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Author Topic: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850  (Read 5716 times)

armand

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2023, 11:42:49 pm »

I got a Z8 just as the dealer has all packed for shipping back to Nikon knowing that I'll eventually have to send it to Nikon. Did not use the right lug (as you look through the camera) which I think was the main culprit. Used the left one and the bottom plate from Peak Design.

My previous Nikons were D50, D90, D750, Z7. The difference in layout and functionality is quite noticeable, this is the first Nikon that I think I'll be happy with the handling and ease of accessing various functions once I customize it properly (and even more importantly, I recall how I customized it). Finally I can easily access and use the bracketing, even if it's an extra click compared to my X- T2 and E-Mlili/O-M1 it comes with more flexibility so I'll take it.

I'm also learning to use the shooting banks and it helps with unexpected situations. To my shame I didn't bother with it on any of my previous cameras. The stabilization definitely works better for me than on Z7; I don't know if it's the lack of shutter shock or something else but I can shoot at 1/4FL and get sharp results usually, with Z7 I was frequently struggling even with 1/2FL.

Image quality is as expected but with less chroma noise at high iso.

I truly hope that the auto capture will make its way to Z8 also at some point.

As for the bulk, I prefer the Z7 size but got used to the size, it does help a little with the 100-400.

kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2023, 07:40:03 am »

The Z8 Raw images come out very different when developed in Capture One23 or in Lightroom.

You cannot simply say one is better than the other, but in some cases there is a clear better choice.
For instance when you develop a 6400 asa image in Lightroom it comes out very ugly and grainy compared to the Capture one output.
However when applying denoise-AI in Lightroom the balance turns back in the favour of lightroom.
Another example: at 400 asa a face with hard light a shadow side and a sunlit side. Here C1 does a better job bring those together in a natural way.
I have not tried other raw converters yet, but already it shows that a different raw converter can make a clear difference.

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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2024, 02:27:45 pm »

bravo Nikon!
I really like the new Nikon philosophy of adding firmware if and when it is possible.
The camera will live longer and Nikon does not have to spend money on producing more bodies.
Also good for the environment!

About a year after its birth Nikon Added Pixelshift and automatic recording to the camera through firmware2.0
For me pixelshift was the missing item in the original Z8. It also works with the F-bajonet lenses

This in combination with the new fabulous lenses that really stand out it takes away my interest in the fuji GFX.
Another reason not to step into MF is the progress of AI in the software like in LR and Topaz gigapixel.
a third reason is that  I only want to know one camera and spend my money once on very good optics.
See a test report of the remarkable plena 135mm lens here;
https://photographylife.com/reviews/nikon-z-135mm-f-1-8-s-plena

With the new additions in the firmware the camera becomes even more a jack of trades and very complex to understand it completely.
But the possibilities are almost endless.
It gets more confusing to use a z8 in combination with a d850; did it once but never again.


« Last Edit: February 09, 2024, 06:06:44 am by kers »
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armand

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #23 on: February 08, 2024, 11:58:56 am »

Good news indeed. I probably didn't have an absolute need for any of these updates but I'm glad they are here. Hoping to make some use of the auto capture for birds around me.
As I said before this is the first Nikon camera that I feel it gives everything that I need without a lot of effort. Sure it's not perfect, the autofocus is not foolproof at all, the stabilization could be even better, could be a little smaller, etc. But that didn't stop me from getting another one so I don't have to change lenses too often.

And the Nikon service eventually turned out ok. Few months ago I backed out my truck over the camera backpack (don't ask) and the 24-120 ripped the mount of the Z8. Sent both for repair and the total price was relatively reasonable (under $1000 for both). Lens came back fine, the camera not so much: the stabilization was basically not working. Made it work for a trip that was planned (tripod mostly or lenses with OIS). Sent it back and they repaired again (at no charge this time) and came back fine. I bought my second Z8 in the middle of this.

I'm still trying to figure it the shooting banks, sometimes when I change between them some settings don't change as they were initially programmed and some become unavailable for unclear reasons (the focus mode). At the end of the day I'm relatively happy with them and they'll be my main system if I don't have to travel light.


