Hands-on Nikon Z9 review: power tool


The Nikon Z9 is the landmark mirrorless Nikon camera that professional wildlife and sports photographers have been waiting for. A full-frame flagship that takes the baton from the Nikon D6 – and marks the end of pro Nikon DSLRs – the Z9 sees Nikon’s mirrorless tech take a big leap forward and match the advances made by Canon and Sony.

Significantly, the Nikon Z9 is the first professional camera to arrive without a mechanical shutter. That’s right, there’s no physical curtain moving up-and-down- in front of the sensor when you take a shot. This means the Z9 relies completely on its electronic shutter, a bold statement of intent that shows Nikon’s confidence in its new stacked 45.7MP full-frame CMOS sensor and Expeed 7 processor. Together, these two things deliver what Nikon claims is the “world’s fastest sensor scan rate”, which has repercussions for both video and stills.

The Nikon Z9 camera sitting on a table

(Image credit: Future)

The result is an incredibly powerful hybrid camera that sits somewhere in between the Canon EOS R3 (which has a 24.1MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor) and the Sony A1 (a 50.1MP full-frame powerhouse). The Z9’s DSLR styling will be comfortably familiar to those upgrading from the likes of the Nikon D5 or Nikon D850, but hidden inside are some truly modern features including Nikon’s best ever autofocus system.

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