Camera Buying Guides

nikon Z6III Vs Z8

nikon Z6III Vs Z8

Nikon’s recent additions to their mirrorless lineup, the Z6III and Z8, have sparked considerable interest among photographers and videographers alike. Both cameras bring impressive capabilities to the table, yet they’re designed to cater to slightly different user needs. The Z6III, an evolution of the popular Z6 series, offers a balance of performance and affordability, while the Z8 positions itself as a more robust, professional-grade tool.

This comparison aims to highlight the key differences between these two cameras, helping you determine which might be the better fit for your photographic endeavours. We’ll explore aspects such as sensor resolution, autofocus capabilities, video features, and overall handling to understand what each camera brings to the table comprehensively.

Key Nikon Z6III Vs Z8 Specifications Comparison

FeatureNikon Z6IIINikon Z8
Sensor24.5 MP partially stacked CMOS45.7 MP stacked CMOS
Image ProcessorEXPEED 7EXPEED 7
ISO Range100-64000 (expandable to 50-204800)64-25600 (expandable to 32-102400)
Autofocus Points273493
Max Continuous Shooting20 fps (RAW), 120 fps (11MP JPEG)20 fps (RAW), 120 fps (11MP JPEG)
Max Video Resolution6K/60p8K/60p
Viewfinder Resolution5760k-dot OLED3690k-dot OLED
LCD Screen3.2″ vari-angle touchscreen3.2″ 4-axis tilting touchscreen
Body ConstructionMagnesium alloy, weather-sealedMagnesium alloy, weather-sealed
WeightApprox. 670gApprox. 910g
Dimensions (WxHxD)138.5 x 101.5 x 74 mm144 x 118.5 x 83 mm
Battery Life (CIPA)Approx. 380 shotsApprox. 740 shots
Card Slots1 CFexpress/XQD, 1 SD UHS-II1 CFexpress/XQD, 1 SD UHS-II

Sensor And Image Quality

When comparing the Nikon Z6III and Z8, the sensor and image quality stand out as key differentiators. The Z6III boasts a 24.5 MP partially stacked CMOS sensor, while the Z8 steps up to a higher resolution 45.7 MP stacked CMOS sensor. This difference in resolution means the Z8 can capture more detail, particularly beneficial for large prints or heavy cropping.

Both cameras utilise Nikon’s latest EXPEED 7 image processor, ensuring speedy performance and excellent image processing. The Z8’s higher base ISO of 64 (compared to the Z6III’s 100) may provide a slight edge in dynamic range at lower ISOs. However, the Z6III’s lower resolution could potentially offer better high-ISO performance in low-light situations. Both cameras are capable of producing outstanding image quality, with the choice depending on whether you prioritise resolution or low-light performance.

Autofocus Performance

The autofocus systems of the Nikon Z6III and Z8 showcase the pinnacle of Nikon’s AF technology, yet with some notable differences. The Z8, with its 493 focus points, offers more extensive frame coverage compared to the Z6III’s 273 points. Both cameras feature Nikon’s advanced subject detection algorithms, capable of identifying and tracking humans, animals, and various objects. The Z8 may have a slight edge in low-light focusing, with a detection range down to -9 EV in Starlight mode, compared to the Z6III’s -8 EV.

In real-world use, both cameras deliver impressively fast and accurate autofocus, with the Z8 potentially offering more precise control for critical focus situations. Ultimately, while the Z8’s AF system is more robust, the Z6III’s performance is likely to satisfy all but the most demanding professional users.

Video Capabilities

When it comes to video capabilities, both the Nikon Z6III and Z8 offer impressive features, but the Z8 takes things up a notch. The Z6III boasts internal 6K/60p RAW video recording, which is a significant leap from its predecessor. However, the Z8 pushes the envelope further with 8K/60p recording capabilities, providing even more resolution and flexibility for video creators. Both cameras support various professional video features such as N-Log, HLG (HDR) recording, and timecode.

The Z8 offers additional perks like a dedicated video info display and extended oversampling options. While the Z6III’s 6K output will suffice for most videographers, the Z8’s 8K capability and more robust video feature set make it the clear choice for serious filmmakers or those who anticipate needing the highest resolution possible for their projects.

