Nikon finally officially announced the flagship full-frame mirrorless single-lens camera Z9, which was announced in March, bringing 8K/30fps video shooting and up to 20 fps RAW continuous shooting. Its photoreceptor is 45.7MP, and adopts the design that the memory is laminated on the back of the photoreceptor, so that it can have a very fast read speed. This includes the aforementioned 20fps RAW, 30fps JPEG, and if the resolution is reduced to 11MP, it can also reach 120fps. The size of its buffer is increased in sync with the continuous shooting speed, whether it is JPEG or the new HE (high efficiency) RAW, 1000 photos can be taken at a time. In fact, Nikon is confident that the Z9 electronic shutter has completely abandoned the mechanical shutter on this one. It is the first flagship model without a mechanical shutter curtain. Not only does it reach a shutter speed of 1/32000 seconds, but it also retains 1/200. The flash syncs in seconds.
The focus system on Z9 is also brand new, and uses AI calculations to track a very diverse subject, including eyes, faces and bodies, plus cats, dogs, birds, cars, planes, trains, bicycles, motorcycles and other objects . And you don’t need to select the mode specially, as long as you select “Auto”, the camera will know what object is currently being shot (of course you can also select it manually). Z9 is naturally also equipped with a 3D tracking function, even if the subject quickly switches between near and far, it can continue to track the object. This is in line with the positioning of the Z9 as a sports/field shooting camera.
The Z9 also has an enhanced anti-vibration system (called Vibration Reduction or “VR”) that can work with the lens to reduce the possibility of blurry photos. Currently it can be matched with some telephoto lenses, including Nikkor Z 70-200mm F/2.8, Z MC 105mm f/2.8 VR, and Z 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6 VR S.
In the video shooting part, in addition to the aforementioned 8K/30p, it can also shoot 4K/30p video at a very high sampling rate, or shoot 4K/120p video at a reduced sampling rate. These videos can be stored in 10bit H.264 or H.265, and ProRes 422 HQ compression options are also provided for professional use in the process. In the future, Nikon also plans to bring 12bit 8K/60fps recording capabilities to it through firmware updates, in a new, dedicated N-RAW format, or use Apple’s ProRes RAW HQ to store 4K/60fps. Nikon promised to shoot for at least two hours at a high sampling rate of 40/30p.
The Z9’s button configuration is basically based on the formula of the flagship machine. The OLED viewfinder has 3.69 million dots, and the LCD screen on the back can not be flipped freely, but it can be flipped on the up and down and left and right axes, which is convenient for straight shooting. The screen can also be turned out at a time. Its storage uses dual CFexpress Type B (compatible with XQD), and the battery is a large EN-EL18d, with 700 sheets of electricity when the LCD screen is turned on, and 740 with the viewfinder open.
In terms of specifications, the Z9’s continuous shooting is actually weaker than Sony A1 or Canon R3 (both 30fps continuous shooting), but it is slightly better in terms of video shooting specifications, and there is room for upgrades in the future. The single body price of the Z9 is US$5,500, while the Nikkor Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S released at the same time is US$2,700, while the Nikkor Z 24-120mm F/4 S is US$1,100.