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Flagship Nikon Z 9 Mirrorless Camera Officially Confirmed for 2021: New Sensor, 8K Video

We have known that a flagship Nikon mirrorless camera was likely coming at some point, but tonight, the company has officially confirmed its development and scheduled release for later this year. They have also confirmed some details about the upcoming camera and released an image of the body. 

The flagship mirrorless camera, which will be known as the Z 9, was officially confirmed tonight by Nikon. The Z 9 will have a built-in vertical grip, as seen in the image above (though the final design of the body may change). The body will feature a brand new stacked CMOS sensor, new image-processing engine, and 8K video recording, along with other advanced video features. The company calls the Z 9 a "significant advancement in technology and performance to offer users an unprecedented imaging experience and fulfill diverse workflows."

While that is all the information we have at the moment, the company has promised to release more information as the release date grows nearer. I would expect that the Z 9 will likely be tested out at this summer's Olympics (alongside the Canon R1). Though we do not have that much information yet, it sounds as though Nikon intends to go toe to toe with Canon and Sony with the Z 9. It looks as though this year will be quite exciting! 

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Studio 403's picture

Mr cynic here. Look for a 4 quarter delivery. Look out for a "heated camera" , With bugs galore in the body. Yikes! I do hope can come up with something nice, but their history in the last 4 yrs leads me to believe that Nikon is to bloated a company to see out the window of what is happening. And to make matters worse, look for a 8k or 9k priced point.

Bill Peppas's picture

Just like the D850 which is arguably one of the best overall cameras ever released ?
The Z7 II ain't too shabby on its own by the way, it isn't as perfect as the latest Sony flagship.... but compare the first Sony mirrorless with the first mirrorless from Nikon.
It's easy to compare a 4th gen or even 5th gen mirrorless from Brand X to the 1st gen of mirrorless from Brand Y and say "Brand X mops the floor with Brand Y's cam".

Dan Donovan's picture

This announcement was made on the same day the Sony a1 started shipping to customers. The only reason for this announcement is to stop people from leaving for the Sony a1. Canon is doing the same thing. it will be interesting to see when the Nikon and Canon flagships are actually released and the quality of the products Competition is good. It keeps all 3 manufacturers pushing forward.

Timo Kellenberger's picture

I would not interpret too much into the date. The timing and procedure is pretty standard for Nikon for their pro cameras. Announce early in the year, reveal in summer and start deliveries in fall.

John Nixon's picture

It’ll be a great camera. Does a bad camera even exist these day? Sure, there’ll be people who prefer Sony or Canon, probably because they’re already invested in that system or maybe because they prioritize a particular feature. However, the Z system is coming along nicely and Nikon’s pro cameras have always been good. It’ll be out of my price range though, so I don’t really care whether it’s £6k, £8k or even £10k.

Vito V's picture

I shoot Sony and I really do like the sony system. But there's something about nikon from ergonomics, to the way they handle color. Some of there images are stunning. I'm not switching because sony to me is the better system spec wise for me, but I wouldn't mind having one Nikon in my bag.

Martin Peterdamm's picture

I don't get why do top photocameras need pro video features. normally, you hire a photographer and a film team for bigger productions. for a b2c business it makes more sense to hire a hybrid shooter but I've never seen this in advertising, fashion ...

Vito V's picture

As someone who is a hybrid shooter for my business and with a degree in digital filmmaking, it's great I don't have to shell out money for 2 bodies to achieve pro results. But I see your side.

Adrian Morton's picture

There is real requirement from the various agencies to expect from us freelances to provide both photo and video content to have the ability to provide this with one system and one body is a huge cost saving. To also have the ability to quickly switch from photo to video mode with high quality professional workhorse of a body body is an absolute game changer

Kai Fredriksen's picture

I am responsible for creating training material for the largest digitalization project in Norway's history, eLearning with photos and videos showing how to do installation or maintenance. My training budget is large enough to get buildings purpose-built for training. But there still is no way I could feasibly juggle filming on a special video camera and photos on another. Not when the cost savings and ease of use in having a standard body, standard lenses. Working as hybrid shooters made content production much easier and cheaper.

David Pavlich's picture

Video has become a major marketing tool for the stills camera companies. It consumes more and more of the review material we read and view. I don't use the video function at all, so in my case, and I'm sure in a lot of stills shooters, I skip over the video parts of the reviews. But, it's here and it's going to be more and more a deciding factor for many.

Grant Schwingle's picture

Very much looking forward to this!

Robert Nurse's picture

I'm just happy to see the competition heat up. Once the rivalries die down, innovation dies with it.

Steve Powell's picture

So this is the replacement for the D6?

Chris Rogers's picture

As a stills photographer I probably won't have any complaints about this camera besides price ( then again I think everything is too expensive lol) but are videographers going to choose this camera with the "full body" size? Won't the vertical size of this camera not mix well with some videography rigs? What do the video people think?

Grant Schwingle's picture

I'd argue a traditional SLR shape whether mirrorless or not anything close to ideal for video. The taller camera just exacerbates that, but it certainly isn't a deal breaker. All depends on what you are doing to rig it.

Cameron Hanks's picture

Regardless of how good it turns out to be people will still moan about something. also id never consider myself a professional photographer but ive never had a single problem with my OG Z7. its been the perfect camera for me personally.

Grant Schwingle's picture

It's a ton of camera. X system may have better "fill in the blank" but if you can't make a decent image with something like a z 6 / z 7 then the camera is probably not the issue.

Chris Rogers's picture

Indeeeeeeeeed good sir. i still shoot with my D700. Actually most of my best images were shot on my D700. I have a D800E and a D610 now but I still use my D700 and even picked up a D200 (like new :D ) because i love the CCD sensors on those cameras.

Grant Schwingle's picture

I had a 700 as well and loved it. Sold it to my Dad and he still uses it. D700 D3 era was Nikon's Digital Golden Age.

Chris Rogers's picture

Indeed it was Nikons golden age! I was about 16-17 years old lol! My dad bought me an upgrade from the D100 ( still have this awesome brick too lol) I had been using to the D90 and I learned so much from it! I wish I still had it. That was an awesome camera too! haha I remember looking at the D3 and the D700 in photo mags and holding them in my mind as my "grail" cameras and they still are lol. I did learn over the years that the photographer makes the camera take good images not the other way around. It took me way too long to learn that.

Grant Schwingle's picture

I started working for a company that had a D3 during the late stages of the D800 (which they also had) - I wanted to love it but the autofocus was absolute garbage compared to even the 800. Still covet it and its shutter sound though.

Chris Rogers's picture

Hahahaha yeah my D700 has some pretty god awful auto focus. Especially in low light. What i loved most about that camera was the image quality when it did focus lol. It did make me a lot better at manual focusing though!

Cameron Hanks's picture

I agree 100% Grant

Mike Rodgers's picture

Let's hope SoNikon pushes Canon to more innovation....