Nikon Z7 II vs Nikon Z9 (2024)

The Nikon Z9 is an extremely advanced camera that overshadows most of Nikon’s previous mirrorless bodies. Even so, the Nikon Z7 II is no slouch at all – especially in its wheelhouse of landscape and travel photography. Between the Nikon Z7 II and Nikon Z9, which one is right for you? These two cameras differ in a lot of ways, but they share some key specifications behind the scenes. Let’s look at them side-by-side to help answer that question.

Specifications of Nikon Z7 II and Z9

Camera FeatureNikon Z7 IINikon Z9
AnnouncedOctober 14, 2020October 28, 2021
Sensor Resolution45.7 MP45.7 MP
Sensor TypeBSI CMOSStacked BSI CMOS
Sensor Size35.9 ×23.9mm35.9 ×23.9mm
MountNikon ZNikon Z
Low-Pass FilterNoNo
Sensor Pixel Size4.35µ4.35µ
Image Size8256 × 55048256 × 5504
In-Body Image StabilizationYesYes
Image ProcessorDual EXPEED 6EXPEED 7
Continuous Shooting Speed9 FPS (14-Bit raw);10 FPS (12-Bit raw)20 FPS (No limitations);30 FPS (Full resolution JPEG);120 FPS (11 Megapixel JPEG)
Buffer49 (14-Bit lossless compressed raw);77 (12-Bit lossless compressed raw);200 (JPEG fine, large)79 (14-Bit lossless compressed raw);685 (High efficiency star raw);1000+ (High efficiency raw);1000+ (JPEG fine, large)
Native ISO SensitivityISO 64-25,60064-25,600
Boosted Low ISO SensitivityISO 32ISO 32
Boosted High ISO SensitivityISO 102,400ISO 102,400
Dust Reduction / Sensor CleaningYesYes
Sensor Dust Cover at ShutdownNot built inYes
Shutter TypesMechanical, Electronic, EFCSElectronic Only
Viewfinder TypeElectronic Viewfinder / EVFElectronic Viewfinder / EVF
Viewfinder Coverage and Magnification100%, 0.8×100%, 0.8×
Viewfinder Resolution3,690,000 dot3,690,000 dot
Built-in FlashNoNo
Storage Media1× CFe (Type B) with XQD compatibility;1× SD UHS II2× CFe (Type B)with XQD Compatibility
Fastest Shutter Speed1/8000 sec1/32,000 sec
Longest Shutter Speed900 sec900 sec
Flash Sync Speed (Non-High-Speed)1/2001/200
Exposure Metering SensorTTL exposure metering using main image sensorTTL exposure metering using main image sensor
Autofocus SystemHybrid PDAF; 493 AF pointsHybrid PDAF; 493 AF points
AF Detection Range (f/2 Standardized)-3 to +17 EV (Down to -4 EV with low-light AF)-5 to +20.5 EV (Down to -7 EV with starlight view)
Eye-Tracking AFYesYes
Subject Detection AFYes, three subjects (people, dogs, cats)Yes, nine subjects (people, dogs, cats, birds, cars, motorcycles, trains, planes, bicycles)
3D Tracking AF ModeNoYes
Focus PeakingYesYes
Video Maximum Resolution4K up to 60 FPS, 1080p up to 120 FPS8K up to 30p (up to 60p with future firmware update)
Video Compression4:2:2 (10-bit if over HDMI); MPEG-4/H.264Apple ProRes 4:2:2 HQ (10 bit internal), H.265/HEVC (8 bit /10 bit internal), H.264/AVC (8 bit)
Log RecordingN-logN-log
Audio Recording OptionsBuilt-in stereo microphone;External stereo microphone (optional)Built-in stereo microphone;External stereo microphone (optional)
Headphone JackYesYes
LCD Size and Type3.2″ Tilting Touchscreen3.2″ Dual-Axis Tilting Touchscreen
LCD Resolution2,100,000 dots2,100,000 dots
Built-in GPSNoYes
Battery Life, Stills360 shots (CIPA);420 shots (rear LCD only);440 shots (rear LCD only, energy saver on)700 shots (CIPA);740 shots (rear LCD only);770 shots (rear LCD only, energy saver on)
Battery Life, Movies105 minutes (rear LCD); 100 minutes (EVF)170 minutes (rear LCD); 170 minutes (EVF)
Button IlluminationNoYes
Weather Sealed BodyYesYes
USB Version3.1 (Type C)3.1 (Type C)
Weight (with Battery and Card)705 g (1.55 lbs)1340 g (2.95 lbs)
Dimensions134 × 101 × 70 mm (5.3 × 4.0 × 2.8 inches)149 × 149.5 × 90.5 mm (5.9 × 5.9 × 3.6 inches)
Price Upon Introduction$3000$5500
Price Today$3000 (check price)$5500 (check price)

