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Nikon Z9 spotted at the Olympics – back of the camera revealed

Nikon Z9 spotted at the Olympics – back of the camera revealed
(Image credit: Digital Camera Info / Twitter @Photolari)

UPDATE: Another photo of the Nikon Z9 has found its way online from the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, giving us an additional look not just at the back of the camera but also of the side.

Nikon clearly knew that the photo industry paparazzi would spot the Nikon Z9, because all the leaked photos have what looks like a strip of duct tape on the hinge of the rear LCD – disguising whether or not it's a tilting or fully articulating screen (though the two finger tabs at the bottom-left and right suggest that it may only tilt). 

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The photo was once again leaked by Twitter user Photolari, though this time the tweet hasn't (yet) been deleted.

(Image credit: Twitter @Photolari)

ORIGINAL STORY (30 Jul): The Nikon Z9, the manufacturer's upcoming flagship mirrorless camera, has been spotted in the wild at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo – and these photographs give us our very first glimpse at the back of the camera. 

While the Nikon Z9 has been officially announced by Nikon, the manufacturer has been coy about revealing much in the way of specs – and hasn't even released any images of the rear of the body. So these shots of the camera being used in the field reveal how the Big N has changed the design compared to the Nikon D6, its current flagship. 

Much as the Canon EOS R3 has been seen at the Olympics (with EXIF data from sample images revealing that it only has a 24MP image sensor), the Z9 was spotted on the sidelines of the Olympic Games. 

Twitter user Photolari originally shared the above photos, but the tweet was quickly deleted – though not before Japanese outlet Digital Camera Info did a sneaky right-click, save as. 

Here's the Nikon Z9 (left) compared to the Nikon D6, so you can see the differences in the design and button placement (Image credit: Digital Camera Info / Twitter @Photolari)

"This is the first time that the image on the back of the Nikon Z9 has appeared. The monitor is fixed with something like tape, but it looks like a movable (tilt?)," wrote the website.  

"The layout of the buttons is very similar to the Z6 / Z7, but it seems that a joystick for vertical position and some buttons are added at the bottom. Also, there seems to be a dial for switching drive modes on the left shoulder."

You can see in the side-by-side image above (click the widget in the top-right corner to enlarge) how the Z9 differs from the D6. The smaller, secondary rear LCD screen is gone, and the button placement has been significantly rearranged. 

Nikon has confirmed that the Z9 will be released this year, and there is no doubt a race to bring the body to market before the Canon EOS R3. Whoever wins, we shouldn't have long to wait before we get a full list of Nikon Z9 specifications and a proper look at the camera. 

Read more: 

Best Nikon camera
Nikon D6 review
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James Artaius

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 MagazinePhotoPlus: The Canon MagazineN-PhotoDigital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and demonstrations at The Photography Show. An Olympus (Micro Four Thirds) and Canon (full frame) shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a particular fondness for vintage lenses and film cameras.