Nikon has a lot to be proud of, as their flagship full-frame mirrorless camera the Z9 has become the top-selling camera in the first quarter of 2022.
The data comes from market analysts The NPD Group, which found that the Z9 accounted for 57% of market share on cameras sold in the US with a list price of $5,000 and above during the first three months of 2022.
“This flagship category is vital; this is where the top-of-the-line technology, performance, and reliability matter most, for the most demanding customers,” said Jay Vannatter, Executive Vice President, of Nikon Inc., says. “[It’s] truly invigorating to hear the overwhelmingly enthusiastic and positive response from more and more customers every day.”
Introduced in December of 2021, the Z9 has garnered a lot of interest amongst content creators thanks to its ability to natively capture 8K60p video internally. This capability is due to the latest newly-developed FX-format stacked Expeed 7 CMOS sensor.
Recently, Nikon also added Nikon Raw (N-Raw) which the company says gives the platform the ability to capture 12-bit raw image files that are significantly smaller, about half the space of equivalent ProRes RAW HQ files. The result promises to allow for much more recording time and a less intensive workflow.
The firmware update that brought N-Raw native to the Z9 also added dedicated video information in the electronic viewfinder, a pre-release capture function, faster and more accurate autofocus, and viewfinder refresh rate of 120fps. The update was so massive, that many are saying it makes the Z9 a completely new camera.
The camera can also capture 8K up to 30p in ProRes 422HQ 4K UHD at up to 120 fps with no cropping and with 10-bit color and 4:2:2 sampling in ProRes 422 HQ and H.265 codecs. H.264 and 4:2:0 color can also be used.
The camera has also received numerous awards including Camera of the Year, and the Reader’s Choice Award for the highest score ever for a digital camera, 94%.
But sales figures are the most important. Unfortunately, Nikon doesn’t release exact numbers of models sold or total sales in dollars. However, the 57% market share is a key barometer in judging Nikon’s recovery as a major player in the industry.
The camera has been called the comeback story of the decade, and thanks to its recent firmware update that brought N-Raw and many other features, the demand is so high that it could take up to a year for Nikon to fulfill all pre-orders for the Z9.
It’s definitely starting off as a banner year for the Z9, that’s for sure.