New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?

Started Nov 6, 2021 | Discussions
Autoxave Regular Member • Posts: 264
New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?

There has been a lot of hype after the introduction of Nikon Z9. It seems to be a wonderful camera and puts Nikon in a position to compete with R3 ands A1.

What are the new big innovations of the Z9 that is clearly lacking in R3 and A1 except for the differences in sensor resolution? Would be nice to hear your opinions.

Nikon Z9 Sony a1
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Jeff_0000 Contributing Member • Posts: 954
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
2

Autoxave wrote:

There has been a lot of hype after the introduction of Nikon Z9. It seems to be a wonderful camera and puts Nikon in a position to compete with R3 ands A1.

What are the new big innovations of the Z9 that is clearly lacking in R3 and A1 except for the differences in sensor resolution? Would be nice to hear your opinions.

These are not big new innovations but they stand out to me

1. 125-minute recording on 8k 30p mode

2. 8k 60p video

3. 3-way articulating screen (like Fuji XT2 and 3)

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AlanWatson Contributing Member • Posts: 606
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
8

The obvious one is "no shutter". Removes an expensive, delicate part from the manufacture, reducing cost and increasing reliability in one step. Once you've seen it it's clear that it's the future, and Nikon have led the way here.

archerscreek Contributing Member • Posts: 771
$5500 for a 45 mp stacked sensor mirrorless camera with a built-in vertical grip
4

Canon and Sony haven’t matched that package. There are a lot of specs and features I love about the Z9, including the locking card door and the bigger battery. But those 4 base line specs put together in a quality package quickly set the Z9 apart for me.

Marlin Roberts Regular Member • Posts: 316
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
8

Even though the EVF might not appear to have the specs of others, the blackout free view and constant resolution seem to make it closest to an OVF of the three. Time will tell of course.

The removal of the mechanical shutter is the other main advance. Although the other cameras have respectable electronic shutter performance, they still left the mech shutter in, meaning they just did not quite get there. I am glad Nikon made the move, as it was inevitable.

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MOD TOF guy Forum Pro • Posts: 16,861
Too early to tell
5

Autoxave wrote:

There has been a lot of hype after the introduction of Nikon Z9. It seems to be a wonderful camera and puts Nikon in a position to compete with R3 ands A1.

What are the new big innovations of the Z9 that is clearly lacking in R3 and A1 except for the differences in sensor resolution? Would be nice to hear your opinions.

Firmware updates may change the picture (so to speak), and we need to see the test results w.r.t. DR & high ISO performance (also missing for the R3), The latter because if the DR & high ISO performance is similar to the Z6/7, it would be a noticeable advantage at least against the A1 which trades some of these for speed.

Another example is the compressed raw formats: if they are truly "visually lossless" even after "moderate" editing, it's significant: to put things in perspective the more compressed version is even smaller than a JPEG large fine file.

For now the combo of no shutter, faster image display (less lag) thanks to an optimized path between sensor and VF, illuminated buttons, protection of the sensor with a screen, sensor surface made less attractive to dust, more eye-AF modes, ability to switch between them automatically, 3D AF + works in combo with eye-AF,  etc. make for a combination where every details seems to have got attention by its manufacturer, more so than the A1 or the R3.

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Alex Permit
Alex Permit Senior Member • Posts: 2,803
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
3

Marlin Roberts wrote:

Even though the EVF might not appear to have the specs of others, the blackout free view and constant resolution seem to make it closest to an OVF of the three. Time will tell of course.

And its brightness. Rated 3,000 nits, achieving around 760 nits for a fully white display, its by far the brightest oled viewfinder out there.

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T O Shooter Forum Pro • Posts: 11,922
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
4

AlanWatson wrote:

The obvious one is "no shutter". Removes an expensive, delicate part from the manufacture, reducing cost and increasing reliability in one step. Once you've seen it it's clear that it's the future, and Nikon have led the way here.

It's likely a saving for the manufacturers, but not sure the Z9 is priced lower because Nikon is passing on any savings, more likely a bit of a desperation move by Nikon to stem the flow to Sony and Canon.  Which either way, is good for someone purchasing a Z9.

I do get that in theory you may increase reliability, but we are talking the pro Z9 here, and Marianne Oelund was putting a million shots on her pro D3s, D4 or D4s and her D5.  So I'm not sure how much reliability one needs beyond that, because that's a ridiculous amount of shooting.

I think I read here, or on FM, of a drawback to an electronic shutter?  Do not recall what that was.

But yes, ML is the future for Nikon, for a whole list of reasons, some out of their control.

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ZapperVT Senior Member • Posts: 1,990
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
4

T O Shooter wrote:

I think I read here, or on FM, of a drawback to an electronic shutter? Do not recall what that was.

Maybe this: the Z9 electronic shutter is slower in transit time than a 1982 FM2.  It's about 50% slower than the D850.  This is why the flash sync is only 1/200 s.

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Alex Permit
Alex Permit Senior Member • Posts: 2,803
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
3

AlanWatson wrote:

The obvious one is "no shutter". Removes an expensive, delicate part from the manufacture, reducing cost and increasing reliability in one step. Once you've seen it it's clear that it's the future, and Nikon have led the way here.

