The Nikon Z9 is So Fast It Can Capture a Speeding Bullet

Nikon claims its Z9 mirrorless camera can capture motion at speeds faster than the human eye. One photographer discovered that the Z9 mirrorless camera can capture fast bullets using its burst mode.
Goran Strand, a Swedish photographer, was covering the Biathlon World cup in Ruhpolding (Germany) this weekend with the Nikon Z9. He had a thought. Is the camera fast enough to capture a bullet fired out of a rifle?

Photography a Bullet With the Nikon Z9

A photo of a bullet leaving a biathlon athlete's rifle barrel captured by photographer Goran Strand

Special triggers are used to freeze a bullet in a photo. High-speed cameras can also be used to create slow-motion footage. The Nikon Z9, which costs $5,500, can capture 120 frames per minute at a resolution 11 megapixels per picture.

A crop of the photo with a closer look at the bullet

Strand states that she thought the Nikon Z9 could catch a bullet as it leaves a rifle. The bullet from a biathlon rifle travels at a speed of 350 m/s, or approximately 1,235 km/h (767 mph). It is not the easiest thing to photograph. However, the Nikon Z9 can reduce exposure time to 1/32000th, so I was hopeful that it would work.

Strand started his experiment when Hanna Oberg, a Swedish athlete, stepped up to take her rifle. First, we had to determine the timing. Because of the Z9’s incredible ability to create a lot of photos, Strand wanted to capture that moment.

The smoke trail from the bullet that was just fired

Strand says, “I tried to get into the rhythm of [Oberg] photography since I didn’t want to hold down the shutter release button too long.” “At 120 frames per second you can get lots of photos to search for a bullet in.

After several tries, Strand was able to see bullets in each photo burst after a few more.

The Nikon Z9 captured a bullet photo

Strand states that you can clearly see the bullet as it leaves the rifle in this photo. It was shot with the Nikon Z9, an FTZ-adapter and the Nikon AF–S 300mm f/4E PF EDVR lens. Exposure time at ISO 8000 was 1/32000s and f/4.

In the next shot, however, the bullet is not visible. However you can still see the smoke coming from the barrel of your rifle.

Strand was able to determine the timing and began creating better exposures.

The Nikon Z9 Mirrorless Camera was Built for Speed

Nikon Z9 has the fastest image scan rate in the world, minimising the problems of rolling shutter distortion. This allows Nikon to eliminate the traditional mechanical shutter completely. The Nikon Z7 II’s image processor, the EXPEED 7, is 10 times faster than that of the camera.

The Z9 can capture and process photos fast, and it also features an autofocus system that can keep pace: It has 3D tracking and fast calculations of up 120 cycles per second. This allows photographers to maintain focus even when they are shooting at a rapid clip.

Strand states that overall, the camera is great. The autofocus is amazing for 3D tracking athletes. The image quality is excellent, even at higher ISOs. You can crop the image to get a close look at what is happening, thanks to the 45-megapixel resolution.

“It is amazing to see what the cameras of today can do. It is quite an accomplishment to catch a bullet. This was something that you had to be able to do with high-speed cameras.

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