How to Display the Framing Grid on the Nikon Z8

Turning on the framing grids on the viewfinder or back screen display of the Nikon Z8 isn’t as intuitive as it could be. Here’s how to do it.

Last Updated:
Filed Under: Mirrorless Cameras
Topics: Nikon, Nikon Z8

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The Nikon Z8 has multiple framing grid options, overlays that go over the viewfinder view or the back screen live view. But they’re not enabled by default.

Enabling them is a two-step process (or more, if you want them available on both the viewfinder and back screen as well as available when shooting photos and video).

So here’s how to do it. The displays when shooting in photo mode and video mode are set independently. I’ll start with the photo mode. 

Enabling the Framing Grid in Nikon Z8 Photo Mode

I’ll start with enabling the framing grid when shooting photos. The display when shooting videos is handled separately (more info below). 

Step 1: Choose Grid Type

First, choose the type of framing grid you want to use from the available options. You can find these under:

Custom Settings Menu > d Shooting/display > d15 Grid type
Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type

You’ll find various options there (I’ve got screenshots of them lower down this page). The default setting is 3×3. 

Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type 3x3

Now, you might be forgiven that having selected a grid display, it would, well, display. And this is where the non-intuitive aspect comes in. There’s another step to get it to actually show up on screen (or through the viewfinder). 

Step 2: Enable Grid Display

The next step is to enable the grid display on the display preset you’re using. You can do it separately for the viewfinder and the back screen. I’m doing it for the viewfinder here, but the process is the same for the back display (or monitor, as it’s called in the menu system). 

You can find this setting under: 

Custom Settings Menu > d Shooting/display > d18 Custom viewfinder shooting display

or 

Custom Settings Menu > d Shooting/display > d17 Custom monitor shooting display
Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Custom Viewfinder shooting display

When you go into that, you’ll see a screen where you can select which display presets are active when you scroll them using the camera’s DISP button. Click on the OK button to check or uncheck each preset. Unchecked presets won’t be shown when you cycle through the displays on the back screen or viewfinder. 

Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Custom Viewfinder shooting display presets

But what’s not immediately apparent is that you can edit each of these. Press the right button (the right side of the main control wheel on the back of the camera, just next to the OK button). Then you’ll see another panel that shows the individual display items that are active for that display preset.

You’ll notice that the grid is not selected by default. So go down to that and check the box. That will make it show up in the mockup. 

Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Custom Viewfinder shooting display presets framing grid

Then hit the menu button to save and back out of that menu item. 

You can enable the framing grid for any presets you want it available in. And you’ll have to do it separately for the back screen (monitor) and viewfinder. What you can’t do, however, is have a different style of framing grid displaying; the grid type setting in step 1 above applies across all instances while within photo mode (you can use a different one in video mode (see below)).

Nikon Z8 Grid Types in Photo Mode

The selection of grid types on the Nikon Z8 when shooting photos is pretty basic. There are no golden ratio or golden spiral options here. 

These are the available options. 

Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type 3x3
Basic 3×3. The screen is divided into simple thirds horizontally and vertically. This is the default selection.
Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type 4x4
Basic 4×4. The screen is divided into simple quarters horizontally and vertically.
Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type 5:4 aspect ratio
5:4 ratio outline.
Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type 1:1 square
Simple square outline.
Nikon Z8 Menu Screenshot - Grid Type 16:9
Standard 16:9 aspect ratio that’s standard for video.

Enabling the Framing Grid in Nikon Z8 Video Mode

The display when shooting videos is handled separately. It’s basically the same as the photo mode, but the settings are in a different place on the menu, and there are some expanded options for framing grid types. 

Step 1: Choose Grid Type

First, choose the type of framing grid you want to use from the available options. You can find these under:

Custom Settings Menu > g Video > g14 Grid type
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode

You’ll find various options there (I’ve got screenshots of them lower down this page). The default setting is 3×3. 

Step 2: Enable Grid Display

The next step is to enable the grid display on the display preset you’re using. You can do it separately for the viewfinder and the back screen. I’m doing it for the viewfinder here, but the process is the same for the back display (or monitor, as it’s called in the menu system). 

You can find this setting under: 

Custom Settings Menu > g Video > g17 Custom viewfinder shooting display

or 

Custom Settings Menu > g Video > g16 Custom monitor shooting display
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode

When you go into that, you’ll see a screen where you can select which display presets are active when you scroll them using the camera’s DISP button. Click on the OK button to check or uncheck each preset. Unchecked presets won’t be shown when you cycle through the displays on the back screen or viewfinder. 

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode

But what’s not immediately apparent is that you can edit each of these. Press the right button (the right side of the main control wheel on the back of the camera, just next to the OK button). Then you’ll see another panel that shows the individual display items that are active for that display preset.

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode

You’ll notice that the grid is not selected by default. So go down to that and check the box. That will make it show up in the mockup. 

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode

Then hit the menu button to save and back out of that menu item. 

You can enable the framing grid for any presets you want it available in. And you’ll have to do it separately for the back screen (monitor) and viewfinder. What you can’t do, however, is have a different style of framing grid displaying; the grid type setting in step 1 above applies across all instances. 

Nikon Z8 Grid Types in Video Mode

There’s an expanded list of grid types available in video mode, adding in several common video aspect ratios.

These are the available options. 

Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
3×3 (the default)
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
4×4
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
2.35:1
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
1.85:1
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
4:3
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
1:1
Screenshot of Nikon Z8 Menu Framing Grids Video Mode
Safe zone (90%)

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 2023-09-30 at 23:32. 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 »

2 thoughts on “How to Display the Framing Grid on the Nikon Z8”

  1. Dave, thanks. I just upgraded from the Z7ii to the Z8. Many different commands in the setup. You make it much easier.
    Dennis Hughes, Chandler, AZ

    Reply

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