Behind the Scenes of a Wildlife Shoot With the New Nikon Z 9 in Svalbard

The new Nikon mirrorless body is put through its paces halfway between Norway and the North Pole. How can it handle these grueling and photographically testing conditions?

Norway is one of my favorite countries on earth, though its weather is not for the faint of heart. With dark, ice-cold winters lasting months on end, it can be tricky for landscape photographers to capture much on the face of it, but Norway has so much to offer. Svalbard is a group of islands north of Norway. There is a lot of interesting details about this seemingly barren tundra: for example, you do not need a visa to get in — anyone can move there if they wish — and it's home to more polar bears than people. As a result of the latter, whenever your party goes out of the town's perimeter, somebody must have a rifle; it's a dangerous place.

Nevertheless, it's near the top of my list of places I desperately want to visit and so I was pleased to see that it's where Morten Hilmer was sent by Nikon to test their new flagship mirrorless body, the Z 9. This beautiful behind-the-scenes of that assignment is a relaxing and enjoyable watch, and I was pleased to see Hilmer not being precious with the Z 9 as he gets down in the snow and the mud with it. This isn't a review of the Z 9, but rather an excellent demonstration of what it can do in the right hands in even the most difficult of conditions.

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Studio 403's picture

fascinating capture of your journey. Lovely . I left Nikon 2 yrs ago for Fuji XT4. Nice setup. The Z9 looks like a killer setup. At age 75 I miss my Nikon's. Would be lifetime gift to purchase the Z9. But for my budget, I am limited, Very Video. I assume the video was shot on Z9? What software did you use to edit?

Patrick Smith's picture

The author is not the same person as the one with the Z9. Morten Hilmer has a YouTube channel and it’s usually great to watch, if you’re into wildlife and nature photography. He’s former Danish Special Forces dog-sled team and an avid outdoorsman as well. That’s why I love watching his channel, I did three tours in Afghanistan as an 18E, Group 3, Army SF. Im also an outdoors person and been doing wildlife photography for 25 years now. But even I have learned a few things from watching his videos, he’s extremely knowledgeable on survival and outdoors living!