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Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.

  
 
Rudy Pohl
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


In the next 6 months I expect to be making an important gear decision and would really like some input regarding the choices. I will be choosing between 3 options:
1) Continuing with my excellent, glitch-free R5
2) Upgrading to the new R5II, assuming it has major improvements
3) Buying a Nikon Z8 and selling my Canon gear.

Some background:
I have been doing photography since 1970 (Pentax Spotmatic) and bought my first Nikon SLR in 1978. I have been a Nikon user all that time until October 2022 when I sold most of my DSLR Nikon gear and bought a Canon R5 and an RF100-500 L lens. I do exclusively wildlife and 80-90% of my time is spent doing videos and 10-20% doing stills.

I switched to Canon after 2 years of frustration waiting for Nikon to get a decent AF tracking capability, especially for doing wildlife video. At that time the Z8 was nowhere on the horizon and the Z9 was still having lots of AF problems, and besides, it was far too heavy and expensive for me. To-date almost every one of my wildlife Nikon photo-buddies has bought the Z8 and the Z 180-600mm lens and they love them.

I have intentionally not bought any additional Canon lenses or accessories in the last 19 months so I can be relatively free to leave the Canon world without loosing my financial shirt and rejoin Nikon if I feel it's a better choice for me. I expect to know better when the R5II is out and reviewed by some trusted reviewers.

If you were in my position, that is doing only wildlife, 80-90% of it video, and with budget being a consideration, what would you do and why?

I would especially like to hear from people who own or have extensively used both the Z8 and the R5.

Thanks,
Rudy



May 21, 2024 at 11:33 AM
lighthound
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Without even knowing what the specs are of the R5II it's hard to say, but it's very likely going to put the R5, Z8 and possibly even the Z9 and A1 to shame. Just speculation at this point but very likely.

I'm "hoping" to skip the R5II as I'm still very happy with my R5. But if they put this R5II on a whole new AF level, then I might be in trouble.

If I were in your shoes, I'd wait to see what the R5 brings to the table. Also, it's very likely we're going to see some new RF glass to go along with the R1 and R5II and it won't be WA lenses. Hopefully the RF 500 f/4.5 or 200-500 f/4.5 or ....



May 21, 2024 at 12:48 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


No MILC Canon has bested its competition yet, and now the R5II will finally be the one to do it?!


May 21, 2024 at 12:51 PM
thedutt
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


It really does not matter. In the end, it all boils down to your specific needs & skills and budget.


On a budget for an 800mm reach, Z8 + 800 6.3 win
On the perfect mammal combo, Z9 + 400 2.8 w/built-in TC wins
For a light weight wildlife combo A7IV+300mm f2.8 w/ TC wins
For budget R5 + EF 500mm F4 II wins
For Sports + Wildlife : R5 + 400 2.8 + 100-300 2.8 wins
For amateur budget do-it-all wildlife : R5 + 200-800 wins

Pick your poison and stick to it. All gears and systems are great enough. Many times, Z8 + 400 2.8 has tempted me; As has the 800 PF. Why have I not switched? Because it's just not worth switching systems. All the gear is fantastic enough that I don't think the gear brand makes a meaningful difference in the field anymore. Why would you want to switch from a "my excellent, glitch-free R5" instead of buying the lens you need?







May 21, 2024 at 01:53 PM
thedutt
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


RoamingScott wrote:
No MILC Canon has bested its competition yet, and now the R5II will finally be the one to do it?!


I will play. R5 did when it came out. Still keeps up with most of them in the real world.



May 21, 2024 at 01:54 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Rudy Pohl wrote:
In the next 6 months I expect to be making an important gear decision and would really like some input regarding the choices. I will be choosing between 3 options:
1) Continuing with my excellent, glitch-free R5
2) Upgrading to the new R5II, assuming it has major improvements
3) Buying a Nikon Z8 and selling my Canon gear.

If you were in my position, that is doing only wildlife, 80-90% of it video, and with budget being a consideration, what would you do and why?



Have not used a Z8. Keep your R5 unless it does not do what you want. There is also the R5C for better or worse video

Get rid of the 100-500 and order the 200-800.

Tony



May 21, 2024 at 01:55 PM
Ray Swindle
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


If you are 80-90% video, why not consider the made for photo and video R5C?


