Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V – Which is the Best?

The Sony A7R V was first announced on October 26th, 2022, while the new Nikon Z8 was announced on 10th May 2023. Both are flagship 35mm full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Now that we know everything about the Sony A7R V and the Nikon Z8, it’s clear that they actually share a lot of similarities when it comes to their core specifications and features, so which one should you pick?

We’re bringing you this in-depth Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V head-to-head comparison to help you choose between these two full-frame mirrorless cameras.

Sensor and Processor

Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Nikon Z8 has a 45.7 megapixel sensor while the A7R V has 61 megapixels, giving it a clear advantage in out-and-out resolution, although you’d probably be hard-pressed to tell the difference between the two unless you’re making large prints or aggressively cropping into the image.

The Z8’s stacked design and its lower megapixel count could potentially give it an advantage over the A7R V for noise control at higher ISO values.

What mainly differentiates the Z8 and A7R V is the type of sensor that they have.

The A7R V uses a standard back-side illuminated CMOS sensor, whereas the Z8 has a back-side illuminated, stacked CMOS sensor, which delivers faster performance and much faster burst speeds.

ISO Range

The native ISO range of the Nikon Z8 is 64 to 25,600, which can be expanded down to ISO 32 and up to 102,400.

The ISO range of the Sony A7R V runs from 100 to 32,000, which can be further expanded down to ISO 50 and up to ISO 102,400.

Pixel Shift Multi Shooting

The Sony A7R V has a special multi-shot shooting mode in which it takes 16 different images which can be combined using the Imaging Edge desktop software to produce a single, 241-megapixel image.

The most recent version of Sony’s Imaging Edge Desktop can automatically detect and correct small movements in the 16 images, such as leaves in trees or people. This greatly expands where and when you can deploy the Pixel Shift Multi Shooting mode.

In stark contrast, the Nikon Z8 doesn’t have any such equivalent mode.

Video Recording

Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Alpha A7R V is a much better video camera than the previous IV model, but it still can’t quite match the Nikon Z8.

The A7RV can record 8K/24p and 4K/60p with a modest 1.2x crop in 10bit 4:2:2 quality. It also offers 4K/30/25/24p and 1080/120p recording with no crop.

The Z8 is the second ever Nikon camera to offer 8K recording – UHD 8K 60p/30p/24p video can be recorded with no crop.

It also offers a variety of frame rates up to 120p, again using the entirety of the frame with no crop factor, and 4K UHD video oversampled from 8K is possible when recording in the 30p/25p/24p modes for even greater sharpness and detail.

There is one key video difference between the two cameras – the Z8 can record 8K/30p for 90 minutes and 4K/60p for over 2 hours without overheating, while the Sony A7R V has a 30 minute advisory limit, but is allegedly able to continue recording for longer than that.

Shutter Speeds

The A7R V has a mechanical shutter with a top speed of 1/8000th second, whereas the Z8 doesn’t actually have a mechanical shutter at all.

Instead its electronic shutter supports a fastest speed that goes all the way to an incredible 1/32,000th second.

Burst Shooting

Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The burst shooting rate of the Sony A7R V camera is 10fps with either the mechanical or electronic shutter.

It can record up to 88 uncompressed RAW, 184 compressed RAW+ JPEG, 583 compressed RAW, or 1000+ JPEGs, which is pretty impressive for a 61 megapixel camera.

If you want even faster burst shooting, though, the Nikon Z8 takes things to another level by being able to shoot at up to 120fps depending on the file format.

The Z8 offers 120fps burst shooting – yes, 120fps – but only at 11 megapixel resolution.

If you choose to shoot full-resolution 45 megapixel JPEGs, the rate drops to a still impressive 30fps, and then down again to 20fps for full-resolution 45 megapixel Raw files.


Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Sony A7R V has an AF system with 693 on-sensor phase-detection points covering 79% of the image frame and it can auto-focus down to EV-4 in low light.

The Z8 has a 493-point phase-detection AF system which includes 405 auto-area AF points, with 100% frame coverage.

Impressively the A7R V can also focus in light levels as low as -4EV (when used with an F2 lens), but the Nikon Z8 can focus in light levels as low as -9EV when used in the Starlight mode.

Thanks to its Expeed 7 processor, the Z8 offers a wide range of deep-learning artificial intelligence based AF tracking modes.

Subject tracking works for humans, dogs, cats and birds, the latter even in flight, plus vehicles, including planes, trains, bicycles and motorbikes.

The new Z8 rather surprisingly additionally recognises aircraft as a subject – either the whole body, front or the cockpit.

Sony has added an AI deep learning processing unit to the newer A7R V camera which enables it to recognise more subjects than the Alpha 1, and also greatly improves the detection of humans and animals/birds.

