Nikon Z9: Must-have accessories Guide
The Nikon Z9 came out last December, 2021 and it has been the talk of the town for a good reason. This versatile camera is a professional workhorse. It combines all the features that a professional needs in a more affordable package compared to its competitors.
There are multiple reasons why the Nikon Z9 is worth getting. Here are some of them:
- Excellent build quality
- Wide range of lens options
- Photo and video quality is top-notch
- Weather sealing
- In-body VR (vibration reduction)
- Built-in vertical grip
- Great battery life
- Clear and sharp Electronic Viewfinder (EVF)
- Fast and responsive auto-focus
- Electronic shutter
Here are some cons worth considering though before buying one.
- Bulky and heavy
- Expensive XQD and CF memory cards
The pros clearly outweigh the cons, especially when it comes to the price. The Nikon Z9 is priced at $5,500 while the Canon R3 comes at $5,999. Meanwhile the Sony A1 retails for $6,500.
Now, if this is your first professional camera and you are not invested in a specific brand yet, the Nikon Z9 is worth getting. It is feature-packed and for its price, it’s a no-brainer.
That being said, if you want to make the most of your camera, here are the must have accessories for the Nikon Z9.
Best Memory Card for the Nikon Z9
We have mentioned that the XQD and CF memory cards are expensive and it is a downside. But we’ll start the list with them to guide you on which cards to get. They are already expensive on their own so our goal is to inform you which cards are bang for the buck.
The Nikon Z9 shoots at 20 FPS RAW and it quickly fills up the camera’s buffer. Sports and action shooters benefit a lot from the high frame rate shooting. But at the same time, a high-speed memory card is needed to cope with it.
The CFexpress memory cards are perfect in this situation. There are multiple options from different brands but the ProGrade 325GB Cobalt CFExpress Card tops them all when it comes to price:capacity ratio.
This CFexpress card has a minimum write speed of 1400 MB/s which is the minimum needed for the Nikon Z9. For only $420 on retailers like BHPhoto, you are getting 325GB of capacity with that write speed. You may also get the dual-pack which retails for around $775.
Other features include shockproof, extreme temperature resistance, and X-ray proof casing. It is also compatible with select XQD Devices.
Another option is the Delkin Black 256 GB CFexpress card. It has a minimum write speed of 1400 MB/s as well but it comes at a smaller storage capacity. It is available for $380 in BHPhoto.
Comparing the two cards makes the ProGrade 325GB Cobalt card a better deal. The price per gig is $1.29 while the Delkin Black card’s price per gig is $1.48. If you would get the dual-pack ProGrade cards, then the price-per-gig drops down to $1.19.
Should you use an XQD Card for your Nikon Z9?
The Nikon Z9 supports XQD cards alongside CFexpress cards. However, XQD cards are not as fast as CFexpress when it comes to read and write speeds. So sports and action photographers might stay away from XQD if they want a smooth experience.
Despite being slower than CFexpress cards, XQD memory cards are more affordable which may benefit photographers who do not necessarily need blazing fast write speeds.
The best XQD card for the Nikon Z9 is the Sony G Series XQD memory cards. It comes at different capacity options ranging from 32GB to 240GB.
The 120GB G Series XQD card retails for $199. It has a max read speed of 440 MB/s and a write speed of 400 MB/s.
It is considerably slower than CFexpress cards based on spec sheets alone. But in actual usage, for shooting models or other still scenarios, the write speed is more than enough.
Best CFExpress Type B Card Reader
Just like the CFexpress cards earlier, the ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B reader is one of the best options available. It has a single CFexpress card slot and another one for UHS-II SDXC cards so you may use it on your other cameras too.
This card reader has a 10 GB/s USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C interface with data transfer speeds of up to 1.25 GB/s.
Other features include a magnetized reader bottom, Type-C to Type-C cables, Type-A to Type-C cables, and Windows and Mac compatibility.
Best battery for the Nikon Z9
The Nikon EN-EL18D Lithium-Ion battery is the best battery you can get for the Nikon Z9. First, it is made by Nikon so compatibility is not an issue. Also, it has a capacity of 3300mAh which has a battery life rating of around 700 shots. It currently retails for $220.
The Nikon Z9 is compatible with older EN-EL18 batteries. There are five variations available to date (EN-EL18, EN-ElA, EN-EL18B, EN-EL18C, and EN-EL18D).
