The big three camera brands have the most potential regarding technology in their cameras. But sadly, Nikon hasn’t done much in that department for those of us lower on the totem pole. When announced, the Nikon z6 II and Nikon z7 II were essentially the same cameras as their predecessors. However, we’ll happily admit that the Nikon z9 is pretty great. And so, it’s now time for the company to bring that tech down to their lower-end cameras. Essentially, we need a new Nikon camera, like the Nikon z8.
The Nikon Z8?
So what are we talking about? There are reports about a Nikon z8 that’s supposed to be essentially the Nikon z9 but without the vertical grip and, therefore, fewer features. This report makes sense as, over a decade ago, Nikon did this with the Nikon D3, Nikon D700, and the Nikon D300. Those cameras were excellent. And considering how Nikon uses Sony parts, I think this is all very possible right now.
Why can’t this new Nikon camera stand out in the lineup? If the Nikon z9 has a 45MP full-frame sensor, why can’t the Nikon Z8 have the 60MP sensor the Sony a7r series has?
But this goes even deeper. The Nikon z9 has a whole cache of AI technology, and none of that has been brought to the Nikon z7 II or the Nikon z6 II. Where is bird detection or vehicle detection?
The Nikon Zf?
Let’s forget about the Nikon z8 for a second. What about the Nikon Zf? Where is our brand new Nikon camera with some heft and retro aesthetics made of metal that’s an ode to their past? This, perhaps more than anything else, would make me switch to Nikon tomorrow if it also included the AI tech.
I shoot Fujifilm, so a Nikon Zf sounds like a dream camera. If it has retro ergonomics, AI scene detection tech, a metal body, dual card slots, a suitable sensor, weather resistance, and beautiful image quality, I’d sign up to buy one tomorrow. Fujifilm, at the moment, hasn’t given the AI tech to their retro-style cameras. Further, those cameras are also APS-C. That’s not to put them down–they’ve got fantastic lenses, and the X Trans Sensor is very capable. But very often, it’s evident that the images are coming from an APS-C sensor. If it isn’t the depth of field, then the giveaway has to do with the depth of colors. The sensor in the XH2 addresses that to a degree, but we often shoot full-frame cameras alongside Fuji cameras. The difference is noticeable.
With that said, I also hope Nikon works closer with Capture One to give their cameras better support and the ability to import their Creative Styles into Capture One.
The Rest of the Industry
Nikon has been announcing a ton of lenses, and they also announced the smaller Nikon Z30. But that’s not necessarily the camera that will get folks really excited. A big announcement is needed; the rest of the photo industry has progressed. So far, Nikon also only has the z9.
It’s time, Nikon. Come on! Give us a camera that will make us want to leave Sony, Canon, and others.