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Nikon Launches Firmware 3.0 for the Z 9

After a promising launch and a massive update with version 2.0, Nikon has announced the release of version 3.0 for their flagship mirrorless camera.

As a Z 9 owner, I have spilled no shortage of ink over the last year talking about the system and how it serves my workflow as my A camera for all things photography and many things cinematography. The truth is, there’s just very little that this camera doesn’t do well. When version 2.0 arrived and brought with it waveforms and in-camera N-Raw, it took such a step forward that it allowed me to sell off several other cameras and give it even more work.

So, it’s hard to see how the Z 9 could get much better, but Nikon has released a firmware update, which aims to even further refine its edges.

Whereas version 2.0 was heavy on video improvements, version 3.0 is a more even split in terms of new features:

  • In addition to the existing 30 fps and 120 fps options for high burst still shooting, the Z 9 now adds an option for 60 fps at approximately 19 megapixels. The feature defaults to DX mode to achieve this higher burst rate.
  • 4K video capture adds a high-res zoom mode. Essentially, this is a zooming method that takes advantage of the camera’s 8K capabilities. This is a feature you might want to use to effectively extend the focal range of your lens without losing resolution. 4K UHD footage is captured in 8K, then gradually cropped to 4K in real-time.  
  • Enhancements to the camera’s low-light autofocus tracking as well as making the 3D tracking system stickier will enhance AF capabilities. You also have the option of changing the color of the focusing box, which could come in handy in certain situations.
  • High-Frequency Flicker Reduction, added in 2.1, is now available in video.
  • Timecode across multiple Z 9s can now be controlled by a single wireless remote system. The ATMOS Ultra Sync BLUE is now supported via Bluetooth.
  • Vertical Playback Display allows images to be displayed in vertical orientation during playback.
  • The number of buttons which can be customized has increased, including making the Record button programmable.
  • Other enhancements include improvements in Flash workflow, enhancements to on-screen display options, support for FTPS protocol, and a full format function for CF Express cards.
  • There is also the option to override other cameras when designating a “master” camera when using multiple systems in unison. And, during focus shift shooting, the camera can now memorize your initial point of focus following a series of captures.

I'm excited to see how these improvements will function with my system. Visit the link here to get the new firmware.



Christopher Malcolm's picture

Christopher Malcolm is a Los Angeles-based lifestyle, fitness, and advertising photographer, director, and cinematographer shooting for clients such as Nike, lululemon, ASICS, and Verizon.