Elegant Pre-Wedding Dinner Photography | Italy | Nikon Z8 Test

V+J | Villa Sigurtà | First Nikon Z8 Field Test

Hey there! Time to write something on this almost-dead blog!

So I want to keep the circumstance of a new camera to be tested, to tell you about my latest photography adventure. I had the chance to shoot my first event (an elegant pre-wedding dinner, hosted close to the beautiful city of Verona, talking a bit about it later) with the Nikon Z8; let me tell you, it was an incredible experience. The camera is hands-down the best mirrorless camera I have ever tried (and I tried A LOT!), especially for wedding photography. The usual Nikon interface made it extremely easy to use – especially if you’re familiar with the brand – and the ergonomy was the best I’ve ever tested. In the end, taking pictures with the Z8 felt as natural as using the naked eye! If I have to describe it with a few words, it’s like using a D850 under tons of steroids. What I loved a lot is that the colors remain almost constant throughout the ISO range. Considering the event’s atmosphere, this time, I preferred not to use the flash, keeping the warm tones of the light strips. Scroll till the end of the post to see how amazingly well this camera can render low lights (without speaking about the killer AF performance!). I’m not interested in digging deeper into the Nikon Z8 tech specs, but if you want to have a list, I paste them at the end of the post. Wath I care about the most is that this camera is definitely the best thing I ever tried for wedding photography. My only concern is that each battery lasts around 3 hours, so you need 4 to 5 batteries for each camera, to cover a full wedding day. But this is well known since the world moved from reflex to mirrorless cameras.

The event itself was absolutely stunning, and I strongly suggest couples add pre-wedding dinner photography coverage to their photo service. It’s good both to be familiar with having a photographer around you on the wedding day and to create a sort of chapter one to your wedding photography set of photos. To be more specific about this event, it was a pre-wedding dinner hosted by an American couple at Villa Sigurtà, near Verona, in Italy. We took a romantic stroll through Parco Giardino Sigurtà and captured some amazing photos of the couple. Then it was time for the guests to arrive, and the couple greeted them with a hand-made pizza, made by expert Italian hands chef in the traditional way. The best part of it is you can even try it! If you ever find yourself in Florence, you must search for Pizzeria Giotto, and you’ll discover a beautiful newly renewed restaurant close to the central train station – it has even been awarded as one of the best in the world. After dinner, the couple’s best friends gave speeches under the starry sky, filling the laidback atmosphere with laughs and tears. It was a beautiful moment I was lucky enough to capture (awesome test in low light or the new Nikon Z8s).

All in all, I can confidently say that the Nikon Z8 is the best Nikon camera ever. It’s perfect for any photography project, especially weddings (we missed a good camera like this lately…). If you’re a photographer looking to step up your game, especially if you left Nikon because of some lack of performance (how to blame you…), I’d recommend trying the brand-new Nikon Z8. Trust me: you won’t regret it!


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Elegant Pre Wedding Dinner Photography Italy Nikon Z Test

NIKON Z8 Specs

Type of camera

Digital camera with support for interchangeable lenses

Lens mount

Nikon Z mount

Compatible lenses

  • Z mount NIKKOR lenses

  • F mount NIKKOR lenses (mount adapter required; restrictions may apply)

Effective pixels

45.7 million


35.9 x 23.9 mm CMOS sensor (full-frame/FX-format)

Total pixels

52.37 million

Dust-reduction system

Image sensor cleaning, Image Dust Off reference data (requires NX Studio)

Image size (pixels)

  • [FX (36 x 24)] selected for image area: 8256 x 5504 (Large: 45.4 M), 6192 x 4128 (Medium: 25.6 M), 4128 x 2752 (Small: 11.4 M)

  • [DX (24 x 16)] selected for image area: 5392 x 3592 (Large: 19.4 M), 4032 x 2688 (Medium: 10.8 M), 2688 x 1792 (Small: 4.8 M)

  • [1:1 (24 x 24)] selected for image area: 5504 x 5504 (Large: 30.3 M), 4128 x 4128 (Medium: 17.0 M), 2752 x 2752 (Small: 7.6 M)

  • [16:9 (36 x 20)] selected for image area: 8256 x 4640 (Large: 38.3 M), 6192 x 3480 (Medium: 21.5 M), 4128 x 2320 (Small: 9.6 M)

File format (image quality)

  • NEF (RAW): 14 bit; choose from lossless compression, high efficiency★, and high efficiency options

  • JPEG: JPEG-Baseline compliant with fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compression; size-priority and optimal-quality compression available

  • HEIF: Supports fine (approx. 1 : 4), normal (approx. 1 : 8), or basic (approx. 1 : 16) compression; size-priority and optimal-quality compression available

