How does one of the best mirrorless cameras take pictures? It is incredibly fast, says the Prague photographer
Can the best mirrorless cameras replace a classic SLR even in professional work where every detail matters? “Until a year ago, I didn’t even think about doing something like this,” says award-winning photographer Richard Horák. “Today, I’m convinced that it’s possible,” he says after matching his Nikon D850 SLR with the new Nikon Z9 mirrorless.
It is written more and more often that SLRs are gradually clearing the field of modern cameras. However, they still have a very strong presence in one area. Professional photographers and photojournalists who need very fast, durable and mobile devices designed with their SLRs primarily for sports photography and don’t like to give up fast. However, with the arrival of state-of-the-art devices such as the Nikon Z9, Sony A1 or Canon R3, there is a change here as well.
The award-winning photographer Richard Horák, known for example for his pictures of Prague and its beauty, compared the Nikon D850 SLR, which he has been working with for a long time, to the modern Nikon Z9 for Aktuálně.cz.
“Until a year ago, I didn’t even consider switching from an SLR to a mirrorless camera,” he says, admitting that he has changed his mind. “Mainly because the image quality is really higher with the new camera. If you look at a photo from the mirrorless Z9, you can see much more detail there, even though both devices have the same sensor resolution of 45 megapixels,” he says.
Another thing he appreciates about a high-end professional mirrorless camera is the speed with which it can focus. “It’s insanely fast, and if you have SLR lenses, you’ll do just as good a job with the reduction as you would with the original Z9 lenses,” he says. The reduction needs to be used because the Nikon Z9 has a different, modern bayonet for attaching the lens.
Another thing that makes a mirrorless camera stand out from a SLR camera is the much greater choice of focusing options. “For example, you can choose whether you want to focus on the eyes of a moving person or an animal, and there are really many other options,” says the photographer.
“In addition, the Nikon Z9 is able to shoot and save to a fast CF Express card at up to 120 frames per second (11 megapixel jpeg – editor’s note). You may not use that speed very often, but you know you have the option. By the way, imagine that you will then have to choose from it on the computer,” says Richard Horák.
- Photographer, holder of the title MQEP (Master Qualified European Photographer) and awards from many domestic and international competitions
- Its central theme is Prague
- He has been cooperating with the Photo column on Aktuálně.cz for a long time
- Website: www.richard-horak.cz/
- Social networks: Facebook, Instagram
“I counted a total of twelve programmable buttons on the body of the camera. This can be useful, for example, in a situation where you are shooting in a studio and want to take a quick photo from behind the scenes. Just press a button and the flash photography setting changes to a reportage preset in a fraction of a second – and then just as quickly back. It’s smart and you actually have two cameras in one. You can also set the type of focus,” says the photographer.
During the testing of the Nikon Z9, Horák worked with three original lenses intended for the new Z system. Specifically, it was the basic lens, the 50 mm f/1.8 focal length, the 24-70 mm f/2.8 zoom and the 70-200 mm telephoto lens f/2.8. “I have to say that I haven’t photographed with such great glasses for a long time,” says Horák, according to whom the modern design of mounts and lenses is really recognizable.
“What really excited me was the ability to shoot with all the lenses I tried at a much shorter distance than was possible with previous SLR models,” he says.
Richard Horák often and likes to photograph in bad weather, in the rain or when it is snowing heavily. “That’s why I like the sealing of the Nikon Z9 against dust and moisture, with this camera you can really take pictures even in extreme conditions without worrying about the technique,” he says, appreciating that if the photographer decides to change the lens, the Nikon Z9 hides the sensor behind the top lamella partition so that no dust fell on it.
About the camera
Professional mirrorless Nikon Z9 | Photo: Nikon
Nikon Z9: a professional mirrorless camera with a full sensor designed primarily for shooting sports and fast action formats. The sensor has a resolution of 45.7 Mpx, takes pictures at a speed of up to 120 frames per second (jpeg, 11 Mpx). In full resolution of 45.7 Mpx, it can take 20 frames per second in raw format or 30 frames in jpeg format. It can shoot 8K/30p or 4K/60p video. The price for the body without the lens is just over 150,000 crowns.