Nikon Z9 Review

Nikon Z9 Review

The result, as we found out when conducting our evaluation of the Nikon Z9, is an exceptionally potent hybrid camera that falls somewhere in the middle of the Canon EOS R3 (which has a 24.1MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor) and the Sony A1 in terms of its capabilities (a 50.1MP full-frame powerhouse).

Those graduating from a DSLR like the Nikon D6 or the Nikon D850 will be comfortable with the Z9’s DSLR style, yet, concealed inside are some genuinely contemporary capabilities, like Nikon’s most excellent focusing system to date.

The Nikon Z9 joins a narrow club of mirrorless cameras capable of recording at that high-quality thanks to its ability to capture video in 8K at 30 frames per second (and an 8K at 60 frames per second option is on the way). In addition, filmmakers may benefit when shooting video with oversampled 4K resolution and capabilities such as eye-tracking autofocus, making the Z9 a much more effective video tool than comparable cameras such as the Nikon D6.

Nikon Z9 Price

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Nikon Z 9 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body

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Last update was on: May 29, 2023 4:31 am

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Nikon Z9 Video


  • Backside illuminated stacking sensor with 45.7 megapixels.
  • Expeed 7 AF is the processor. Points: 493 hybrid phase/contrast-detect AF points
  • Twenty frames per second in raw format, 30 frames per second in high-resolution JPEG, and 120 frames per second in standard-resolution JPEG are the maximum burst speeds.
  • 5-axis stabilization with 5.5 click stops (up to 6 stops with some lenses)
  • ISO settings vary from 64 to 25,600.
  • Maximum shutter speed is 1/32,000 seconds per second Video resolutions of 8K/60p and 4K/120p
  • OLED Electronic Viewfinder with 3.69 million dots Cards: two CFexpress Type B
  • LCD with a 3-inch touchscreen that tilts in both directions and has 1.04 million dots
  • Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet, USB-C, and jacks for headphones and a microphone.
  • Dimensions: 149×149.5×90.5mm Weight: 1,340g

The Z9 can meet the requirements of every kind of picture creator because of its high resolution and lightning-fast speed. However, due to its more considerable body and larger battery, it is best suited for heavy use and photographers who employ large lenses.

Smaller and less expensive cameras are available if you don’t require all a camera has to offer. For instance, the Nikon Z7 II is a better option for photographers who take landscape, portrait, or studio photos. On the other hand, the Z9 is available at a lower price than the Nikon D6 while providing significantly more in almost every category.

Nikon Z9 Design

  • Extremely hardy and sturdy.
  • Electronic shutter exclusively on the brand new dual-axis tilt-screen
  • Longevity assured of the battery
  • The Nikon Z9 is a traditional-looking mirrorless camera that, like the Canon EOS R3, is meant to appeal to consumers considering switching from a DSLR to a mirrorless camera.

It has the feel of a flagship Nikon camera when held in hand, which is to say that it is rock-solid and ergonomically tuned. But, on the other hand, it has an outdated look, especially considering it weighs 1.34 kg. Still, the body of the Z9 is 20% smaller than the hefty Nikon D6, and the comfortable and deep grip makes it suitable for horizontal and vertical photography.

It is constructed similarly to bulldozers from the 1980s, like the Nikon F4, and has a magnesium alloy body that is wholly weather-sealed. In this way, it is similar to the Nikon F4. However, only the Canon EOS R3 can claim that it offers this toughness in mirrorless cameras.

As with the D6, the rear buttons on the Z9 can be illuminated to make them easier to find in the dark. However, this feature can be disabled if you want to be a little less obvious about the fact that you are using a camera with a mirrorless design. Other features borrowed from Nikon’s DSLRs include an AF mode button allowing you to quickly switch between manual and autofocus.

We particularly love many function buttons, notably the three on the front of the camera. These buttons allow for a great deal of customization of the camera, such as a speedy transition between the FX and DX crop settings.