Which Camera Should You Get?

Anyone who’s heard of these two cameras probably knew what the results were going to be ahead of time: The Z9 is clearly more advanced than the Z7 II. This is especially true in how quickly the Z9 can push data through the imaging pipeline, with more than double the raw FPS, a drastically larger buffer, and 8K raw video rather than 4K video.

Although the Nikon Z7 II is only ahead of the Z9 in size and weight (and some photographers may even disagree with that, preferring the Z9’s bigger grip and heft), that doesn’t make the Z7 II a bad camera. For one thing, it’s $2500 less expensive than the Z9 – money that can go directly to getting better lenses to maximize the quality of this 45-megapixel sensor. On top of that, even though the Z7 II doesn’t beat the Z9 in a lot of categories, it does tie it in some important areas, especially regarding the image sensor.

Specifically, the Z7 II and Z9 sensors both have a 45-megapixel resolution, a base ISO of 64, and a high ISO of 25,600. The biggest difference is that the Z9 has a stacked sensor, while the Z7 II does not. The purpose of a stacked sensor is to improve readout speed, which helps with the Z9’s fast frame rate. But in terms of image quality, it doesn’t offer an advantage, and the two cameras have effectively the same image quality (see my Nikon Z9 review for the tests to prove it).

For this reason, I consider the Z7 II to be almost as good of a landscape photography camera as the Z9. The lighter weight and smaller size make it easier to bring into the backcountry, although it misses out on a couple nice features like the dual-axis tilting LCD (useful for vertical compositions from a tripod) and illuminated buttons. Factoring in the Z9’s better low-light autofocus system and longer battery life, I think the Z9 beats the Z7 II in landscape situations head-to-head, but only ignoring price. I’d certainly rather shoot the Z7 II with a killer landscape lens like the Nikon Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S than the Z9 with cheaper glass.

For faster-moving genres, the comparison isn’t as close. If you need a high frame rate, big buffer, or cutting-edge autofocus system, the Z9 is clearly ahead. It’s not as though the Z7 II is terrible in any of these areas, but the Z9 is on another level. To shoot 20 FPS bursts of 45-megapixel raw photos with a 1000+ image buffer and no other limitations is really remarkable.

Frankly, the Z9 is a clear enough upgrade over the Z7 II that unless you’re a dedicated weight-minimalizer, the decision will simply come down to price. If you’re willing to spend $5500 on a camera, get the Z9. It’s the better camera in almost every way and is priced fairly for what you get. But if $5500 is a bridge too far, get the Z7 II, which is also priced fairly for its features. (If $3000 for the Z7 II is also too far, the original Nikon Z6 and Z7 are still amazing cameras and are selling for criminally low prices on the used market.)

Nikon Z7 II vs Nikon Z9 (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Last Updated:

Views: 6635

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 93% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: The Hon. Margery Christiansen

Birthday: 2000-07-07

Address: 5050 Breitenberg Knoll, New Robert, MI 45409

Phone: +2556892639372

Job: Investor Mining Engineer

Hobby: Sketching, Cosplaying, Glassblowing, Genealogy, Crocheting, Archery, Skateboarding

Introduction: My name is The Hon. Margery Christiansen, I am a bright, adorable, precious, inexpensive, gorgeous, comfortable, happy person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.