Nikon’s Z9 brings mirrorless to the professionals

October 31, 2021

Meet the Nikon Z9. Once in a generation, a camera comes along that changes the game. Unprecedented creative power. Unparalleled speed and precision. The $5,500 Z9 will take you as close to perfect as you can imagine. The new, stacked 45.7 MP full-frame CMOS sensor and ultra-fast EXPEED 7 processer deliver astonishing image quality. Nikon’s most advanced AF system ever re-defines tenacious. Day-long shoots. Hours of 8K video. The most extreme locations. The fastest action. The Z 9 stands up to the toughest professional demands—and then some.

Much teased, Nikon’s Z9 mirrorless camera is finally here in the Middle East. This is Nikon’s first mirrorless camera fully geared towards professional photographers and hybrid shooters, with a huge spec list designed for use in the demanding fields of photojournalism, sports, nature, birding, and any other use-cases that call for a camera that shoots incredibly fast at high resolution. The $5,500 Z9 is also Nikon’s first camera to omit a traditional mechanical shutter, allowing it to achieve new levels of speed and autofocus performance.

Enhancing user capability, the introduction of the Z 9 allows professionals to capture stills and videos with ease. Nikon’s first 4-axis vertical and horizonal tilting monitor and integrated vertical grip will have users capturing the best moments in comfort, even under the harshest conditions. The Z 9 also features the world’s largest variety of simultaneous subject detection amongst mirrorless cameras, with its tenacious autofocus (AF) offering, and the Real-Live Viewfinder without blackout period. Users will be among the first to enjoy shooting with stunning 8K in-camera recording for up to 125 minutes for making it the most practical camera for location shoots.

With the world’s fastest 120 fps continuous shooting (High-Speed Frame Capture+), make an impact in capturing the detail and precision of what only the Z 9 can see – fleeting micro-moments that are invisible to the naked eye. Continuous shooting of up to 120 fps is supported with NIKKOR Z lenses, and 94 kinds of NIKKOR F lenses with AF. The Z 9 can also continuously shoot at 20fps to capture over 1,000 frames in JPEG or RAW formats, even when flicker reduction is turned on. This is a first for Nikon that is made possible with the high processing capability and large buffer of EXPEED 7 and the fast write speed of a CFexpress Type B card.

Surpassing conventional optical viewfinder (OVF) and electronic viewfinder (EVF) to reveal every single moment, the all-new Real-Life Viewfinder is backed by a new technology. Unlike conventional blackout-free shooting that displays the same frame to prevent interruption of the finder image, this viewfinder continues to display the actual movement of the subject within the scene, so that every single moment can be smoothly and continuously confirmed with no skipped frames or loss of view.

The Dual-Stream technology with 45.7 effective megapixels stacked CMOS sensor achieves 12 times faster still image reading, while also processing separately of the display images for EVF/monitor and still image data for recording. Meanwhile, the newly evolved high-speed, high-performance image-processing engine EXPEED 7 delivers a 10 times faster processing speed thus allowing the live view data to EVF/monitor and recorded still image data to be separately yet simultaneously processed. The EXPEED 7 is also the key enabler to the camera’s deep learning technology for subject detection algorithm and in-camera 8K video recording.

The Z 9 features the world’s brightest viewfinder, a newly equipped Quad-VGA panel that is compatible to adjust the viewfinder brightness up to 3000cd/m2 in response to various lighting conditions. The high brightness panel allows for easy capturing of subjects in bright scenarios, even under the blazing hot sun, and viewing where the displayed photo or video content appears brighter and sharper.

Bringing a solution with higher resolution, the Z 9 offers in-camera video recording in high-quality 8K30p and 4K/30p/60p/120p – a few of the very firsts for Nikon and the highest video performance in Nikon history. Designed to efficiently dissipate heat, users can record in 8K30p for up to approximately 125 minutes, making it the world’s longest 8K30p recording. Record time-lapse movies in 8K while still being able to obtain still images simultaneously with the adoption of interval-timer shooting (in YUV processed video only). The ability to extract high-resolution stills from 8K videos as well as the decisive moments in 120p after video shooting for enhanced shooting efficiency put forward cutting-edge quality in photos and videos. Users can also choose to record in 4K with a wide range of frame size/frame rate from 24p to 120p available in multiple formats, even when recording in slow motion. Highlighting the attention to important details that could go unnoticed in the heat of the action, such as track competition finishes or high-speed races, the Z 9 is designed for a myriad of needs and can deliver files expeditiously as it also supports and allows for the selection of diverse codecs including H.265 (HEVC) and Apple ProRes 422 HQ.

Nikon’s first full-frame mirrorless camera that is built without a mechanical shutter, this deliberate omission of a mechanic shutter in the Z 9 allows users to shoot with the world’s most minimal rolling shutter distortion and fastest scan rate. In addition, the in-camera VR adopts a safety lock to prevent risk of damage to the image sensor. Accompanied with the addition of a dual coating to strengthen dust prevention with image sensor cleaning – a first for digital cameras – and a brand-new sensor shield, the Z 9 is formidable when it comes to protecting its image sensor from dust particles.

Great external durability and reliability is also ensured as the main body components are effectively sealed through the system, from the joints of each exterior cover to the tilting structure, to provide high dust- and drip- resistance equivalent to the robust D6. Built with resistance to cold, the Z 9 continues to operate in temperatures down to -10C°, enabling it to withstand the harsh shooting conditions and environments for professional use.

by Anil George
Avid follower of all things tech. In between his quest for the ultimate gizmo, Anil fiddles with light meters, collects rare books and feeds his fetish for Jap horror movies. As Managing Editor of T3 Middle East for the GCC, Anil oversees content direction across print and digital. He was a CES 2020 Innovation Awards Judge, reprising his role as an Innovation Awards Judge at CES 2018, CES 2017, 2016 and 2015. Anil is also the Middle East's first Brand Ambassador for Ashdown Engineering. Reach him at: editor@t3me.com.