However, only the EN-EL18B, EN-EL18C, and the EN-EL18D work with the MH-33 charger included with the Z9. If you need to use the EN-EL18A and EN-EL batteries, feel free to use the older MH-26 charger.
If you are thinking of using a third-party battery, it is highly suggested that you refrain from doing so. Older EN-EL18 batteries have third-party options available but do not use it on the Z9 as it may cause problems.
Think of it this way, you are already spending $5,500 on your camera. So why not spend extra for a few more original batteries.
If you are really tight on budget, then get the Nikon EN-EL18C battery. It has a smaller capacity at 2500mAh but it is compatible with the MH-33 charger as well.
Best Nikon Z9 screen protector
The Nikon Z9 has a touchscreen LCD panel and putting in an extra layer of protection is necessary.
The Vello LCD Screen Protector is an affordable way to protect your LCD screen. It is ultrathin at 0.02” only and uses optical glass. The touchscreen functionality is not hindered too.
Screen adhesion is done via static so no glue or adhesive is used. This leaves your screen residue free in case you want to change screen protectors in the future.
Best Rain Cover for the Nikon Z9
If you have the Nikon Z9, then surely you are using it for professional work. Either for landscapes, sports, wildlife or portraits, there will be times when shooting under the rain is inevitable.
When that time comes, the ThinkTank Photo Hydrophobia rain covers have your back. There are different sizes available for different camera and lens combinations. But all of them do not compromise quality and safety.
With the ThinkTank Hydrophobia you can shoot confidently under the rain without worries.
Best Nikon Z9 L-Bracket
The best L-bracket for the Nikon Z9 is the ProMediaGear PLNZ9 L-Bracket. Unlike generic L-brackets, this L-plate wraps around the left and bottom side of the camera perfectly.
So what makes the PLNZ9 special?
Besides being created for the Nikon Z9, this L-bracket is modular - thanks to its two-piece design. You may remove the vertical part if you do not need it and use the base plate only.
Also, it is part of the ProMediaGear bracket system that includes flash brackets, handles, and other camera accessories. This means that once you have a ProMediaGear Nikon Z9 Arca-Swiss plate, you may attach multiple accessories and set your camera depending on the situation.
Moreover, the PLNZ9 does not cover any of the camera ports so you are free to change batteries or connect cables to your camera. It also comes with an Allen hex wrench if you need to adjust the plate.
This Nikon Z9 L-bracket is made of T6061 aircraft-grade aluminum. It is lightweight without sacrificing durability.
Best Nikon Z9 external flash
The Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight is the best for the Nikon Z9. It has great maximum power output to illuminate your subject. You may also do this consecutively, thanks to its cooling system.
This flash is compatible with Nikon i-TTL or through the lens metering. This means that you may leave it attached and the flash will determine the amount of power automatically.
Other features include, -7 to 90-degrees tilt, zoom range of 24-200mm, and wireless radio control.
It also comes with high-speed sync, 1st and 2nd curtain sync, and a recycle time of 1.8-2.6 seconds.
This flash is available for $600. Now, is it worth it at this price point? Definitely.
With the SB-5000 AF, you are getting great Nikon build quality and features that work seamlessly.
If you need a secondary flash then you may consider the Nikon SB-700 AF Speedlight. It is available for around $330 but it does not skimp on features.
It has a little bit slower recycle times at 2.5-3.5 seconds and a smaller 24-120mm zoom. But other features are almost the same with the SB-5000 AF. So for a back-up or a secondary flash then this is not a bad deal.
Which Nikon Z9 wireless flash trigger should you get?
The Nikon WR-R11a remote controller is compatible with the Nikon Z9. It is also compatible with the Nikon SB-5000 AF Speedlight.
So why should you get this over the Nikon SU-800 or other wireless flash triggers?
The Nikon WR-R11a allows you to control up to 18 SB-5000 speedlights. You only have to set them to three channels. It also uses radio transmission which is uninterruptible compared to infrared optical input.
Another accessory you should get is the Nikon WR-T10 remote controller. Using this allows you to control the shutter remotely thus reducing camera shake.
Best flash bracket for the Nikon Z9
Speaking of external flashes and flash triggers, let’s move forward to the flash bracket. A flash bracket lifts the external flash higher for a better throw of light.
The ProMediaGear BBGv2 Boomerang Flash Bracket is a contender when it comes to the best flash bracket for the Nikon Z9. It is made of high quality aluminum, lightweight, and durable.
