Nikon Z 9: First Mirrorless Flagship

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Nikon’s first mirrorless flagship, the Z 9, delivers speed, resolution, and connectivity in a professional-grade body. Fast, intelligent AF and subject tacking use deep-learning technology to ensure sharpness when photographing at up to 30 fps or recording 8K video. Fast processing speeds and a new 45.7MP stacked sensor design also enable a blackout-free viewfinder experience and the body features an integrated vertical grip, four-axis tilting touchscreen LCD, and reliable weather sealing.

Nikon Z 9 Top Features
  • 45.7MP FX-Format Stacked BSI CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 7 Image Processor
  • 493-Point Phase-Detection AF with Intelligent Subject Detection
  • 20 fps Shooting in Raw, 30 fps Shooting in JPEG, 120 fps Shooting at 11MP
  • Up to 8K30p and 4K120p Video Recording
  • Internal 10-Bit Recording, ProRes 422 HQ and H.265 Support
  • New High-Efficiency Raw File Format
  • Blackout-Free EVF and Four-Axis Tilting LCD Touchscreen
  • Integrated Vertical Grip, Dual CFexpress Type B Card Slots
  • Built-In 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS
45.7MP Stacked CMOS Sensor and EXPEED 7 Processing

Newly developed 45.7MP FX-format sensor features a stacked structure that promotes fast readout speeds and helps greatly to reduce rolling shutter distortion. The high-resolution sensor is also back-illuminated, which helps to reduce noise and contributes to smooth, rich tones for photo and video applications.

Complementing the sensor is a new EXPEED 7 processor that provides the speedy foundation of the Z 9. Quick processing ensures fast top continuous shooting speeds of 20 fps for raw images, 30 fps for JPEGs, and an impressive 120 fps for 11MP stills, with full-time AF and AE. EXPEED 7 processing also enables dual-stream technology, which provides true blackout-free viewfinder performance for more accurate capture of fast-moving action.

Advanced Autofocus System Backed by Deep Learning

The on-chip phase-detection autofocus system employs 493 points for full-frame coverage and subject tracking. Using the power of deep-learning AI, intelligent automatic subject detection and tracking is possible, helping to keep up with the fastest-moving subjects, including nine distinct subject types ranging from people to animals to vehicles in still and video modes.

Class-Leading 8K30p and 4K120p Video

More than just top stills performance, the Z 9’s video performance is similarly class leading with support for recording UHD 8K at 30p video with full pixel readout and continuous recording times more than two hours. 4K 30p recording is possible using an oversampled 8K area for improved sharpness and full frame 4K up to 120p can also be used for slow-motion playback. Additionally, the Z 9 supports 10-bit internal recording as ProRes 422 HQ or H.265 files.

Professional Body Construction

A flagship requires top-tier design, and the Z 9 delivers with professional-grade durable and weather-sealed construction with numerous high-end details.



Real Live Viewfinder benefits from dual-stream technology for blackout-free viewing when shooting at top continuous shooting rates.



Nikon’s first four-axis tilting touchscreen LCD means you can easily work from high and low shooting angles in horizontal and vertical orientations.



Magnesium-alloy chassis and fully weather sealed, just like the D6 and former flagship DSLRs, for assured use in inclement conditions.



Dual CFexpress Type B memory card slots offer fast, flexible saving for photo and video applications. Integrated sensor shield protects the sensor during lens changes and there is also a VR lock to secure the in-body Vibration Reduction system in place during travel.

Nikon’s Most Connected Camera

Professional image makers rely on the ability to deliver photos and videos quickly and easily, and the Z 9 is Nikon’s most connected camera to date. Physical connectivity is possible via full-size HDMI, USB Type-C. Ethernet ports and wireless connectivity are available using Bluetooth and 5 GHz Wi-Fi. The Z 9 features the classic 10-pin port for wide accessory compatibility as well as PC sync for flash triggering. GNSS is also integrated for in-camera geotagging.

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New Nikon Software: NX Mobile Air and NX Tether

Expanding the Z System ecosystem even further, Nikon is also launching a pair of software solutions to benefit capture and workflow ends of the shooting process.