A dual-axis monitor that can tilt 90 degrees in both the horizontal and the vertical directions is one of the handy features that can be found on the rear of the Z9.

Nikon Z9 Autofocus

  • Monitoring AF with a focus on locating people, animals, and vehicles is a top priority
  • 20 fps raw for more than a thousand frames
  • Dual card slots compatible with CF Express type B

The Nikon Z9 needed to improve focus and burst shooting performance to compete with other flagship mirrorless cameras, such as the Canon EOS R3 and the Sony A1. It has mainly achieved that goal.

Even though specific cameras, like the Nikon Z6 II, have good focusing capabilities, they have never been as sophisticated as their competitors regarding tracking faces, eyes, and animals. The Nikon Z9, however, not only keeps up with the competition but even surpasses it — Not only does it track people (including faces, eyes, heads, and upper bodies), animals (bodies, eyes, and heads), and vehicles (cars, motorbikes, planes, and trains), but it also performs simultaneous subject recognition. In addition, 3D tracking makes its debut in a mirrorless camera (only in photos), and it does so exclusively.

This enables the Nikon Z9 to distinguish up to 10 distinct types of subjects within a single picture and track each separately, which is a helpful feature for professionals who photograph settings with various topics. In addition, the camera decides between the different types of subjects for you automatically; however, with the EOS R3 or A1, you will have to make this decision manually. You will find that utilizing the joystick to switch to tracking another topic in the scene is a straightforward process if you want to do so.

The Nikon Z9 is also a significant improvement over the Nikon Z7 II in terms of its ability to autofocus, as it offers five times as many auto-area AF points as that camera. Auto-area AF points are the AF points that can automatically detect a subject in the frame and acquire focus on that subject.

And according to Nikon, it has improved subject-tracking capabilities across the frame compared to the previous flagship model, the Nikon D6. Additionally, the detecting range can go as low as -6.5EV, and in the mode known as “starlight vision,” it can go as low as 8.5EV, which is a genuinely low-light capacity.

We covered a football game with various subjects using the Z9, actually “ran” some tests in tracking a runner coming towards and away from the camera in low light, and took pictures of household pets and wild animals.

Its 3D tracking AF is reassuringly sticky in all aspects, but the element that strikes me the most is how moist it is when tracking distant targets that cover only a tiny piece of the image field. Additionally, the Z9 consistently maintains its position relative to a subject, even if there are momentary impediments.

Nikon Z9 Features

The Nikon Z9 is a more powerful version of the Nikon Z7 II due to its stacked 45.7-megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor. The Nikon Z7 II has a resolution of 45.7 megapixels but does not have a stacked chip for faster read-out rates.

This resolution provides a cropping capability that is substantially more than the 24MP Canon EOS R3. However, the disadvantage is that it has maximum burst speeds that are somewhat lower than those of the EOS R3 and EOS R5, which can reach 30 frames per second while taking raw photographs.

However, the Z9 is one of only a few mirrorless cameras capable of shooting video at 8K resolution. Moreover, Nikon can continuously record 8K video at 30 frames per second for up to 125 minutes, even without an internal fan. This capability partly shames the overheating limits of the more negligible Canon EOS R5.

We recorded some long-form footage in 8K resolution. After approximately 45 minutes, the camera displayed a notice that said ‘heated card,’ even though it continued to capture the video. So, even though the camera temperature wasn’t exceptionally high, we decided to cease recording so we wouldn’t lose any previous material on the card.

The fact that the Z9’s more outlandish video modes won’t be accessible until sometime in 2022 when a software update is installed is the one minor drawback to an otherwise excellent camera.

A few modes, such as the capability to shoot internally in the 10-bit ProRes 422 HQ format and the option to record in 12-bit ProRes Raw HQ, were unavailable at the time of the introduction. However, amazingly, after installing the firmware upgrade, the Nikon Z9 can internally record raw footage at 8K at 60 frames per second.

