Industry News: Nikon Z 9 Firmware Update Released, So Big It Could Have Been A New Camera

Nikon Z 9

Nikon released a Nikon Z 9 firmware update. There are so many new features that it could have made for an entirely new camera.

Nikon Z 9 at a glance:

  • 45.7MP FX-Format Stacked CMOS Sensor
  • EXPEED 7 Image Processor
  • 8K30p and 4K120p Video, 10-Bit Internal
  • Up to 20 fps Raw, 30 fps JPEG Shooting
  • 493-Point Phase-Detection AF System
  • AI-Based Subject Detection and Tracking
  • Blackout-Free Real Live Viewfinder
  • 3.2″ 4-Axis Tilting Touchscreen LCD
  • Vertical Grip, 2x CFexpress Type B Slots
  • 5 GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GNSS

The Nikon Z 9 firmware update is free and will be available later this month. These are the most prominent new features:

  • RAW video internal recording in 12-bit 8.3K/60p
  • Various new video features
  • Pre-Release Capture
  • Improved AF performance, including Custom Wide-Area AF with 20 options

All new features are described in the press release below, or watch the short video. Nikon made not only a rather interesting camera with the Z 9, but also a serious competitor to the Canon EOS R3.

Nikon Z 9:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Canon DE, Canon UK

Nikon press release:

Nikon releases the upgraded firmware for its full-frame mirrorless cameras — Version 2.00 for the Nikon Z 9, and Version 1.40 for the Nikon Z 7II and Nikon Z 6II

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of firmware version 2.00 for its flagship full-frame/FX-format mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 9, and firmware version 1.40 for its full-frame/FX-format mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z 7II and Nikon Z 6II, on April 20, 2022.

Firmware version 2.00 for the Z 9 will support in-camera recording of RAW video including over 8K which was announced in the press release dated October 28, 2021. As well as 12-bit RAW 8.3K/60p in-camera recording which achieves rich tonal gradation, various video features will also be greatly evolved to meet video production needs. For still shooting, it also introduces Pre-Release Capture*1, a first*2 for full-frame mirrorless cameras. This records images for up to one second before the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down after the half press of the button. Furthermore, Custom Wide-Area AF that supports various AF-area arrangement patterns is newly adopted, enabling more reliable acquisition of main subjects according to each scene. In addition, some functions and features of D-SLRs including the Prioritize Viewfinder function have also become available so that Z 9 users switching from D-SLRs can benefit from consistent operational feel.

With firmware version 1.40 for the Nikon Z 7II and Z 6II, it is possible to prevent the focus point from unintentionally moving to the background in Auto-area AF mode, so that photographers can more easily focus on the closer subject when AF starts. This firmware update also supports the ML-L7 Remote Control, which allows you to take photos when away from the camera, facilitating the taking of selfies from a distance where you cannot reach the shutter-release button, and nightscapes which are likely to cause camera shake when the button is pressed.

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Nikon Plans To Release More Than 50 Z-Mount Lenses By 2025

Eos R3 Vs Nikon Z9

Nikon seems to have big plans with their Z full frame mirrorless system (as Canon does with their EOS R system).

News has it that Nikon will release more than 50 Z-mount lenses by 2025. As stated in Nikon’s Medium Term Management Plan, the company is set to release more than 50 Z-mount lenses before the end of 2025. Says Nikon:

[Nikon wants to] expand the possibilities for visual expression and acquire overwhelming support from all generations of fans around the world.

You can check on Nikon’s plan on their investor relations website.

[via DPReview]

Industry News: Nikon Announced The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S Telephoto Lens

NIKKOR Z 800mm

Nikon released a new telephoto prime lens for their Z system, the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S.

