Perhaps it just might. The Nikon Z 9 is a beast of a camera, capable of filming gorgeous 8K video, plus an excellent overall AF system, incredibly fast still images at 120 fps, and a 4-axis vertical and horizontal tilting monitor. Nikon really hit a home run with this powerful, full-frame mirrorless 45.7 MP camera, and Kolari has done a teardown of the camera.
Before we take a look at what was found inside, though, we have to talk about the new updates.
Tearing down the Nikon Z 9Credit: Kolari
Firmware for Cinematographers and Photographers Alike
The recent Firmware 2.0 update was released last spring. Initially, the camera could only film in ProRes and H.265 at 4:2:2 10-bit at best, but the update added more options and a whole host of new features and fixes.
We talked about the amazing features this new Nikon Z 9 Firmware 2.0 update included, such as:
- Internal 12-bit RAW video recording at various frame rates, up to 8.3K at 60p.
- The Z 9 can capture a large amount of color depth and dynamic range.
- Nikon N-RAW can handle 12-bit RAW video with a resulting file half the size of ProRes RAW HQ (your edit system will be happy).
- Custom area AF.
- Advanced stills features.
- And much more.
Check out our full write-up of the Nikon Z 9 Firmware 2.0 update here. Now let's take a look at what makes a monster.
The Z 9 sensor unit is massive! That's a Kolari point-and-shoot camera next to it for reference.Credit: Kolari
Nikon Z 9 Teardown
Now to the moment you’ve been waiting for—the teardown of the Nikon Z 9 by Kolari, which is a company specializing in infrared camera conversions. While these are always fun and insightful, it does pain me to see such a beautiful camera disassembled.
Alex Mirchuk handled the teardown and discovered some interesting things.
- There is a dust cover that looks like a shutter, but there is indeed no shutter. The Z 9 is the first mirrorless camera to only offer an electronic shutter. Many mirrorless cameras offer both electronic and mechanical).
- The EVF is fairly large and pretty intricate, composed of three layers.
- There is a lot of accessibility between the motherboard and the batter, making it easy for repairs.
Hide your eyes if you can't stand to see a fully disassembled, $5,500 8K mirrorless camera!Credit: Kolari
- To help alleviate the heat, the heatsink frame surrounds the EXPEED 7 processor.
- The sensor unit is so large that it’s comparable in size to the Kolari Pocket point-and-shoot camera with infrared filter options.
- The IBIS unit (in-body image stabilization) is locked in place when not in use, helping to prevent damage. Most are free to move when not used.
- Alex feels like the Z 9's features are similar in some ways to past Nikon DSLRs while using new technology. He suggests those holding out on going with mirrorless to strongly consider the Nikon Z 9.
The teardown of the Nikon Z 9 shows the real power found inside the camera, which with the new firmware update, makes it an interesting solution for filmmakers, YouTubers, videographers, and more.
- 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
What do you think of the teardown and disassembly of the Nikon Z 9? Let us know in the comments!