The Canon EOS R6 II and the Nikon Z8 are not exactly in the same class. Although both were released six months apart, the Nikon Z8 is a stacked-sensor action beast whereas the R6 II is a bit more modest in its capabilities. Which one of these cameras should you get?
Canon EOS R6 II vs Nikon Z8 Specifications Comparison
|Camera Feature||Canon EOS R6 II||Nikon Z8|
|Announced||November 2022||May 2023|
|Sensor Type||CMOS||Stacked CMOS|
|Image Processor||DIGIC X||EXPEED 7|
|Resolution||24.2 MP||45.7 MP|
|Sensor Dimensions||36.0 x 24.0 mm (Full Frame)||35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)|
|Sensor Pixel Size||6.00µ||4.35µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||No|
|IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)||Yes||Yes|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 64|
|Max Native ISO||ISO 102,400||ISO 25,600|
|Extended ISOs||ISO 50-204,800||ISO 32-102,400|
|High-Resolution Sensor Shift||No||No|
|Focus Stack Bracketing||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-Shoot Burst Mode||Yes||Yes (JPEG only)|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/16000||1/32000|
|Longest Shutter Speed||30 seconds||900 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||12 FPS||No mechanical shutter|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||40 FPS||20 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||12-bit raw at 40 FPS (14-bit raw is available at 12 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)||75 frames (40 FPS), 110 frames (12 FPS)||Over 1000 frames (20 FPS)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Maximum Low-Light AF Sensitivity (Standardized to f/2, ISO 100)||-5 EV||-7.5 EV|
|Standard Flash Sync Speed||1/250||1/200|
|Curtain to Protect Sensor at Shutdown||Yes||Yes|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)||10 bits||12 bits|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)||12 bits||12 bits|
|Raw Video||Yes, externally||Yes|
|8K Maximum Framerate||N/A||60 FPS|
|6K Maximum Framerate||60 FPS1||N/A|
|4K Maximum Framerate||60 FPS||120 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||180 FPS||120 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||No||No|
|Video Recording Limit||360 min||90 min|
Physical and Other Features
|Slot 1 Type||SD (UHS-II)||CFExpress Type B|
|Slot 2 Type||SD (UHS-II)||SD (UHS-II)|
|Rear LCD Size (Diagonal)||3.0 in||3.2 in|
|Rear LCD Resolution||1.62 million dots||2.1 million dots|
|Articulating LCD||Fully Articulating||Dual Axis|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3.69 million dots||3.69 million dots|
|USB Type||Type C 3.2 Gen 2||Two Type C 3.2 Gen 2 ports|
|Battery Life (Viewfinder)||320 frames||330 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||580 frames||340 frames|
|Battery Life (Eco Mode)||760 frames||370 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||670 g (1.48 lbs.)||910 g (2.01 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||138 x 98 x 88 mm (5.4 x 3.8 x 3.5″)||144 x 119 x 88 mm (5.7 x 4.7 x 3.5″)2|
|MSRP, Body Only||$2500 (Check Current Price)||$4000 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Canon EOS R6 II Used Prices||Nikon Z8 Used Prices|
|1The Canon EOS R6 II supports 6K video, but only with an external recorder over HDMI|
|2The Nikon Z8’s official dimensions do not include the depth of the protruding viewfinder. To match the typical standards today, 5mm were added to the Z8’s depth measurement in this table.|
Summary and Recommendations
Like I said, these two cameras are certainly different. But how much farther behind is the R6 II over the Z8? The main things you get from the Z8 that you can’t get from the Canon R6 II is the stacked sensor, higher resolution, and superior autofocus.
However, the Canon R6 II does have a very solid autofocus system, and it can certainly handle action as well. And even though its non-stacked sensor means some rolling shutter in electronic shutter mode, the mechanical shutter still manages a very respectable 12FPS, which is faster than my D500, my main action camera. And, when you don’t care about rolling shutter, the R6 II is twice as fast as the Z8’s 20FPS mechanical shutter.
Thus, I think for most people, the Canon EOS R6 II is a much better value than the Nikon Z8. However, the stacked shutter of the Z8 means that you get more autofocus calculations and never having to worry about the mechanical shutter versus electronic shutter since the Z8 doesn’t even have an electronic shutter!
Also, the other part of the higher price of the Z8 comes from its higher resolution of 45MP over the 24MP of the Canon. For wildlife, this higher megapixel count really does make a difference. In my opinion, the higher resolution and better autofocus performance easily makes the Z8 worth it for people who need it, but for others, the R6 II is one heck of a camera!
What does the Canon EOS R6 II offer over the Nikon Z8?
- Lighter weight (240g lighter or about 1.4 times lighter)
- Much lower price, costing $1500 less
What does the Nikon Z8 offer over the Canon EOS R6 II?
- Better autofocus
- 1.89 times more megapixels (24.2MP vs 45.7MP)
- 8K Video
Questions? Go to our forum, where you can start a conversation and talk to photographers about these two cameras!