  • NEF (RAW)+JPEG: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and JPEG formats

  • NEF (RAW)+HEIF: Single photograph recorded in both NEF (RAW) and HEIF formats

Picture Control system

Auto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat, 20 Creative Picture Controls; selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls
Note: Choice of Picture Controls is restricted to Standard, Monochrome, and Flat when HLG is selected for tone mode during still photography


CFexpress (Type B), XQD, SD (Secure Digital), and UHS-II compliant SDHC and SDXC memory cards

Dual card slots

Either card can be used for overflow or backup storage, for separate storage of NEF (RAW) and JPEG or HEIF pictures, or for storage of duplicate JPEG or HEIF pictures at different sizes and image qualities; pictures can be copied between cards


1.27-cm/0.5-in. approx. 3690k-dot (Quad VGA) OLED electronic viewfinder with color balance, auto and 18-level manual brightness controls, and support for high frame rates

Frame coverage

Approx. 100% horizontal and 100% vertical


Approx. 0.8x (50 mm lens at infinity, -1.0 m-1)


8-cm/3.2-in., approx. 2100k-dot vertically and horizontally tilting TFT touch-sensitive LCD with 170° viewing angle, approximately 100% frame coverage, and color balance and 15-level manual brightness controls


Electronic shutter with shutter sound and sensor shield


1/32000 to 30 s in steps of 1/3, 1/2 and 1 EV, extendable to 900 s in mode M, bulb, time

Flash sync speed

Flash synchronizes with shutter at speeds of 1/250 or 1/200 s or slower (but note that the guide number drops at speeds of 1/200 to 1/250 s); sync speeds as fast as 1/8000 s are supported with auto FP highspeed sync

Release modes

Single frame, continuous L, continuous H, highspeed frame capture with Pre-Release Capture, self-timer

Approximate frame advance rate

  • Continuous L: Approx. 1 to 10 fps

  • Continuous H: Approx. 10 to 20 fps

  • High-Speed Frame Capture+ (C30): Approx. 30 fps

  • High-Speed Frame Capture+ (C60): Approx. 60 fps

  • High-Speed Frame Capture+ (C120): Approx. 120 fps

  • *Maximum frame advance rate as measured by in-house tests.

Metering system

TTL metering using camera image sensor

Metering modes

  • Matrix metering

  • Center-weighted metering: Weight of 75% given to 12 or 8-mm circle in center of frame or weighting can be based on average of entire frame

  • Spot metering: Meters circle with a diameter of approx. 4 mm centered on selected focus point

  • Highlight-weighted metering

Metering range
(ISO 100, f/2.0, 20°C/68°F)

-3 to +17 EV

ISO sensitivity
(Recommended Exposure Index)

ISO 64 to 25600 (choose from step sizes of 1/3 and 1 EV); can also be set to approx. 0.3, 0.7, or 1 EV (ISO 32 equivalent) below ISO 64 or to approx. 0.3, 0.7, 1, or 2 EV (ISO 102400 equivalent) above ISO 25600; auto ISO sensitivity control available
Note: ISO sensitivity is limited to 400 to 25600 when HLG is selected for tone mode

Active D-Lighting

Auto, Extra high 2, Extra high 1, High, Normal, Low, and Off

Multiple exposure

Add, average, lighten, darken

Other options

HDR overlay, photo mode flicker reduction, high-frequency flicker reduction


Hybrid phase-detection/contrast AF with AF assist

Detection range (in photo mode, AF-S, ISO 100, f/1.2 lens, 20°C/68°F)

-7 to +19 EV (-9 to +19 EV with starlight view)

Focus points (in photo mode, single-point AF, FX format)

493 points

AF-area modes

Pinpoint (available in photo mode only), single-point, dynamic-area (S, M, and L; available in photo mode only), wide-area (S, L, C1, and C2), and auto-area AF; 3D-tracking (available in photo mode only); subject-tracking AF (available in video mode only)

Camera on-board VR

5-axis image sensor shift

Lens on-board VR

Lens shift (available with VR lenses)

Flash control

TTL: i-TTL flash control; i-TTL balanced fill-flash is used with matrix, center-weighted, and highlight-weighted metering, standard i-TTL fill-flash with spot metering

Flash modes

Front-curtain sync, slow sync, rear-curtain sync, red-eye reduction, red-eye reduction with slow sync, off

Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS)

i-TTL flash control, radio-controlled Advanced Wireless Lighting, optical Advanced Wireless Lighting, modeling illumination, FV lock, Color Information Communication, auto FP high-speed sync, unified flash control

White balance

Auto (3 types), natural light auto, direct sunlight, cloudy, shade, incandescent, fluorescent (3 types), flash, choose color temperature (2500 to 10,000 K), preset manual (up to 6 values can be stored), all with fine-tuning

