And the Turbulence Begins...

Warned you. Keep those seat belts fastened.

Nikon today dropped the first teaser video for the Z9, on an internet page called z9iscoming.page, which seems almost like a religious statement. The only new tidbits in that teaser was seeing the tilt screen in action and the fact that the layout of the information on the Rear LCD now flips when you use the vertical grip. It's a strange teaser that makes little sense. Why is the first scene upside down, for example? Why does he take only one photo? Seems to have been put together a bit hastily. 

That's not the turbulence. 

The first bit of turbulence is the assertion out of Poland that there are two cameras, the 24mp Z9 and the 102mp Z9X. While I wouldn't discount the eventual appearance of a 102mp Z camera—megapixel increases are inevitable—a dual Z9 release is not something that lines up with the information that has leaked, nor with Nikon's own promotion of the Z9 as an 8K video camera. While I've long been an advocate of the same body h/x dual releases (e.g. D1h/D1x, D2h/D2x, D3/D3x, heck even the Z6/Z7), I've not heard a peep that this was considered for the Z9. Ironically, now that this new rumor has popped, it creates turbulence no matter what Nikon does: no dual release disappoints those that glommed onto that new rumor, while an actual dual release would be such a surprise that it would make the whole market rumble. 

Then we have some dealers posting a placeholder page for the Z9 and a price that seems off (equivalent to US$11,000). This is normal. I've seen incorrect pricing on store sites prior to big releases for over two decades now. Moreover, the only way that Nikon would be able to price at that level is if the Z9 broke new technology ground in a way that Canon and Sony aren't even close to. You can't sell a camera that's much like a Sony A1 at nearly twice the price and survive in this market. So its good news either way: either that's not the right price, or Nikon has something so incredible up their sleeves that price is no object. I'd vote for the former being the correct version.

The problem with doing a teaser campaign as Nikon now seems committed to, is that in the end the customer evaluates whether the tease was worthwhile or not. Nikon has had the problem before of launching a product where the tease got people speculating beyond what the product actually turned out to be. And thus, in the end, those customers were disappointed. Their hopes were built up, but then not completely rewarded. "Tease" has to have a payoff. Nikon's first teaser video doesn't seem to point towards any payoff.

People seem to be getting all out of whack with their Z9 expectations. It'll be a Z9. Exactly what we'd expect a Z9 to be, I believe: A1 equivalence in a D6-like body. With Nikon pro touches and improvements throughout. I believe there's only one potential surprise in the mix, but it's not one people are hypothesizing about. 

Expect more speculation that's all over the board as we get closer to the announcement date. Since Nikon's first teaser video didn't actually didn't seem to tease anything, the Internet will be awash in speculation to fill the information void. Seatbelts need to be fastened until the rocket has completely launched (and for a period of time after launch). 

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