Nikon Z8 Default Settings

If you’ve changed settings on your Nikon Z8 but want to roll them back for whatever, here’s a reference for the default settings so you can take a more targeted approach than the reset all function.

Nikon Z8 Mirrorless Camera. Photo by David Coleman " havecamerawilltravel.com
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Filed Under: Mirrorless Cameras
Topics: Nikon, Nikon Z8

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Like most high-end digital cameras these days, the Nikon Z8 has a lot of options crammed into its menu system. And it’s very easy to experiment with a setting and forget what you’ve changed. 

If you want to reset all the Nikon Z8’s settings back to their defaults, there’s a simple menu item for that. You can find it under:

SETUP MENU > Reset all settings

But what if you want something more targeted? Maybe you’ve been messing with specific settings but want to roll them back without having to go through and set everything up again. Or you’re trying to troubleshoot something specific. It’s very easy to go down a frustrating rabbit hole trying to remember which settings changes to undo. I find myself in that situation frequently when I start messing with the settings.

So that’s where this comes in. It shows the default selection for each setting. So if you just want to roll back specific options rather than the nuclear option for a full reset, this should give you a good reference point. 

Photo Shooting Menu

The photo shooting menu is the one with the stills camera icon.

SettingOptions
Shooting menu bankA
Extended menu banksOFF
Storage folderNCZ_8
100
File namingDSC
Primary slot selectionCFexpress/XQD card slot
Secondary slot functionOverflow
– JPEG primary – JPEG secondary / MEDIUM
Image areaFX (36×24)
– DX crop alert / OFF
Tone modeSDR
Image qualityJPEG/HEIF normal
Image size settings– Image size / Large
– Enable DX image sizes / OFF
– Image size (DX) / Large
RAW recordingON High efficiency
ISO sensitivity settingsISO sensitivity / 100
Auto ISO sensitivity control / ON
Maximum sensitivity / 25600
Maximum sensitivity with flash / Same as without flash
Minimum Shutter Speed / Auto (center on +/- on slider)
White balanceAuto
– Fluorescent Cool-white / fluorescent
– Choose color temperature / 5000K
Set Picture ControlAuto
Set Picture Control (HLG)Standard
Color spacesRGB
Active D-LightingOFF
Long exposure NROFF
High ISO NRNORMAL
Vignette controlNormal
Diffraction compensationON
Auto distortion controlON
Skin softeningOFF
Portrait impression balanceOFF
Photo flicker reductionOFF
High-frequency flicker reductionOFF
MeteringMatrix
Flash control– Flash control mode / TTL
– Wireless flash options / OFF
– Remote flash control / Group flash
Flash modeFill flash
Flash compensation0.0
Focus modeAF-S (Single AF)
AF-area modeSingle-point AF
AF subject detection optionsAuto
Vibration reductionSport
Auto bracketingAE & flash bracketing
– Number of shots / 0
– Increment / 1.0
Multiple exposure– Multiple exposure mode / OFF
– Number of shots / 2
– Overlay mode / Average
– Save individual pictures (RAW) / ON
– Overlay shooting / ON
– Select first exposure (RAW) / (selection)
HDR overlay– HDR Mode / OFF
– HDR Strength / Auto
– Save individual pictures (RAW) / OFF
Interval timer shootingOFF
– Choose start day/time / Now
– Interval / 1 min.
– Intervalsxshots/interval / 0001×1
– Exposure smoothing / ON
– Interval priority / OFF
– Focus before each shot / OFF
– Options / OFF
Time lapse videoOFF
– Interval / 5 s
– Shooting time / 25 min.
– Exposure smoothing / ON
– Choose image area / FX
– Video file type / H.265 8-bit (MOV)
– Frame size/frame rate / 3840×2160; 30p
– Interval priority / OFF
– Focus before each shot / OFF
– Destination / CFexpress/XQD card slot
Focus shift shootingOFF

Video Recording Menu

The video recording menu is the one with the movie camera icon.

