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Nikon Z8 / Z9 to replace the Nikon D6 with 14fps burst… and 60MP sensor?

Nikon Z8 / Z9 to replace the Nikon D6 with 61MP sensor and 14fps burst?

We already knew that the upcoming Nikon Z8 / Nikon Z9 could have a 60MP sensor, but according to the latest reports it could also feature a top continuous shooting speed of 14 frames per second using the mechanical shutter. 

Obviously a 60MP sensor would put the Nikon Z8 / Nikon Z9 on par with the Sony A7R IV (opens in new tab) in terms of pure resolution (and there's a good reason for that, which we'll come to in a moment). And a burst rate of 14fps would likewise put the camera on the same footing as the flagship Nikon D6 (opens in new tab) in terms of pure speed. 

Could it be that Nikon is looking to mirror Canon's all-in-one strategy with the Canon EOS R5 (opens in new tab) – a 45MP camera that matches the flagship Canon EOS-1D X Mark III (opens in new tab) with a top speed of 20fps? 

Or is it still the case, as has been previously rumored, that the Nikon Z8 and Z9 are two distinct cameras – the former being a resolution machine, the latter being an apparent replacement for the D6?

The jury is still out. All we know is that the latest reports repeat the previous information about a sensor in the 60MP region, but add the new details about an apparent 14fps maximum mechanical shooting speed.

"Nikon Z8/NikonZ9 (it could just be one camera, not sure if the name will be Z8 or Z9): rumored to have a new 60MP sensor that will be able to shoot full-resolution images at 14fps (mechanical shutter) with AE/AF," reports (opens in new tab) Nikon Rumors. 

"If this is true, it poses the question: is this model going to be the Nikon D6 equivalent in Z-mount? I think Nikon still believes that the performance of the D6 cannot be replicated in a mirrorless camera, but I could be wrong."

So what is going on? Well, we still believe that these are two distinct products – the Nikon Z8 will feature the 60MP Sony IMX455 sensor (which Nikon agreed to purchase from Sony (opens in new tab)), dual CF Express cards and pixel-shift imaging for 240MP shots, while the Nikon Z9 will possess the 14fps mechanical shooting. 

However, if Nikon does indeed go the all-in-one route, then a camera with 60MP and 14fps could have the Canon EOS R5 quaking in its boots…

Read more: 

Nikon D6 review (opens in new tab)
Camera rumors (opens in new tab) in 2020: what cameras are coming, officially and otherwise!
The best Nikon camera (opens in new tab): including Nikon DSLRs, Nikon Z and Coolpix compacts

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The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a magazine and web journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients as diverse as Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photographic and lighting tutorials, as well as industry analysis, news and rumors for publications such as Digital Camera Magazine (opens in new tab)PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine (opens in new tab)N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine (opens in new tab)Digital Photographer (opens in new tab) and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show (opens in new tab). An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.