Nikon Z 9 Video Leak Reveals Some Potential Dealbreakers for Pros

Nikon India accidentally posted the release video for the Nikon Z 9 flagship just a bit early, and while they were quick to remove it, photographer and YouTuber Tony Northrup was able to get his hands on it and do a deep dive into the uphill battle against Sony and Canon that the camera will face.

Most revealing of all of his talk about the camera was the point about Nikon’s current state of research and development as it relates to the processing power and speed of the camera. Images shot at 45 megapixels can hit a max rate of 20 fps, which sounds great, until you realize that Canon hit that mark in July 2020 with the (likely) much cheaper EOS R5. Sony’s already past that with the Alpha 1 at a higher megapixel count to boot. For a company that’s seemingly on the ropes, shedding employees and releasing professional Z-mount lenses at a snail’s pace, it’s enough to make one think twice about dropping north of $5K on a camera body that’s potentially a dead end.

Some of the other points that Northrup makes are similar to issues Canon had in its EOS R3 launch materials, namely that there seemed to be a lot of out-of-focus photos when it came to showing the camera’s burst rate. The likely culprit? A camera that’s set to “release priority” instead of “focus priority,” where the camera will fire the shutter regardless of focus. If the camera needed to calculate focus as well, it’s possible that burst rate would get much worse.

Northrup also pointed out that while Nikon’s focus tracking has advanced to include eye-AF for animals, the competition was already there. And the demo videos that showed the tracking focus had areas where the focus jumped unexpectedly, which is concerning when the company had the chance to cherry-pick clips for marketing purposes.

Finally, there’s that dubious claim of 8K video at 60 frames per second, where the company, as Northrup notes, hasn’t even implemented it in the camera yet. It’s a firmware update for later and the limitations of that update aren’t yet known.

In some ways, it seems like Nikon is launching the camera and using its customers and using its customers as beta testers. If focus isn’t on-point at launch, and video features aren’t fully baked, then customers are paying on the good faith that Nikon will come through. The company has built a loyal following based on years of hit DSLRs and quality lenses, but it’s goodwill that’s easily squandered when Canon and Sony have already blazed the same mirrorless trail well before Nikon.

What are your thoughts on the Z 9? Leave your opinions in the comments below.

Wasim Ahmad's picture

Wasim Ahmad is an assistant teaching professor teaching journalism at Quinnipiac University. He's worked at newspapers in Minnesota, Florida and upstate New York, and has previously taught multimedia journalism at Stony Brook University and Syracuse University. He's also worked as a technical specialist at Canon USA for Still/Cinema EOS cameras.

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You are late on the reposting, the camera has already been announced.

It’s strange that they share this post and not the announcements or DPReview review, etc.

It's more clickbaity ;)

Yup, Tony is so clickbaity I unsubscribed last year. Clearly Nikon didn’t give him a unit to preview. 😆

Northrup is a clueless hack anyway.

I kinda quit watching their content a couple of years ago as it mostly seamed click-baity without a lot of substance.

Of course Tony is going to release a video excessively critical of the Z9. He fell out of favor with Nikon years ago, and he has had a personal vendetta against Nikon ever since.

What is disappointing to me is that fstoppers decided to post a video from Tony on the morning that the Z9 is launched. Does fstopppers have something against Nikon now?

The Z9 outperforms the A1 at a much lower cost.

"Basically can't use it with studio strobes"

Come on now thats just not true is it.

Max shutter speed is 1/32,000 lol I would love to use this with a 58mm 0.95 lens. Btw, dxomark rated the Nikon Noct as the highest rated lens ever. 😌

Brad - since you have no idea how, I’ll show you a shot I took with a humming bird. You can map 50-200% zoom to f1, f2, af-on, or the lens fn button. It helps a ton. Look at this:

Manual shooting is harder, but still fun. I know you are really anti-Nikon from your comment thread. But, take a look. It’s a wonderful experience to shoot some subjects manual.

Also, I recommend you look at focus peaking user experience on all mirrorless brands. It can help too. I shot the link above on a Z7ii I believe. Maybe Z7.

It’s literally pressing a button to zoom in 😂. It’s the great thing about a viewfinder and the mirrorless cameras and EVFs! I’m sorry you find that too hard 😂.

Oh please, the EVF is fine resolution wise for focusing, haha. Anyway, enjoy your photography. I read more of your comment history and you don’t sound like you like Nikon at all, so there’s no convincing you.

I shared some of my photos Brad, so I’m definitely not a pixel peeper. I enjoy shooting AF and manual 😌. I’m not in the market for this prograde Z9, but I do thoroughly enjoy the Z7ii. For landscape and architecture it’s wonderful. I also shoot nature as you can see from my link. The fact you think so narrowly about photography makes me believe you have a really strong reason for why you’re writing paragraphs on this.