SettingOptions
Shooting menu bankA
Extended menu banksOFF
Storage folderNCZ_8
100
File namingDSC
DestinationCFexpress/XQD card slot
Video file typeH.265 8-bit (MOV)
Frame size/frame rate2160p30 (3840×2160; 30p)
Video quality (N-RAWHigh
Image areaFX
– DX crop alert OFF
Extended oversamplingOFF
ISO sensitivity settings– Maximum sensitivity / 25600
– Auto ISO control (mode M) / ON
– ISO sensitivity (mode M) / 100
White balanceSame as photo settings
Set Picture ControlSame as photo settings
Active D-LightingOFF
High ISO NRNormal
Vignette controlNormal
Diffraction compensationON
Auto distortion controlON
Skin softeningSame as photo settings
Portrait impression balanceOFF
Video flicker reductionAUTO
High-frequency flicker reductionOFF
MeteringMatrix metering
Focus modeFull-time AF
AF-area modeSingle-point AF
AF subject detection options– Subject detection / AUTO
– AF when subject not detected / ON
Vibration reductionSame as photo settings
Electronic VROFF
Microphone sensitivityAuto
AttenuatorOFF
Frequency responseWide range
Wind noise reductionOFF
Mic jack plug-in powerON
Headphone volume15
NB: The “same as photo settings” is actually one of the menu options. For these, by default, it uses the same setting as in the photo settings menu. But you can also override it and set it different from the photo settings.

Custom Settings Menu

The custom settings menu is the one with the pencil icon.

The custom settings menu is organized slightly differently, with categories denoted by a letter. 