For the first time ever on any Sony camera. the A7R V can recognise a human via its pose as well as its eye and face. So if the person’s head is turned away from the camera, the A7 R V will still accurately detect the subject as human based on its AI deep learning.

Animal and bird detection has been expanded from just being able to recognise the eye on the Alpha 1 to the eye, head and body on the Mark V.

New to the A7RV is the ability to recognise airplanes, cars, trains and insects, all things which even the flagship Alpha 1 can’t currently detect.

Body and Design

Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

This is one of the biggest differences between the new Nikon Z8 and 2020’s Sony A7R V.

The Sony A1 largely follows the tried and tested design of seemingly almost every previous Sony Alpha camera – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it again seems to be the mantra for the flagship Alpha camera.

In terms of size, the Sony A1 is much smaller and lighter than the Z8, weighing in at 723g (1.59 lb / 25.50 oz) (including batteries) and measuring 131 x 97 x 82 mm (5.25 x 3.87 x 3.25″).

The Z8 is bigger than the A7R V, measuring 144 x 118.5 x 83 mm (5.7 x 4.7 x 3.3 in.), and at 910g it’s also substantially heavier than the A7R V.

Both cameras can still be used with an optional battery grip if you’d prefer to have a larger body with portrait controls and extended battery life.

Weather Resistance

The Nikon Z8 has a magnesium alloy body that is both dust- and weather-resistant, just like the D6 DSLR, with both of those cameras offering the same level of weather-proofing as each other.

The A7R V is the one of the most well-built Sony Alpha camera that we’ve ever reviewed. The front and rear and the top-plate are all made out of magnesium alloy, and all of the external controls are weather-sealed against both dust and moisture.


Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Nikon Z8 has an excellent in-body five-axis image stabilisation system which provides up to 6 stops of compensation when paired with certain Z-series lenses that also have their own built-in Vibration Reduction (VR) system.

The release of the A7R V marked a big step forward for IBIS in Sony Alpha cameras.

Most previous models, including the A1, had exactly the same 5-axis optical in-body image stabilization system which provides up to 5.5-stops of compensation.

The Sony A7R V has a newly redesigned stabilisation unit which offers up to 8 stops of in-body stabilisation, making it the most capable Alpha camera in this regard.


Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Alpha A7R V has a 9.44M-dot OLED Quad-XGA electronic viewfinder with 0.90x magnification and a refresh rate of up to 120fps.

The Z8 uses a much lower resolution 3.69M-dot, 0.8x-magnification OLED electronic viewfinder that also refreshes at 120fps, perfect for tracking your subject whilst shooting at up to 30fps.

So Sony clearly wins this battle with its large, very high resolution viewfinder.

LCD Screen

The Nikon Z8 uses a four-axis vertically and horizontally tilting 3.2-inch, 2.1M-dot LCD screen.

Whilst not quite as versatile as a fully articulating, vari-angle LCD, the Z8’s screen works very well for both portrait or landscape-orientation shooting.

You can tilt it upwards to face you in either mode, whilst still being centrally located which make it easier to compose with than a screen that flips out to the side.

The A7R V also has a really good 3.2-inch LCD screen with 2095K dot resolution.

The biggest change is the new screen’s sheer versatility. It has an incredible 4-axis multi-angle screen that can be flipped out to the side, rotated to the front, folded against the back of the camera to help protect it, and set to many other positions in-between.

Memory Cards

Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Nikon Z8 has one UHS-II SD card slot and one ultra-high speed CFexpress Type B slot.

Both of the Sony A7R V’s dual slots can be used for either SD UHS-I/II compliant memory cards or CFexpress Type A cards, making it a little more versatile.

Battery Life

Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The Sony A1 uses exactly the familiar NP-FZ100 battery that all the other recent Alpha camera use, which provides up to 430 shots when using the viewfinder and approx. 530 shots when using the LCD monitor.

The new Z8 uses the smaller capacity EN-EL15C battery that’s also used by the Z7 II, Z6 II and Z5 cameras, providing a CIPA-rated 300 shots maximum achievable from a full charge.


Nikon Z8 vs Sony A7R V - Head to Head Comparison

The price of the new Nikon Z8 is surprising, thankfully in a good way – Nikon have aggressively priced it at £3,999 / $3,999 body only in the UK/US.

The Sony A7R V is very similarly priced at £4,000 body only in the UK, $3,900 in the US and €4,500 in Europe.


The new Nikon Z8 takes almost everything that we loved about the flagship Z9 and squeezes it into a much smaller, lighter and crucially significantly cheaper body.

The Sony A7R V is less of an all-round hybrid camera than the Z8, perhaps better suited to stills photography with its amazing viewfinder, mechanical shutter and higher megapixel count.

So what do you think? Would you choose the new Nikon Z8 or the Sony A7R V, and why? Leave a comment below!

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