Bracketing types

Exposure and/or flash, white balance, and ADL

Metering modes

Matrix, center-weighted or highlight-weighted

Frame size (pixels)
and frame rate

  • 7680 x 4320 (8K UHD): 30p (progressive)/25p/24p

  • 3840 x 2160 (4K UHD): 120p/100p/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p

  • 1920 x 1080: 120p/100p/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p

Note: Actual frame rates for 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 119.88, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively

Frame size (pixels)
and frame rate (RAW video)

  • 8256 x 4644: 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p

  • 5392 x 3032: 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p

  • 4128 x 2322: 120p/100p/60p/50p/30p/25p/24p

  • 3840 x 2160: 120p/100p/60p/50p

Note: Actual frame rates for 120p, 100p, 60p, 50p, 30p, 25p, and 24p are 119.88, 100, 59.94, 50, 29.97, 25, and 23.976 fps respectively

File format


Video compression

N-RAW (12 bit), Apple ProRes RAW HQ (12 bit), Apple ProRes 422 HQ (10 bit), H.265/HEVC (8 bit/10 bit), H.264/AVC (8 bit)

Audio recording format

Linear PCM (48 KHz, 24 bit, for videos recorded in NEV or MOV format) or AAC (48 KHz, 16 bit, for videos recorded in MP4 format)

Audio recording device

Built-in stereo or external microphone with attenuator option; sensitivity adjustable

Exposure compensation

Range: -3 to +3 EV in steps of 1/3 or 1/2 EV

ISO sensitivity (Recommended Exposure Index)

  • M mode: Manual selection (ISO 64 to 25600 in steps of 1/6, 1/3 or 1 EV); with additional options available equivalent to approx. 0.3, 0.7, 1 or 2 EV (ISO 102400 equivalent) above ISO 25600; auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 64 to Hi 2.0) available with selectable upper limit

  • P, S or A mode: Auto ISO sensitivity control (ISO 64 to Hi 2.0) with selectable upper limit

Note: ISO sensitivity is limited to 400-25600 when HLG is selected for tone mode

Other options

Time-lapse video recording, electronic vibration reduction, time codes, N-Log and HDR (HLG) video, wave-form display, red REC frame indicator, video recording display zoom (50%, 100%, and 200%), extended shutter speeds (M mode), and dual-format (proxy-video) recording for RAW video; extended oversampling available; option to view video recording info available via i menu; Hi-Res Zoom


Type C USB connectors: USB data connector (SuperSpeed USB) and USB Power Delivery connector

HDMI output

Type-A HDMI connector

Audio input

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5-mm diameter; plug-in power supported)

Audio output

Stereo mini-pin jack (3.5 mm diameter)

Ten-pin remote terminal

Built-in (can be used with MC-30A/MC-36A remote cords and other optional accessories)






One EN-EL15c Rechargeable Li-ion Battery; EN-EL15b and EN-EL15a batteries can be used in place of the EN-EL15c
Note: fewer pictures can be taken on a single charge than with the EN-EL15c. EH-7P Charging AC Adapters and EH-8P AC Adapters can be used to charge EN-EL15c and EN-EL15b batteries only

Battery pack

MB-N12 Power Battery Packs (available separately) taking two EN-EL15c batteries; EN-EL15b and EN-EL15a batteries can be used in place of the EN-EL15c
Note: fewer pictures can be taken on a single charge than with the EN-EL15c

AC adapter

  • EH-7P Charging AC Adapters (available separately)

  • EH-8P AC Adapters; requires UC-E25 USB Cable (available separately)

  • EH-5d, EH-5c, and EH-5b AC Adapters; requires EP-5B Power Connector (available separately)

Tripod socket

0.635 cm; 1/4 in., ISO 1222

Dimensions (W x H x D)

Approx. 144 x 118.5 x 83 mm/5.7 x 4.7 x 3.3 in.


Approx. 910 g (2 lb. 0.1 oz.) with battery and memory card but without body cap and accessory shoe cover; approx. 820 g/1 lb. 13 oz. (camera body only)

Operating environment

Temperature: -10 °C to 40 °C (+14 °F to 104 °F); humidity: 85% or less (no condensation)

Supplied accessories
(may differ by country or area)

EN-EL15c Rechargeable Li-ion Battery, MH-25a Battery Charger, HDMI/USB Cable Clip, AN-DC26 Strap, UC-E24 USB Cable, BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover, DK-33 Rubber Eyecup, BF-N1 Body Cap

“Elegant Pre-Wedding Dinner Photography | Italy | Nikon Z8 Test” is a post created by Francesco Spighi