Nikon Isn't Dead Yet: Flagship Z 9 Mirrorless Camera Specs Emerge

Nikon Isn't Dead Yet: Flagship Z 9 Mirrorless Camera Specs Emerge

Now that the Canon EOS R5 is here to match step with the Sony a9 Mark II, eyes are turning to Nikon in anticipation of a possible powerhouse mirrorless camera from their side. It seems that that camera, the Z 9, is on its way next year, and its specifications look quite impressive. 

With Canon expected to release a flagship R1 next year and Sony also in line for a new powerhouse camera, Nikon Rumors is reporting that Nikon will also be getting into the action with the Z 9, which according to a "reliable" source, will likely have the following specs:

  • 46-megapixel sensor
  • 20 fps continuous burst rate
  • Blackout-free EVF
  • 8K video at 30 fps
  • 4K video at up to 120 fps
  • Improved autofocus
  • Dual card slots
  • Native ISO range of 64-25,600
  • Gigabit LAN, USB-C, Wi-Fi, and GPS

Unsurprisingly, with its flagship specs, the Z 9 is expected to command a flagship price in the neighborhood of $6,000 to $7,000. Nonetheless, it is likely to be a welcome camera for Nikon shooters waiting for a mirrorless equivalent to the D6. The Z 9 is expected in fall of next year and may be tested alongside a new Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 lens during the rescheduled Olympics. 

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Ryan Cooper's picture

I really hope Nikon has more than the above for the $7000 flagship body. Like the specs are ok, but they are only on par with the R5 which is in the market right now and not anywhere near that price point.

Deleted Account's picture

I think the specs are more than just ok. I'm not sure what else you could want. As a Sony user I'm really rooting for Nikon. They've done so much for the photography community.

The only downside is that these prices seem to keep creeping up and up. If it's around $7,000, there has to be a real justification to purchase as you're creeping into low end car territory.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Do you think Canon is aiming to make the R1 have the same specs as the R5? They almost certainly will be aiming for the R1 to be a step beyond the R5 which means that if a $7000 Z9, in 2021, is only "on par" with a $4000 body from 2020 then Nikon is entering the market with it already behind the curve and overpriced. They have to introduce something that makes it special.

Nikon has done it before. When the D800 hit, it completely turned the camera industry on its head. They need to be shooting for something like that again.

Edit: These are the specs I expect in the Z7 2.0 to be announced next week.

William Faucher's picture

The D6 is currently about $6500, I would be extremely surprised if a Z9 with these specs is anything less than the cost of a D6, as these specs completely blow the D6 out of the water. I don't totally disagree with your statement that it's a bit pricey, especially comparing to the R5. I guess time will tell, keep in mind these are the rumored specs, things may or may not change.

Interesting times for sure.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Exactly, which is why I presumed $7k instead of $6k. :) I agree though, the specs may be wrong. Or there might be some other aspect of it that is not reflected in these specs that makes it special. (I sure hope this is the case).

Examples being a big jump in low noise at higher ISO numbers or files that have a higher bit depth than any other camera on the market.

William Faucher's picture

Yeah likewise! I'm glad Nikon is pushing the mirrorless bodies further, this is much more along the lines of what I expected from a Z-series release. I with THIS body is what they announced the Z-series with two years ago. Would have made a much bigger splash.

But then again, the Z6 and Z7 were the very first generation of mirrorless from Nikon. Sony's first mirrorless bodies weren't great either, so it can only get better from here.

Fingers crossed the competition gets fierce again, it's great for us consumers :)

JEREMY MOORE's picture

I don't know why you think this camera is competing with the R5. It's not. It's competing with the D6. The R5 is a Z7 destroyer. And the Z7 is really a mirrorless D850 equivalent. Not every camera has the same intent. They're not going to perpetually beat out cameras they're not trying to beat out with different purposes. This will be a camera with a built-in vertical grip. It won't be a super high megapixel camera, just as Canon's R1 won't be a super high megapixel camera. Cameras of this type are meant to take fast shots, and be extremely durable and long lasting. To take the very worst weather for extended periods of time, and to handle being tossed around

Sridhar Chilimuri's picture

I agree with you in everything but whether Z7 is really a D850 equivalent. If Nikon indeed made a D850 equivalent we would not have been talking about any other mirrorless cameras.

William Faucher's picture

These rumored specs really seem to match the R5 in many, many ways. Will be interesting to compare the results once it's released.

Ziggy Stardust's picture

Nikon had the capacity to start its FF mirrorless line with a pro body and chose not to. It put out hobbled cameras. Meantime it continued to lose users to Sony. I was one of them. It's too late now.

jim hughes's picture

Funny. The "hobbled" Z6 and Z50 brought me back from Sony.