CategorySettingOptions
Custom Settings bankA
a Focusa1 AF-C priority selectionRelease
a2 AF-S priority selectionFocus
a3 Focus tracking with lock-on– Blocked shot AF response / 3
– Subject motion / Steady
a4 Focus points usedALL points
a5 Store points by orientationOFF
a6 AF activationShutter/AF-ON
a7 Focus point persistenceAUTO
a8 Limit AF-area mode selectionPinpoint AF
a9 Focus mode restrictionsNo restrictions
a10 Focus point wrap-aroundOFF
a11 Focus point display– Manual focus mode / ON
– Dynamic-area AF assist / ON
– AF-C in-focus display / OFF
– 3D-tracking focus point color / White
a12 Built-in AF-assist illuminatorON
a13 Focus peaking– Focus peaking display / OFF
– Focus peaking sensitivity / 2 (standard)
– Focus peaking highlight color / Red
a14 Focus point selection speedNormal
a15 Manual focus ring in AF modeON
b Metering/exposureb1 ISO sensitivity step value1/3 step
b2 EV steps for exposure cntrl1/3 EV steps (comp. 1/3 EV)
b3 Easy exposure compensationOFF
b4 Matrix metering face detectionON
b5 Center-weighted areaStandard
b6 Fine-tune optimal exposure– Matrix metering / 0
– Center-weight metering / 0
– Spot metering / 0
– Highlight-weighted metering / 0
b7 Keep exp. when ƒ/ changesOFF
c Timers/AE lockc1 Shutter-release button AE-LOFF
c2 Self-timer– Self-timer delay / 10 s
– Number of shots / 1
– Interval between shots / 0.5 s
c3 Power off delay– Playback / 10 s
– Menus / 1 min
– Picture review / 4 s
– Standby timer / 30 s
d Shooting/displayd1 Continuous shooting speed– Continuous high-speed / 20 fps
– Continuous low-speed / 5 fps
d2 Maximum shots per burst
d3 Pre-Release Capture options– Pre-release burst / OFF
– Post-release burst / Max.
d4 Sync. release mode optionsSync
d5 Extended shutter speeds (M)OFF
d6 Limit selectable image areaDX (24×16)
d7 File number sequenceON
d8 View mode (photo Lv)Show effects of settings
d9 Starlight view (photo Lv)OFF
d10 Warm display colorsOFF
d11 LCD illuminationOFF
d12 View all in continuous modeON
d13 Release timing indicator– Indicator type / Type B
– Type A auto restore delay / 1/6
d14 Image frameON
d15 Grid type3×3
d16 Virtual horizon typeType A
d17 Custom monitor shooting displayDisplay 1
– (all other displays selected as available)
d18 Custom viewfinder shooting displayDisplay 1
– (all other displays selected as available)
d19 High fps viewfinder displayOFF
e Bracketing/flashe1 Flash sync speed1/200
e2 Flash shutter speed1/60
e3 Exposure comp. for flashEntire frame
e4 Auto flash ISO sensitivity controlSubject and background
e5 Modeling flashON
e6 Auto bracketing (mode M)Flash/speed
e7 Bracketing orderMTR > under > over
e8 Flash burst priorityPrioritize precise flash control
f Controlsf1 Customize i menu(various options on grid)
f2 Custom controls (shooting)– Fn1 button / Shooting menu bank
– Fn2 button / Choose image area
– Fn button for vertical shooting (grip) / Exposure compensation
– AF-ON button / AF-ON
– Protect/Fn3 button / Set Picture Control
– DISP button / Cycle live view info display
– Sub-selector center / AE-AF lock
– OK button / Select center focus point
– Vertical multi selector center (grip) / AE-AF lock
– AF-ON button for vertical shooting (grip) / Same as AF-ON button
– Video record button / Live view info display off
– Exposure compensation button / Exposure compensation
– ISO sensitivity button / ISO sensitivity
– Command dials / (various)
– Lens Fn button / AE/AF lock
– Lens Fn2 button / AF-ON
– Lens Fn ring (counterclockwise) / Recall focus position
– Lens Fn ring (clockwise) / Recall focus position
– Lens memory set button / Save focus position
– Lens control ring / Aperture
f3 Custom controls (playback)– Fn1 button / None
– Fn2 button / None
– Fn button for vertical shooting (grip) / None
– DISP button / Cycle info display
– Protect/Fn3 button / Protect
– OK button / Zoom on/off
– Main command dial / Frame advance / 1
– Main command dial / Video playback / 10 frames
– Video record button / None
– Sub-command dial / Frame advance / 1
– Sub-command dial / Video playback / 10 frames
f4 Control lock– Shutter speed lock / OFF
– Aperture lock / OFF
– Focus-point lock / OFF
f5 Reverse dial rotation(none selected)
f6 Release button to use dialOFF
f7 Reverse indicators-0+
f8 Reverse ring for focusOFF
f9 Focus ring rotation rangeNon-linear
f10 Control ring responseHigh
f11 Switch focus/control ring rolesOFF
f12 Full-frame playback flicks– Flick up / OFF
– Flick down / OFF
– Flick advance direction / Left-Right
f13 Prefer sub-selector centerON
g Videog1 Customize i menu(see screenshot below)
g2 Custom controls– Fn1 button / Shooting menu bank
– Fn2 button / Choose image area
– Fn button for vertical shooting (grip) / Exposure compensation
– Focus mode button / Focus mode/AF-area mode
– Protect/Fn3 button / Set Picture Control
– AF-ON button / AF-ON
– Sub-selector center / AE/AF lock
– DISP button / Cycle live view info display
– Vertical multi selector center / AE/AF lock
– OK button / Select center focus point
– Video record button / Record videos
– AF-ON button for vertical shooting / Same as AF-ON button
– ISO sensitivity button / ISO sensitivity
– Exposure compensation button / Exposure compensation
– Shutter-release button / None
– Command dials / (various)
– Lens Fn button / AE-AF lock
– Lens FN2 button / AF/ON
– Lens Fn ring (counterclockwise) / Recall focus position
– Lens Fn ring (clockwise) / Recall focus position
– Lens memory set button / Save focus position
– Lens control ring / Power aperture

Screenshots of Custom Controls & Menus

Some of the custom menu and custom controls settings are hard to put in text form. So here are screenshots from the menu system. 

f1 Customize i Menu

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Settings f1 Customize i Menu

f2 Custom controls (shooting)

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Settings f2 Custom controls (shooting)

f3 (Custom controls (playback)

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Settings f3 Custom controls (playback)

g1 Customize i menu

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Settings g1 Customize i menu

f2 Custom controls

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Settings g2 Custom controls

Playback Menu

The playback menu is the one with the play button icon. 