This would be a first for mirrorless cameras, but it is unclear precisely when the firmware upgrade will arrive next year or how long you can record that 8K/60p mode. This would be a first for mirrorless cameras.

Nevertheless, for now, you can shoot in 8K at 24 or 30 frames per second and have complete eye recognition AF support across the board for your videos. Furthermore, the Z9 can also shoot in 4K utilizing the entire width of its sensor (which results in oversampled and crisper 4K), and it comes with a 4K/120p mode that can be used for recording slow-motion footage.

Nikon Z9 Image & Video Quality

  • 45.7MP stacked sensor ISO 64-25,600
  • Raw format with high efficiency, 8K at 30 frames per second, and oversampled 4K

You’re lucky to be shooting on a day with good weather or even during the daylight when trying to get action photos, which generally occur in shifting light. This is especially true for photographers who focus on sports and animals. When low-contrast light is combined with the high shutter speeds required to freeze motion, the Z9 is precisely pushed to the boundaries of its image-quality capabilities.

Undoubtedly, the stacked 45.7-megapixel full-frame sensor of the Z9 has great untapped potential. For example, it has a native ISO range extending from 64 to 25,600 and can increase to 32 and 102,400. In addition, Nikon claims that the Z9 is equipped with new algorithms that can handle noise more effectively in low-light settings.

We try to avoid using the highest two ISO settings as much as possible to obtain the highest possible image quality. If you followed this approach, the Z9 would be a crisp shooter up to ISO 6400, which is the point at which photographs appear to be sufficiently clean. If you use pixel peeping, you’ll see a small grain beginning at ISO 1600; it’s not immediately noticeable because the pictures are so large.

Nikon Z9 Specs

Body type
Body typeSLR-style mirrorless
Body materialMagnesium Alloy
Max resolution8256 x 5504
Image ratio w h1:1, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels46 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors52 megapixels
Sensor sizeFull frame (35.9 x 23.9 mm)
Sensor typeStacked CMOS
Color spacesRGB, AdobeRGB
Color filter arrayBayer
Boosted ISO (minimum)32
Boosted ISO (maximum)102400
White balance presets9
Custom white balanceYes (6 slots)
Image stabilizationSensor-shift
Image stabilization notesSynchro VR with select lenses
CIPA image stabilization rating6 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
File formatJPEGNEF Raw 14-bit (Lossless, HE*, HE)
Image parametersAuto, Standard, Neutral, Vivid, Monochrome, Portrait, Landscape, Flat. Selected Picture Control can be modified; storage for custom Picture Controls.
Optics & Focus
AutofocusPhase DetectMulti-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousTouchFace DetectionLive View
Autofocus assist lampYes
Manual focusYes
Number of focus points493
Lens mountNikon Z
Articulated LCDTilting
Screen size3.2″
Screen dots2,088,960
Touch screenYes
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder magnification0.8×
Viewfinder resolution3,686,400
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed900 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/32000 sec
Built-in flashNo
External flashYes
Flash modesFront-curtain sync, Rear-curtain sync, Red-eye reduction, Red-eye reduction with slow sync, Slow sync Off
Flash X sync speed1/200 sec
Drive modesSingle frame, Continuous L, Continuous H, High-speed frame capture, Self-timer
Continuous drive30.0 fps
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedHighlight-weightedSpotSpot AF-area
Exposure compensation±5 (at 1/3 EV, 1/2 EV steps)
Videography features
FormatH.264, H.265
Modes7680 x 4320 @ 30p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM7680 x 4320 @ 25p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM7680 x 4320 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 120p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 120p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 100p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 100p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 100p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p, MOV, ProRes, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM3840 x 2160 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 120p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 100p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 60p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 50p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 30p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 25p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.265, Linear PCM1920 x 1080 @ 23.98p, MOV, H.264, Linear PCM
USBUSB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 GBit/sec)
USB chargingYes
Microphone portYes
Headphone portYes
Wireless notes2.4, 5Ghz
Remote controlYes (Via app)
Environmentally sealedYes
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionEN-EL18d
Battery Life (CIPA)740
Weight (inc. batteries)1340 g (2.95 lb / 47.27 oz)
Dimensions149 x 150 x 91 mm (5.87 x 5.91 x 3.58″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingYes

