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Specs leak for Nikon Z9 flagship to be announced in 2021

It looks like Nikon might be preparing to announce a new flagship mirrorless camera sooner than expected. And, no, it’s not coming in next week’s announcement. Nikon Rumors is reporting that they’ve received a set of specs for a Nikon Z9 camera from a reliable source, to be announced in autumn 2021.

It would essentially be the mirrorless follow-up to the Nikon D6 released earlier this year. It might seem odd to replace it so soon, but with no other company really having a mirrorless camera at that level yet, the race is most definitely on.

From the specs, this is clearly a pro-level body, which will have a build design similar to that of Nikon’s “full size” DSLRs with a built-in vertical shooting grip – like the Nikon D6.

  • Nikon Z9 is expected in the fall of 2021
  • No official plans for a Nikon Z8 camera yet
  • Prototype Z9 cameras may be tested at the Tokyo Olympics next year
  • The Z9 is described as a D6 body combined with EOS R5 imaging, α9II AF, and blackout-free EVF
  • 46MP
  • 20 fps
  • 8k30p, 4k120/60/30p
  • New EXPEED processor designed for 8k
  • Improved AF (Object detection AF)
  • Two XQD/CFX type B memory card slots
  • ISO 64 – 25,600, Hi1, Hi2
  • High resolution, blackout-free EVF
  • New user interface (no second LCD screen on the back like he D6)
  • New battery: Nikon EN-EL18x
  • Gbit LAN, USB-C, WiFi, GPS
  • Price: $6,000 – $7,000

One thing on the list is quite interesting, and NR points this out, too. The resolution of the sensor is rumoured to be 46-megapixels. Which sounds strange when most of the talk surrounding a potential flagship body release so far has been based around the 60-megapixel sensor rumoured last September. Nikon’s flagship bodies haven’t typically had the highest resolution in the product range, though, tending to focus more on speed.

The D2h was lower resolution than the D200 and D2x (which was more of a special-purpose camera at the time than a flagship). The D3 and D3s were lower resolution than the D3x. The Nikon D4 and D4s were lower resolution than the D800 and D810. The D5 and D6 are also both lower resolution than the D850. So, perhaps there is a 60-megapixel Nikon Z8 on the way at some point to truly replace and upgrade the D850 (because I don’t think it’s really going to be the Z7 II).

The description of “a D6 body combined with EOS R5 imaging, α9II AF, and blackout-free EVF” does seem like a very lofty goal and would certainly put everything else on the mirrorless market to shame if they can achieve this goal – assuming the competition doesn’t beat them to the punch.

With Canon expected to announce an EOS R1 flagship at some point, and Sony also expected to release a true pro-level body soon, it will be interesting to see who gets there first and how it stands up both to the flagship DSLRs we’ve become used to as well as the rest of the mirrorless range.

[via Nikon Rumors]