 29, 2023, 06:52:03 am »

indeed very fine photos!

and I completely agree on the 40mm Z f2;  maybe the relative expensive 26mm z f2.8 pancake lens has this quality too.

https://diglloyd.com/blog/2023/20230609_1500-NikonZ8-NikonZ26f2_8-examples-Backyard.html

https://www.lenstip.com/index.php?test=obiektywu&test_ob=649

Guys thanks for the comments and for the links. I've certainly considered buying the 26mm f/2.8 but when it comes down to it it's not a focal length I would use that often.

Bozzdivine

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2023, 04:17:04 am »

Thanks for sharing your in-depth impressions of the Nikon Z8! It's great to hear from someone coming from a D850. Your point about the Z8's weight being similar to the D850 but with the benefits of a mirrorless system like the Z9 (minus the heaviness) is something I've been considering myself.

The improved focus system you mentioned sounds promising, especially when shooting moving subjects. I'm also intrigued by the positive comments on the 40mm f2 lens. A versatile, lightweight, and sharp lens is always a plus!
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2023, 06:25:16 am »

Two outstanding lenses I am using more and more on my Z bodies are the Voigtlander 35 and 50mm f2.0 APO Lanthar.

Very light and compact and close to Otus quality.

And… so akward to compare to my 400mm f2.8 TC. 😜

Cheers,
Bernard

kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2023, 06:44:31 pm »

Just bought the Smallrig L-bracket for the Z8 and i find it is well made - lightweight and not expensive.
testing with panorama's the placement of the central markers seems perfect.
I used to buy RRS material, but they usually come late and are 3x more expensive.
https://www.smallrigreseller.com/smallrig-l-bracket-for-nikon-z-8-3942.html
like the special design that follows the complete bottom of the z8 to form a stable surface.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2023, 06:47:36 pm by kers »
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Dustbak

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2023, 04:26:43 am »

I sold my Z6 and replaced it with a Z8. In many aspects the Z8 is better however....

The thing I liked with the Z6 was its portability and forgiveness. Forgiveness with how you use it, just 'wham bam thank you ma'am' sloppy shooting and it still delivered. The Z8 is larger (like my D850 used to be) and much more unforgiving (again like my D850 used to be).

Now thinking of getting myself another Z6II for just these kind of circumstances. I sometimes just don't want to think about what I am doing but instead fool around.

Nevertheless, Z8. Great camera. I guess 'horses for courses'.
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2023, 05:22:12 am »

The thing I liked with the Z6 was its portability and forgiveness. Forgiveness with how you use it, just 'wham bam thank you ma'am' sloppy shooting and it still delivered. ...
Is that just the difference between 24mp vs 45mp? and then maybe you have to find out the right AF mode in the z8 to make it work almost every time... like af-c + auto area + 20fps
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #17 on: July 20, 2023, 09:58:12 am »

One of the differences compared to the d850 is the preview button- closing the aperture to get an idea how the image will be at for instance f/8
Doing architecture with the d850 i used that in combination with split-view to control left and right sharpness at the desired aperture- usually f/8-11.

In the z8 that is different and some options are not available. ( correct me if i am wrong)

The Z8 adjusts the aperture from open to f/5.6 while viewing and focussing. ( instead of wide open as in dslr) It does not go beyond f/5.6.
There is a way to preview the whole image with apertures more closed than f/5.6 through the preview-button option.
But there is no way to zoom in at apertures more closed than f/5.6. (PCE lenses included)
Splitview also works up until f/5.6. Also you cannot change the aperture while in splitview. you have to go out first and come back with a different aperture.
In this example i find the d850 the better camera for doing architecture.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2023, 03:27:21 am by kers »
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2023, 03:32:33 am »

The placement of the 11point connector on the z8 is different and more sideways than on the d850.
With L-brackets this means that sliding it on a tripod vertical with attachments fitted like the nikon WR-11a remote you have to be careful to slide it from left to right since the WR-11a sticks out in the path from right to left and will be forced to bend.
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BernardLanguillier

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #19 on: August 04, 2023, 04:07:11 am »

I sold my Z6 and replaced it with a Z8. In many aspects the Z8 is better however....

The thing I liked with the Z6 was its portability and forgiveness. Forgiveness with how you use it, just 'wham bam thank you ma'am' sloppy shooting and it still delivered. The Z8 is larger (like my D850 used to be) and much more unforgiving (again like my D850 used to be).

Now thinking of getting myself another Z6II for just these kind of circumstances. I sometimes just don't want to think about what I am doing but instead fool around.

Nevertheless, Z8. Great camera. I guess 'horses for courses'.

It looks less forgiving if you review files at 100% but the result for a given print size will be the same.

Cheers,
Bernard
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