Nikon Z9 review: everything and more

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At nearly three pounds, or 1,340g, the $5,500 Nikon Z9 is a brick of a mirrorless camera with more buttons and features than I’ve had the chance to test in the nearly two months I’ve had it. It has a new full-frame 45.7MP stacked CMOS sensor that, thanks to the new Expeed 7 image processor, can shoot RAW images at 20fps for over 1,000 frames (assuming you’re using a fast enough card ). And the video specs put flagship specs from Sony’s A1 and Canon’s R5 to shame. They include 12-bit 8K 60 fps or 4K 120 fps, both in N-RAW, Nikon’s RAW video format. You can also shoot in ProRes RAW up to 5K 30fps.

All those specifications are housed in a big, heavy and absolutely robust camera body. The Z9’s physical design is unlike anything we’ve seen in flagship mirrorless cameras from other companies. And it’s a welcome change for professional photographers who will be using large telephoto lenses for wildlife or sports photography. Nothing about this system’s hardware is compact.

Sony's flagship mirrorless camera, the A1, looks miniature next to the Nikon Z9.

Sony’s flagship mirrorless camera, the A1, looks miniature next to the Nikon Z9.
Photo by Becca Farsace/Acutely

But the Nikon Z9 is about much more than its specs and hardware. Previous cameras in Nikon’s Z-series mirrorless cameras weren’t particularly impressive when compared to the competition. Autofocus speeds were slow, camera bodies felt cheap, and the company didn’t get support for the new lineup. I almost gave up on the brand when the Z9 launched. Even then I was skeptical that this camera could really make a mark. In my latest installment of our Full Frame YouTube series, I take a deep dive into this camera’s capabilities to see if it could be the camera that makes Nikon a contender in the mirrorless camera market. Enjoy it, mate!

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