Nikon formally announced last week its Z9 flagship full-frame, stacked CMOS mirrorless camera, bringing high speed shooting and up to 8K/30p video capture.

The mirrorless camera, which will ship by the end of the year at a $5,500 suggested retail for the body only, supports burst shooting at up to 30 fps in JPEG or 20 fps in RAW mode. Video recording is supported at up to 8K 24p/30p and the company said it is working on a firmware update that will expand that to 12-bit N-RAW 8K/60.

The camera also supports 4K UHD 24p/30p/60p/120p (FX-format), and boasts the world’s longest record time at 8K UHD 30p for more than 2 hours consecutively (up to approximately 125 minutes).

The Nikon Z9 is based on a new 45.7 mega-pixel BSI stacked CMOS sensor, and the company’s new EXPEED 7 processing engine with approximately 10x faster performance than the Z 7II. This eliminates the need for a mechanical shutter of any type.

“The Z 9 is the complete package, offering an unprecedented balance of speed, resolution, reliability and performance that will exceed expectations for any type of shoot, including fast action sports, commercial fashion, low light, landscapes and more,” stated Jay Vannatter, Nikon EVP. “The Z 9 looks to the future, with innovations and features that give all types of imaging professionals and content creators the advantage when it matters most and the confidence to create in nearly any conditions.”

The Z9 also brings a 3D Tracking AF system, which can be combined with a machine-learning trained subject recognition system. Nikon said the autofocus system will recognize three sets of subjects including people, animals and vehicles. In “Auto” mode the Z9 will analyze a scene to detect subjects.

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The camera’s shutter speed ranges from 1/900-sec to a maximum 1/32000th sec.

Design features include the dual-grip system of the Nikon D6-level DSLR enhaced by the angular accents of Nikon’s Z-series models. However, the Z9 is about 8% lighter and 20% smaller than the D6.

The camera has a pull-out 2.1 million-dot 2-inch variable angle touchscreen LCD that can be easily positioned for portrait or landscape modes. The camera’s electronic viewfinder features 3.68 million-dot resolution and 0.8x magnification. The quad-VGA panel is adjustable to 3000cd/m2 (nits) for easy visibility of shadow detail even in bright sunlight.

For work in low light, a new “starlight” mode enhances the camera’s ability to focus down to -8.5 EV, while illuminated buttons help astrophotographers and event or concert photographers change settings in the dark, the company said.

Nikon said it has added new network options organized under a new menu tab for fast access. These include in-camera Bluetooth and WiFi (2.4/5Ghz), 1000BASE-T wired LAN connection, direct transfer to FTP without the need for a wireless accessory, multiple camera sync and built-in GNSS GPS for precise location data.

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By Greg Tarr

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