Nikon releases the Z 9 full-frame mirrorless camera

October 28, 2021

The first flagship model of the Z series

Z 9

TOKYO - Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of the full-frame (Nikon FX-format) mirrorless camera Nikon Z 9 for which the Nikon Z mount is adopted.
The development of this camera was announced on March 10, 2021.

The Z 9 is the first flagship model of the Z series mirrorless cameras bringing together Nikon's leading-edge technologies to deliver the best still and video features and performance in Nikon history. Thanks to the newly developed stacked CMOS sensor and the EXPEED 7 image-processing engine, the most powerful AF performance among Nikon cameras is realized. This advanced AF system detects the world's largest range*1 of nine subject types for both stills and video: people, dogs, cats, birds, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trains, and airplanes. With this system, decisive moments can be reliably captured for diverse subjects.

For video recording, 8K UHD/30p video*2 can be recorded on a memory card in-camera without using an external recorder for up to 125 minutes*3 — the world's longest*1. It is also possible to record 4K UHD/120p/60p/30p video to comply with the varied video production activities of image creators.
A newly employed four-axis vertical/horizontal tilting monitor facilitates shooting from high or low angles regardless of vertical or horizontal orientation, remarkably improving users' convenience. In addition, Real-Live Viewfinder, that surpasses the performance of conventional optical viewfinders (OVF) and electronic viewfinders (EVF), is adopted. 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*4.

The Z 9 features various functions and high performance that surpass previous Nikon digital SLR and mirrorless cameras, realizing the continuous and confident capture of decisive moments, even in extreme conditions. The Z 9 supports the best performance of professional photographers and image creators who are active in diverse fields, ranging from sports and journalism to fashion and commercial.

Nikon will continue to pursue a new dimension in optical performance while meeting users' needs, contributing to the development of imaging culture, with the hope of expanding possibilities for imaging expression.

  • *1Among mirrorless cameras available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.
  • *2In FX-based video format only.
  • *3At a temperature of 23°C/73.4°F. With an EN-EL18d Rechargeable Li-ion Battery in use. When video shoot is started after powering on. CFexpress Type B cards with fast writing speed are recommended for video recording.
  • *4Smoothness of the viewfinder image will differ depending on settings such as shutter speed, etc.

Primary features

1. The most powerful AF performance in Nikon history and ultra-fast still shooting that reliably capture decisive moments for diverse subjects

Employing an advanced algorithm that utilizes newly developed deep-learning technology, the camera detects the world's largest range of nine subject types*1 including birds, bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trains, and airplanes, as well as the conventional cats, dogs, and people. When selecting the "auto" subject detection option, any of these subjects can be automatically detected and focused on without changing settings.
With Eye-Detection AF, the camera can detect and focus on a subject's eye more effectively than ever, even if it is small in the frame. In any situation where AF cannot detect the eye or face, detection will automatically shift to the head or upper body, to maintain focus on the subject.
The Z 9 provides the 3D-tracking feature as an AF-area mode option for the first time in a Nikon mirrorless camera. It can continue tracking a subject even in a scene where subjects move drastically. The Z 9 also brings new advances by offering three dynamic-area AF modes with different focus-area sizes (S/M/L) which is useful when shooting with a fixed composition. In still shooting, with High-Speed Frame Capture+*2 at the world's fastest*3 frame rate of 120 fps, a moment that cannot even be seen with the naked eye can be captured with approx. 11-megapixel images.

  • *1Subject detection works in wide-area AF (S) and (L), auto-area AF, 3D-tracking, and subject-tracking AF (video recording) modes.
  • *2With AF/AE tracking. JPEG normal image quality only. The number of frames that can be shot is lower than that of high-speed continuous shooting. Use of a recommended card is advised. With C30 setting, approx. 45-megapixel images can be shot at 30 fps.
  • *3Among mirrorless cameras available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.

2. The highest video performance in Nikon history fully meets the demands of video creation

Thanks to an efficient heat-dissipation design, 8K UHD/30p video can be recorded on a memory card in-camera for up to approx. 125 minutes — the world's longest. Utilizing the astonishing resolving power of NIKKOR Z S-Line*1 interchangeable lenses, 8K UHD/30p video realizes both amazingly high rendering performance from edge to edge and extended video recording. 4K UHD/120p/60p/30p video can also be recorded. Because 4K UHD/120p enables the creation of dramatic slow motion without any crop, footage recorded at different frame rates can be edited while maintaining the same angle of view. It is also possible to record 10-bit N-Log and HLG (Hybrid Log-Gamma)*2 in-camera. Furthermore, compatibility with the ProRes 422 HQ recording format*3 reliably meets the wide range of demands of video production. The detection range of nine different subject types is also available with video recording.
In order to continuously comply with users' video creation requirements, the adoption of functions such as in-camera recording of 12-bit RAW video including over 8K /60p, and further improved operability in video recording are planned with a future firmware update.