SettingOptions
Delete(this is a function, not a setting)
Playback folderALL
Playback display options– Add info / (none selected)
– Additional photo info / None (picture only)
– Detailed shooting data / (all selected)
Delete pictures from both slotsYes (confirmation required)
– Default delete option / “Selected picture”
Dial-format recording PB slotCFexpress/XQD card slot
Filtered playback criteria(none selected)
Series playback– Sub-selector displays first shot / ON
– Auto series playback / OFF
– List series as single thumbnail / OFF
Picture reviewOFF
After deleteShow next
After burst, showLast picture in burst
Auto-rotate picturesON
Copy image(s)(this is a function, not a setting)

SETUP Menu

The Setup Menu is the one with the wrench / spanner icon. 

SettingOptions
Format memory card(this is a function, not a setting)
LanguageEnglish
Time zone and date(user selectable)
Monitor brightness0
Monitor color(user selectable; should be centered by default)
Finder display size (photo Lv)Standard
Limit monitor mode selection(all selected)
Auto rotate info displayON
AF fine-tuning optionsAF fine-tune / OFF
– (other menu items are functions, not settings)
Non-CPU lens dataNo. 1
Save focus positionOFF
Auto temperature cutoutStandard
Sensor shield behabior at power offSensor shield stays open
Clean image sensor– Automatic cleaning / Clean at shutdown
Image Dust Off ref photo(this is a function, not a setting)
Pixel mapping(this is a function, not a setting)
Image commentOFF
Copyright informationOFF
IPTC(user selectable / default is blank)
Voice memo options– Voice memo control / Press and hold
– Audio output (playback) / 10 Speaker/headphones
Camera sounds– Shutter sound / ON
– Beep on/off / OFF
– Volume / 2
– Pitch / Low
Silent modeOFF
Touch controls– Enable/disable touch controls / ON
– Glove mode / OFF
HDMI– Output resolution / Auto
– Output range / Auto
– Output shooting info / ON
– Mirror camera info display / ON
USB connection priorityUpload
Wireless remote (WR options)(options unavailable unless connected)
Assign remote (WR) Fn buttonOFF
Conformity marking(informational)
Battery info(informational)
USB power deliveryON
Energy saving (photo mode)OFF
Slot empty release lockEnable release
Save/load menu settings(this is a function, not a setting)
Reset all settings(this is a function, not a setting)
Firmware version(informational)

Network Menu

The Network Menu uses the globe icon. 

Most of these are functions rather than settings, and many sub-settings aren’t available or selectable unless a specific type of connection is established. Several of these rely on network profiles (eg. wifi passwords and IP address) that are entered. There are no default network profiles—they should all be blank.

SettingOptions
Airplane modeOFF
Connect to smart device– Pairing (Bluetooth) / OFF
– Wi-Fi connection / OFF
– Upload while off / ON
Connect to computerOFF
– Connection Type / PC
Connect to FTP serverOFF
Connect to other camerasOFF
– Synchronized release / ON
– Group name / (blank)
– Master/remote / Master
ATOMOS AirGlu BT optionsOFF
USB data connectionMTP/PTP
Router frequency band2.4 GHz/5 GHz
MAC address(informational)

My Menu

The My Menu section uses the checklist icon. 

This section of the Z8’s menu is user-defined. In other words, it’s blank until the user adds items to My Menu.

