Nikon Z9 specs: 45MP and up to 160fps(!) – but not widely available until 2022?

Nikon Z9

The Nikon Z9 will feature a 45MP sensor and offer continuous burst shooting up to 160 frames per second – but it may not be available to most people until 2022. 

A new slate of rumored specifications for the Nikon Z9 – set to be the manufacturer's new flagship pro body, outperforming the Nikon D6 – reveals all manner of details about the camera. 

• Read more: Best professional cameras

While Nikon had officially announced that the Z9 would be capable of shooting 8K video, meaning that it would possess at least a 39MP sensor, a new report from Nikon Rumors claims that its resolution will be 8256 x 5504 – which would mean a 45.4MP sensor. (For reference, the Canon EOS R5 has a 8,192 x 5,464 resolution.)

Nikon had made no claim as to the camera's burst shooting capabilities but, with both the Sony A1 and Canon EOS R3 boasting 30fps, it had been widely anticipated that the Z9 would match its rivals. It seems, however, that the camera can shoot up to 120fps in a 6MP cropped mode, with an apparent top speed of up to 160fps – though this would presumably mean an even greater crop (and obviously an even smaller file size). 

Other interesting notes are that the Z9 features the recently reported GPS on steroids, dedicated automobile AF in addition to animals and humans, a completely new design of articulated screen, and the same battery as the D6 with the option of a new USB-C chargeable battery.

However, there is something of a caveat. While Nikon announced that the camera would launch in 2021, it seems unlikely that most people will actually get their hands on one this year. Thanks to the highly publicized global component and chip shortages, it appears that most cameras won't ship until 2022.

Following is the full list of claimed specs from Nikon Rumors: 

The Nikon Z9 has been spotted at the Olympics , so these rumored specs probably have weight to them (Image credit: Digital Camera Info / Twitter @Photolari)

• 8256 x 5504px resolution that confirms a 45MP stacked sensor (it is interesting to note that Canon decided to go with a 24MP sensor for their R3 camera).

• The Z9 will be capable of up to 120 fps in a lower res file size (6Mb I think). Some reports even indicated 160 fps!

• Built-in GPS – probably GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System).

• The Z9 will use the same battery as D6. There will be also a new 18-type battery (EN-EL18x) that can be charged by the camera’s USB-C.

• The sensor has multi leaf blade protective shutter that auto covers sensor when switched off/changing lens to stop dust and dirt on naked sensor.

• The Z9 will have car autofocus in addition to animal and people AF as well as low light -7 EV.

• Improved 3D tracking.

• Improved articulated screen that even works in portrait mode – it is a completely new design.

• New style locking flap for the two CFExpress memory cards.

• Third joystick/selector added to use whilst camera close face and shooting.

• Many new menu features to tweak and match your shooting style.

• The shutter release sound level can be adjusted from silent to loud… so you can still get that D6 machine gun sound…

• The official announcement is expected in the next 2 months, but do not expect many cameras to ship before the end of the year. Because of part shortage, the waiting time for the Z9 is expected to be very long.

Read more: 

9 things we know about the Nikon Z9
Nikon D6 review
Sony A1 review
Canon EOS R5 review

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a 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 like 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, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-Photo: The Nikon MagazineDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show. He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. 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.