The Nikon Z6 II and the Nikon Z8 are two full-frame cameras in the Nikon Z system, but they are very different cameras. The Z6 II is a mid-resolution general-purpose camera whereas the Z8 is a stacked-sensor full-frame beast. Both will give you access to the best glass Nikon has ever produced and both are capable of amazing images. Which one is right for you?
Nikon Z6 II vs Nikon Z8 Specifications Comparison
|Camera Feature||Nikon Z6 II||Nikon Z8|
|Announced||October 2020||May 2023|
|Sensor Type||BSI CMOS||Stacked CMOS|
|Image Processor||Dual EXPEED 6||EXPEED 7|
|Resolution||24.5 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||5.94µ||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 50-204,800||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||900 seconds||900 seconds|
|Continuous Shooting (Mechanical Shutter)||14 FPS||No mechanical shutter|
|Continuous Shooting (Electronic Shutter)||14 FPS||20 FPS|
|Notes for High FPS Shooting||12-bit raw and single-point autofocus at 14 FPS (no limitations 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)||124 frames (14 FPS)||Over 1000 frames (20 FPS)|
|Autofocus System||Hybrid PDAF||Hybrid PDAF|
|Maximum Low-Light AF Sensitivity (Standardized to f/2, ISO 100)||-6 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)||10 (12 with paid upgrade)||12 bits|
|Raw Video||No (Yes, externally, with paid upgrade)||Yes|
|8K Maximum Framerate||N/A||60 FPS|
|4K Maximum Framerate||60 FPS||120 FPS|
|1080P Maximum Framerate||120 FPS||120 FPS|
|Additional Video Crop Factor||1.5x crop at 4K 60p (4K 30p has no additional crop)||No|
|Chroma Subsampling||4:2:0, 4:2:2 (External)||4:2:2|
|Video Recording Limit||30 min||90 min|
Physical and Other Features
|Slot 1 Type||CFExpress Type B||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||2.1 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)||340 frames||330 frames|
|Battery Life (Rear LCD)||410 frames||340 frames|
|Battery Life (Eco Mode)||450 frames||370 frames|
|Weight (Body Only w/ Battery + Card)||705 g (1.55 lbs.)||910 g (2.01 lbs.)|
|Dimensions (LxHxD)||134 x 101 x 85 mm (5.3 x 4.0 x 3.3″)1||144 x 119 x 88 mm (5.7 x 4.7 x 3.5″)2|
|MSRP, Body Only||$2000 (Check Current Price)||$4000 (Check Current Price)|
|Used Prices||Nikon Z6 II Used Prices||Nikon Z8 Used Prices|
|1The Nikon Z7 II’s official dimensions do not include the depth of the protruding viewfinder. To match the typical standards today, 15mm were added to the Z7 II’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
The Nikon Z8 is clearly the one for action, but that doesn’t mean the Nikon Z6 II can’t do wildlife and moderate action. In fact, I still use an original Z6 for birding and for moderate movement, it works quite well. T’d go so far to say that the Z6 II is an amazing camera and more than enough for most people.
That being said, if you need autofocus for birds in flight or sports, the Z8 will be easier to use and get the shot more times than would the Z6 II. The Z8 also has much better video features, including the ability to shoot 8K and Raw video without an upgrade.
The Z6 II also has a lower resolution of 24MP over the 45MP of the Z8, but then if you only need higher resolution without the advanced autofocus, check out our Z7 II vs Z8 article.
The price difference between the cameras is also enormous, but on the other hand, the Z8 is one of the cheapest cameras in its class. I think most people will know if they need a Z8. If not, the Z6 II might be just the camera for you.
What does the Nikon Z6 II offer over the Nikon Z8?
- Lighter weight (205g lighter or about 1.3 times lighter)
- Much lower price, costing $2000 less—you could take a trip with this savings!
What does the Nikon Z8 offer over the Nikon Z6 II?
- Much better autofocus
- Flagship-level body
- Stacked sensor with blackout-free shooting
- 1.87 times more megapixels (24.5MP vs 45.7MP)
Questions? Go to our forum, where you can start a conversation and talk to photographers about these two cameras!