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Going Mirrorless With the Nikon Z9 - #1 Initial Thoughts

Well well ...who'd have thought...

Yes, it's taken a LONG time to convince me, but I've finally gone mirrorless. I took delivery of the much anticipated Nikon Z9 this week, and first impressions are that it could be every bit as outrageously good as Nikon say...who'd have thought??! However, the buzzards in my home area stubbornly refused to turn up when I took it out for a first spin, so the first big test will have to wait a few more days. Here's what I'm noticing out of the box and around the house though:

  • As a first time convert to 'the other side' I personally like the size of the Z9 - it still feels like a good chunk of camera in my hand!

  • Call me old-fashioned, but up to now I've not enjoyed the experience of electronic viewfinders. This one, though, is high enough resolution and fast enough to respond so it feels very 'organic' and 'optical' to me - a real plus.

  • I'm also sold on the 'what you see is what you get' aspect of the viewfinder - no more frantically scanning the back of the camera to check the exposure. ( I know it's uncool to admit doing that, but I'm always messing about and experimenting with 'arty' approaches to shots, and a lot of it doesn't work as I'd like first time, but now hopefully my hit rate on the far frontiers of creativity will go into orbit!!! ;)

  • I'm loving the silent shooting too - it's obviously great for getting close to wildlife.

  • For me the autofocus speed and accuracy is the biggest test and I'm delighted with the full frame coverage of focus points, and really practical options in terms of focus point groupings and animal eye detection. It seems to work pretty well (at least on my cat!) even using the FTZII lens adaptor, and I'll be pushing the autofocus to the max in Kenya on birds in flight and charging cheetahs.

  • I can't get enough of the 8k video and 4k 120fps slomo. That's just awesome!

There are many brilliant and highly technical reviews of the Z9, so I won't regurgitate all the technical specs. Instead I'll let you know how it performs in Kenya for safari photography and what differences it makes for me out there in the field - can't wait!


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