Nikon Z 9 feature image
Image courtesy: Nikon

After teasing the specification for a while, Nikon has formally announced the new Nikon Z 9. It’s the company’s most advanced Z series mirrorless camera yet.

You can record 8K UHD video

The Nikon Z 9’s headling feature is its support for 8K UHD video — with internal recording at up to 30p. Impressively, the camera can shoot in 10-bit 8K for over two hours. Nikon claims this the world’s longest recording time at 8K resolution. This is possible because Nikon designed the camera’s body to dissipate heat effectively and prevent overheating. In addition to 8K video recording, the camera can record up to 120p in 4K UHD and Full HD.

There’s a new full-frame sensor sensor inside

Nikon has developed a new 45.7 megapixel full-frame CMOS sensor for the Nikon Z 9. The camera also features a next-generation EXPEED 7 image-processing engine. This gives improved image stabilization for smooth handheld shots. The image processing can also correct trapezoid distortion from wide-angle lenses.

Nikon Expeed 7
Image courtesy: Nikon

Apple ProRes HQ support

The Nikon Z 9 supports a range of recording codecs, including Apple ProRes 422 HQ, H.265/HEVC and H.264/AVC. This means you can record 10-bit 4K UHD footage in ProRes HQ or H.265 video at up to 30p using the entire sensor. The camera also has tone mode profile options to record footage more suited to color grading in post-production. Additionally, the Z 9 can record in 10-bit N-Log, Hybrid Log-Gamma9 and the flat color profile.

Other features essential for videographers include focus peaking and zebra patterns for exposure monitoring. The camera also has a full-size HDMI port.

Clean audio capture

As well as great images, the Nikon Z 9 can capture great sound with high-resolution 24-bit linear PCM audio recording. This provides cleaner sound quality with greater range. As well as built-in stereo microphones, you can also use the camera with an external microphone.

The camera offers many great features for video and still photography. However, it’s worth remembering that shooting video in 8K means that you can save 33-megapixel frame grabs from your footage.

Nikon Z 9
Image courtesy: Nikon

ProRes RAW upgrade coming soon

Nikon has already announced a free firmware upgrade for the Nikon Z 9 due in 2022. This will add internal 8K 60p capture in the new 12-bit N-RAW high-efficiency video format. The upgrade will also add 12-bit ProRes RAW recording and other pro-level video features.

Pricing and availability

The Nikon Z 9 is available for pre-order now for $5,499.

Pete Tomkies is a freelance cinematographer and camera operator from Manchester, UK. He also produces and directs short films as Duck66 Films. Pete's latest short Once Bitten... won 15 awards and was selected for 105 film festivals around the world.