At a glance:

  • Z-Mount Lens/FX Format
  • Aperture Range: f/6.3 to f/32
  • PF Element, 50% Weight Reduction
  • SR and ED Elements
  • Nano Crystal Coat
  • Multi-Focus Stepping Motor AF System
  • Vibration Reduction Image Stabilization
  • Customizable Fn and Memory Set Buttons
  • Weather-Sealed Design, Fluorine Coating
  • Rotating Tripod Collar

Preorders are live at $6,496.95: B&H Photo | Adorama

Nikon press release:

Nikon releases the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S, a super-telephoto prime lens for the Nikon Z mount system

Realizing dynamic shooting of distant subjects such as wild birds and other wildlife handheld or with a monopod

TOKYO – Nikon Corporation (Nikon) is pleased to announce the release of the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S, a super-telephoto prime lens that is compatible with full-frame/FX-format mirrorless cameras for which the Nikon Z mount system has been adopted. The development of this lens was announced on December 14, 2021.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S, featuring the longest focal length of 800 mm among NIKKOR Z lenses, employs a PF (Phase Fresnel) lens for the first time in the NIKKOR Z lineup, realizing approx. 48% reduction in weight and approx. 16% in length compared to the AF-S NIKKOR 800mm f/5.6E FL ED VR. It not only facilitates shooting handheld or with a monopod, but also allows users to capture images of wild birds and other wildlife in mountain areas, reducing the burden during long hours of picture-taking and transportation.

The NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S belongs to the S-Line* lens series that pursues the ultimate in optical performance. In addition to the PF lens element, ED glass and SR lens elements are employed to compensate chromatic aberration for minimized color bleeding, allowing accurate depiction of even the finest feathers of distant wild birds. The adoption of Nano Crystal Coat, as well as the optimized shape and location of the PF lens element also contribute to reducing ghost, achieving clearer images. Furthermore, with the lens’ center of gravity positioned closer to the body side, the NIKKOR Z 800mm f/6.3 VR S is optimal for shooting moving subjects such as airplanes, because users are less aware of the weight of the lens even if it is swung around during panning. High operability and superior rendering performance support reliable use of this lens by many users ranging from advanced amateurs to professional photographers.

Nikon will continue to pursue a new dimension in optical performance while meeting users’ needs, contributing to the development of imaging culture, with the hope of expanding possibilities for imaging expression.

Primary features

  • Focal length can be extended to 1,120 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-1.4x, and 1,600 mm with the Z TELECONVERTER TC-2.0x while maintaining outstanding resolution*1.
  • Focal length can be extended up to 1,200mm-equivalant without a teleconverter by setting the camera’s image area to [DX (24×16)] format.
  • The optical VR function that provides a superior compensation effect equivalent to shooting at a shutter speed 5.0 stops*2 faster is incorporated. When paired with the Z 9, the effect of 5.5 stops*2 is achieved with Synchro VR activation.
  • The employment of an STM ensures high-speed and accurate AF with quiet operational sounds.
  • Superior dust- and drip-resistant performance*3, outstanding reliability with robustness and weather resistance, and anti-fouling performance with the adoption of fluorine coat.
  • Anti-slip rubber coating is applied to a larger area of the lens body, ensuring more comfortable holding.
  • Four L-Fn2 buttons and one L-Fn button to which a wide variety of functions can be assigned are adopted to suit users’ preferences.
  • The supplied lens hood featuring an improved lock mechanism enables attachment and removal with one hand even on a large-diameter lens.
  • Employs the Memory Recall function*4 that instantly recalls focus positions that have been stored in advance, via pressing an assigned button.
  • A design considering video recording including a focus-breathing compensation function which effectively reduces shifting of the angle of view when focusing, and stable exposure.

Do Not Use This Nikon Lens If You Have A Pacemaker (it’s the Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor)

Silky Swift Voice Coil

Not an everyday news. If you have a medical device, i.e. a pacemaker, you should not use this lens, Nikon says. The culprit is a technology named Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor (SSVCM).

The Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S, a lens that sells for almost $14,000, might affect a pacemaker and hence put your health in danger. The user manual for the lens (download here) contains the following warning:

Do not use this product if you have a pacemaker or other medical device. The magnet or magnets in this product could cause medical devices to malfunction.

As PetaPixel explains:

The reason for the warning is the newly-unveiled autofocus drive system in the lens that Nikon has named Silky Swift Voice Coil Motor (SSVCM).

SSVCM uses magnets instead of gears to move the lens focus groups forward and backward within the lens body. It’s a new AF system that, compared to Nikon’s older systems, boasts higher initial speed, higher accuracy, and the smoothest and quietest operation of any Nikon autofocus drive system released thus far.

