Is the Nikon Z8 a Canon EOS R5 killer?

Nikon Z8 leak
(Image credit: Nikon Rumors)

The Nikon Z8 specs have leaked – and if they're correct, it looks like the Big N's new camera is gunning directly for Canon's revolutionary EOS R5. 

Some observers noted that the Nikon Z8 specs make it akin to a "baby Nikon Z9", but to me we're looking at a body that's specifically designed to challenge the Canon EOS R5 – a camera that, let's not forget, absolutely set the industry on fire when it launched in 2020. 

Let's take a look at what are we dealing with. If the Nikon rumors are true, the Z8 has near-identical resolution to its Canon counterpart – the new Nikon has a 45.7MP sensor (albeit a stacked one) compared to the 45MP offered by the R5. 

The Z8 offers 20fps continuous shooting speed when shooting RAWs, matching the top speed of its opposite number. When shooting JPEG only, however, it does steal the Z9's trick of capturing up to 120fps – but remember that this is probably going to be limited to 11MP images, just like the Z9 is. 

Video is where things start to diverge a bit, as the Z8 is said to capture up to 8K 60p compared to the 8K 30p on the R5 – though the big question will be what overheating and recording limits will be imposed. It's also interesting that the Z8 apparently only has a tilting, rather than articulating, touchscreen.

You can also expect much faster shutter speeds on the new Nikon, with its electronic-only shutter maxing out at 1/32000 sec instead of the 1/8000 of Canon's camera. 

Elsewhere, though, things are again very similar. One CFexpress card slot and one SD slot? Check. HEIF files? Check. Weather sealing? Check. In-body image stabilization? Check (with a maximum of 6 stops on the Z8, versus the 8 of the R5). 

All in all, it looks pretty clear to me that Nikon has its sights set on Canon's game-changing powerhouse. Of course, given that it's been three years since R5 was launched, it's likely that a Canon EOS R5 Mark II is on the way soon…

If this article was of interest, you might want to check out the best Nikon cameras and the best Canon cameras – and see how they stack up, in the never-ending Canon vs Nikon debate. 

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.