Nikon Z9 Overview
- 45.7MP FX-Format Stacked CMOS Sensor
- EXPEED 7 Image Processor
- 8K30p and 4K120p Video, 10-Bit Internal
- Up to 20 fps Raw, 30 fps JPEG Shooting
- 493-Point Phase-Detection AF System
- AI-Based Subject Detection and Tracking
- Blackout-Free Real Live Viewfinder
- 3.2" 4-Axis Tilting Touchscreen LCD
- Vertical Grip, 2x CFexpress Type B Slots
- 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS
Delivering speed, image quality, and connectivity, the Nikon Z9 is a professional-grade camera characterized by its newly developed sensor, advanced AF performance, and high-resolution 8K video recording. Their first mirrorless flagship camera, the Z9 stands out as a camera that appeals to photographers and filmmakers working across a wide variety of applications.
Stacked Sensor and Powerful Processing Engine
45.7MP Stacked BSI CMOS Sensor
The core of the Z9 is the newly developed FX-format 45.7MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor. Its stacked design offers fast readout speeds and helps to reduce rolling shutter, and the BSI design contributes to impressive clarity and minimal noise when working at higher sensitivities. At 45.7MP, it's also a high-resolution chip that benefits landscape, portraiture, and other detail-oriented genres, as well as enables recording video at resolutions up to 8K. The full-frame BSI design is known for exquisite color and detail rendering, too, and this sensor offers a native ISO 64-25600 range, that can be expanded to ISO 32-102400.
EXPEED 7 Image Processor
Complementing the sensor is an advanced processing engine, the EXPEED 7, which offers speeds approximately 10x faster than a Z 7II. This engine works in conjunction with the stacked sensor design to realize impressively fast AF speeds, burst shooting rates, a high buffer capacity, fluid video performance, and quick all-around handling.
- Top continuous shooting speeds of 20 fps when shooting in raw, 30 fps when shooting in JPEG, and an impressive 120 fps shooting rate when recording 11MP stills, with all rates supporting full AF/AE performance.
- Able to buffer over 1000 raw images in a burst, meaning raw image sequences can be recorded for approximately 50 seconds continuously.
- Electronic shutter affords a top shutter speed of 1/32,000 sec for working in the brightest conditions with wider apertures.
- Stacked sensor design reduces rolling shutter distortion so fast-moving subjects, like a golf club, tennis racket, or baseball bat, do not appear distorted when working with shutter speeds up to 1/32,000 sec.
- AF calculations are done at a 120 fps rate to keep up with fast continuous shooting speeds.
- New High Efficiency RAW file format maintains image quality akin to uncompressed raw files but with file sizes approximately 30% smaller for faster reading/writing to the memory card.
Electronic Shutter-Only Design
Relying on the speed and stacked design of the sensor, the Z9 completely forgoes a mechanical shutter and uses just an electronic shutter for all capture modes. The speed of the sensor enables recording at up to 1/32,000 sec and the stacked structure reduces motion distortion for accurate depiction of fast-moving subjects, like golf clubs, baseball bats, and automobiles. Also, despite the absence of a mechanical shutter, flash sync up to 1/200 sec. is still supported as well as high speed sync functions.
By removing the mechanical shutter, the Z9 can also operate completely silently and there is no worry over mechanical shutter wear or breakdown. A shutter release sound can be added for awareness when a photo is being taken, and the volume can be adjusted to suit different working scenarios.
Fast and Intelligent AF
493-Point Phase-Detection AF
Covering the full sensor area, the Z9 uses a 493-point phase-detection AF system to realize fast and accurate focusing performance. This system is benefitted by the high-speed communication of the Z interface along with the speed of the sensor that enables AF readings to occur at up to 120 fps. This focusing system also supports working in low-light conditions with a Starlight mode that permits focusing down to -8.5 EV to greatly benefit astrophotography, concert, and other nighttime shooting applications.
Subject Detection with Deep Learning Technology
Utilizing a new algorithm and deep learning technology, automatic Subject Detection can now recognize nine distinct subject types, ranging from humans to animals to airplanes to bicycles. When working in Auto-Area AF, these subjects will automatically be detected, focused on, and tracked to ensure sharp focus when the subject is moving across the frame. Eye-Detection AF, specifically, has been tuned for improved accuracy and refined recognition of eyes in the scene regardless of how small or large they are within the image frame.
