Z9 First Outings and First Thoughts

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MOD AcquiredTaste Veteran Member • Posts: 6,169
Z9 First Outings and First Thoughts
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I've had my Z9 in hand for a couple of days now, but haven't had much opportunity to do much shooting. -5 degrees (F) has a way of zapping enthusiasm! I got out and photographed my son's indoor soccer a bit yesterday, and today I had some time to go out and take a walk with it. Much longer evaluatory thoughts will follow later on, but here are a few snippets. Keep in mind, this is about two hours of use total, so everything is subject to change once I learn the machine a bit more. Additionally, I am NOT a birder, so the images below are hardly any sort of bar for excellence.

Setup for the included images was a 70-200mm f/2.8 Z paired with a 2x TC.

AF: The AF with the 70-200 bare was excellent. Perhaps not quite as good as I expected, but still top notch. I found the subject tracking to be very strong, although not quite as sticky as I would prefer. I had very few misses when the box was on the subject, but did have several as the camera suddenly switched to a different subject mid-press.

When adding the 2x TC, AF took a noticeable turn for the worse. It was still good, but eye and subject detection were barely functional. I found myself consistently moving to 3D (which is programmed to lens function, very handy!) in order to get subject focus. There was a very strong tendency for the camera to focus on whatever was closest, usually branches. I will rarely use the TC, so this probably isn't a huge deal for me, but I was surprised.

Handling: The Z9 is very comfortable in hand, although I prefer the D5 so far. I hate the card door. That is going to take some serious muscle memory re-learning to adapt to. I also do not like the image review button being relocated away from the upper left. Other than that, good.

EVF: So far, so good.

If you have any generic questions, I'm happy to answer them. If you are looking for technical analysis, it's probably better to ask Jim.

For those looking for High-ISO information, I will be working on that as well, but I haven't come anywhere close to being able to give first hand impressions yet.

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Any opinions I express are my own and do not represent DPReview. I'm just a regular poster unless explicitly stated otherwise in the body of the post.
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 AcquiredTaste's gear list:AcquiredTaste's gear list
Nikon D4 Nikon D5 Nikon Z6 Nikon Z9 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +10 more
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