Nikon proved the rumors correct, announcing that they’ll have the Z9 to market in 2021, and that it will be an 8k shooter with a stacked sensor (probably around the same resolution as the Canon R5 and Sony A1). They also mentioned that it will have a new processor, which is likely where the interesting bits will happen when it comes to spec upgrades from the current flagship, the mirrored D6.

Recent camera registrations suggest that there are two remaining newly-registered Nikon bodies that have yet come to market, and typically these registrations go through only a few months before release. On the other hand, Nikon development announcements in the past have preceded long periods of time – approaching a year – before actual release.

Using the pre-production image shown above, online forum participants have sussed out that the camera is smaller than the traditional integrated-grip sports shooter. It appears even slightly smaller than a Z7 Mark II with grip.

An image accompanying a Nikon Rumors piece yesterday showed a camera that looks almost identical to a gripped Z7 Mark II, but the grip (which appears to be removable) shows a second information screen on it. This may be a mock-up, rather than an actual product shot. This image (below) was not included in the sparse release sent out by Nikon corporate.

Previous rumor reports predicted a camera with roughly the same resolution as the Sony A1 and Canon R5 due to its capacity to shoot 8k video. The new body is said to have a stacked sensor to increase speed of readout and reduce rolling shutter.

With recent financial transactions completed to put the company’s ongoing cash position on a firmer footing, Nikon’s intended path starts to look much clearer: focusing on professional and advanced amateurs that can pay money to exploit the more advanced technologies in Nikon’s pipeline. That concentration may be part of what upset the future economies of scale anticipated with the product mix, and may have had a role in recent decisions to downsize Nikon’s domestic production capacity.

New crop versions of the Z-mount camera system are rumored to be in the pipeline, but they are expected to be built in factories in cheaper Asian labor markets.