Nikon Z9 Vs Nikon Z8

Nikon has firmly established itself as a market-leading brand in the realm of digital cameras, thanks to the superb quality and forward-thinking capabilities of its products. After the announcement of the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z8, those interested in photography are anxiously comparing the capabilities of these two great cameras.

This article provides essential insights for professional photographers as well as amateurs who want to update their gear. It examines the primary differences and similarities between the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8, offering information that is applicable to both groups.

Sensor and Image Quality

Image quality is mainly determined by the sensor, which is why Nikon included outstanding sensors in both the Z9 and Z8 models of their flagship DSLR cameras. The Nikon Z9 is a high-resolution full-frame sensor that has a surprising amount of pixels, which enables the user to take images that are very detailed.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z8 has a sensor with a little lower resolution, but it makes up for this by having an improved dynamic range and better performance in low light.

Autofocus Performance

Both cameras excel when it comes to the performance of their focusing systems. Both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8 use cutting-edge autofocus technologies that are particularly effective at following moving subjects and attaining precise focus in a wide range of lighting scenarios.

The Nikon Z9, on the other hand, comes out on top because of its superior subject identification and tracking capabilities. As a result, it is the camera that is recommended for photographing fast-paced action.

Burst Shooting and Buffer Capacity

When it comes to photographing sports and animals, burst shooting speed and buffer capacity are two crucial aspects to take into consideration. The Nikon Z9 has a unique burst shooting rate that can reach up to 20 frames per second.

Additionally, it has a significant buffer that is capable of managing enormous amounts of continuous shooting bursts. Even while the Nikon Z8 has a respectable burst rate, its buffer capacity is not quite as large as that of the Z9.

Video Capabilities

The Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8 are explicitly designed for videographers by providing great video capabilities in both cameras. The Z9 is capable of recording video in 8K resolution, which results in stunningly beautiful footage.

On the other hand, the Z8 records video in 4K resolution at faster frame rates, which makes it excellent for catching action that is happening quickly. Both cameras come equipped with sophisticated video capabilities and provide a wide range of customization options, which together guarantee high-quality video capture.

Specifications Comparison

Camera FeatureNikon Z8Nikon Z9
AnnouncedMay 2023October 2021
Camera TypeMirrorlessMirrorless
Sensor TypeStacked CMOSStacked CMOS
Image ProcessorEXPEED 7EXPEED 7
Resolution45.7 MP45.4 MP
Pixel Dimensions8256×55048256×5504
Sensor Dimensions35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)
Sensor Pixel Size4.35µ4.35µ
Low Pass FilterNoNo
IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)YesYes
Base ISOISO 64ISO 64
Max Native ISOISO 25,600ISO 25,600
Extended ISOsISO 32-102,400ISO 32-102,400
High-Resolution Sensor ShiftNoNo
Focus Stack BracketingYesYes
Fastest Shutter Speed1/320001/32000
Longest Shutter Speed900 seconds900 seconds
Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)No mechanical shutterNo mechanical shutter
Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)20 FPS20 FPS
Notes for High FPS Shooting20 FPS figure is for .NEF files (full-res JPEG at 30 FPS; DX JPEG at 60 FPS; 11 megapixel JPEG at 120 FPS)20 FPS figure is for .NEF files (full-res JPEG at 30 FPS; DX JPEG at 60 FPS; 11 megapixel JPEG at 120 FPS)
Buffer Size (Raw)Over 1000 frames (20 FPS)Over 1000 frames (20 FPS)
Autofocus SystemHybrid PDAFHybrid PDAF
Autofocus Points493493
Low-Light AF Sensitivity (f/2 Lens, ISO 100)-7.5 EV-7 EV
Standard Flash Sync Speed1/2001/200
Video Features
Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)12 bits12 bits
Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)12 bits12 bits
Raw VideoYesYes
8K Maximum Framerate60 FPS60 FPS
4K Maximum Framerate120 FPS120 FPS
1080P Maximum Framerate120 FPS120 FPS
Additional Video Crop FactorNoNo
Chroma Subsampling4:2:24:2:2
Video Recording Limit90 min125 min
Physical and Other Features
Card Slots22
Slot 1 TypeCFExpress Type BCFExpress Type B
Slot 2 TypeSD (UHS-II)CFExpress Type B
Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)3.2 in3.2 in
Rear LCD Resolution2.1 million dots2.1 million dots
Articulating LCDDual AxisDual Axis
Viewfinder Magnification0.80x0.80x
Viewfinder Resolution3.69 million dots3.69 million dots
Viewfinder Coverage100%100%
Illuminated ButtonsYesYes
Voice MemoYesYes
Built-in FlashNoNo
USB TypeType C 3.2 Gen 2Type C 3.2 Gen 2
Ethernet PortNoYes
Battery TypeEN-EL15cEN-EL18d
Battery Life (Viewfinder)330 frames700 frames
Battery Life (Rear LCD)340 frames740 frames
Battery Life (Eco Mode)370 frames770 frames
Weather SealedYesYes
Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)910 g (2.01 lbs.)1340 g (2.95 lbs.)
Dimensions (LxHxD)144 x 119 x 88 mm (5.7 x 4.7 x 3.5″)149 x 150 x 106 mm (5.9 x 5.9 x 4.2″)