They did save money, but some would argue there is no added benefit.  Users could just leave the redundant shutter unused.  But there is a real benefit in replacing an unneeded mechanical shutter with a proper sensor protection screen.

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starbase218 Senior Member • Posts: 1,135
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
1

I think, if anything, it’s more about how things are implemented or working, rather than something that’s on a spec sheet. The recent DPR article about how the Z9 feels the most DSLR-like, or Jared Polin saying that the startup/shutdown time is so much faster than an A1, gives some insights into that.

Some Z9 specs are better than the competition, some are worse. No shutter may be considered innovative, but from what I read, you don’t have to use the shutter on the A1 either. And if you do, you get a 1/400 flash sync speed. Why isn’t that innovative?

I do like the sensor shield. But that’s a separate thing.

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Vince P
Vince P Senior Member • Posts: 2,790
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
2

ZapperVT wrote:

T O Shooter wrote:

I think I read here, or on FM, of a drawback to an electronic shutter? Do not recall what that was.

Maybe this: the Z9 electronic shutter is slower in transit time than a 1982 FM2. It's about 50% slower than the D850. This is why the flash sync is only 1/200 s.

Depending on the flash it can also do 1/250.

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ZapperVT Senior Member • Posts: 1,990
Dual data streams
4

Technically I think the biggest innovation is the dual data streams to EVF/LCD and memory card to provide uninterrupted viewing at all times.  Neither Sony nor Canon have this.  This feature (I imagine) provides a sense of immediacy, immersion, and responsiveness to the photographic experience that the competitors lack.

The protective shutter is another novel element that has real practical benefit.

The lack of a shutter is bold, but you can operate the A1 or R3 full time on electronic shutter and never use the mechanical shutter, so it's hard to see a benefit other than cost savings.

The other areas where Nikon exceeds the competition are mostly "more, better" type of things - faster frame rates or what not.

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ZapperVT Senior Member • Posts: 1,990
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
1

Vince P wrote:

ZapperVT wrote:

T O Shooter wrote:

I think I read here, or on FM, of a drawback to an electronic shutter? Do not recall what that was.

Maybe this: the Z9 electronic shutter is slower in transit time than a 1982 FM2. It's about 50% slower than the D850. This is why the flash sync is only 1/200 s.

Depending on the flash it can also do 1/250.

Good point. If the readout time is 3.7ms per that link, then there is a 300us time window for a short duration flash at a 1/250 shutter. But that's due to the speed of the flash, not the camera. The FM2 could potentially do the same with a fast flash.

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A Owens Veteran Member • Posts: 3,675
Re: Dual data streams

ZapperVT wrote:

Technically I think the biggest innovation is the dual data streams to EVF/LCD and memory card to provide uninterrupted viewing at all times. Neither Sony nor Canon have this. This feature (I imagine) provides a sense of immediacy, immersion, and responsiveness to the photographic experience that the competitors lack.

This. The EVF experience. Nikon have done something different here and initial reports suggest it works very well.

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Calibur Regular Member • Posts: 229
Re: Dual data streams
2

Z9 can simultaneously identify person, animal, bird, vehicle. I don’t believe the other cameras can do this. This means the Z9 is running the subject detection logic for all subjects simultaneously, requiring more -recessing power.

OP Autoxave Regular Member • Posts: 264
Re: Dual data streams

Calibur wrote:

Z9 can simultaneously identify person, animal, bird, vehicle. I don’t believe the other cameras can do this. This means the Z9 is running the subject detection logic for all subjects simultaneously, requiring more -recessing power.

Well, I guess it is rather unusual to have all those elements (person, animal, bird and vehicle except for a person riding a bike) simultaneously in the same scene. But by all means, thats spectacular and innovative.

ZapperVT Senior Member • Posts: 1,990
Re: Dual data streams
1

Neural network AI can be trained to recognize multiple objects concurrently without separate processes, I believe. They work very differently from algorithmic approaches that require additional computation: if person / else if dog / else if cat / else if bird / else if plane / else if train /else if automobile etc.

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chambeshi Veteran Member • Posts: 3,433
Z9 is a Paradigm Shift in Photography...

.....thanks to the combination of the new AI Autofocus with very fast imaging, as this reviewer argues. A sound conclusion IMHO, even though this bold statement is based only on what's been released so far.

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/65633932

Do all prosumer and pro MILC's lock the sensor when the camera is switched off?

And there is also the protective shutter for lens changes etc...

ZapperVT wrote:

Neural network AI can be trained to recognize multiple objects concurrently without separate processes, I believe. They work very differently from algorithmic approaches that require additional computation: if person / else if dog / else if cat / else if bird / else if plane / else if train /else if automobile etc.

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NickZ2016 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,362
Re: New innovations in Z9 compared to Canon R3 and Sony A1?
1

If you're worried about spec sheets they basically took the A1 and did an Plus 1 or some cases Plus 2 on every single line.

While the A1 doesn't even match the video specs of the R5 (lower top resolution,no internal raw, no 4.2.2 colour) the Z9 blows past the R5 while claiming much higher run times. On specs the Z9 is closer to a mid range Red camera than a A1.

They also did things like internal Prores. Dule CFe slots. 120FPS JPG.  Things that show the camera had at least a little input from users.

The announced future firmware plus the rumoured bits push it even further past the A1.

All that is specs. We need to see the thing in my hands before any of this matters.

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