Nikon will release an update to add user-selectable shutter sounds to its flagship Z 9 mirrorless camera.
Older DSLR cameras had a mechanical shutter that physically opened and closed when you took a picture. That is what makes the classic shutter noise that we all associate with DSLRs. However, the mirrorless Z 9 has a fully electronic shutter with no moving parts. This means it is completely silent in use. Despite this, photographers often like the audible reassurance that comes from a shutter sound. As such, by default, the Nikon Z 9 plays a shutter sound through a built-in loudspeaker when you take a photo.
At the CP+ 2022 camera and imaging show in Japan last year, Nikon demonstrated beta firmware for the Z 9. The firmware introduced custom shutter sounds, such as the shutter operation from the Nikon D750 DSLR or the Nikon F4 film SLR. However, the demonstration also showed the Z 9 emitting a cat’s meow and a sample of a presenter’s voice as a shutter sound. Sadly, the firmware wasn’t released.
Scroll forward 12 months and Nikon has finally announced that the company will now release a firmware upgrade to bring user-selectable shutter sounds to the Z 9. Unfortunately, the available sounds will be limited to the current Z 9 shutter, a DSLR mirror shutter and a Nikon film camera shutter. As well as choosing your preferred sound, you can also adjust the volume between five different levels.
What we think
It’s interesting that people like to hear their camera make a noise when it takes a photograph, even if that sound is just a sample and not the result of the camera’s operation. In addition, shutter sounds such as a cat’s meow might seem like a novelty. However, they might have a use. For example, a photographer working with children could use amusing sounds to make their subjects smile. Although the firmware update will only include camera shutters sounds, Nikon did run a poll alongside the announcement asking if users would like to use other sounds. The outcome was a resounding 93 percent yes. So hopefully, the company will respond positively in the future.
At the time of writing, Nikon hasn’t given a date for the release of the new firmware to add user-selectable shutter sounds to the Z 9.