Adjusting the flash bracket is easy too. With one push of a lever, you can easily transition from shooting in landscape to portrait mode.
You may also use flash attachments such as diffusers and softboxes. The ProMediaGear base plate that comes with it is modular too so you may use it to attach other related accessories.
Best Nikon F to Z mount lens adapter
Out of all the other Nikon F mount to Z mount lens adapters in the market, the Nikon FTZ II is the best. It works the same as the original FTZ but the revamped design is better for the new Z cameras.
The smaller size makes it easier to use. It is also more comfortable with cameras that have a battery grip such as the Nikon Z9.
The FTZ II allows you to expand your lens options. You may use Nikon DSLR lenses whether they are AF-S type G, E, or D. It supports autofocus on these camera models.
Besides AF, it also supports Manual Focus with electronic rangefinder support, full auto-exposure modes, and exposure metering.
Manual focus lenses such as the older Nikkor PC-E and PC lenses are also supported.
It’s available for only $250. It’s a great adapter for its price considering that it works with native Nikon F mount lenses without any hiccups.
Best Tripod for the Nikon Z9
There are a lot of tripod options out there. But you would not want to rely on a flimsy tripod for a $5,500 camera.
The ProMediaGear carbon fiber tripods are one of the best tripods you can get for the Nikon Z9. They are lightweight, durable, and made in the USA so quality is top-notch.
There are two series of tripods to choose from - the 34 series tripods have 34mm diameter legs and smaller while the 42 series carbon fiber tripods have 42mm diameter legs. Both of which are durable options and can handle the Nikon Z9 easily.
It is hard to recommend a specific model as there are different factors to consider such as the weight of your setup or travel preference.
Just keep in mind that if you want a smaller tripod, the ProMediaGear TR344 Pro-Stix Carbon Fiber tripod is a good choice. If you have a large setup, then the ProMediaGear TR424 Pro-Stix Carbon Fiber tripod is a better option.
Either way, these tripods have a maximum weight capacity that could handle the Z9 and other large lenses.
ProMediaGear makes the best carbon fiber monopods out there too. Just like their carbon fiber tripods, there are several models to choose from and you’ve guessed it, they have the same leg diameter.
The 34 Series Monopods such as the ProMediaGear TR34ML carbon fiber monopods have 34mm diameter legs and can support camera setups of up to 50lbs. It is lightweight too, weighing 1.28 lbs.
These carbon fiber monopods are tested rigorously to withstand extreme conditions. Whether it is used in the safari to shoot wildlife, or in snowy mountains to take some landscape photos, these monopods will not fail you.
Other features of these monopods include a neoprene grip, carrying strap, leg spikes, and standard tripod mount.
Take note of the maximum height too so you can choose the perfect one that suits you.
Best Shotgun Microphone for the Nikon Z9
As mentioned earlier, the video capabilities of the Nikon Z9 can now compete with the competition. Gone are the days of Nikon being synonymous with photography. It is now a video workhorse too.
With that in mind, audio quality is still an issue like other cameras. The built-in microphone will not cut it when it comes to picking up clear and concise audio.
This is where the Rode VideoMic Pro Shotgun Microphone comes into play. It mounts on your camera’s hot shoe and provides clearer audio compared to the built-in microphone.
This microphone offers a lower noise level and higher sensitivity which means you can easily pick up the sound that you want.
Another good thing about this microphone is its size. It’s compact and lightweight thus not adding too much weight to an already heavy camera.
This microphone is available for around $200. It’s a perfect mix of value and quality once you get to listen to the audio it captures.
Best Video Rig for the Nikon Z9
Now that we’re talking about video setups, the Nikon Z9 works with the ProMediaGear VRC1K Video Cage Rig. This universal camera cage has an adjustable height to accommodate tall cameras like the Z9.
If you shoot a lot of videos, a video rig helps a ton whenever you need to attach multiple accessories like LED lights, microphones, and external monitors.
The VRC1K works with ProMediaGear handles too in case you need a more stable grip when taking videos.
Like other ProMediaGear products, it is made of high quality T6061 aluminum so durability is not a problem.
These are the best and must-have accessories for the Nikon Z9. Must-have is quite a stretch though because it all depends on what you need - whether you are shooting photos or videos.
Stay tuned though as we'll keep on updating this list once we checkout other Nikon Z9 accessories you need.