This is the first in a series of posts on the Nikon Z9. You should be able to find all the posts about that camera in the Category List on the right sidebar, below the Articles widget. There’s a drop-down menu there that you can use to get to all the posts in this series; just look for “Z9”.
After what seemed like a long wait, I received my Z9 today. The last camera I looked forward to so eagerly was the Fuji GFX 100. The Z9 doesn’t break new ground like the GFX 100 did, since the Sony a1 was there first, but I didn’t order an a1, preferring to stick with my a9II. I’ve used Sony cameras for more than ten years, and I confess that I never have made friends with the interfaces. Its interfaces, plural, because Sony keeps making large changes to their UIs. It’s usually an improvement but the constant changing is frustrating, especially if, as I do, you have several generations of cameras.
I unpacked the Z9 and it seemed like an old friend. There are some new additions to the menu system, but they are where you’d expect them, and everything else is familiar if you’ve used a Z7 and a D5. The body has the chunky feel of my not-long-for-my-camera-collection D5, but is smaller and doesn’t feel so massive in my hands. The Z9 takes the D5 batteries, as well as its own ones, but the battery door has changed from the D5, so if you want to swap batteries fast you’ll need to order a spare door or two.
I’m not a fan of the new door to the flash card chamber. It’s a different design from the D5, which is a different design from the Z7. I like the Z7 design the best, but the D5 design is good if you’re worried about opening the door by accident. Opening the new door requires moving a lever in one direction while moving the door in a direction at a right angle to that. I may learn, but I can’t do it with one hand, which I don’t like at all.
The new battery charger is USB-C powered, which is good. It is only a one-battery charger, which is bad.
The FTZ fits without interfering with the Z7 front porch, but the camera complains that the FTZ needs a firmware update. I performed one, and it’s happy now.