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Nikon Z7 2 VS Nikon Z8 for underwater photography

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Hello everyone


Despite the fact that I believe this question is not very original, I would like to hear your thoughts on it. Currently, I have a Nikon Z8 and a Nikon Z7 2. The Z8 is my primary camera for wildlife photography (on land) and the Z7 2 is my backup camera and my underwater camera with an Isotta housing.

In terms of autofocus and frame rate, the Z8 is clearly superior to the Z72. I can't enjoy the high speed underwater because I'm limited to strobe speed and, while focusing speed and tracking are advantages, I usually don't follow a cheeta underwater..  So, is it worth buying an underwater housing for the Z8 for better results, or are the differences in real life marginal?





P.S. In the attached pic - I wish In had the Z8 when I took this shot..


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Do you feel like Z7II's focus capabilities are limiting your underwater photography in any way? Like missed shots on blackwater dives, or shooting macro in imperfect conditions such as surge?


If it was a choice between housing a Z7II or a Z8 I would say go for the Z8, since the difference in housing costs is marginal, but since you already have a housing for the Z7II, dropping another five thousand euros on a Z8 housing (after accounting for the import taxes) is a very hard sell - even if you were to sell the other housing, that'd still leave you a couple thousand euros on the hole, and that can easily fund a liveaboard trip as long as you're not going too far away.

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It is going to come down to EVF quality and focus accuracy. I have the Z8 but have not used a Z7. If you found major improvement in responsiveness and brightness of the EVF it might be a good trade. I have found the combo of a 45deg viewfinder and the ability to shoot and review in the EVF to be remarkable with Z8.

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@Ido - great cheetah capture!  

I agree with all regarding the actual photo benefits of upgrading to the Z8 vs. the cost.  I’ll throw out a couple other points to consider.


As new camera models and housings are released, unfortunately the value and resale opportunities for our current housings are reduced.  The older they become, the less we can get in a sale which leads to a higher net upgrade cost.

The frequency of use also plays into the equation.  If it is used frequently vs. occasionally, the upgrade can be more easily justified.  If used infrequently, upgrading is less justifiable.


I used one housing for 11 years.  It worked great and I did not want to spend the money to upgrade.  Like an older car, I just kept using it because it served my needs.  When I sold it, I lost 83% compared to the new price, but that was not bad if considered in terms of annual depreciation.  

I then sold my Sony a7rIV housing when the a7rV came out 2 years later.  The rV was not yet widely available and there was still a market for the rIV.  I lost 27% in the sale and I found a lightly used a1 housing.  I also dive at least twice a month.  All combined it made the net upgrade an easy “yes.”

The quest for shiny new gear is never ending.  With that said, I’ll always pick a trip if it’s a close choice. 😎 


Edited by ChipBPhoto
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