ISO Performance

Photography in low light conditions frequently calls for cameras with outstanding ISO performance. The Nikon Z8 stands out in this regard as a result of its enhanced ISO sensitivity range, which makes it possible to capture photographs with a higher level of detail, even in low-light environments.

The Nikon Z9 also has remarkable ISO performance, but the Z8 is superior when it comes to providing photos that are free of noise, even at higher ISO settings.

Ergonomics and Build Quality

Photographers place a high importance on camera bodies that are not only comfortable but also strong and can sustain difficult shooting situations. Both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8 have sturdy build quality, are sealed against the elements, and have ergonomic features that provide a stable grip.

The Z9, on the other hand, has more possibilities for modification, which guarantees that photographers will be able to fine-tune the camera’s functions according to their tastes.

Connectivity and Storage Options

In today’s digital world, it is essential for photographers to have reliable connectivity as well as space-saving storage choices. Both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8 provide a variety of built-in connectivity options, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and USB-C connectors.

These options are standard on both models. In addition to this, they include twin memory card slots, which make it possible to make use of a variety of storage alternatives and implement effective backup strategies.

Battery Life

Battery life is a significant concern for photographers, particularly those who indulge in extended shooting sessions. The battery life of the Nikon Z9 and Nikon Z8 has been significantly enhanced in comparison to that of its predecessors.

However, the Z9 has a longer battery life than its predecessor, which allows photographers to take more pictures without having to swap out their batteries often.

Price and Value

The decision-making process for many photographers is heavily influenced by the cost of the item in question. Since the Nikon Z9 is the company’s flagship model, its price tag is significantly more than that of the Nikon Z8.

However, it comes with improved features and capabilities, making it a reasonable purchase for professional photographers who need the highest possible image quality and performance from their equipment. On the other hand, photographers who are looking for sophisticated capabilities at a price range that is more inexpensive will find that the Nikon Z8 offers fantastic value.

Software and Firmware

Updates to the camera’s software as well as its firmware, are required in order to improve the camera’s functionality and provide new capabilities. The dedication that Nikon has made to deliver consistent updates and enhancements is something that benefits both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8.

Photographers are able to keep up with the most recent technological breakthroughs and maintain the peak performance of their cameras as a direct result of this.

Lens Compatibility

The Nikon Z-mount, which is used by both the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8, is compatible with a diverse range of lenses of a high standard of optical performance. The fact that Nikon is dedicated to increasing the number of lenses available for its Z-mount system guarantees that photographers will have access to a diverse selection of lenses that are appropriate for a variety of photographic subgenres and approaches.

In addition, photographers may use their already-owned Nikon F-mount lenses on either camera by attaching a mount adapter to their Nikon F-mount lens mount.


In the comparison between the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8, both cameras are excellent in their own right and are able to cater to a variety of requirements and price points. Image quality, focusing skills, and burst shooting speed are three areas in which the Nikon Z9 excels, making it an excellent option for photographers working in professional settings.

On the other hand, the Nikon Z8 has exceptional image quality, video capabilities, and better low-light performance, making it a fantastic choice for enthusiasts and experienced amateurs who are looking for a camera that delivers good value. When it comes down to it, deciding between the Nikon Z9 and the Nikon Z8 should come down to the tastes and needs of the individual photographer.


Q. What is the main difference between the Nikon Z9 and Z8?
A. The main difference lies in their image resolution, burst shooting capabilities, and price. The Z9 offers higher resolution, faster burst shooting and comes at a higher price point.
Q. Are the Nikon Z9 and Z8 suitable for professional use?
A. Yes, both the Nikon Z9 and Z8 are suitable for professional use. However, the Z9 is better equipped for demanding professional requirements.
Q. Can I use my existing Nikon lenses with the Z9 and Z8?
A. Yes, you can use your existing Nikon lenses with both the Z9 and Z8 by utilizing Nikon’s Z-mount lens adapters.
Q. Which camera offers better low-light performance?
A. The Nikon Z8 provides better low-light performance with its improved ISO sensitivity range.
Q. How do the video capabilities of the Z9 and Z8 compare?
A. The Z9 supports 8K video recording, while the Z8 offers 4K video recording at higher frame rates, making it more suitable for capturing fast-paced action.

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