After months of ‘teasing’ Nikon has finally released full details of its Z9 camera, which offers the company’s latest mirrorless technologies in a professional-standard camera body.

The new Nikon Z9 camera, shown with the Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S lens. (Source: Nikon.)

Built around a new 45.7-megapixel stacked BSI-CMOS sensor with no AA  filter and a new EXPEED7 processor, the Z9 claims to be significantly faster than previous models. Dual-Stream technology achieves 12 times faster still image reading, while also processing separately of the display images for EVF/monitor and still image data for recording. In addition, the EXPEED 7 delivers 10 times faster processing and allows the live view data to EVF/monitor and recorded still image data to be separately processed at the same time. Sensitivity settings range from the base ISO of 64 up to 25600 (with LO, HI1 and HI2 extensions). The maximum image size is 8256 x 5504 pixels, with a DX crop producing an image with roughly 19 megapixels. The Z 9 also supports High-Efficiency RAW capture, which delivers image quality equivalent to the conventional uncompressed RAW but with a much smaller file size.

To capitalise on this, the Z9 is the first model in the range to operate without a mechanical shutter. Utilising the fast sensor read times, this enables the Z9 to support flash sync at 1/250 second and achieve a top shutter speed of 1/32000 second, with up to 900 seconds available for long exposures. A simple shutter curtain covers the image sensor to protect it during lens changes.  In addition, the in-camera 5-axis VR claims to provide up to six stops of shake correction. It has a safety lock to minimise damage to the image sensor plus a double coating to strengthen dust prevention during sensor cleaning, a first for digital cameras.

The maximum continuous shooting speed is 20 fps with a buffer capacity of more than 1000 frames JPEG or RAW formats, including when flicker reduction is turned on. Continuous shooting of up to 120 fps with 11-megapixel images is also supported at all resolutions with compatible Nikkor lenses. Video can be recorded at up to 8K/30p (with up to 8K/60p functionality promised via a future firmware update).  Video can be recorded internally as 10-bit Pro-res 422 HQ, 10-bit H.265, or 8-bit H.264 internally. Both N-Log and HLG recording modes are supported and the future firmware update also promises internal 12-bit raw recording. Other video improvements are also promised in the future. The maximum 8K recording time is 125 minutes.

Autofocusing is based upon a 493-point phase detection system that covers 90% of the frame and offers -6.5EV to EV19 sensitivity. It claims an expanded video AF speed range plus 3D-tracking and automatic detection and tracking of a human face and eye plus the ability to track cats, dogs, birds, bicycles, cars, motorcycles, train or planes in subject tracking mode. With the Z 9’s advanced Picture Control for video, users can take advantage of the camera’s auto capability to achieve the desired balance of contrast and colours for videos. Users can also expect an improvement in sound quality in linear PCM recording from 16-bit to 24-bit, with the ability to turn off the plug-in power to microphone connector, and enhanced compatibility with professional high-quality microphones.

The camera body is based on the existing D6 DSLR camera but, thanks to its mirrorless design is roughly 20% smaller, measuring 149 mm in width, 149.5 mm in height and 90.5 mm in depth and weighing 1340 grams with battery and card. Along with an integrated vertical grip, the Z9 features Nikon’s first 4-axis vertical and horizontal tilting monitor, which has a 3.2-inch touch screen. Dual card slots can accommodate CFExpress Type B media and are compatible with XQD or CFe cards. Users can select which files to record to each card. The button layout on the rear panel is similar to that of existing Z-series models to maintain consistent operability. Buttons can be illuminated when working in dim lighting. The new Quad-VGA OLED electronic viewfinder has a resolution of 3.690,000 dots and 0.8x magnification plus a 23 mm eyepoint. Dioptre adjustments range from -4 to +3 dpt. The EVF claims to be blackout-free and has a 60Hz refresh rate.

The Z9 uses an EN-EL18D battery, which is CIPA rated for 740 shots/charge with the monitor or 700 shots/charge with the EVF. USB charging is supported and the camera can also be powered by USB.

The new Z 9 will be available within this year. According to overseas website, the MSRP  for the camera body will be US$5599 and cameras are expected to ship in late November or early December. Click here for more information.