  • *1The S-Line is a grade of NIKKOR Z lenses that demonstrate outstanding optical performance, adhering to a high standard of design principles and quality control.
  • *2Available only when [H.265 10-bit (MOV)] is selected for [Video file type].
  • *3Compatible with up to 4K/60p, except for Full HD/24p, 25p and 30p.

3. Real-Live Viewfinder — a new technology providing a clearer view than conventional viewfinders

Thanks to Nikon's Dual-Stream technology, enabled by the newly developed stacked CMOS sensor and new EXPEED 7 image-processing engine, images displayed on both the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and LCD monitor, and still-image data for recording can be processed simultaneously. 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. Because this is achieved even when continuous shooting is repeated over a short period of time, it is ideal for scenes in which tracking of quickly moving subjects is required, such as during sports, allowing users to reliably capture the finest moments without missing any shutter opportunities. Also, employing a new Quad-VGA panel for the viewfinder, in which brightness can be manually raised up to the world's brightest* 3000cd/m2, users can clearly confirm subjects even during outdoor shooting under strong sunlight.

  • *Among mirrorless cameras available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.

4. Operability and reliability supporting the image expression of professionals

Nikon's first four-axis vertical/horizontal tilting monitor provides outstanding operability especially for shooting from high or low angles, regardless of vertical or horizontal orientation. When shooting in vertical orientation, the user interface in live-view still images is automatically displayed vertically both in the viewfinder and on the LCD monitor, for easy checking and adjustment of settings.
The Z 9 delivers Nikon's highest class of reliability, with outstanding robustness equivalent to the Nikon D6 (released in June 2020), plus superior dust- and drip-resistant performance and an operating temperature down to -10°C/14°F, enabling it to withstand the severest conditions and reliably support the shooting needs of professionals.
As well as this, the world's fastest* scanning speed of the CMOS sensor achieves the world's most minimal* rolling-shutter distortion. It realizes a design without need for a mechanical shutter, enabling users to perform massive amounts of shooting without worrying about shutter wear or breakdown. In addition, a VR safety lock protects the sensor from the risk of damage caused by unintentional movement when the power is off, for example by swaying during bumpy off-road travel.

  • *Among mirrorless cameras incorporating an image sensor of 30 megapixels or larger, available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.

5. Additional features

  • 45.7 effective megapixels deliver overwhelming resolution maximizing the superior performance of NIKKOR Z lenses.
  • High-Efficiency RAW*1 which retains the same level of high image quality as the conventional uncompressed RAW in an approx. 1/3 smaller file size.
  • High-speed continuous shooting at 20 fps for more than 1,000 frames*2 realized in both JPEG and RAW file formats.
  • Powerful dust-prevention measures for the image sensor include the world's first*3 dual coating and sensor shield.
  • The combination of ISO 64 capability and 1/32000-sec. shutter speed expands the range of creative expression of fast lenses.
  • Silent mode for minimized operational sound of in-camera/in-lens VR, making it possible to shoot indoor events such as theatrical plays, press conferences and weddings.
  • The sound of the electronic shutter can be set at three different volume levels to inform the subject of the shutter release timing in scenes such as portrait shooting.
  • Compatible with CFexpress Type B memory cards with faster writing speed that are ideal for 8K UHD video recording and high-speed continuous shooting at high pixel count.
  • Various image transfer functions are supported by 1000BASE-T wired LAN and built-in wireless LAN.
  • Achieves a body 20% smaller than the D6 while adopting a design with integrated vertical grip.
  • *1In High-Efficiency RAW. In High-Efficiency RAW★, the file size is approx. 1/2 of the conventional uncompressed RAW.
  • *2When using NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.8 S lens and ProGrade Digital Cobalt 1700R 325GB memory card; in [RAW + JPEG] or [JPEG + JPEG] recording, duration for continuous shooting is approx. 3 seconds; the firmware update to be released on January 5, 2022 will further enhance this function. future firmware update within this year will further enhance this function. (Revised December 28, 2021.)
  • *3Among mirrorless cameras available as of October 28, 2021, based on Nikon research.
  • Specifications, design, product name and supplied accessories may differ by country or area. Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer.

The information is current as of the date of publication. It is subject to change without notice.