PS. attached to the backpack was a Leofoto tripod LS-365C and a LH-40 ballhead. Amazingly the tripod was unaffected and the head works only slightly less smooth despite leaving part of knob smeared on the pavement

kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #24 on: February 09, 2024, 06:14:19 am »


As I said before this is the first Nikon camera that I feel it gives everything that I need without a lot of effort. Sure it's not perfect, the autofocus is not foolproof at all, the stabilization could be even better, could be a little smaller, etc....

I agree the AF is not foolproof, but does miracles at times- especially Eye-AF and 3d-AF.
then i am happy that Nikon service is only an hour away and they know me for the reasons like you- i manage to make my camera fall while being on a tripod...  so already also my z8 has been in repair- a good insurance against yourself is a solution :)
i just added the pixelshift 32 detail made with my micronikkor wide open. I am very satisfied with this iniital result.
speed is about 8fps- so 4 sec for a 32x shot.

It only works for objects that are completely stationary , but for instance ideal for reproductions
NX-studio takes a long time assembling the final NEFX - it only uses one core of the cpu
« Last Edit: February 10, 2024, 08:19:15 am by kers »
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #25 on: February 10, 2024, 08:25:24 am »

Some examples from a 32 shot NEFX compared to a 1x shot

a clear difference in dynamic range, grain and on the bad side: artefacts.
even small tree trunks move!

 the DR difference did not apply in this case on the highlights, suggesting that expose to the max is essential.

in print i would say : below 1meter wide : not so much difference, but color.
and these examples here are 100% views of a file 280cm wide 300dpi.
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armand

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #26 on: February 10, 2024, 12:55:01 pm »

The difference is pretty convincing. On your second image it might be some generalized motion.
Is this with electronic shutter only? I recall seeing similar artifacts with the Oly E-M5ii but they improved significantly since so this might be just some growing pains for Nikon. Not sure if better software will be the answer or a new camera.
Luckily for me I almost never wished for more than 47MP.

kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #27 on: February 13, 2024, 02:03:17 pm »

I just made some tabletop shot with flash using the 32 merged mode: results are great without any artefacts and when i print it, it is clear that the 2m wide 200dpi native resolution delivers a really perfect print. ( and it is a file with huge dynamic range)
i used my favourite Sigma 40mm f/1.4 ART lens for this purpose.
This is one of the best lenses you can buy and very cheap (but heavy)
It can handle even more than a real 92MP corner to corner as my Nikon 1 J5 ( with adapter) shows. ( displays the 20MP central part of what would be a FF 150MP image)
It is clear Nikon is afraid for Sigma for they won't let Sigma make ART lenses for the Z-bajonet.

Talking about the nikon J5: its 20mp sensor has got a new life with adobe NR. Only the colour-range could be improved.
A really good 1m wide print is possible. It is only a pity Nikon forgot to make more fine lenses for the Nikon1 serie. Most are mediocre.

BTW here you can download a pixelsshift explainer from Nikon:

https://download.nikonimglib.com/archive6/8bjrG00y9CRc061d6Tg38AElPA43/Z8_TG_Pixelshift_(En)01.pdf
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kers

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Re: nikon Z8 first impressions ; coming from a d850
« Reply #28 on: April 21, 2024, 01:28:00 pm »

Update;

I just found out after 1 year! of use that the sharpest photographs can be obtained by:
(Rock solid tripod+ steady object)
VR-off
manual focus on 400%
put the AF-ring at maximum (f9) for most precise focus.
-
AF is good enough, but this is the way to get everything out of your lens.
the 105mm micronikkor z turns out to be extremely sharp wide open.
(this lens is outstanding in many ways)
the NEFX comes out a even a little sharper in LR than via NXD ( image below)
The print i photographed is 80 x100cm 1200dpi and close on sight i thought there were no lines from 8 and above... but both my camera and my printer (z3200) turnt out to be better than my eyes...
(the moire pattern between 8-9 is actually in the print for also my printer reached some of its limits)

(I guess Nikon just could not mention manual focus in their extensive manual about pixelshift without discrediting the AF in the camera)
PS at the moment i value the precision of AFS+ pinpoint to be the most precise- but slow.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2024, 04:32:21 am by kers »
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