Nikon Z9 vs Sony 1

Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1… Z9. No, it is not a couple to play in your next naval battle game but the product name of a brand new mirrorless launched by Nikon in the hyperuranium of top cameras. I had heard about it a lot before its launch and, I confess, at the date this post is written (November 2021), I have not yet had the opportunity to try it, let alone buy it.

But they can assure you that you have read a lot about this little Made in Nikon gem and, to make both you and me more immediate to know it, to be honest, I decided to scroll through the data in the technical sheet by making a parallel comparison with one of its competitor, the Sony A1 which I know very well. So let’s proceed step by step analyzing similarities and substantial differences between the Nikon Z9 and the Sony A1.

Ufficiale Nikon Z9, l'ammiraglia con l'AF potenziato dal machine learning e  registrazione in 8K fino a 60p |
Nikon Z9

Both are Mirrrorless, both are equipped with Stacked CMOS sensors but while the Sony A1 raises the resolution bar to almost 50 MP, with the Nikon Z9 it reaches 46 MP; also the size of the sensors is almost identical, just as there are no big differences between the size of the sensor pixel of the Nikon Z9 (4.35 µ) and the Sony A1 (4.16 µ).


Another technical area in which there are obvious differences between the two models is that relating to ISOs. For example, the basic ISO of the Nikon are 64 while in the A1 they are the ISO 100; Nikon’s “native” ISO sensitivity ranges from 64 to 25,600, while Sony navigates between 100 and 32,000. Finally, if we refer to the Boosted ISO data then the range of the Z9 is that between 32 and 102 k, while that of the A1 goes from 50 to 102,400.


Now let’s talk about the shutter starting from the continuous shooting speed values ​​which are 20 FPS raw, 30 FPS JPEG, 120 FPS with 11 megapixel JPG for the Nikon Z9 while they are 30 FPS in lossy compressed raw format and 20 FPS in uncompressed format. and lossless compressed raw for the Sony A1. The continuous shooting times are instead of over 50 seconds for the Nikon and, much lower, of a maximum of 11.9 seconds maximum with the A1 with 20 FPS. The shutter is only available in electronic format for the Nikon Z9 with a declared “unlimited” duration, while it is mechanical and electronic for the Sony A1 with a claimed duration of use of 500,000 cycles.


So let’s talk about videos. The maximum resolution is identical for the two products: 7680 × 4320 (8K) up to 30p, with substantial differences instead in the recording autonomy, over 2 hours with the Nikon Z9 and only 30 minutes with the Sony A1.

Sony a1 review: Digital Photography Review
Sony A1

Finally, let’s see the basic hardware proposed by these two products. And let’s start by talking about the LCD display, very similar in size, 3.2 and 3 inches respectively, but with a resolution of 21 million points in the Nikon Z9 much better than 1.4 million points in the Sony A1.

Both products support Wi-Fi connection but only the Nikon Z9 supports built-in GPS. The battery of the Nikon Z9 allows it to support up to 700 shots compared to about 450 of the Sony A1. Perhaps also due to the greater battery capacity, the weight of the Nikon Z9 is almost double, 1340 g, compared to that of the Sony A1, 737 grams. It is also true, however, that even the dimensions of the Z9 exceed those of the A1, just think that the width of the first is almost double compared to the second.


Finally, we come to the price. The Nikon Z9 mirrorless costs $ 5500; the Sony A1 6500.

If we simply look at the specifications I would have no doubt in saying that the Nikon Z9 far outclasses the Sony A1 in the famous value for money, managing to offer richer hardware features for a lower price of a thousand dollars. It must be said that the Sony A1 is much more compact and lighter and this could be a plus for some.

So all that remains is to try the new Nikon Z9 to also have empirical evidence of its strengths and weaknesses and, as mentioned, it is not excluded that in the future I will not buy it to give you my personal opinion on the field. Stay tuned!