NX Mobile Air is an app for mobile devices that helps manage and transfer images when working on location. This app supports a wired connection between the camera and mobile device and enables transferring of imagery, IPTC data, voice memos, and more.

NX Tether is a free application that enables tethering with Nikon cameras, and supports displaying captured images on a computer monitor when connected via USB or wireless.

Lenses
NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Lens

Super-telephoto reach in a compact, portable form factor, this S-Line lens delivers a versatile focal length range perfect for sports, wildlife, and travel. Vibration Reduction limits camera shake while a new Inner Balance technology keeps the lens stable when shooting fast-paced action using a gimbal head.

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NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Lens

The advanced 24-120mm everyday zoom range covers wide angle to short telephoto to act as a one-lens solution for everything, from landscapes to portraiture. As an S-Line lens, it features advanced optics and sophisticated stepping AF motors for speedy and smooth performance.

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FTZ II Mount Adapter

Featuring a revised and streamlined form factor that’s better suited for cameras with a battery grip, the FTZ II is the bridge between hundreds of legendary F-mount lenses and the mirrorless Z system. This adapter maintains full optical quality, AF performance, and weather sealing for a seamless shooting experience.

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Development Announcement: NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 Lens with Built-In Teleconverter

Nikon is announcing the development of a future super-telephoto prime—the first for the Z system—with the upcoming NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 lens, which will feature a built-in teleconverter for even greater reach and flexibility. Stay tuned for more information in the coming months.

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Z 9 Firmware Update Coming 2022

A huge firmware update is already scheduled for the Z 9, in 2022, bringing a wealth of improved capabilities to the video system of the camera. This free update will allow the Z 9 to record at resolutions greater than 8K and greater than 4K and will add 12-bit raw recording in Nikon’s own N-RAW format, as well as ProRes RAW HQ. N-RAW will support recording at up to 8K 60p using full pixel readout and ProRes RAW will support recording at up to 4K 60p.

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73 Comments

Can Nikon Z9 do multiple exposures?  If it does, what file format does it produce? 

Yes, the Z 9 has a multiple exposure function with Add, Average, Lighten, and Darken settings. The finished file is saved as a JPEG.

I shoot sports with a D6. I need the option to shoot high iso (+12800) due to some poor lighting in stadium's shooting soccer etc. In the evening. I have a big concern the Z9 with such a high pixel sensor  will get to noisy

It's hard to provide a direct comparison between the two cameras right now, but I think the Z 9's BSI sensor design and updating processing should be pretty impressive in terms of handling noise at up to ISO 12800 or 25600 (or maybe even higher). It depends a lot on subject matter and subjective considerations, but I think the Z 9 should certainly perform better in terms of noise compared to a high resolution camera released around the time of the D6 (thinking like a D810 or so). Image processing keeps getting better and the BSI design of the sensor certainly helps a lot in this regard, too. We won't know how it stacks up to the D6 directly till we get some more time to do tests, but I think the two will be closer than expected, and you'll have all the other upgrades and benefits of the Z 9 to consider as well.

When is Nikon going to bring flip and rotate LCD? 

Nikon does have it in the Z fc, which is a camera more in line with vlogging and other applications that benefit from the vari-angle/rotating type of screen. For the applications the Z 9 is designed for, I think the new four-axis tilt design is a pretty smart choice since it can benefit working from high and low angles with both horizontal and vertical shooting orientations.

Hi from all the great Q & A I sort of missed or overlooked  when we can expect the camera to ship? So if pre-ordered when would I anticapate in receiving it.

Thxs!

For the most current expectations, check our product page for updated shipping times. As of today, we are expecting shipments to begin around December 15th.

Video Focus tracking: Does this offer continuos focus tracking whilst shooting video, in a gentle smooth transition when adjusting focus? In order to shoot wide open on interview type shots. Thanks 

Yes, continuous AF with subject tracking is available while recording video and the AF speed and AF tracking sensitivity can also be adjusted if needed.

