Jump to content

Nikon Z8 and current system


Recommended Posts

Brian, I am considering making a change from my DSLR to the Newer Nikon Z8.  With my current system, will it be capable of handling the files?  The mega pixels are 45, whereas right now I am at 16.2.  This will be the last camera I purchase I am certain, I've had my D4 since it's birth, and still haven't had issues or problems, but I am feeling the need to step up to the times.  

I have another year before my support is void on my system, at which time I will purchase another yes, but need to know if it's going to be able to handle the file sizes. 

Please and thank you always! 


System information.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have good news...and bad news! :D 

First, the good news...

As someone who shoots with a Nikon D4s and bought a Nikon D850, i know exactly what you are getting into. You are correct that the file sizes from 45.7MP are large, uncompressed 14-bit full resolution files are around 100MB each. When you bump up to that many MP, you will need to look at your entire hardware ecosystem. Which leads me to the bad news...

Your wallet is going to be crying in pain, or at the very least, your Credit Card will be smoking when things are all said and done.

I was in your shoes, I wanted a "smaller" camera since the D4s got so much attention, as in..."Wow!! That's a really NICE CAMERA! IT MUST TAKE AWESOME PHOTOS!!" Usually followed by, "...that's a really big camera!! I've never seen one so big!" Rinse and Repeat. So I pulled the trigger and figured I'd get "New Technology." It was going to be "My Last Camera." Uh-huh.

THAT STUPID F#$K!NG NIKON D850 COSTED ME SO MUCH MONEY!!! I really regret buying it.

Why? Because of the blasted 45.7MP Sensor. It requires the best glass and my old trusty 24-70 f/2.8G sucked on the D850. It's fine on the D4s, notsomuch on the D850. It turns out the center of the frame was fine, but since the resolution with the sensor dramatically increased, the lens couldn't keep up and the four corners just sucked image quality-wise. So I then went out and bought a new 24-70 f/2.8 E lens to go with my D850. Then I discovered that my 70-200 f/2.8G, also kinda sucked with the D850. So that led me to purchase a new 70-200 f/2.8E.  I went from about $2400 (the D850 was on sale at the time,) to about $7000 or so with two new lenses. Not to mention I had to upgrade my XQD Cards, as 120GB will be your reality and I wouldn't go smaller than a 64GB XQD / CF Express Type B Card. So figure that cost in. Not to mention extra batteries, and I don't screw around with 3rd Party, I only use Nikon OEM Batteries. This way if something were to happen, I can blame Nikon and complain to them.

Now for your computer. I bought a fancy new 27" iMac computer to handle the D850 100MB Raw Files, and then soon found out that I really needed 64GB at a minimum or else my computer would lag a bit. Then I had to purchase a 12TB External HD, because...you guessed it, 100MB Raw Files. So add $3800-ish for my new iMac and upgraded RAM to 64GB on top of the $7000 and $600 for the 12TB Thunderbolt 3 G-Drive EHD. Oh yeah, the XQD Cards.

So right now, we are about $11,500 - $12,000 or so with Tax. Just because I wanted a new camera. It's only money, right? :D

Now, here is the kicker. You will be in the same boat. Your computer, is "Meh." It's fine for your current D4, but I'd expect to replace it with something newer. You will also need a better / beefier VIDEO CARD with your new computer. Today's Modern Photoshop utilizes the Video GPU more than the CPU for a performance boost. So if you don't have AT LEAST a NVIDIA RTX 3070 with 8GB Dedicated Video RAM, then you are asking for problems. (Or an equivalent Video Card.)

Do not let anyone tell you otherwise, the Nikon FTZ Adapter is just a Marketing Tool, and a stop-gap, that is used to soften the blow with switching to Mirrorless. Don't think for a second that you will get the same results with a Nikon DSLR Lens vs a Nikon Z Mount Lens. There is a difference AND you get the full features when it comes to VR Tech with the Z8, the 5-axis stabilization. Hell, this holds true with ANY of the Nikon Z camera bodies...you will need new Z Lenses to go with that Z8, so plan for it.

Now here is one final kicker. While on vacation last year, I found a camera store in Kentucky that happened to have a Z9 in stock and decided to swing by and give it a test drive. I was expecting to either leave with one or at the very least, be lusting after one since reading all of the reviews and watching all of those YouTube Videos of people raving about the Nikon Z9. Sad to say...

I wasn't impressed.

Yep. You read that correctly, I wasn't impressed with the Nikon Z9. Switching to Mirrorless is going to take getting used to. I shoot a lot of Weddings and Sports/Action Photography, in addition to Nature Stuff. I could not stand the lag in the viewfinder. I would pan really quick from left to right (or vice-versa) and there is a 1/2 of a second pause as the camera creates the new image in the frame. Now for most folks, this isn't an issue. For me, it drove me nuts. Not to mention ALL of the info in the viewfinder of your camera's settings. It's a bit overwhelming.

Before forking out the money for a Z8, try to find one that you can get your hands on locally, or at least within a few hours of driving time. You could save yourself $12,000+ by doing so. Or realize on just how much money you are going to spend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


          Wanted to chime in here too. this is great info. i currently use the D850 and only have the a 50mm and the 24-70 but was thinking do i really wanna go mirrorless or buy new lense for the DLSR. i think im just at a stand still until Nikon or maybe another brand makes me feel good about the switch. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Mirrorless is the current darling. I was so disappointed when I held the Z9. I was expecting to be blown away. Maybe it was looking at a little TV Screen in the Viewfinder that did it. Or the lag when you panned quickly; the camera sensor has to re-render the image and it's not instantaneous as one is used to with a DSLR and Mirror/Prism. Light photons travel at the speed of light, big difference. Plus, you really need to buy the Z Lenses to go with the z8. Hell, even with a camera like the z6. I do not care that there is an adapter ring, but you will quickly find out just how lacking even a 24-70 f/2.8E is on a Mirrorless Body. You really want the Nikon NIKKOR Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S Lens to go with that Z8. Seriously.

I speak of this from first-hand experience. I have a friend who shoots Babies, Newborns and Families primarily. She called me and was complaining about her 24-70 E and the FTZ Adapter ring, She just wasn't happy and her images weren't tack-sharp. Sure she had a few keepers, but she was always pixel peeping and 2nd-guessing herself. She switched from a D4 to a Z6, just to save on the weight, and she hit a wall. I recommended that her problem was the 24-70E and she really should buy the Z Lens equivalent. I said to her, try it on a session and if it doesn't blow your socks off, return it. She agreed.

Guess what? I got a text message stating she has way too many keepers now and the 24-70E just sucked on her Z6 (which is only around 24MP.) So you have 45.7 with two lenses that won't cut it.

Then there's that whole LED banding issue. :D I'm still not sold on Mirrorless, and I have other things to spend my money on.

So if anyone does go down this rabbit-hole, expect to pay for the ride.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...