The magnets, however, are so powerful that they could interfere with pacemakers and other medical devices, which could potentially be fatal to the person the device is implanted in or used by. The risk is apparently so great that Nikon is not taking any chances, warning anyone with any medical device to simply not use lenses with this autofocus system (which is currently just the 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S lens)

Curious about the Nikkor Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S? Have a look at the short video below.

More about the lens after the break.

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Nikon Warns Customer About Phishing Emails

Full Frame Mirrorless Camera Nikon Rumors

Take this seriously. The “signs” described in the press release below, useful to recognize fraudulent emails, are general rules of caution and apply to domains beyond Nikon.

Nikon press release:

WARNING REGARDING SUSPICIOUS EMAILS IMITATING PUBLIC RELATIONS FROM NIKON

It has come to our attention that people pretending to be Nikon representatives are contacting YouTube and Facebook channel owners via email.

The fraudulent correspondence generally carry Nikon’s name, and / or refer to the Nikon public relations department, requesting that the recipient produce a video using a Nikon camera or offer sponsorship opportunities.

These emails bear no relation to Nikon or any members of the Nikon Group.

In light of the increasing frequency of these incidents, Nikon would like to raise awareness of the fact that third parties, representing themselves as Nikon, may attempt to gain personal or financial information and exploit it for financial gain.

Please note: Only official correspondence regarding existing or potential collaborations will come from an official Nikon company email address, ending in @nikon.com

Alternatively, you may also be contacted from one of our agency partners – to verify they are official, we suggest you search for their web presence to check for the following:

• Signs they are legitimate
  – The website is secured by looking at the address bar (URL) to see if there is an “s” in the URL – it should look like this “https://” at the start – or if it has a lock symbol in the address bar
  – The presence of contact details or official distributor details
  – The presence of a privacy policy – such as a request to accept cookies / details of how your data is used
  – Details of their work with the Nikon – a logo or a case study

• Signs that suggest they are fraudulent
  – The absence of any of the above
  – Poor spelling and grammar (including in the domain name)
  – Broken links (or no additional links) to other pages on the site

If in doubt, please do not reply, click on any link or provide any information without confirming its legitimacy.

Instead, please reach out to your local Nikon public relations representative to verify the correspondence – their details can be found in the ‘Press Enquires’ section of the Nikon website. Or, you can reach out to Nikon through our social media platforms – our verified channels will have a blue tick. 

Industry News: This Is The Nikon Z 9, Officially Announced

Nikon Z 9

Here is Nikon’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 9. The new Nikon Z 9 will be available within this year for a suggested retail price of $5499.95.

Preorders are live:

America: B&H Photo, Adorama, Amazon USA, Amazon Canada, Canon Canada, Canon USA
Europe & UK: Amazon DE, Amazon UK, Amazon IT, Wex Photo Video, Canon DE, Canon UK

For a first serious Nikon Z 9 review we recommend DPReview TV, below.

Press release:

THE NIKON Z 9: UNSTOPPABLE PERFORMANCE, REVOLUTIONARY INNOVATION

Nikon’s First Mirrorless Flagship Defies Conventional, Debuts with a Series of Industry-Firsts for Still & Video Creators

Melville, NY –

Today, Nikon announced the Z 9, the most advanced Z series mirrorless camera to date. Powered by a completely new, Nikon-developed 45.7 megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and next generation EXPEED 7 image processing engine, the full-frame Z 9 renders ultra-high resolution images and offers unparalleled AF performance using a revolutionary new scene detection system built on deep learning technology. Additionally, the camera is capable of sustained fast continuous shooting bursts, in-camera 8K video recordings for extended periods, truly blackout-free Real-Live visibility in the viewfinder and a sensor scan rate so fast that it completely eliminates the need for a traditional mechanical shutter.  

