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Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV Comparison

Storage & Battery

Nikon Z9

Nikon Z9 camera

Sony a7 IV

Sony a7 iv camera image
Nikon Z9
Sony a7 IV
a7 IV
Refers to the year this camera was officially made available for sale.
Announcement Date
Refers to the date the manufacturer publicly announced the upcoming release and general specs of this camera.
October 28, 2021
October 21, 2021
Camera Type
Camera Size
Camera Weight

The Nikon Z9 outperforms the Sony a7 IV with a score of 87/100 compared to 84/100. Both cameras are mirrorless and were announced in October 2021, indicating they share a similar release timeline. The Z9 is larger and heavier, measuring 149 x 150 x 91mm and weighing 2.95lbs, while the a7 IV measures 131 x 96 x 80mm and weighs 1.45lbs.

The Nikon Z9’s higher score reflects its superior performance and features, justifying its higher launch price of $5500 compared to the Sony a7 IV’s $2499. However, the Sony a7 IV’s smaller size and lighter weight make it more portable and convenient for photographers on the go.

In comparing these cameras, the Nikon Z9 offers better overall performance, while the Sony a7 IV provides a more budget-friendly and portable option for photographers.

Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV Overview and Optics

The Nikon Z9 outperforms the Sony a7 IV in optics, scoring 88/100 compared to the Sony’s 85/100. Both cameras share similarities in specifications, including CMOS sensors, full-frame sensor sizes, and image stabilization. Moreover, both cameras use their respective lens mounts – Nikon Z for the Z9 and Sony FE for the a7 IV.

The Nikon Z9 surpasses the Sony a7 IV in several aspects. It boasts 46 megapixels, allowing for higher resolution images compared to the a7 IV’s 33 megapixels. The Z9 also has a faster shooting speed at 30 frames per second, enabling quicker capture of action and movement, while the a7 IV lags behind with a 10 frames per second shooting speed. The Z9’s Expeed 7 processor and a DXOMARK sensor score of 98 further contribute to its superior optical performance.

However, the Sony a7 IV also has its advantages. Its Bionz XR processor provides efficient processing and high-quality images, despite a slightly lower DXOMARK sensor score of 97. This difference of one point is not significant enough to undermine the a7 IV’s overall optical quality.

Considering the specifications, the Nikon Z9 emerges as the better option for photographers seeking higher resolution and faster shooting speeds. Yet, the Sony a7 IV remains a strong contender, especially for those who prioritize efficient processing and do not require the additional speed and resolution offered by the Z9. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras depends on the specific needs and preferences of the photographer.

The higher the number of megapixels, the more detail the cameras sensor can capture.
46 MP
33 MP
Image Resolution
Image resolution is measured in pixels and megapixels, width by height. The higher the number, the higher its resolution.
8256 x 5504 px
7008 x 4672 px
Sensor Type
The camera sensor captures light and records the image. Sensors vary in physical size, the number of pixels, and quality.
Sensor Size
The sensor size contributes to the overall quality as well as the dynamic and tonal range a camera can capture. As a rule of thumb, the more surface there is to read the light, the more information it will capture.
23.9 x 35.9 mm
23.8 x 35.6 mm
Sensor Format
Refers to the most commonly used sensor sizes.
Full Frame
Full Frame
Frame Rate
The number of sequential frames per second the camera can write to the memory card when shooting in burst or continuous mode.
30 fps
10 fps
Lens Mount
The lens mount will tell you what type of lens range you can fit onto the camera body. Often the same camera company will have different lens ranges for different cameras.
Nikon Z
Sony E
Image Processor
The image processor in the camera converts the information collected on the sensor for digital storage on the memory card.
Expeed 7
Bionz XR
Aspect Ratio
The aspect ratio refers to the proportional difference between width and height. The most popular aspect ratios are 3:2 and 4:3.
Minimum ISO (Native)
Refers to the lowest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Lower ISO are less sensitive to light but make a cleaner image.
Maximum ISO (Native)
Refers to the highest native (or 'base') ISO setting. Higher ISO is necessary for low-light situations or night photography, but higher ISOs often introduce grain or noise.
Minimum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Maximum ISO (Expanded)
Expanded (or extended) ISO is a digitally enhanced feature available on some cameras. It allows you to push beyond the native ISO range if necessary.
Minimum Shutter Speed
The minimum shutter speed will tell you the longest exposure your camera can take without using an external accessory.
900 s
30 s
Maximum Shutter Speed
The maximum shutter speed tells you the length inside 1 second the camera will capture. These can sometimes be extended with accessories such as extra external batteries.
1/ 32000 s
1/ 8000 s
Autofocus Points
Autofocus points show where the camera is focusing graphically as squares or brackets in Live View or on an electronic viewfinder. These points are also used for light meter readings.
In-body Stabilization
In-body Stabilization means the camera has a certain technology embedded that counteracts camera shake.
Viewfinder Type
The viewfinder type is either electronic or optical. Electronic viewfinders will have a small screen in the viewfinder. Optical viewfinders will use prisms and mirrors to look through the lens.
Viewfinder Resolution
3,686,400 dots
3,686,400 dots

Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV Video Performance

The Nikon Z9 emerges as the superior camera in terms of video capabilities, boasting a video score of 100/100, a clear 9 points ahead of the Sony a7 IV’s 91/100. While both cameras share important features such as a maximum video frame rate of 120fps and built-in time-lapse functionality, the Nikon Z9 outshines the Sony a7 IV in certain key aspects.

The most significant advantage of the Nikon Z9 over the Sony a7 IV is its maximum video resolution. The Z9 supports 8K resolution, with video dimensions of 7680 x 4320, while the a7 IV only reaches 4K resolution, with dimensions of 3840 x 2160. This difference in resolution allows the Nikon Z9 to capture incredibly detailed and high-quality videos, setting it apart from the Sony a7 IV.

Although the Sony a7 IV falls behind the Nikon Z9 in terms of video resolution, it still delivers impressive video quality and performance. Its 4K resolution is more than sufficient for most users, and its 120fps frame rate ensures smooth, high-quality footage. Additionally, the a7 IV shares the Z9’s built-in time-lapse functionality, making it a solid choice for those who prioritize these features.

Comparing the video capabilities of the Nikon Z9 and Sony a7 IV, it is evident that the Z9 takes the lead with its superior resolution and overall performance. However, the Sony a7 IV remains a strong contender, offering excellent video quality and shared features such as 120fps frame rate and time-lapse functionality. Ultimately, the choice between these two cameras will depend on individual preferences and priorities, with the Nikon Z9 catering to those seeking the highest possible video quality, and the Sony a7 IV remaining a reliable and capable option.

Indicates if this camera is capable of recording video.
Max Video Resolution
The best resolution this camera can capture video in. Modern cameras can capture up to 8K video.
Max Video Dimensions
Video resolution measured by the greatest number of pixels possible in each frame, width by height. A higher resolution means more detail or clarity in your video.
7680 x 4320 px
3840 x 2160 px
Max Video Frame Rate
How many frames per second your video will capture. Most cameras have options for multiple frame rates, depending on the resolution you shoot in. For a general video, 24p or 30p is the standard, but more serious filmmakers may need a higher frame rate for creative effect.
120 p
120 p
Time-Lapse Built In
A built in time-lapse mode will allow continuous shooting throughout a prolonged period of time to be compressed into a sped up video.
Video File Format
Different cameras can record in various video file formats. The File format you record in can impact how you edit and use the files.
MPEG-4, XAVC S, XAVC HS, XAVC S-I, H.264, H.265

Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV Features and Benefits

The Nikon Z9 triumphs over the Sony a7 IV in features with a score of 87/100 compared to the Sony a7 IV’s 83/100. Both cameras share several common specifications, including touchscreen capabilities, flip screens, WIFI, and Bluetooth connectivity. Despite these similarities, the Nikon Z9 outperforms the Sony a7 IV in certain aspects.

One major advantage of the Nikon Z9 is its larger screen size of 3.2 inches compared to the Sony a7 IV’s 3-inch screen. This difference allows for a more comfortable and enhanced viewing experience when composing and reviewing images. Additionally, the Nikon Z9 boasts a higher screen resolution of 2,088,960 dots, providing a sharper and more detailed display compared to the Sony a7 IV’s 1,040,000 dots. The presence of GPS in the Nikon Z9 also gives it an edge, enabling geotagging of images and easier organization of photos based on location.

