Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
dkyl Contributing Member • Posts: 967
Re: Z9 (and Z8)

bobn2 wrote:

dkyl wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

dkyl wrote:

and put it in the Z7iii.

To be clear, I don’t see an issue calling it a Z8 or Z7III.

But that is rather the issue. The whole reason people go on about the 'Z8' is because they have decided that the Z7 line has not enough of something to be respectable for them, The 'something' doesn't get well defined. If that was not an issue, they would just be speculating in what is in line for the Z7iii.

I disagree here. I don’t think it’s about the Z7 line not being respected enough. Imo it’s more that the Z6/7 was always intended as the compact FX body. So a non-compact FX body can exist that doesn’t need to have an integrated grip and costing upwards of $6k.

The larger spacing will be a welcomed choice by many imo.

So, what you want is a Z7 that's a bit bigger. That comes back to the product differentiation thing again. Is there room in the line for a little and large version of the same camera. I wouldn't think so. It's the same question as alway, are there enough extra sales in a variant with a bigger body to justify having both. I would think not myself. More likely that if Nikon wants a bigger body, they'd wrap it up with the retro chic and offer you a faux F3 based on the Z6 or Z7, in the hope that the retro thing produced enough extra for the double stocking and all that.

Doing retro at this price point just wouldn’t work imo. But a larger body isn’t limited to just a potential better fit for a customer with larger hands. Removing a size constraint surely allows designers more room to manoeuvre.

Yes, I understand the extra sales argument. I’d argue there will be, but of course it’s not enough to just have more sales. You’d need more sales to cover development plus profit. But this might comes down to how they design the Z9 body. They’re doing it anyways for a low volume model so whether they can have some modularity in manufacturing to do a grip less version for very little extra development cost is up to their planning.

It’s also not just additional sales for Nikon. I think you must factor in potential sales saved by not loosing it to a competitor. Sony has an A9 and Canon has a R5. But of course this means you can upgrade the Z7’s price point but doing so might mean loosing volume due to price elasticity of demand so I think both the $3k and $4.5k price points are important enough to consider two differentiated products.

I just see an enough of a differentiation above a Z6 and below a Z9.

It's called the Z7 line.

And maybe a Z8 too.

The question is as above, are there enough extra sales.

If they keep that in the Z5/6/7 body type then of course it’d be called a Z7III. If they do it in a non integrated grip Z9, then it’d be called a Z8.

The only 'non integrated grip' top end camera Nikon has ever done was the D700, and that was a very special set of circumstances. It makes one wonder why slicing off the grip part is going to somehow make the thing affordable. In any case, as has been discussed, a whole load of what's going to make the Z9 what it is, the special sauce in its sensor. And that is very unlikely to find its way into a camera down the line.

It’s not so much slicing the grip off is going to make it affordable. Both a gripped and gripless top end mirrorless body should cost less than a top end DSLR without the need for the highest performance mirrorbox. The difference is the highest end Z9 will have that very expensive sensor which accounts for the cost premium of the Z9.
I don’t think I said anywhere that this sensor will be in the Z8. I’m saying if Nikon can procure a high resolution sensor (perhaps based off the IMX472’s pixel structure) that costs less, then it can fit into a Z8 model around $4.5-5k.

I suspect that the high end bespoke stacked sensor that the Z9 will have will cost just as much as a mirror box. As for the $4.5-5k, I doubt that many would buy it. People with resources to spend that much will go all the way to the Z9. Especially because this 'Z8' will likely not have the AF performance and will lack any other attributes that come from the special sauce in that Z9 sensor.

Yes, I agree re: the Z9 sensor cost. Which is why I think it would justify the expected $6.5k price even without a specialised mirror box.

I think the Z8 can still be attractive without the Z9 special sauce. I’d expect perhaps blackout free EVF even if AF looses out a little. If we’re talking about a potential 90MP quad Bayer Sony Semi stacked sensor it should be able to do both high resolution as well as 1/4 resolution faster speeds. It’d compete at the A9 II price point which in a similar way uses an AF system one notch down from the A1 but is still a good performer with blackout free EVF.

But I just think there’s enough demand for a larger body with similar/same UI as a Z9 that they can sell at a higher price point than Z7. Hence why I think a Z8 can exist. They obviously left room in the numbering for one.

I don't believe that there is enough extra demand. That is, people for whom the UI is a deal breaker. And the Z UI is actually better than the top end Nikon UI. If it was really better, why not put it on all their cameras? It costs nothing at all. The only reason for putting it on the pro PJ cameras is that those users tend to be very conservative and want to continue with what they are used to, even if the alternative is better.

We haven’t yet seen what the UI changes to the Z9 are. But I think spacing is one advantage the Z9 width will have over the Z5/6/7.

We know what they essentially are from the photos. The Z9 doesn't have a mode wheel. It will likely have shooting banks rather than user modes. These are the features people seem to get hung up on. Not the 'BKT' button, or the AF mode selector on the camera. 'Spacing' is another thing, but comparing my Z6 with my D810, there Z6 has more 'spacing', because it has fewer redundant buttons and they are more sensibly arranged.

Whether or not you think it's a good thing, camera sales tend to be driven by spec sheets, and all these things that differentiate the fictional 'Z8' from a Z7 seem to be things that wouldn't show up on a spec sheet, and that is likely too insubstantial for a whole different model.

I was referring to the back. Perhaps an additional joystick so you can setup two (or three with the AF-On button included) AF modes simultaneously.

Perhaps the optical joystick that Canon have opted for.

The trickiness of course is defining the differentiation between a Z7III and Z8. If they can’t adequately define and differentiate the two, I’d say they’re better off making the Z8 and discontinuing the Z7 series. If they can, then the two can coexists. And between the Z7III with 8K and Z6III without, I don’t see the one without being seen as deficient as long as it’s priced correctly. And it’d still be in the volume/price sweet spot whereas the 8k models will likely be priced beyond where there’d be adequate volume.

They already made the decision to have a Z7. That's not to say they might not change, but they don't have space for both.

Well I disagree but let’s see.

Have a look here:


Nikon marketing clearly thinks that the Z7 is the mirrorless D850. The might change their mind, I suppose, but I can't see what advantage an extra model would bring them.

But that’s partially cos they’re still filling up their Z lineup and are also incentivised to convert their F-mount customers to Z-mount.

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