Nikon Z9 revealed: 45.7MP stacked sensor, 20 fps RAW shooting for 1000+ frames, 8K video and more


posted Thursday, October 28, 2021 at 8:02 AM EDT

Click here to read our Nikon Z9 Preview


The Nikon Z9 has finally been fully unveiled. The full-frame camera is Nikon's new flagship mirrorless camera, and it's packed with pro-level features across the board. The Z9 has a newly-designed 45.7-megapixel stacked backside-illuminated CMOS image sensor, new EXPEED 7 processor, enhanced autofocus with subject detection features, 8K video recording and much more.

'The Z9 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,' said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. 'The Z9 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.'

Nikon Z9

The new stacked sensor and EXPEED 7 processor combine to provide a blackout-free 'Real-Live' electronic viewfinder and LCD. The sensor's scanning speed has allowed Nikon to eliminate a mechanical shutter altogether. The Z9 is Nikon's first interchangeable lens camera to have only an electronic shutter. Its shutter speed ranges from 900s to 1/32,000s, and flash sync is 1/200s.

Nikon Z9

With a focus on speed and performance, the Z9 shoots full-size RAW files at up to 20 frames per second with a buffer of more than 1,000 images. If you need more speed, the camera can shoot full-size JPEG images at 30 fps and 11-megapixel JPEG images at 120 fps. Autofocus calculations are performed at 120 fps, so full AF/AE is available across all shooting speeds.


Speaking of autofocus, the Z9 features Nikon's fastest autofocus ever. The camera includes new Subject Detection capabilities for tracking humans, pets, birds, airplanes, trains, cars, motorbikes and bicycles. When in Auto-Area AF, the camera automatically detects the subjects with no need to select a specific subject tracking mode. Eye-Detection AF is said to be improved, able to focus on eyes when they are smaller in the scene. 3D tracking, last seen in the Nikon D6, makes its way to mirrorless cameras for the first time in the Nikon Z9, promising improved depth detection when tracking fast-moving subjects.


The Nikon Z9 is Nikon's most capable camera for video ever. The Z9 records 8K/30p video at launch, although 8K/60p recording will be added in 2022 via a free firmware update. The camera records 4K/120p video at launch and can consecutively record for more than two hours under normal temperature conditions. 10-bit N-Log and HLG are available at launch, although an update will add 12-bit N-RAW high and 12-bit ProRes RAW.


In terms of design, we had previously seen that the Z9 has a dual-gripped D6-inspired design. The Z9 has about 20% less volume than the D6. It's built for rugged durability and is constructed using a magnesium alloy chassis. The camera is extensively sealed, as well. The camera's new 3.2" touchscreen uses a four-way tilt design, meaning that it can be tilted up and down and to either side. It should work well whether you are shooting in horizontal or vertical orientations. Many of the camera's buttons are illuminated as well. Concerning the blackout-free EVF, it is the brightest Quad-VGA panel available and offers 0.8x magnification. The Z9 also includes in-body image stabilization, like the Z6 and Z7 series cameras.

There is much to discuss about the Nikon Z9, so head to our Nikon Z9 Preview for all the nitty-gritty details.

Nikon Z9 Preview