Nikon Z8 Manual & Firmware Updates

  • You can find the Nikon Z8 manual here [PDF]. There’s also an online reference guide.
  • You can find the latest Nikon Z8 firmware and related software updates here. Nikon released an updated version (C:Ver.1.01) on August 23, 2023.

Nikon Z8 Price & Availability

The Nikon Z8 was released in May 2023. For good reason, it has been highly sought after, so it might be worth getting on a waitlist sooner rather than later. 

The Z8 It packs many of the features of the flagship Z9 into a smaller form factor and is touted by Nikon as the true successor to the Nikon D850 DSLR (and also as “the ultimate hybrid camera”). 

It’s sold in various configurations, including:

Check the current availability and price at:

Nikon Z8 Full-Frame Mirrorless Camera / Body Only
  • 45.7MP FX-Format Stacked CMOS Sensor
  • 8.3K 60p N-RAW, 4.1K 60p ProRes RAW
  • Lightweight Design, 30% Smaller than Z9
  • Up to 20 fps Raw, 30 fps JPEG Shooting
  • 493-Point AF, AI-Based Subject Detection
Nikon Z8 with NIKKOR Z 24-120mm ƒ/4 S Zoom Lens
  • with NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Zoom Lens
  • 45.7MP FX-Format Stacked CMOS Sensor
  • 8.3K 60p N-RAW, 4.1K 60p ProRes RAW
  • Lightweight Design, 30% Smaller than Z9
  • Up to 20 fps Raw, 30 fps JPEG Shooting
  • 493-Point AF, AI-Based Subject Detection

Essential Accessories for the Nikon Z8

Some accessories are optional, but these are pretty much essential. And they don’t come with the camera as standard.

FTZ II Lens Mount Adapter

If you’re upgrading from a Nikon DSLR and have F-mount lenses you want to use on the Z8, don’t forget to pick up an FTZ II lens mount adapter. This lets you use Nikon / NIKKOR F-mount lenses on Nikon Z mirrorless camera bodies while retaining autofocus, stabilization, and other features. And because there’s no glass, there’s no impact on image quality or light loss.

Nikon FTZ II Mount Adapter
Allows use of Nikon F-mount lenses on Nikon Z mirrorless cameras with no loss of image quality.

Memory Cards for the Nikon Z8

The Nikon Z8 has two memory card slots. One takes CFexpress Type B or XQD memory cards. The other takes SD cards. I’ve put together a more detailed post on Nikon Z8 memory card recommendations, but here are some quick recommendations. 

Slot 1: CFexpress Type B 
SanDisk Extreme Pro (SDCFE) CFexpress Type B
  • Type: CFexpress Type B
  • Write Speed: 1200 MB/s
  • Read Speed: 1700 MB/s
ProGrade Digital Cobalt CFexpress Type B
  • Type: CFexpress Type B
  • Write Speed: 1500 MB/s
  • Read Speed: 1700 MB/s
Lexar Professional Gold Series CFexpress Type B
  • Type: CFexpress Type B
  • Write Speed: 1500 MB/s
  • Read Speed: 1750 MB/s
Nikon 660 GB MC‑CF660G CFexpress Type B
  • Type: CFexpress Type B
  • Write Speed: 1500 MB/s
  • Read Speed: 1700 MB/s
Slot 2: SDXC UHS-II V90
ProGrade Digital V90 UHS-II SDXC
  • Type: SDXC UHS-II V90
  • Write Speed: Up to 250 MB/s
  • Read Speed: Up to 300 MB/s
SanDisk Extreme Pro V90 UHS-II SDXC
  • Type: SDXC UHS-II V90
  • Write Speed: Up to 260 MB/s
  • Read Speed: Up to 300 MB/s
Lexar Professional 2000x Gold V90 UHS-II SDXC
  • Type: SDXC UHS-II V90
  • Read Speed: Up to 300 MB/s

Images and product information from Amazon PA-API were last updated on 2023-09-28 at 13:22. Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon Site at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

David Coleman / Photographer

David Coleman

I'm a professional freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. More »

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