Video: variable frame rate? Does this offer variable frame rate, such as rates outside of standards? Like 33 FPS? Thanks 

Nikon doesn't specify any frame rates outside of the standard options.

Is Nikon planning to add the 5:4 or 4:3 aspect ratios to the Z9?

They haven't specified any aspect ratios outside of the native 3:2 and 1:1 and 16:9 crops. Historically, Nikon has been pretty good at providing at least a 5:4 ratio in their higher tier cameras (like the Z 7II, D850, and D6) but we haven't heard anything specific about this feature for the Z 9 yet. Fingers crossed-it's a useful feature I like to use myself.

Yes, it would be great to have more aspect ratios added in firmware, ideally at launch. I'm often cropping at 4:3 ratio (afterwards) on my d850 and would love a 4:3 ratio (and keep the 4:5) implemented in Z9 and D850, so to compose more easily. 

Will there be a firmware update that would give user’s an option to have 16bit color depth in the works? 

Nikon hasn't mentioned anything specifically about 16-bit color depth, but the upcoming FW update in 2022 will bring 12-bit raw recording to video modes.

Great question, Joseph. I was beginning to think that I was the only one who cared about a 16-bit option in the Z9. Is that something which can be added in a firmware update?

Unsure as of now if it's a possibility or what Nikon will be able to do with future firmware updates, but I think a lot of people would be excited to see something like this. For the time being, though, Nikon hasn't mentioned anything about 16-bit color.

Yes, I to was looking forward to a 16bit option.
For ref Phase One offer RAW file options with iiqL (14bit) & iiqL16 (16bit) capture, with a difference in file size and FPS of about 25%, so, if Nikon could offer similar those would make this camera more versatile when speed is not required, but colour finesse is. 

How does it work with the converter and far lenses

I meant F mount larger prime lenses 

The FTZ II Mount Adapter will offer pretty seamless use with F-mount lenses regardless of the focal length. So far, a lot of the tests feature shooters working with longer telephoto F-mount lenses and the FTZ since there are no native super-telephoto lenses for the Z system yet. Assuming you're working with an AF-S or AF-P lens, then the adapter will also maintain AF performance just like as if you were using it on a DSLR.

Tell Joe and Jen that we're not hung up on the numbers either, but not having the camera in our hands yet, it helps us get a feel for quality of the images (We can't really tell quality from an image on a computer screen.) the camera can produce by having numbers to compare to other cameras that we use today.

I think their point was more to do with how much they valued using the camera and the shooting experience with the Z 9 rather than just the imagery from a numbers-based point of view; that they'd choose a camera that is intuitive to use, has groundbreaking AF, and is versatile for both stills and video rather than a camera that's just offering a bit more dynamic range over its competitors. That said, and as I'm sure you caught in the video, Nikon stated they haven't released any formal dynamic range numbers just yet, so it's very likely Joe and Jen aren't even aware if the Z 9 has more or less dynamic range than another camera out there.

I've seen the teaser video on the beach which demonstrates a blackout free EVF.

Does this apply to all shooting modes or only a select few? EX: 20FPS High Cont. AF-C tracking, etc

Yes, the EVF will perform this way in all shooting situations; the fast continuous shooting example is just one of the key instances where this feature is most beneficial.

Hi, I currently shoot with a D500 and D850 and have lots of F lenses including the 2.8 trinity.  I’m not a pro but very serious amateur. I shoot landscapes but also lots of soccer. I’m super interested in the Z9 (for both) but am not likely to go all mirrorless just yet. I know there’s a new FTZ adapter. Looking for pro advice on whether it would really make sense to go with the Z9 but continue to invest in F lenses. In other words, no Z lenses for now. I know the marketing materials say the F lenses on the Z are super sharp, but would love some real world advice and discussion on the downside. Thank you!