Have fun. I’d love to see your photo work, but I doubt you would share it anyway. Take care. Going to have fun shooting what I enjoy 😉. I strongly recommend you read the review of the Z9. It will explain the audience the camera is for. It’s very educational.

“ We all know this.” Who is we? Haha. Brad, I have to say that you do not sound like you like manual shooting. That’s fine! Enjoy photography. I didn’t read after I read that line, but thanks for your input and paragraph.

Brad do Fuck Off

I don’t even use Nikon but you have zero idea what you are talking about.

“I’m a 20 year pro” with zero evidence to prove this, just another anonymous nobody on the internet who’s making shitty comments about something with claims of superiority.

The camera is being widely regarded as a hugely successful release but it’s ok because ‘Brad Smith’ the random on fstoppers who just happens to use a rival brand thinks otherwise. You do realise how silly this makes you look.

You’re like the child in the playground with his fingers in his ears shouting La la la I can’t hear you at the top of his voice.

The electronic shutter has a sync speed of 1/200, how is that any different than a mechanical shutter with the same sync speed?

What exactly do you mean "it can't shoot RAW at full resolution', RAW what? resolution of what?

I see you down voted my comment, Brad; however, I was being genuine. You shoot weddings and portraits (I did in fact look you up), I don't imagine the last 18 months has been easy.

I also reflect, happy and well-adjusted people don't spend their time engaging in pointless arguments with a bunch of random strangers on the Interwebz.

If you really are a 20-year "pro", then you should be ashamed of yourself, because everything you spout is pure BS and hyperbole.

I imagine tbe pandemic has been stressful for you, Brad. I hope things get better.

Yup, seems biased. Any other site has announcement info or links reviews.

Weird, Jared Polin, Matt G, and DPReview all seem to show this camera is the best out there and at more than 1,000 less than the A1.

One quibble, Nikon has had animal eye AF for quite some time. I have a Z50 that has this feature.

It is amazing how self called pro gear heads always have to whine when Nikon release a photocamera.

It does an amazing job, still not enough, always something have to be claimed as rubbish, and so the whole camera is a POS.

Really boys, do all thoses whiners grow up since their first flame war between SONy and microsoft console ? Or for older one, have a size problem between their legs and bragging how Nikon/Canon/Sony is crappier than that other brand, is the only way for influencers to have a healthy life ? Most of them earn too much money for they are in real life.

Haha love the console reference…. I always look at them and think some kid who used to troll Xbox content needed a new target so aims his bile at Canon and Nikon now. Either that or they are PC spec nerds who needed some more fact sheets to reel off.

Looks like Nikon did it. Not just finally loose the mirror but the mechanical shutter as well. I guess they got the point and are leaving the old behind.
Sound like it’s all it needs to be and puts Nikon in the same level as Sony and Canon.
Now they just need to take that tech into a scaled down camera ( hopefully smaller) like Sony with the A7m4 taking from A1.
I am sure there is quite a few pros lining up to get there hands on this beast. Not bad! :)

Well I have Sony myself. Still that Nikon is catching up is good news.

Late to the race? Such a stupid comment. Sony was late to the race once and look at them now.

Hhmmm....interesting. So, when Sony introduced the a9 in 2017, the 400 f2.8 GM, which was released in 2018, was available for it?

--- "the A1 had the 400mm available from day one"

LOL! Let me break it down in ABC's for you:

a) a9 was the flagship at the time. 2017
b) 400 f2.8 GM release 2018
c) a1 is now the flagship. 2021

So, of course the a1 would have had the 400mm available from it's day 1. omg smh

Stop it with the wannabe tech commentator speak. Use some common sense.

--- "where is the 400mm 2.8 from Nikon? They've had the same amount of time Sony had to develop one for mirrorless."

Wrong. Sony released their first mirrorless E-Mount in 2010 with their NEX series. Then the a7 series in 2013. They release the 400 GM 2018. I'll help you with the math. So, 2018 - 2010 = 8 years. Nikon released the Z mounts in 2018. So, 2021 - 2018 = 3 years. From where I come, 8 > 3.

And, before you get lost and even more misguided, Nikon does have a 400 f2.8 for their DSLR. You make it sound as if mirrorless is the end all be all. If I had a D4/5/6 + 400 f2.8, are you kiddin' me, I ain't switching anytime soon.

What does Northrup know about pro photography?

Zilch as far as I'm concerned!

Oh FFS, enough with the BS from these two clowns already!

Hey Wasim, did you still get the Fstoppers check for posting a purely speculative video after the actual camera was released? Can't you do better than drag Fstoppers into the gutter?

Wasim, swing and a miss there buddy. This page has become 90% just reporting on what YouTubers post, and you even messed that up.

Ah yes the standard fstoppers anti Nikon agenda, right on time! It's getting a bit old here fellas..

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