Nikon is readying what can be assumed is their flagship professional mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 9. An announcement for this camera is expected some time in the next couple of months.
It looks like Nikon is going in a very different direction than Sony's flagship Alpha 1, and Canon's EOS R3. The EOS R3 is NOT going to be Canon's flagship mirrorless camera, as I expect we'll hear more about the Canon EOS R1 later in 2022.
The Nikon Z 9 was in use at the Tokyo Olympics, but it looks like all EXIF data had been scrubbed from any images taken with the camera. This camera looks to be a true flagship professional mirrorless camera, over the toy that is the Sony Alpha 1.
Nikon released a lackluster flagship DSLR in the Nikon D6, which didn't offer much in the way of advancement from the previous Nikon D5. It looks like they put a lot of R&D dollars in the new Nikon Z 9 and other Z mount mirrorless cameras. Canon did give a big update in the form of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III, which will hold the professionals over until the Canon EOS R1 hits the market, but I suspect a lot of those customers will be in line for the Canon EOS R3 as their first foray into a professional mirrorless body.
Without further ado here's what Nikon Rumors knows about the Nikon Z 9.
Nikon Z 9 Specifications (Rumored)
- 8256 x 5504px resolution that confirms a 45MP stacked sensor
- The Z9 will be capable of up to 120 fps in a lower res file size (6Mb I think). Some reports even indicated 160 fps!
- Built-in GPS – probably GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System).
- The Z9 will use the same battery as D6. There will be also a new 18-type battery (EN-EL18x) that can be charged by the camera’s USB-C.
- The sensor has a multi-leaf blade protective shutter that auto covers the sensor when switched off/changing lens to stop dust and dirt on the naked sensor.
- The Z9 will have car autofocus in addition to animal and people AF as well as low light -7 EV.
- Improved 3D tracking.
- The improved articulated screen that even works in portrait mode – it is a completely new design.
- New style locking flap for the two CFExpress memory cards.
- Third joystick/selector added to use whilst camera close face and shooting.
- Many new menu features to tweak and match your shooting style.
- The shutter release sound level can be adjusted from silent to loud… so you can still get that D6 machine gun sound…
- The official announcement is expected in the next 2 months, but do not expect many cameras to ship before the end of the year. Because of part shortage, the waiting time for the Z9 is expected to be very long.
Previously rumored Nikon Z9 specs:
- Newly developed 45MP high-resolution stacked FX sensor
- 30 fps
- Integrated vertical grip handle
- The Z9 is described as a D6 body combined with EOS R5 imaging, α9II AF, and blackout-free EVF
- 16-bit RAW option
- 8k30p, 4k120/60/30p (support for 8K video recording)
- New EXPEED image-processing engine designed for 8k (newly developed Imaging Pipeline Processor to broaden sensor readout emphasizing speed)
- Improved AF (Object detection AF)
- “Stunning” AF tracking (better than the D6)
- Advanced real-time tracking
- Two XQD/CFX type B memory card slots
- ISO 64 – 25,600, Hi1, Hi2
- Improved noise levels and specifically significantly better dynamic range
- High resolution, blackout-free EVF: probably 5.76 MP or maybe even 9k MP viewfinder, 120 Hz refresh rate (the resolution can be reduced to increase the refresh rate)
- New user interface (no second LCD screen on the back like the D6)
- New battery: Nikon EN-EL18x
- Gbit LAN, USB-C, WiFi, GPS, built-in transmitter
- Price: $6,000 – $7,000
You tell em!
Trouble I see, like the R3, the Z9 will be almost impossible to buy for a long time. Pros will get priority and snap up the first allocation and I hate to be an early adopter.
My guess is that - for most photographers - rather than gear-heads - it's much more about the lenses. If you can afford any of these flagship - or near flagship type cameras, their differences are so minor that it seems like complete foolishness to switch systems if you already have the lenses that you want. And if your system doesn't have the lenses you want (or can afford), then you will likely choose the camera system based on the lenses that will best suit your needs.
If your results are "far behind" using the R3, Z9, A1 or any other top level camera, it's certainly not due to the camera. That's my opinion.
1.) First and foremost, I’m excited for Nikon to actually not only catch up, but potentially surpass the competition. I’ve spoken with many of my Nikon shooting friends over the past couple years and their mirrorless offering DOES NOT seem to appeal to many of them, as none of the ones I’m friends with bought into it…and many of them even considered Canon. haha
2.) This means we are really going to see the R3 at the price point I actually think it’s going to fall into, $4500-5200. The breadcrumbs are there. The R3 is a competitor for the A9 ($4500) and not the A1. Canon has made that clear with their statements about it being placed below the 1DXIII and above the R5. So that tells me they do not intend to price the camera at the 1DX price. All these clowns online keep posting the price at $6000 to $6500 and I just don’t see that happening. Especially with the Z 9 now?!? Canon will be the laughing stock of the photo world if it prices a 24mp camera up against a 45- and 50-mp cameras…that’s not going to happen. But it might happen…it’s Canon. LOL
What they do seem to do is spend too much money and effort on diversions that don’t catch on, the 1 series was a dead end and the high end P&S they announced but never released just as the P&S market tanked were financial and resource drains, and they are comparatively slow to adopt the features that the market does want, I’m thinking FF DSLR’s in particular.