The Nikon Z9 is a professional camera without a mechanical shutter

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After months of teasing the Z9, Nikon has pulled the curtain back to reveal its flagship pro-grade mirrorless camera. The Z9 will take on current high-end mirrorless cameras from Sony and Canon, and it will certainly have to bring its A set to do so. Nikon has also announced several highly anticipated lenses to expand its impressive line of Z mounts.

Nikon has built some impressive specs into the Z9, which has a similar physical profile to its high-end DSLRs, with a built-in vertical socket. It also has a unique touchscreen that eschews the fully articulated design that most modern cameras have adopted in favor of a tilting design that is more flexible than that found in its Z6 II and Z7 II cameras, and is capable of tilt on more than one axis. The Z9 is also 20% smaller than the D6, although it retains the rugged magnesium alloy chassis of the D6, as well as extensive waterproofing.

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The Z9 features a 45.7 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and Expeed 7 image processing engine that allows it to take photos at high burst speeds of 20 full-size RAW frames per second with a buffer of 1000 frames, or at 30 frames in JPEG format per second. second. It also has a native ISO range of 64-24,600, which can be expanded to 32-102,400.

For photographers concerned about how much space those large files will consume, don’t worry; The Z9 features a new high-efficiency RAW file format that reduces file sizes to one-third of the more traditional uncompressed RAW images without any loss of image data. This is a big deal if you plan to use the full burst capability of this juggernaut.

Nikon Z9 before.
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The big innovation here, however, is that the Z9 does not have a mechanical shutter, relying entirely on an electronic shutter. This removes a ton of moving parts from the system, which could potentially contribute to a much higher degree of durability. The sensor itself is manufactured in-house by Nikon, which previously used Sony sensors in its cameras. The sensor is double coated with a fluorine coating and an electroconductive coating to repel dust. There is also an additional sensor shield for protection when changing lenses.

The camera is able to ditch the mechanical shutter in part thanks to this Expeed 7 processor, which increases the scanning speed, thus almost completely eliminating rolling shutter distortion, even when shooting at its best. maximum shutter speed of 1 / 32,000th of a second. Flash sync is available up to 1 / 8000th of a second with High Speed ​​Sync (HSS) on, or 1 / 250th of a second with High Speed ​​Sync (HSS) off.

Nikon Z9 memory card slot.
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AF tracking is also dramatically improved, with a subject detection algorithm capable of tracking a range of nine different subject types including cars, trains, bikes, motorcycles, pets, humans, birds, trains and planes. These subjects are automatically detected and tracked when shooting in Auto Zone mode. Nikon claims that it can focus faster than any other Nikon camera and that it incorporates improved eye tracking. The low-light autofocus has been improved so that the Z9 can focus at an incredible -8.5 EV.

The vibration reduction in the Z9 has also been enhanced with an image stabilization system that Nikon calls Synchro VR, which it says allows for up to six stops of shake reduction depending on the lens you’re using. The new VR security lock prevents damage due to rough handling when the camera is turned off.

Nikon Z9 in action.

The Z9 makes great strides in terms of video capability, as it is capable of shooting up to 8K at 30 frames per second (fps), and is able to do so for a maximum recording time of 125 minutes in ProRes 233. HQ or H.265. It can also capture 4K at 120 fps for epic high-resolution, slow-motion video. To sweeten the deal, Nikon promises to introduce 8K 60 fps video capture in 12-bit ProRes Raw and 12-bit N-raw formats, as well as other professional filmmaking features in a free firmware update by. 2022.

As if all this weren’t exciting enough for professional photographers and videographers, Nikon also announced several new professional-grade lenses for the system: the Nikkor Z 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 VR S and 24-120mm f / 4. It’s also developing a crazy 400mm f / 2.8 lens with a built-in 1.4x teleconverter. There’s also a new FTZ adapter that offers a sleeker profile compared to the old model, which featured a large, bulky tripod mount that interfered with some accessories.

The Nikon Z9 will be available for purchase before the end of 2021 for $ 5,499. This is actually a real godsend, considering that this camera in some ways surpasses the capabilities of comparable Canon and Sony cameras which are significantly more expensive.

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