Nikon has released a major update for the Nikon Z 9, bringing more powerful performance and added features to the company’s flagship camera.

Firmware V. 3.0 is the second major update to the Z 9 this year. It applies a number of changes, which are detailed in the Supplementary Firmware Update Manual under “Still Photography”, “Video Recording”, “Displays”, “Playback”, “Controls”, and “Network”. The most significant improvements are listed below:

  • High-Res Zoom:When capturing 4K UHD video, the footage is captured in 8K UHD resolution, and then gradually cropped to the 4K frame size in real time, effectively doubling the focal length while maintaining resolution.
  • High-Speed Frame Capture+: In addition to the existing C30 and C120 options, High-Speed Frame Capture+ now offers a C60³ option for bursts of continuous shooting of approximately 19-megapixel still images at approximately 60 fps. This feature is in DX mode, which increases effective focal length.
  • Autofocus Enhancements: The low-light limit has been extended by 0.5 EV, with accuracy improved in low light and low-contrast conditions. Multiple enhancements have been made to 3D-tracking mode; focus will be “stickier” on a subject, and less likely to shift into a foreground obstacle that momentarily obscures a subject. Users now also have the option to change the color of focus points to red and the detection and tracking of fast-moving animals has been improved when “animal” is selected in 3D-tracking.
  • High-Frequency Flicker Reduction is now available for video recording.
  • Timecode synchronization and UltraSync Blue: Timecode across multiple Z 9 cameras controlled by a single wireless remote control is now possible and ATOMOS UltraSync BLUE is now also supported over a Bluetooth connection.
  • Vertical Playback Display: Images and the i menu can be displayed in vertical orientation during playback mode.

The new firmware is available to download free of charge from the Nikon Download Centre. Click here for the product page.

Update 31/10/22:  It seems highly likely this firmware update has a few issues. We recommend readers visit Thom Hogan’s website Z-System User for the latest information. Click here to see what Thom says about the problems.