May 21, 2024 at 02:02 PM
Rudy Pohl
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Ray Swindle wrote:
If you are 80-90% video, why not consider the made for photo and video R5C?


Most times, depending on the subjects I'm shooting, I'm closer to doing 80% stills photography rather than 90% and I'm very much an active hybrid shooter meaning I switch back and forth frequently and quickly between video recording and taking stills of the same subject in a particular setting. Also, regarding stills I might go out one week and for 5 days do nothing but stills.

In light of this need, one of the things that impressed me the most about the R5 was its ability to switch back and forth between stills and video seamlessly and instantly. As far as I know no other mirrorless hybrid camera can do this as well as the R5 can.

From everything I've read and seen on youTube the R5C cannot do this. My understanding is that it is an excellent video camera but not so great as a hybrid camera which is what I need.

Thanks for your input,
Rudy






May 21, 2024 at 02:30 PM
lighthound
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


RoamingScott wrote:
No MILC Canon has bested its competition yet, and now the R5II will finally be the one to do it?!


It took Nikon a few recalls and FW updates on their Z8 & Z9 to even match the R5 and some reports by people that have used both systems claim the R5 still wins in certain situations.

Got anything better to do other than troll your competitors forums?
Seems to me that if you were so happy with your system of choice you'd be out there using it rather than spewing your fanboy drivel here on the Canon forum.



May 21, 2024 at 02:35 PM
Orsonneke
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Get a Z8 with 600 Pf!


May 21, 2024 at 02:38 PM
 


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Rudy Pohl
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Orsonneke wrote:
Get a Z8 with 600 Pf!


Thanks for your suggestion, but I do videos and stills of everything from close-at-hand Warblers, Hummingbirds and baby waterbirds to distant subjects like Grebes, Eagles, Snowy Owls, Osprey, Terns, etc. If I splashed out on a Nikon 600 PF I would still need something to cover the shorter focal lengths. Only a zoom tele with a TC can cover all the bases and stay within my budget.






May 21, 2024 at 03:03 PM
cpe1991
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Imagemaster wrote:
Have not used a Z8. Keep your R5 unless it does not do what you want. There is also the R5C for better or worse video

Get rid of the 100-500 and order the 200-800.

Tony

I have both the 100-500 and the 200-800 and am keeping both. The 200-800 is better for long distances but the 100-500 has much quicker AF for birds in flight and for close ups of insects. They both overlap and complement each other.



May 21, 2024 at 03:14 PM
molson
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Rudy Pohl wrote:
If you were in my position, that is doing only wildlife, 80-90% of it video, and with budget being a consideration, what would you do and why?

I would especially like to hear from people who own or have extensively used both the Z8 and the R5.



What I did was sell my Z8 and buy a Canon R5. My shooting is probably split about 50/50 wildlife and landscapes, and the R5 just works better than what I could get out of the Z8 (and Z9) after a little over a year of shooting with Nikon.

The only things I miss are some of the new Nikon Z-series telephoto primes, but for video I would rather have zoom lenses anyway. However, if you don't shoot anything other than wildlife, it's probably worth putting up with the Z8's AF system just to be able to use their long glass (and in that case I would get the Z9 for a bit better build quality and a lot better battery life).



May 21, 2024 at 03:16 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


cpe1991 wrote:
I have both the 100-500 and the 200-800 and am keeping both. The 200-800 is better for long distances but the 100-500 has much quicker AF for birds in flight and for close ups of insects. They both overlap and complement each other.


Well that is great if one wants to pack around both of those lenses at the same time, which I don't.

Plus the 200-800 does not require putting on and taking off a TC to get to 800mm and back to 200mm.



May 21, 2024 at 03:25 PM
cpe1991
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Imagemaster wrote:
Well that is great if one wants to pack around both of those lenses at the same time, which I don't.

Plus the 200-800 does not require putting on and taking off a TC to get to 800mm and back to 200mm.


Neither do I carry both - I choose the appropriate one for the occasion.




May 21, 2024 at 03:38 PM
garyvot
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Imagemaster wrote:
Well that is great if one wants to pack around both of those lenses at the same time, which I don't.

Plus the 200-800 does not require putting on and taking off a TC to get to 800mm and back to 200mm.


True, but that is really valuable if one needs 800mm (we know that you do). But if you live at shorter focal lengths, the 100-500 is easier to carry, is 2/3 stop faster at all common focal lengths, and allows a closer working distance to the subject.

