The Nikon Z5 and the Nikon Z8 are two of Nikon’s full-frame mirrorless cameras, both of which use their latest Z mount. However, while the Z5 is the most basic entry-level model, the Z8 is one of Nikon’s top action cameras. If you are thinking of getting into the Z system, you might be wondering which one is better for you. Read on to find out!
Nikon Z5 vs Nikon Z8 Specifications Comparison
|Camera Feature||Nikon Z5||Nikon Z8|
|Announced||July 2020||May 2023|
|Sensor Type||CMOS||Stacked CMOS|
|Image Processor||EXPEED 6||EXPEED 7|
|Resolution||24.3 MP||45.7 MP|
|Sensor Dimensions||35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)||35.9 x 23.9 mm (Full Frame)|
|Sensor Pixel Size||5.95µ||4.35µ|
|Low Pass Filter||Yes||No|
|IBIS (In-Body Image Stabilization)||Yes||Yes|
|Base ISO||ISO 100||ISO 64|
|Max Native ISO||ISO 51,200||ISO 25,600|
|Extended ISOs||ISO 50-102,400||ISO 32-102,400|
|High-Resolution Sensor Shift||No||No|
|Focus Stack Bracketing||Yes||Yes|
|Pre-Shoot Burst Mode||No||Yes (JPEG only)|
|Fastest Shutter Speed||1/8000||1/32000|
|Longest Shutter Speed||30 seconds||900 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||4.5 FPS||No mechanical shutter|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||4.5 FPS||20 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||None||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)||100 frames (4.5 FPS)||Over 1000 frames (20 FPS)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Maximum Low-Light AF Sensitivity (Standardized to f/2, ISO 100)||-3.5 EV||-7.5 EV|
|Standard Flash Sync Speed||1/200||1/200|
|Curtain to Protect Sensor at Shutdown||No||Yes|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (Internal)||8 bits||12 bits|
|Maximum Video Bit Depth (External)||8 bits||12 bits|
|8K Maximum Framerate||N/A||60 FPS|
|4K Maximum Framerate||30 FPS||120 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||60 FPS||120 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||1.7x crop at 4K||No|
|Video Recording Limit||30 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)||3.2 in||3.2 in|
|Rear LCD Resolution||1.04 million dots||2.1 million dots|
|Articulating LCD||Single Axis||Dual Axis|
|Viewfinder Resolution||3.69 million dots||3.69 million dots|
|USB Type||Type C 3.1||Two Type C 3.2 Gen 2 ports|
|Battery Life (Viewfinder)||390 frames||330 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||470 frames||340 frames|
|Battery Life (Eco Mode)||N/A||370 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||675 g (1.49 lbs.)||910 g (2.01 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||134 x 101 x 80 mm (5.3 x 4.0 x 3.1″)1||144 x 119 x 88 mm (5.7 x 4.7 x 3.5″)2|
|MSRP, Body Only||$1400 (Check Current Price)||$4000 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Nikon Z5 Used Prices||Nikon Z8 Used Prices|
|1The Nikon Z5’s official dimensions do not include the depth of the protruding viewfinder. To match the typical standards today, 15mm were added to the Z5’s depth measurement in this table.|
|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
This chart alone shows that the Z8 beats the Z5 in almost every category except price and weight. On the other hand, in terms of pure image quality, the Z5 and Z8 are pretty much the same. What exactly makes the Z8 so much more expensive than the Z5? It’s mainly the stacked sensor and advanced autofocus.
So although shooting birds in flight will be much easier with a Z8, if you’re shooting calmer, slower subjects, the Z5 might be all the camera you’ll ever need. If so, you’ll be happy having a lighter, more compact camera.
Of course, being a near-flagship camera, the Nikon Z8 does come with a few other features besides speed such as its much more advanced video features (like uncropped 4K120 over the Z5’s cropped 4K30).
So which one should you get? If you need speed and advanced video, get the Z8. Otherwise, get the Z5 and three or four Z lenses for the same price.
What does the Nikon Z5 offer over the Nikon Z8?
- Better battery life when using the viewfinder, with approximately 60 more shots according to CIPA measurements
- Lighter weight (235g lighter or about 1.3 times lighter)
- Much lower price, costing $2600 less—you could take a trip with this savings!
What does the Nikon Z8 offer over the Nikon Z5?
- Much better autofocus
- 1.88 times more megapixels (24.3MP vs 45.7MP)
- Higher resolution rear display, with about 2.0x more dots, making image review in the field easier
Questions? Go to our forum, where you can start a conversation and talk to photographers about these two cameras!