Nikon Z9 Released

In Standard by Patrick

Huge announcement from Nikon on October 28th, 2021 with the release of what they are calling their flagship camera, the Z9 plus 2 lenses. This further confirms to me that the age of the DSLR is fading fast as mirrorless is where camera companies are going to invest there efforts and time.    I own both a mirrorless and and DSLR and each are used routinely for different reasons but both offer me exceptional results.

As the demands for faster frame rates, 8K video, WiFi and LAN connectivity are requested, these technologies are seemingly being requested in lighter packages and weather sealed bodies for novice and professional alike.  What constitutes the designation flagship?  Is it the cost?  The features?  The megapixels?  Looking at these specifications, it’s clear that both the Nikon D6 and Nikon Z9 are very high-end cameras for sports and wildlife photography. But there’s no denying that the Z9 has more advanced features of the two. It shoots more frames per second than the D6 (20 vs 16) yet has over twice as much resolution – without sacrificing on buffer depth. That’s a huge leap in technology.

Not to mention video, where it’s hardly a contest. The Z9 is one of the most advanced mirrorless cameras on the market for video shooters, while the D6 was already a bit behind on video specs at the time of its release in late 2019. Even if you don’t need 8K for your work, the ability to shoot slow-motion 120p 4K video – plus record 10-bit N-log video internally – are far above the D6’s specs.

Shooters the like smaller innovations and may not need the huge video or fast FPS will still like the multi-axis LSC screen, 120 FPS at 11 megapixels, the battery life and of course the price.  The autofocus system, where the D6 is famously excellent while the Z9 is largely untested. But the Z9 does show a lot of promise in this area. Nikon has been steadily improving their mirrorless autofocus over the years, and they claim the Z9 has their best AF performance yet.  Time will tell.

So the burning question is do I upgrade.  I am contemplating it with all the hype.  I do foresee another version of the Z9,  possibly called the Z8 or something like that in the future for Nikon as technology improves, competitors innovate features that Nikon may not have they will want to incorporate into their feature set and as processor chips get faster and faster.  The Nikon Z9 will still be the flagship, but I can see the Z8 or whatever Nikon calls it to be more megapixels than the Z6II and less than the Z9 and current Z7II both at 45 MP with the new camera being 25-30 MP aimed at those that require the same AF system but have no need for the higher resolution of the Z9.  Purely speculation at this point and I have no concrete evidence such a camera is in the works but for Nikon to rest on the successful launch of the Z9 is highly unlikely.  Stay tuned ….


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