Ryan Cooper's picture

Can I ask why? I'm still shooting on Nikon DSLR but I really can't think of any reason the current Nikon Mirrorless is superior to Sony?

jim hughes's picture

One of the big thing was ergonomics. Sony a6xxx constantly aggravated me with their multi-function diddle-wheel, and a badly placed Record button I was forever hitting. Nikon has the right wheels and buttons exactly where I want them.

J Cortes's picture

Everyone has their own user case to consider , but for me it was ergonomics , User interface , and how snappy the camera feels compared to the Sony’s I had A7RIII/A7III . Specs do not always translate to a great experience .

R S's picture

I have a Sony A7Riii. I am looking forward to selling it and getting a Nikon. The Nikon is more comfortable (no finger crushing tiny gap between lens and grip), has a much better UX, better EVF, better LCD, much better colour, better and sharper primes for the same price, better grip, better menus, better buttons, much less lag on start up, much much nicer sounding shutter release, better shooting experience and on it goes. The Sonys have a slew of lenses - but I don't need many anyway - and slightly better Eye AF and AF (though the original reviews are way out of whack with reality now - the Nikon AF is on par with my Sony A7R3). So unless you want a wide range of lenses, Nikon offers a lot of real advantages.

J Cortes's picture

Same here , I left the A7RIII for a "hobbled" Z6. Loving my hobbled Z6.

Jeppy Boi's picture

I was close to buying Sony but the weather sealing on Sony Cameras are totally abysmal. The cameras are built like Sony playstation console. The ergonomics aren't flash hot either. Only thing going for Sony is the auto focus. I ended up going with the Z6. Couldn't have been happier. With the updates the auto focus is good enough. Damn good for a first generation.

JEREMY MOORE's picture

Did the Canon RP blow you away as a pro camera? Also, Sony's first FF camera wasn't very good. Even the A7ii is eh. The A7iii is a different story though.

Corey Weberling's picture

geeze dude........6000-7000?

Marek Stefech's picture

exactly my reaction :D

William Faucher's picture

The Nikon D6 is currently $6500, these specs are wildly superior to the D6, so the $6000-7000 pricepoint makes sense. Way too expensive for me, but I get the logic here.

Adam Wolf's picture

I wish they came out with a camera like the d3x or d300.
classic, no video, pure stills.
less stress on the system, less heat better results.

jim hughes's picture

A lot of us wish we could stop paying for video cr@p we don't want.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Not a Nikon user but same exact issue. I am changing my purchase cycle from 3 years to 5 since I do not need the video improvements.

JEREMY MOORE's picture

There's no reason to make a camera that can't do video. The fast processing of high bits means they can do video anyway. They'd only be leaving it out to appeal to a niche of people that want their video capable camera to not do video

Michael Krueger's picture

Right? I don't understand why people think a camera would be cheaper by removing the record button and some menu settings, the hardware won't be any cheaper to manufacture.

jim hughes's picture

The demand for constantly improving video has led to heat dissipation being a major factor in camera hardware design.

Nate Reese's picture

sure but R5 without all that video features that would cost 1/3 less would be exactly what every Canon stills shooter needs (well give it non-suttering EVF as well) ...

David Pavlich's picture

I'm hoping that Nikon produces a direct replacement for the D6 both in form and function. A tough, reliable, go to work, extra duty camera. Maybe 16fps mechanical, 25-30 MP, dual CFast cards, and you can add whatever video you need. I have no use for video, so I'll let your imaginations run wild. :-)

I don't want to see Nikon go the way of the Dodo.

SPEE DING's picture

Too little, too late for Nikon. These me-too products are DOA. So sad to watch Nikon become its own worst enemy.

Tony Wu's picture

At 20fps and 46 megapixel, I worry about that buffer. I think the price needs to be around $4500.

Manny Simantirakis's picture

I had always been a Nikon shooter back in the days of film. They made great cameras with great glass and always at the forefront. My first digital camera ended up being a Nikon. I had it only for a few months and then switched to Canon. Why? It seemed that Canon was more advanced, one step ahead in many ways than Nikon. Things have not changed much since then. It seems that Nikon is still playing catch up and the fact that Sony is in the game now as well makes matters even worse. I too do not want to see Nikon fail, it's a good company that has contributed a lot to the photographic community. But having amassed a whole Canon system from glass to the latest camera bodies it would be hard to switch to a whole new system. Since lenses do not advance technologically like camera bodies do, and seeing that the system I have produces excellent cameras it would not be profitable for me to switch.