The Z9 also sees the debut of the 3D Tracking mode in a Nikon mirrorless camera. This popular focusing mode from Nikon's DSLRs pairs with subject detection capabilities to lock onto fast and erratically moving subjects that move parallel and perpendicular to the camera axis. Additionally, there are also three Dynamic-Area AF modes, with a range of focus area sizes, to suit capturing a broader variety of moving subject types.
8K and 4K Video Recording
Up to 8K Recording Supported
Matching the high-end photo attributes, the Z9 is Nikon's most capable video camera as well, with a variety of resolutions and frame rates available up to 8K. Using full pixel readout, UHD 8K 30p video can be recorded with continuous shooting possible for approximately 2 hours 5 minutes.
Full-frame 4K recording is available, too, up to 120p for slow-motion playback. Using an 8K area, oversampled UHD 4K recording is possible at up to 30p for increased sharpness and detail. Also, high-resolution frame grabs can be recorded in camera from 8K and 4K videos, for producing 33MP or 11MP stills, respectively.
ProRes and H.265 10-Bit Internal Recording
Internal recording with 10-bit color and 4:2:2 sampling is possible in the ProRes 422 HQ and H.265 codecs, and H.264 and 4:2:0 color can be used depending on workflow needs. For more latitude when color grading in post, there is also a 10-bit N-Log setting as well as a Flat color profile. Additionally, HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) can be used for creating HDR-ready content straight from the camera.
Professional Body Design
- Real-Live Viewfinder is a an advanced EVF utilizing a 3.69m-dot OLED panel with adjustable luminance up to 3000 cd/m2 for clear visibility in bright conditions. This EVF also works in conjunction with dual-stream technology for blackout-free viewing when shooting continuously.
Four-Axis Tilting LCD
- A first for Nikon, the Z9 incorporates a 3.2" 2.1m-dot four-axis tilting touchscreen LCD that better supports working from high and low angles, regardless if shooting in the horizontal or vertical orientation. This screen's four-way tilting design allows for easier viewing from a variety of positions and the user interface orientation will also shift depending on how the camera is held.
Tough, Durable Construction
- Dual CFexpress Type B memory card slots allow for flexible file saving and promote high-speed reading and writing to keep up with the fast continuous shooting and high-resolution 8K video recording. Both slots are also compatible with XQD memory cards.
- Optimized for a professional workflow, the Z9 is characterized by its ergonomic form factor and inclusion of a vertical grip for easy switching between horizontal and vertical shooting orientations.
- Built to the same dust and moisture resistance standards as the D6, the Z9 has a highly durable and rigid magnesium alloy chassis that manages to be 20% smaller than the former flagship DSLR body.
- Included EN-EL18d battery offers approximately 700 frames per charge. The Z9 is also compatible with other EN-EL18-series batteries.
- In-body Vibration Reduction now supports Synchro VR to achieve up to 6 stops of camera shake compensation when used with select Z lenses.
- VR safety lock secures the sensor and VR mechanism in place to prevent damage caused by movement while traveling.
- Helping to cut down on dust reaching the sensor, the Z9 incorporates a sensor shield that protects the sensor surface when changing lenses. For additional dust prevention, there is also a dual electro-conductive and fluorine coating on the optical filter covering the sensor.
- Backlit buttons offer easier navigation and button recognition when working in low-light conditions.
- Voice memo function for recording short spoken notes while shooting.
Matching the professional build quality, the Z9 is fitted with a variety of connectivity options to suit various workflow needs:
- Full-size HDMI port for outputting video to an external recorder or monitor
- USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port supports tethering, data transfer, and in-camera battery charging
- Ethernet port supports 1000BASE-T wired LAN connection for transferring files over FTP
- 10-pin port offers wide accessories and remote connectivity
- PC sync port for flash sync
- Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (2.4 and 5 GHz) permit wireless transferring of files, remote camera control via a mobile device, and works in conjunction with the NX Mobile Air app for file management
- GNSS for in-camera geotagging and recording of location info while shooting