Nikon Z 9 Will Shoot Stills at 120 Frames per Second and 8K60 Video, Leak Suggests

Nikon has been drip-feeding nuggets of information about its forthcoming flagship camera, but Nikon India appears to have jumped the gun and revealed some details a little too early. The Z 9 is expected to shoot stills at 120 frames per second, and capture 8K60 video.

Three teasers have thus far unveiled some of the impressive specifications arriving in the Z 9: the multi-axis tilting screen, autofocus tracking of athletes and vehicles, and unlimited 8K recording. The next teaser, thought to have been announced early accidentally, makes some impressive claims, albeit with some caveats.

The video — since deleted and uploaded elsewhere (YouTube, BiliBili) — claims that the Z 9’s brand new sensor will have the world’s fastest scan rate and offer 120 fps continuous shooting.

It later mentions that it will shoot raw files continuously at 20 fps which suggests that 120 fps will be compromised, perhaps using a crop on the sensor and outputting in a compressed format. Photographers for news and sports agencies tend to prefer smaller files so it’s possible that Nikon has found a way to skip pixels on what's expected to be a 45-megapixel sensor in order to create lower resolution images when these high frame rates are required. By comparison, the Canon R5’s 45-megapixel sensor delivers 20 fps, while the Canon R3’s 24-megaxpixel sensor is capable of 30 fps.

Nikon has already suggested that the Z 9 will shoot 8K video without recording limitations, a notable flex against Canon’s difficulties with overheating. The remarkable 8K60P listed in the video comes with two asterisks, however, so while this is impressive, there will almost certainly be some compromises: perhaps a crop, and/or the loss of autofocus.

Will the Z 9 outdo the R3 and the R5? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Andy Day's picture

Andy Day is a British photographer and writer living in France. He began photographing parkour in 2003 and has been doing weird things in the city and elsewhere ever since. He's addicted to climbing and owns a fairly useless dog. He has an MA in Sociology & Photography which often makes him ponder what all of this really means.

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Are there really enough sports photographers and YouTube bloggers to keep the camera industry going?

Can they compete on something besides AF, burst, and more pixels that no one ever really sees?

Yes, we're still around and the sidelines are as full as ever.

Corporate video/photo guy here and I'll be buying this. No need to diss the extra pixels if you don't know how to leverage them

Oh course it will out do the Canon cameras in this area . This is the big advancement announcement that’s shaking up the photography world . This is the build up , the suspense the new mirrorless age d3 .
Will it be better than the Canons at everything. That’s to be seen but probably not . The Canons are already leaders in the video world . I’m a Nikon user and fanboy so I’m hoping for the moon and back spec that shock the world . But we all know that’s just not possible. Nikon will unveil their best camera to date and it will up the others at something’s . The big deal is this new sensor and maybe it’s processor.
I am thinking the reason for the new lenses being so much like cinema lenses except the manual focus will be the new autofocus system. Maybe they will add a very liner manual focus option to the menu. Something that mimics thee old non electronic lenses . What would be cool is to have focus throw adjustability or options . Have the system that works good with stops on a focus pull, point A. to point B. Always having the same point A and B .
Nikon needs to push the video portion of these new mirrorless cameras hard to compete for sales in the new world of camera technology. I shoot live music videography with mostly Nikon cameras. I just got a couple months back the a7siii from Sony and am thinking of our company moving totally to Sony . This camera is pivotal in whether I do that or not . We in our company prefer the “Nikon Look” over the other brands . It’s more cinematic and natural looking , to our tastes.

Nikon is so far behind in the video world. They had a chance when changing the mount but they missed it. This is indeed a powerful camera though.

What do you mean by they missed their chance when changing the mount? Not criticizing, genuinely curious is all.

I would love to have a Z8 (similar to the D850 years ago) with 60 to 100 megapixels. I do not need 120 fps. 5 to 10 max is sufficient for most cases unless you are sports photographer of course

I agree, I would like the same as I would use it in the studio, lots of strobe work and landscape,light video!

Yeah a lot of times you just get the same shot between frames. Birds in flight was the only time I had to use 12fps with my old 1dx

The asterisks for those interested (enabled in a future firmware). I very much doubt they would disable AF on 8K video.

I'm guessing that the 120FPS will probably be JPEG? Either way, it seems a bit excessive considering that we're essentially talking about a framerate that would be high even for video.

Not just JPG, but smaller images.