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Not a joke: the Nikon Z9 has a 'cat meow' shutter sound

Nikon Z9 gets cat meow shutter sound effect
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

No, it's not April Fool's Day: the Nikon Z9 has a shutter sound effect that makes the noise of a cat's meow. 

Despite being a flagship professional camera, the Nikon Z9 (opens in new tab) is apparently not taking itself too seriously. At the Big N's presentation for the CP+ 2022 (opens in new tab) event in Japan, two of its representatives demonstrated a host of the camera's features – including the ability to make the shutter sound like a cat (play the video below).

• Read more: Best professional cameras (opens in new tab)

The Nikon pair showed, with no small amount of smiles and chuckling, that the Z9 can make the sound of a meowing cat when the shutter is depressed. Remember that the Nikon Z9 has no mechanical shutter; it is purely electronic, and therefore any sound emitted is a completely synthetic one. And, thus, doesn't have to be the sound of an actual camera shutter.

"Please, in the middle of the night it's not a fighting cat that can be heard outside the apartment," one of them joked.

The duo also demonstrated the camera shutter playing a recording of one of them speaking, suggesting that you can record your own sound and completely customize the noise your camera makes.

Via very broken machine-translation it seems like other effects, such as trains, may also be considered. Nikon Rumors was able to ascertain (opens in new tab) that more relevant shutter sounds – namely those of the Nikon D750 and Nikon F4 – were also being looked at.

The key is that these new sound effects would be introduced via firmware updates – and entirely depending on how the public reacts. And it does appear that Nikon (or, at least, Nikon Japan) is seriously considering the move.

"That's something that's in production right now," said one of the presenters. "The function itself is will not necessarily be installed in the Z9 in the future. I've been thinking about it, and it's been a long time ago… so I said I'd like to see everyone's reaction."

What do you think – is this too daft for a professional-grade camera that costs nearly six grand? Is it better fitting a more lifestyle camera like the Nikon Z fc (opens in new tab)? Or is it a brilliant idea, bringing the fun back into photography, that other manufacturer's should duplicate? 

Read more: 

Best Nikon cameras
(opens in new tab)Best Nikon lenses
(opens in new tab)Best Nikon Z lenses (opens in new tab)

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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.