But the headlines don’t stop there as the Nikon Z9 can record 8K video at 30 frames per second for more than two hours – obliterating any other camera. As for photos, the Z9 takes it to the Sony A1 shooting 45.7-megapixel 14-bit losslessly compressed raw files at 20fps with zero blackouts. So what else is there, lets take a look
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Nikon Z9 – 6 Best Features
45.7 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor
For a long time, a camera’s image sensor was all about image quality. But today, in the land of machine-learned autofocus, high-resolution video, and computational photography, read-out speed is king.
In fact, the sensor inside the Nikon Z9 reads off an entire image 12 times faster than the Nikon Z7II. This is so fast that the effect of the Z9’s rolling shutter is so marginal that Nikon ditched the physical shutter.
But like the Z7II, the Z9 produces glorious 45.7-megapixel stills and shares the same low native ISO of 64. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the Z9 will produce comparable image quality to the Z7 – one of the best in the game.
20 frames per second at maximum resolution
As mentioned in the introduction, the Nikon Z9 can capture 14-Bit lossless raw files at 20 frames per second.
If that’s not enough, you can grab 33-megapixel stills from the Z9s 8K30p video or drop the Z9 to 11 megapixels and shoot at an insane 120 frames per second with full autofocus.
Whether the focus motor in your lens can keep up is another matter but I’m excited anyway.
8K 30p Video
Whilst the Canon R5 got there first, its overheating issues meant the whole camera would shut down in less than 30 minutes. On the other hand, Nikon says the Nikon Z9 will record 8K30p for up to 2 hours, 5 minutes.
Naturally, the Z9 shoots 4K and at speeds up to 60fps. For all you slow motion fans, you can shoot 1080p at 120p
Fast continuous shooting is nice so long as you can see what you are doing. Unlike older cameras, the Nikon Z9’s viewfinder presents an uninterrupted view of the scene whether you’re taking photos or not.
This is critical for sports photography since any delay makes it difficult to frame a fast subject – especially with telephoto lenses.
Along with all the usual sockets, you can power the Nikon Z9 via its USB, find yourself with its in-built GPS, and submit your photos electronically via Ethernet, WiFi, and Bluetooth.
At US$5470, the Nikon Z9 is the cheapest camera in its class.
Nikon Z9 -Thing to improve
Unlike the Canon R3, the Nikon Z9’s screen cannot be made to face forward. Instead, Nikon has given it a rather complex-looking horizontal tilt mechanism with a vertical flip functionally similar to that of the Fuji X-T3. This means the Z9 has was it takes to capture high and low angles in both portrait and landscape orientation.
On the flip-side (geddit!), the Nikon Z9 will be truly awful for selfies and vlogging. But seriously, you were not going to use the Z9 for selfies. Right?
I was blown away when I first looked through the Nikon Z6’s 3.67K dot viewfinder so the fact the Z9 shares the same screen is hardly a disaster.
However, it only refreshes at 60Hz, and rivals such as the Sony A1 feature vastly superior resolution. On the plus side and unlike other models, the Z9’s EVF maintains full resolution throughout autofocus and capture.
Nikon Z9 Specifications
The Nikon Z9 is the fastest camera Nikon has ever made and the best for video.
Sensor and Image Quality
|Sensor Size||Full Frame (35mm)|
|Sensor Type||Stacked CMOS|
|Image Stabilized||Up to 6 Stops|
|AF Type||Hybrid Phase/Contrast Detect|
|AF Focus Points||493|
|AF Sensitivity||– 6EV to + 19EV|
|Max Shutter Speed||N/A|
|Max E-Shutter Speed||1/32000|
|Max E-Shutter FPS||120 FPS|
|Max E-Shutter FPS at full resolution||20 FPS|
|8K||Yes – 30, 25, 24p|
|4K||Yes – 24, 25, 30, 50, 60p|
|HD 1080p||Yes – 24, 25, 30, 50, 60, 100, 120p|
|Max. Recording Time||2 hours 5 minutes|
|Output over HDMI||Yes|
|Apple ProRes 422 HQ||Yes – 10 Bit|
|H.265 HEVC||Yes – 8/10 Bit|
|H.264 AVC||Yes – 8 Bit|
|Card Slot 1||CF Express (Type B) + XQD|
|Card Slot 2||CF Express (Type B) + XQD|
|Articulation||Vertical and Horizontal|
|Audio In (mic)||3.5mm Audio Jack|
|Audio Out||3.5mm Audio Jack|
|Battery Life||Approx: 740 Shots|
|Video Record Time||170 Minutes|
Weight and Dimensions
|Width||5.9 in (149mm)|
|Height||5.9 in (149.5mm)|
|Depth||3.6 in (90.5mm)|
|Weight||1340g (2lb 15.3 oz)|
Nikon Z9 Price
The Nikon Z9 costs US$5496
Nikon Z9 Release Date
The Nikon Z9 is due for release in Winter 2021
Now we have the Nikon Z9 – a mirrorless powerhouse that in many ways sets the pace for others to chase. Along with Sony’s A1, the Z9 blends high-resolution photography with pro-grade speed to deliver uncompromised performance.
Of course, to a lesser extent, Nikon has done this before with the Nikon D850. But unlike that camera, the Z9 is a formidable video camera. And unlike any camera, the Z9 records 8K30p video without breaking a sweat.
Yet, the Nikon Z9 is too expensive and heavy to be everyone’s cup of tea. But what the Z9 does show is that Nikon remains at the top of the game and that the Z-mount is truly a contemporary system. Best of all, the Z9 gives us a glimpse of what we can expect from future lower-end Z cameras. Will the Z7iii be similar to a Z9 in the same way the D700 was to a D3? Let’s hope so.
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