I personally think the 100-500 is more useful as an all-round telephoto lens, while the 200-800 is better suited for certain kinds of nature photography.

I think people could decide to own both of these with good cause.



May 21, 2024 at 04:16 PM
garyvot
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


I guess I would second (or third) the notion that you should wait to see the R5 Mark II announce and/or reviews before making a decision.

It seems you switched to Canon for its AF and camera body advantages. Now that Nikon has sorted its AF system, it may be that its lenses are more impactful for what you do than the camera body. In that case, you will have to decide if you will feel badly should you get the Z8 and then end up wanting the R5 II.

It's probably better to wait and make that decision after all the facts (at least about the cameras) are known.

Edit: I am an owner of neither the Z8 nor the R5, which is why I did not try to represent pros and cons of one vs. the other. This is just general advice based on how I would approach this decision. Good luck.



May 21, 2024 at 04:23 PM
Imagemaster
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


lighthound wrote:
Got anything better to do other than troll your competitors forums?
Seems to me that if you were so happy with your system of choice you'd be out there using it rather than spewing your fanboy drivel here on the Canon forum.


What do you expect from the Z fanboy other than ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.



May 21, 2024 at 05:22 PM
Rudy Pohl
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


garyvot wrote:
I guess I would second (or third) the notion that you should wait to see the R5 Mark II announce and/or reviews before making a decision.

It seems you switched to Canon for its AF and camera body advantages. Now that Nikon has sorted its AF system, it may be that its lenses are more impactful for what you do than the camera body. In that case, you will have to decide if you will feel badly should you get the Z8 and then end up wanting the R5 II.

It's probably better to wait and make that decision after all
...Show more

Hi Gary, thanks for your thoughtful input.

I'm sorry if I might have left the impression that I was planning to make this decision anytime soon. I definitely will not be making this decision until well after the R5II has been announced and thoroughly reviewed in the field by a number of trusted reviewers like Jan Wegener and by people in this forum and the DP Review forum that I have been part of since buying the R5. Only then will I be able to make a proper decision.

Regarding lenses for wildlife: I shoot all kinds of birds and animals up close and at a distance so a good zoom lens is the best solution for me. But weight is a huge factor in the equation because I have integrated my photography-videography hobby into my lifestyle-fitness routine. On most of my outings 4-5 times a week I try to walk or hike at least an hour with all my gear which often includes a small backpack, a collapsible stool and a tripod. I'm 74 years old and thankfully still in pretty good shape and am able to do this without any problems, however, I would be very reluctant to use anything heavier than the RF100-500 L.

I find this to be an extraordinarily good quality lens... there's a lot to be said for a lens that is sharp at all apertures and all focal lengths and light enough to carry for hours. I can't imagine that I would have the strength and energy to haul around the RF200-800 to the places I usually go. I actually don't desire Nikon's long lenses mainly because they're too heavy for me to walk with for an hour and I could barely afford them anyway. For me the camera body is far more important in the overall decision.

Finally, regarding the R5, I can honestly say after taking more than 60,000 shots and hundreds of hours of video recordings in all weather and lighting conditions there is very little that I want to do in this hobby that my R5 + RF100-500 combo cannot do, and do very well. Naturally, like evryone, I would like less IBIS wobble, less rolling shutter, stickier AF tracking, shutter sound and rate control, audio in 4K 120p video mode and so on, however I have have learned to mitigate most of these things with effective work-arounds to yield good results in the end. I bought a 3-year extended warranty and could live with this gear for a long time yet.

Anyways, thanks everyone for your input, it has been helpful to kick this around with others.

Rudy









May 21, 2024 at 07:05 PM
artsupreme
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Input wanted from owners/users of both the Z8 and the R5.


Rudy Pohl wrote:
Hi Gary, thanks for your thoughtful input.

I'm sorry if I might have left the impression that I was planning to make this decision anytime soon. I definitely will not be making this decision until well after the R5II has been announced and thoroughly reviewed in the field by a number of trusted reviewers like Jan Wegener and by people in this forum and the DP Review forum that I have been part of since buying the R5. Only then will I be able to make a proper decision.

Regarding lenses for wildlife: I shoot all kinds of birds and animals
...Show more


The R5II will be your answer. It will best the Z8 in all areas (especially AF) and be more compact/lightweight.



May 21, 2024 at 08:47 PM
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