While the Sony a7 IV falls short in these areas, it still offers a solid set of features that make it a competitive option in the market. Its touchscreen and flip screen capabilities, along with WIFI and Bluetooth connectivity, ensure that it meets the demands of modern photographers.

Considering the differences in feature scores and specifications, the Nikon Z9 emerges as the superior choice due to its larger screen size, higher screen resolution, and GPS functionality. However, the Sony a7 IV remains a viable option for those who prioritize other aspects of camera performance or have a preference for the Sony brand. Both cameras cater to the needs of photographers, with the Nikon Z9 offering a slight advantage in features.

Built-in Flash
A built-in flash will often be positioned right above the lens. This will automatically pop up when you activate it.
External Flash
External flashes are often connected through a hot shoe at the top of a camera, or a cable at the side of the camera.
GPS features in a camera will include location metadata to each of your photographs.
Weather Sealing
Weather sealing capabilities will give you more confidence when shooting in unfavourable conditions.
Screen Type
Touch Screen
Touchscreen allows you to change camera settings and access menus with a swipe of your finger, instead of using buttons.
Screen Size
Screen Resolution
Screen dots indicate the resolution of the LCD screen by including each sub pixel.
2,088,960 dots
1,040,000 dots
Flip Screen
A flip screen (or articulating screen) is a second screen which can flip out from the side or top of the camera. This rotating screen allows you more freedom to take photos at different angles.
Live View
Live View feature allows you to see a continuous live video of what is being seen through your lens.
Bluetooth capabilities allow you wireless control of your camera with other external devices.

Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV Storage and Battery

The Nikon Z9 outperforms the Sony a7 IV in storage and battery, scoring 79/100 compared to the Sony a7 IV’s 76/100. Both cameras have two memory card slots and support USB charging. The Nikon Z9 accepts SD, SDHC, and SDXC (UHS-II compatible) cards, as well as CFexpress and XQD cards. The Sony a7 IV, on the other hand, accepts CFexpress Type A and SD (UHS-II compatible) cards.

The Nikon Z9’s battery life is superior, lasting for 740 shots with its EN-EL18d battery. In contrast, the Sony a7 IV’s battery life is shorter at 580 shots, using the NP-FZ100 battery. This difference gives the Nikon Z9 an advantage in extended shooting sessions.

However, the Sony a7 IV’s compatibility with the smaller CFexpress Type A cards may be beneficial for photographers seeking a more compact storage solution.

Ultimately, the Nikon Z9 offers better storage and battery performance, making it a preferable choice for those prioritizing these features. The Sony a7 IV may still appeal to those who prefer compact storage options, but its shorter battery life should be taken into consideration.

Storage and Battery
Storage and Battery
Memory Card
CFexpress, XQD
CFexpress Type A, SD (UHS-II compatible)
Dual Memory Card Slots
Battery Type
Battery Life
Approximately how long this cameras battery will last measured by how many photographs you will be able to take.
740 shots
580 shots
USB Charging
Sensor scores tested by DXOMARK
Overall Score
DXOMARK overall sensor score.
Portrait (Color Depth)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Portrait score in our camera sensor reviews defines color depth performance and its unit is a number of bits. A color depth of 22 bits is excellent; differences below 1 bit are barely noticeable.'
26.3 bits
25.4 bits
Landscape (Dynamic Range)
As described by DXOMARK 'The Landscape score in our camera sensor tests defines the maximum dynamic range of the camera sensor and its unit is an exposure value (EV). A value of 12 EV is excellent with differences below 0.5 EV usually not noticeable.'
14.4 EVs
14.7 EVs
Sports (Low-Light ISO)
Described by DXOMARK as 'The maximal value of ISO sensitivity needed to reach a given value of Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR). The greater the value, the better'

Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV – Our Verdict

Nikon Z9 vs Sony a7 IV Comparison image.

Are you still undecided about which camera is right for you? Have a look at these popular comparisons that feature the Nikon Z9 or the Sony a7 IV:

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