“The Z 9 is the complete package, offering an unprecedented balance of speed, resolution, reliability and performance that will exceed expectations for any type of shoot, including fast action sports, commercial fashion, low light, landscapes and more,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, Nikon Inc. “The Z 9 looks to the future, with innovations and features that give all types of imaging professionals and content creators the advantage when it matters most and the confidence to create in nearly any conditions.”

nikon z 9

A New Kind of Pro Mirrorless
At the core of the Z 9 is the Nikon-developed 45.7MP BSI stacked CMOS sensor, coupled with the new EXPEED 7, Nikon’s most powerful engine yet, which is approximately 10x faster than the Z 7II. This combination brings significant increases in AF speed, burst rate, buffer capacity, video resolution and so much more. The Z 9 is the camera that can be trusted on the sidelines, in the field or in the studio, with the high-speed capture capability needed for the fastest action and the immense resolution to reveal the most subtle details.

  • With the world’s fastest1 image scan rate, the Z 9 achieves the world’s smallest2 rolling shutter distortion, equaling that of a mechanical shutter. This means actions like a fast-moving golf swing that would typically distort the club can be captured confidently with the electronic shutter, even at 1/32,000 second. It also allows users to shoot massive quantities of silent frames without worrying about shutter wear or breakdown.
  • The Z 9 achieves fast and accurate AF calculations at up to 120 cycles per second, even between frames during continuous shooting.
  • Beyond the benefits of high-speed performance, the high resolution 45.7-megapixel sensor delivers immense resolution with exquisite colors, broad dynamic range and stellar low light performance, with a native ISO Range from 64-25,600 (Expandable from 32 to 102,400 ISO).

Rely on the Fastest, Most Intelligent AF System Yet
The Z 9 features Nikon’s fastest, most sophisticated and reliable AF tracking performance ever, utilizing a new Subject Detection algorithm developed with deep learning technology, as well as 3D-tracking.

  • The camera’s Subject Detection capability detects the world’s largest range1 of nine subject types including humans, pets, birds, airplanes, trains, cars, motorbikes and bicycles. When in Auto-Area AF, any of these subjects will automatically be detected and focused on, without the need to change settings.
  • With Eye-Detection AF, the camera can detect and focus on a subject’s eye more effectively than ever, even when eyes are smaller or further away.  Additionally, a custom function will now also let users change the color of the focus point to green to confirm focus.  
  • The highly praised 3D-tracking mode from Nikon DSLRs debuts for the first time in a mirrorless camera. It is now coupled with subject detection to track fast and erratically moving subjects such as a racing car that approaches close and then moves away quickly, or a swiftly moving athlete.  
  • The Z 9 also brings more flexibility by offering three Dynamic-area AF modes with a new range of focus-area sizes (S/M/L) for capturing a wider variety of moving subjects throughout the frame.
  • The AF system is faster than ever, taking advantage of the Z mount’s high-speed communication capabilities with frame-by-frame sharing of distance information. 

Unstoppable Performance and Speed
This is the fastest, most powerful Nikon flagship ever. Users can capture amazing images at unbelievably fast burst speeds, all with full AF/AE performance. Whether shooting full-resolution fashion or delivering a sports sequence when a split-second matters, the Z 9 is the versatile solution.    

  • For the ultimate combination of speed and intense image quality, photographers can shoot 20-fps RAW images with an unprecedented 1000+ image buffer.3
  • When a balance of quality and burst rate is needed, never miss a vital moment with 30 fps full resolution JPEG capture.
  • For extreme speed, High Speed Frame Capture+4 enables up to 120 fps with full AF/AE at a very manageable file size of 11 megapixels, freezing a moment that cannot even be seen with the naked eye (higher resolution than 4K video).
  • Truly blackout-free shooting is possible thanks to Dual-Stream technology which simultaneously feeds information to the Real-Live viewfinder/LCD and memory card, resulting in reliable confirmation of a subject’s movement without skipping or repeating frames in the viewfinder5.
  • The Z 9 introduces High Efficiency RAW, which retains the same level of high image quality as the conventional uncompressed RAW in an approximately 1/3 smaller6 file size, making RAW files easier to handle than ever.
  • Speeds of up to 1/32,000 are possible with the electronic shutter, expanding the opportunities to use fast lenses, letting photographers shoot wide open in brighter light, even at f/0.95.
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