Image Stabilisation And Handling

Both the Nikon Z6III and Z8 feature advanced 5-axis in-body image stabilisation (IBIS) systems, offering photographers increased flexibility when shooting handheld. The Z6III provides up to 8 stops of stabilisation, while the Z8 matches this performance. In terms of handling, both cameras boast weather-sealed magnesium alloy bodies, ensuring durability in challenging conditions. The Z6III, being smaller and lighter (670g vs 910g), may appeal to those prioritising portability. However, the Z8’s larger body potentially offers better ergonomics for those with larger hands or when using hefty lenses.

The Z8 also features a 4-axis tilting touchscreen compared to the Z6III’s vari-angle display, which may influence handling preferences depending on one’s shooting style. Ultimately, both cameras offer excellent stabilisation and handling, with the choice largely coming down to individual ergonomic preferences and the importance of a more compact form factor.

Continuous Shooting And Buffer

When it comes to burst shooting, both the Nikon Z6III and Z8 are speed demons, offering impressive continuous shooting capabilities. The Z6III can fire off up to 20 fps in RAW format, while also boasting a High-Speed Frame Capture+ mode that allows for a whopping 120 fps at 11 megapixels. Not to be outdone, the Z8 matches these specs, also offering 20 fps in full resolution RAW and 120 fps at 11 megapixels. Where the Z8 might edge ahead is in its buffer capacity, potentially allowing for longer burst sequences before slowing down.

This could be particularly beneficial for sports or wildlife photographers who need to capture extended action sequences. However, for most shooting scenarios, both cameras offer more than enough speed and buffer capacity to capture even the most fleeting moments. The choice between the two in this aspect may come down to specific professional needs or personal preferences.

Connectivity And Battery Life

When it comes to connectivity, both the Nikon Z6III and Z8 offer a robust set of options to suit modern workflows. They feature built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for seamless image transfer and remote control via smartphones. The Z8, however, may have a slight edge with its more advanced wireless capabilities, potentially offering faster transfer speeds. Both cameras support the new Nikon Imaging Cloud service, enabling direct-to-cloud image uploads and firmware updates.

Battery life is where the Z8 pulls ahead significantly. It’s rated for approximately 740 shots per charge (CIPA standard), nearly double the Z6III’s 380 shots. This substantial difference could be a game-changer for photographers who spend long days shooting without easy access to charging facilities.

Both cameras offer USB-C connectivity for charging and data transfer, with the Z8 featuring an additional USB port for simultaneous charging and tethered shooting. While both cameras are well-equipped for professional workflows, the Z8’s superior battery life and potentially faster wireless capabilities might give it an edge for certain users.

Price And Value

The Nikon Z6III and Z8, while both high-performance cameras and occupy different price points in Nikon’s lineup. The Z6III, priced at £2,699, positions itself as a more accessible option for enthusiasts and professionals seeking a versatile, full-frame mirrorless camera. The Z8, with its higher price tag of £3,749, targets professional users who require top-tier specifications and performance.

Final Thoughts

The Nikon Z6III and Z8 both represent impressive achievements in Nikon’s mirrorless lineup, catering to different segments of the photography market. The Z6III emerges as a versatile all-rounder, offering a compelling mix of features at a more accessible price point. It’s likely to appeal to enthusiasts and professionals who need a capable tool for a variety of shooting scenarios without breaking the bank.

The Z8, on the other hand, stands out as a powerhouse, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in a mirrorless camera. Its higher resolution sensor, advanced video capabilities, and robust build make it an attractive option for professionals and serious enthusiasts who demand the utmost in image quality and performance.

Both cameras showcase Nikon’s commitment to innovation in the mirrorless space. The choice between them ultimately boils down to individual needs, budget constraints, and specific use cases. Whether you opt for the well-rounded capabilities of the Z6III or the no-compromise approach of the Z8, both cameras are poised to deliver exceptional results in the hands of skilled photographers.


About Owen Howell

Is the third generation and the current owner who was born into the business, learning all about the new and used camera trade from his father Barry and grandfather Tom. He now has a highly qualified team who themselves are practising photographers with a combined experience of over 100 years. You can catch Owen and his team using either the live chat on the website or by emailing [email protected] or telephone 01223 368087.

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