I am interested in this answer also.  I usually shoot D 500. But shoot birds and animals 

I'm a D850, Z6 and Z7ii shooter (serious amateur) also with significant investment in F mount lenses and use that equipment to shoot mostly wildlife with a landscape shot mixed in once in a while. I recently purchased the S mount 70x200 for use on my Z7ii and can tell you that it's every bit as sharp and probably sharper than my F mount 70x200 on my D850. I have no way to "measure" besides by my perception of the sharpness between the two. Others that I have talked to also say the S mount lenses are sharper in general than their F mount versions. So, I'm going to purchase the Z9 and swap out over time all but my big primes

I am ordering the Z9 but planning on using the F mount versions of the larger primes. Your answer helps. 

I think it makes good sense and don't think it's a problem to rely on the FTZ/FTZ II Mount Adapter for the time being when changing systems. Especially since the Z system is so new, you'll inevitably want to use an adapter for those lenses not yet available for the Z system, like longer super-teles or more unique focal lengths. The combination of a Z 9 + FTZ II + F-mount lens will still likely outpace a D850 or D500 and the same lens attached. The Z 9 is just a much newer camera and the FTZ II is a great adapter that will maintain high focusing speeds and accuracy.

Thanks, Bjorn, Susan, and Steven. Very helpful! 

I've seen the prior videos about the Z9 as well as the panel discussions, but two areas which haven't had much discussion and are of concern to me are:

1. How does the noise compare to the D6 and D5 at high iso for low light photography?

2. Have there been any problems of flicker when shooting inside with no added light in rooms lighted with LED light or when using LED light sources to illuminate scenes with the Z9's electronic shutter since the Z9 has no way to adjust shutter speed that we've been told about thus far.

We'll have to wait a bit longer for more testing and image samples to be released to have a fair comparison between the Z 9 and the D6/D5 in terms of noise. It's difficult to tell at this point because the DSLRs have the advantage of a lower resolution, but they're also older cameras without the benefit of newer sensor designs. And as far as what I've seen, there should be no issues relating to flicker when working in low-light interior locations, especially with LEDs.

How the camera handles banding when using fast shutter speeds under LED lights with the silent electronic shutter? Does it have some anti flicker mode or variable increments shutter speed?

There have been no reports so far of any issues with flicker, and in our hands-on review video you'll see that a couple of the locations Joe and Jen shot in were interiors with fluorescent lighting and they were photographing fast-moving action (tennis) without any issues. Since Nikon made the decision to forgo a mechanical shutter entirely, they certainly spent time making sure the sensor's design and processing were enough to keep up in the types of situations pros are often working in.

Hi. I'm a filmmaker and am interesting in how the camera operates as a film camera, doing interviews that might last an hour or so. The focusing in previous Nikons has been less than problematic, so I am wondering about the Z9. I understand that the photos are excellent, but my questions are really about how the camera would work for cinematographers. Can you please address this in this discussion?

The Z 9 is definitely Nikon's most cine-optimized camera yet, so I think it's safe to assume it's a solid choice for filmmakers. The recording modes, resolutions, and framerates alone are pretty special, and then the AF performance that benefits both stills and video is also quite impressive with its ability to detect and track a wide variety of subjects. And, for interviews, the Z 9 has a stated continuous recording time of 125 minutes when recording 8K...so if you dial that back to 4K or FHD, you should have no issues whatsoever for even the longest of interviews.

I was just at the Z9 launch event last night in Portland, OR, with Corey Rich and Paul Van Allen. They’re Nikon ambassadors, but they’re also critical of the gear they use. Rich said something to the effect the Z9 will be a game changer for cinematographers. The prototypes his crew used handled any flicker issues very well, and it’s autofocus was faster than their own eyes. They didn’t need to pull focus— a first for his shoots. His website has a short video shot with Z9s as well as a behind-the-scenes video for the same shoot. Pretty revealing in the prototypes’ capabilities in the mixed-light night shoots. Link below.

https://www.coreyrich.com/video

Hi !

Already loving the coverage so far and looking forward to this live event ! :)

A few questions I have

1) What kind of dynamic range can we expect at 64 ISO (notably compared to the Z7 II) ?

2) How about noise across the ISO range (compared to Z6 II or D6)

3) Can talk a bit more about any compromises could expect with High Efficiency RAW ?  Will we be able to use it with RAW converters such as Adobe and Capture One ?

