Nikon Z9 Resource Page

For Wildlife Photographers & Film Makers

02-16-2022 Shawnee Creek Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton - www.timlaytonwildhorses.com02-16-2022 Shawnee Creek Wild Horses of Missouri by Tim Layton - I created this page to serve as a quick-access resource page for the Nikon Z9 camera and to serve as a central repository for my Z9 articles and tutorials.

I also share my personal notes and configurations with you on this page in an effort to hopefully save you some time and effort.

The Nikon Z9 camera is Nikon's newest flagship camera that is the most technically advanced digital camera in their entire history dating all the way back to 1917.

This camera is a wildlife photographer's dream come true. 

Between the 3D Autofocusing features to the 20 FPS (raw) or 120 FPS JPG stills and not to mention the 12-bit 8K raw video capabilities. 

If you are looking for an overview of the camera's specifications, here is the link to Nikon's product page with all of that information for you.  I won't clutter up this page with the camera specifications.

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Nikon Z9 with FTZII Adapter

NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Lens

NIKKOR Z 400mm f/2.8 TC VR S Lens

NIKKOR Z 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 VR S Lens

NIKKOR 300mm f/4E PF ED VR Lens

NIKKOR Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Lens

NIKKOR Z 24-120mm f/4 S Lens

NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR Lens (great for video)

Nikon Z Teleconverter TC-1.4x

Nikon Z Teleconverter TC-2x

Nikon EN-EL18d Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Battery (2 extra batteries)

SanDisk 256GB Extreme PRO CFexpress Card Type B x 4 (for photos)

Angelbird 512GB AV PRO CFexpress 2.0 Type B SE Memory Card x 4 (used in slot 2 for video)

Nikon 10x25 Aculon A30 Binoculars


Gitzo GT5543XLSUS Carbon Fiber Triod Legs

Gitzo GSLVLS Leveling Base

Gitzo SYSTEMATIC 75mm Bowl Head Adapter 

Manfrotto 504X Fluid Video Head with Flat Base


I use the same Gitzo Tripod as listed above, I just use a different set of heads based on the project.

Really Right Stuff BH-55 Ball Head

Gitzo GM4552L Series 4 Carbon Fiber Monopod

Really Right Stuff BH-40 Ball Head (For Monopod)

Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Tripod Head II with Quick Release Base


Latest Firmware Updates

User Manual (PDF)

Reference Guide (PDF)

Reference Guide (website)

What a fun and wonderful time to be a wildlife photographer.

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Video Codecs & File Sizes

Nikon Z9 Camera timlaytonfineart.comNikon Z9 Camera
I needed to know for file management reasons how big the file for each of the codecs and frame rates would produce.  Since Nikon didn't think to include this very helpful and necessary information in their 914-page manual, I did the testing and documented the results.

For wildlife filming, we typically don't film for more than 15 to 30 seconds at a time, so I decided to conduct my tests for 30-second clips. The file sizes for 8K are outrageous and unmanageable for my workflow at this time, so I did not test for 8k. 

The codecs that I tested are the ones that are currently available as of firmware version 1.11.  Additional codecs are reported to be coming soon, which should hopefully give us some additional choices.  I will update the chart once the new options become available. 

I did not test H.264 because it only allows up to 1080HD.  I also did not test 1080 at 120 FPS because it disables the E-VR feature and that is needed for my style of wildlife filming. 

I am hopeful we will get additional codecs like ProRes 422 LT so the file sizes will be a lot smaller.  

My personal choice at this time is filming in 4K H.265 10-bit at 24 FPS for my general scenes and when I know I want slow motion, I use the same codec, but at 60 FPS. 

I set up my video menu banks as follows: Bank A (4K H.265 10-bit 24 FPS), Bank B (4K H.265 10-bit 60FPS), Bank C (1080 H.265 10-bit 24 FPS), Bank D (1080 H.265 10-bit 60FPS).

4K ProRes 422 HQ 10-bit 30 30s 3.52Gb
4K H.265 10-bit 30 30s 753Mb
4K H.265 8-bit 30 30s 597Mb
4K H.265 10-bit 24 30s 731Mb
4K H.265 10-bit 60 30s ?
4K H.265 8-bit 24 30s 587Mb
4K H.265 8-bit 30 30s 589Mb
4K H.265 8-bit 60 30s 1.15Gb
1080HD H.265 10-bit 30 30s 122Mb
1080HD H.265 10-bit 60 30s 218Mb
1080HD H.265 10-bit 24 30s ?

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