Nikon Z9 Verdict

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Nikon Z 9 FX-Format Mirrorless Camera Body

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Last update was on: May 29, 2023 4:31 am

The Nikon Z9 represents a significant leap forward for Nikon’s line of mirrorless cameras, bringing them up to par with the company’s flagship competitors, Canon and Sony.

The outside of the Z9 gives the impression of a durable DSLR. Still, inside, you’ll find cutting-edge technologies like sophisticated autofocus tracking, 20 frames per second raw burst shooting, 8K video, and an electronic shutter only.

Additionally, we enjoy how the screen can swivel in both directions. Although it is a shame that essential video functions won’t be accessible until a firmware upgrade in 2022, the Z9’s video ability impresses instantly. We might be looking at a modern-day Nikon classic.

Nikon Z9 FAQs

How much will the Z9 cost?

There is currently no information regarding the retail cost of the Nikon Z9.

Is Nikon Z9 a professional camera?

Yes, the Nikon Z9 is a professional camera designed for consumers interested in high-end products.

Is Z9 the best mirrorless camera?

It is difficult to determine whether the Nikon Z9 is the “best” mirrorless camera because this evaluation is highly subjective and is based on the specific requirements and preferences of the user. Nevertheless, the Z9 is a highly sophisticated camera that comes equipped with a variety of remarkable features.

Is Nikon Z9 Netflix approved?

Netflix does not endorse any model, particularly the Nikon Z9 line of cameras.

Is Nikon Z9 Made in Japan?

The Nikon Z9 is manufactured in Japan; that is true.

What is Nikon Z9 best for?

When it comes to professional photography, specifically photographs of sports, action, and wildlife, the Nikon Z9 is the finest option.

Is Z9 a flagship?

To answer your question, the Nikon Z9 is indeed regarded as the company’s top-of-the-line mirrorless camera model.

Is the Z9 too heavy?

It has not been officially announced how much the Nikon Z9 weighs just yet, but it is anticipated that it will be comparable to the weight of other high-end cameras in its category.

Is the Nikon Z9 sensor a Sony?

Sony does not manufacture the component found in the Nikon Z9. Instead, it is a camera that Nikon recently developed.

Is the Nikon Z9 good in low light?

The sophisticated sensor technology and computational capabilities of the Nikon Z9 are anticipated to allow the camera to perform admirably even in low-light settings.

How fast is autofocus on Z9?

Because it utilizes a cutting-edge hybrid AF system, the autofocus capabilities of the Nikon Z9 are anticipated to be exceptionally quick and precise.

Is Nikon Z9 weatherproof?

The frame of the Nikon Z9 is made of magnesium alloy, which is a resilient material, and it features improved sealing that protects against dust and dampness.

Is Z9 good for landscape photography?

Because of its high resolution and sophisticated image processing capabilities, the Nikon Z9 can be an excellent option for photographers interested in landscape photography.

Is the Z9 good for wildlife?

Because of its sophisticated targeting system and the ability to take photos at a high rate of speed, the Nikon Z9 is also anticipated to perform admirably when used for wildlife photography.

Is the Nikon Z9 full frame?

To answer your question, the Nikon Z9 is the full-frame camera that utilizes a freshly invented full-frame sensor.



Paul is a highly experienced journalist and the editor of DSLRCameraSearch. With a background in the photographic industry since 2017, he has worked with notable clients such as . Paul's expertise lies in camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, and industry news. His work has been featured in renowned publications including . He is also a respected workshop host, speaker Photography Shows. Paul's passion for photography extends to his love for Sony, Canon, Olympus cameras.

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