Best,

Mark

Hi Mark- Unfortunately Nikon hasn't released any figures or text that's going to provide concrete numbers in terms of dynamic range of noise values. As Joe and Jen were saying during the livestream, though, these figures are already so good among cameras nowadays that the real key elements that make the Z 9 so good relate to what it's like to actually use. Things like the focusing performance and available range of tools are what make it a special camera. In terms of the new raw file format, various raw converters will surely support it once the Z 9 is shipping and these applications have had a chance to work with the files. In terms of shooting compromises, Nikon claims they are just as good as any previous raw file format in terms of image quality, but have a much more efficient compression that benefits working with high-resolution files and fast continuous shooting speeds.

What is the camera body weight and dimensions? 

The Nikon Z9 would measure: 5.9 x 5.9 x 3.6" / 149 x 149.5 x 90.5 mm and would weigh 2.9 lb / 1340 g including the battery and memory card installed. 

Now I'd like to know when they will come out with a follow up to the D850. I will be 90 this March and have been hoping to buy this product if my health hold s up. I'd prefer SLR but could be interested in Z mount if the product was as good as the 810 or 850. This Z9 sounds impressive but I am not a pro which this is geared towards, I think there would be an even bigger market for a Z8 (???) if done as terrificly as the 810 & 850. Let's hope I live to see it.

I think the D850 is an incredible camera but the Z 9 takes pretty much every feature of that camera (sans the optical viewfinder, of course) and makes it a bit better. I think the Z 7II is a closer follow-up to the D850's aim (high resolution and smaller body), but it would also be interested to see if Nikon has any future cameras planned in between these two. I'll be surprised to see if Nikon has another high-end DSLR release, especially with the amount of R&D that went into the Z 9 to have it exceed the capabilities of their former flagship DSLR.

You are comparing a $6400 item to a $3,000 camera. I had heard rumours of a Z8 or 880. Possibly no more. I am not sure the 880 non pros are going to switch to the Z711 & I seriously doubt going for the $6400 Z9. Certainly NOT ME!! You also have to consider the lenses & other accessories involved. B4 you blink it'll be well over $7000.  A Z8 in between would make sense for me. Otherwise, I'll stick with what I have.

My kids will enjoy the extra when I move on to the "Happy hunting ground".  Hopefully, later not sooner. (Thr former line written "Tongue in cheek.)

I agree.  I am an experienced (and somewhat younger), have used an 810 for years, and see a move to a Z7II as a step down in build, software/systems and image quality.  The Z9 is overkill for me and much heavier than I want.  I would jump at a Z8, with build and systems on a level with the D800 cameras. 

Thank you Chris. As I said above, I turn 90 yrs in March. Started as a photo hobby at 11 yrs old. I was starting to feel I was out of touch. I feel exactly as you do. Let's see what Nikon comes up with in 2022. Then we'll have a excuse to spend some bucks. Like you, I love the 810 and hated when they ceased building the new 850 without the flash. Even with a Z8 I will still use the 810. I can still use my original lenses from 1969. (Auto exp & MF).

Great to know I'm not alone!!!

What are all of the various recording modes for video?  I haven't seen a comprehensive list of this anywhere yet.  For example, what are the different resolutions and frame rates for 4:2:2 10-bit SDR?  4:2:2 10-bit N-Log?  I see it on your product page that it can do up to 4:2:2 10-bit 8k30 or 4k120 in H.265 but does it do it for both SDR and N-Log?  Also see that it can do ProRes 422 HQ 10-bit 4k/30, but same question, does it do it for both SDR and N-Log?  It would be nice to have a comprehensive list to see if it can also do these recording modes in SDR or N-Log down to 1080p as well.

I have the same question about N-Log as well... Can we do this in-camera, or do we need to use the clunky and often malfunctioning Atmos?

Yes, internal N-Log recording is supported, as well as HLG.

Unfortunately the specific combinations of resolution, frame rate, bit rate, and modes haven't been made available just yet, hopefully we'll have more answers once Nikon releases the user manual and additional literature becomes available.

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