Nikon’s Z 6 and Z 7 are damned impressive, even if the world hasn’t translated that into robust sales. I think that’s largely due to pros keeping their powder dry and waiting for a pro level mirrorless version that will rival, or even surpass the D5. Well, that day is coming sooner, rather than later, according to Nikon President Toshikazu Umatate.
Stopping short of offering any listing of specs or announcement date, Umatate told Japanese newspaper Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun that the upcoming professional grade Z 9 full frame mirrorless camera would be equivalent to the flagship Nikon D5. Also, with the 2020 Olympics coming to Japan next summer, the timing to put out the Z 9 would be perfect, since it would allow Nikon to prime the hype machine by making the Z 9 platform available to pros shooting at the event.
Some, like Fro Knows Photo Jared Polin, hope that Nikon isn’t just going to stick the D5’s sensor into a Z series mirrorless body and call it a day. The question is also whether Sony’s A9 image sensor will make it’s way into the Nikon line since Sony is the main provider for image sensors in the Nikon Brand. But I think that Nikon will make the best of both worlds, giving the Z 9 the improved autofocus and image sensor capability while using Nikon’s tried and true Expeed line of image processors to shoulder the heavy lifting. I’m also going to go out on a limb here and say that the Z 9 will rival the Panasonic S1R and shoot in at least 6K, and do it with video.
I’m not sold on the rumors that the Z 9 will be an 8K mirrorless model. Not yet. But since Nikon has a partnership going on with Atomos at the moment, I bet that 6K video will come through recording via an external recorder at first, with a firmware update coming a year or two down the line. And you can bet that the Z 9 will also record video in 12 Bit Raw, since that feature is coming later this summer to most midrange and above Nikon models.
Additionally, there’s talk that Nikon will be putting out an entry level APS-C Z 5 and mirrorless Z 3 model. These, however, probably won’t hit the market until later in 2020, presumably after the Olympics, but before the Holiday shopping season. Some says that the Z 5 will be an entry level full frame model, but I think that would undercut the Z 6 sales. So I’m on board with those who think it’s a 32 MP APS-C sensor. I’m also betting the 24MP Z 3 will just record in 1080p, while the Z5 hits 4K. The talk is that the Z 5 price point will be around $1200, while the Z 3 will be around $800.
What do you guys think? Is the Z 9 going to be an 8K model to rival the next level in time for the Olympics? Or will it shoot 6K and keep pace with the Sony A9? Leave a comment below.
BTW the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 are on sale right now. You can save $600 and $200 respectively.
Hat Tip – Fro, and EOSHD