Nikon Z8 users disgruntled as killer feature is suddenly removed from specs

Nikon Z8 being reviewed by the DCW team
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

If things sound too good to be true, they often are – and that can be said for the Nikon Z8. 

A few weeks ago, Nikon uploaded a video to YouTube about firmware for the Nikon Z9 where it announced that the exciting new Auto Capture feature would also be included on the more-affordable Nikon Z8. Just a week after the video was uploaded, though, it looks like Nikon has retracted that as a feature – and people are feeling a little vexed.

Nikon Z8 vs Z9 – what are the real differences between them?

You can think of the Z8 either as a mirrorless Nikon D850 or a baby Z9. It’s full frame, has a high-precision AF system, it’s lightning-fast at 20fps when shooting RAW or 120fps when shooting low-res JPEGs, and it’s capable of recording 8K 60p video. 

It has the same 45.7MP stacked CMOS sensor, 6 stops of image stabilization and a maximum shutter speed of 1/32000 sec as the Nikon Z9, so really the only major thing setting these cameras apart is its form factor and a smaller capacity battery. 

Since the release of firmware update 4.00, the Nikon Z9 is now capable of Auto Capture – a feature that enables automatic shooting when the subject (human, animal or vehicle) meets the right criteria, such as when it moves, when it comes within a set distance, or when it enters the frame. 

While many who were hankering after the Z8 thought they might also be lucky enough to also get to use this feature, it seems that Nikon might have backtracked on the promise. 

Perhaps Nikon realized that releasing such an astonishingly good spec sheet for the Z8 rendered the Z9 a little obsolete. After all, why would you pay more to get a much bigger camera when you can get something that weighs a lot less and packs the same punch? 

Nikon Rumors was quick to point out this change in specs after noticing an amendment in both the Nikon Z8 press release and a YouTube video released by Nikon USA, which dived into what the latest firmware update offers. 

It’s no wonder people are annoyed with the sudden change; it might only be one feature that is missing, but it’s like promising someone a three-course meal and skipping dessert. You won’t leave hungry but you don’t get that sweet fix you were after, either.

We reached out to Nikon to find out whether this feature has actually been removed and why the company had the change of heart, but as yet haven’t received an official comment. 

You might be interested in reading more about the best Nikon cameras, as well as the best Nikon lenses – and specifically the best Nikon Z lenses for the Z8 and Z9. 

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Hannah Rooke
Staff Writer

Having studied Journalism and Public Relations at the University of the West of England Hannah developed a love for photography through a module on photojournalism. She specializes in Portrait, Fashion and lifestyle photography but has more recently branched out in the world of stylized product photography. For the last 3 years Hannah has worked at Wex Photo Video as a Senior Sales Assistant using her experience and knowledge of cameras to help people buy the equipment that is right for them. With 5 years experience working with studio lighting, Hannah has run many successful workshops teaching people how to use different lighting setups.