For everyone who has been waiting for a true full-frame mirrorless camera from Nikon, today is the day as Nikon has just announced its new flagship cam: the Nikon Z9.
Featuring a new 45.7-MP stacked CMOS sensor that supports continuous shooting at up to 30 fps for JPEGs or up to 20 fps for RAWs, Nikon says its new electronic shutter is so good they skipped giving the Z9 a traditional mechanical shutter entirely. And if you want even faster shooting speeds, you can lower the camera’s resolution to 11 megapixels to enable continuous shooting at up to a blazing 120 fps. And once again, that’s for still photos, not video, with the Z9 even getting an image buffer of up to 1,000 shots when shooting JPEGs or Nikon’s new high-efficiency RAW format.
Nikon even says distortion from its new electronic shutter is so low, it’s equivalent to a regular mechanical shutter, with the Z9's shutter capable of going as high as 1/32,000 of a second.
That said, the Z9 also features some impressive video specs too, with Nikon including support for 8K video capture at 30 fps with continuous recording times of two hours or more, so no real need to worry about overheating like might have to do with Canon’s EOS R5. And if 8K is overkill, you’ll also have the option to record 4K video at up to 120 fps.
Nikon also claims the Z9 features its most advanced autofocus system yet, which features improved 3D tracking and a new Subject Detection algorithm that can differentiate between nine types of subjects (people, dogs, cats, birds, cars, motorcycles, bicycles, trains, and planes) while capturing both stills and videos.
And in a brand new feature for one of Nikon’s mirrorless Z-series cameras, the Z9 is getting “Synchro VR” which combines the camera’s in-body image stabilization with the vibration reduction system in Nikon’s Z-series lenses (first on the Nikkor Z 70-200mm F2.8 VR S, the Z 105mm F2.8 VR, and the new Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S) to provide even better image stabilization of up to six stops.
As for the Z9's body, you still get Nikon’s classic weatherproof magnesium alloy chassis with a built-in vertical grip and dual CFexpress card slots, but with an overall volume about 20% smaller than a Nikon D6.
Sadly, the resolution of the Z9's OLED EVF is still a little low at 3.69-million dots, though Nikon did add on a new 3.2-inch multi-directional touchscreen that can tilt up and down and to the side, but still can’t flip all the way around.
Lastly, thanks to a new and larger EN-EL18d battery, the Z9 should enjoy strong battery life of up to 740 shots on a single charge when using the Z9's rear LCD screen, or around 700 when using its EVF.
Also, thanks to a future firmware update, Nikon says it will introduce its new N-RAW video format that allows for 12-bit video at 8K/60 fps, or 4K/60fps when using Apple ProRes RAW HQ.
All told, the Z9 looks like the pro-grade Nikon camera fans have been waiting for, even if it doesn’t beat Sony’s and Canon’s rival cameras on every spec. And with Nikon leaning even further into the Z9's video capabilities, we’re looking at something that should be equally adept at capturing both videos and stills.
But like so many high-end cameras, with a body-only price of $5,500, the Z9 won’t come cheap when it goes on sale sometime before the end of the year. And alongside the Z9, Nikon also announced a handful of new lenses and accessories also due out later this year including the new and slimmer FTZ II adapter ($250), the new Nikkor Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S zoom lens ($1,110), and the NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S ($2,700).