- Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1: Overview
- Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1: Imaging Performance
- Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1: Video Performance
- Recommended Nikon Z9 & Sony A1 Lenses
- Final Thoughts on the Sony A1 vs Nikon Z9
- Nikon Nikkor Z 35mm f/1.8 S
- Nikon Nikkor Z 24-70mm f/2.8 S
- Nikon Nikkor Z 14-24mm f/2.8 S
- Nikon Nikkor Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S
- Nikon Nikkor Z 85mm f/1.2 S
- Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM
- Sony FE 14mm f/1.8 GM
- Sony FE 50mm f/1.2 GM
- Sony FE 200-600mm f/5.6-6.3 G OSS
- Sony FE 70-200mm f/2.8 GM OSS II
In this Nikon vs Sony camera comparison guide, we’ll share overviews of the cameras, compare their photo and video performance, recommend our favorite lenses to pair with them, and more! Additionally, thanks to innovative online platforms like MPB, buying a used mirrorless camera has never been cheaper and easier than it is today.
Who is MPB? They are a trustworthy and reliable online platform selling pre-owned photography and videography gear at unbeatable prices. Better yet, all their cameras and lenses are meticulously hand-inspected by expert product specialists with years of experience and backed by six-month warranties, allowing you to make your purchases confidently and worry-free.
Over the years, we’ve saved thousands of dollars buying, selling, and trading in camera equipment using MPB’s online marketplace. That’s why we are excited to recommend them to you today. That said, it’s time to find out which of these amazing mirrorless cameras best suits your needs and budget!
Check out the video above by The Slanted Lens for an even deeper look at the similarities and differences between the Nikon Z9 camera and the Sony A1 camera.
Table of Contents
Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1: Overview
The Nikon Z9 was announced in 2021 and hit stores in early 2022. It replaced the Nikon Z7 II as the company's flagship mirrorless camera, and the current Nikon Z9 price sits at around $5,500 new. A 45.7-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and an Expeed 7 image processing engine are at its core.
The first thing you will notice about the Z9 is its monster size. It’s designed to mirror the look and feel of larger-bodied DSLR cameras, which may or may not be a plus for you. However, one definite positive of its big body is its great battery life. So while the camera weighs more than most competitors, the 740-shot battery life is the best of any mirrorless camera on sale today.
On the other hand, the Sony A1 debuted in January 2021 and is currently retailing for $6,500. It’s Sony’s flagship product and combines the best photo features found in the Sony Alpha a7R V with the top video features of the Sony a7S III. It houses a 50.1-megapixel stacked CMOS sensor and dual Bionz XR image processing engines.
The A1 camera body is much smaller and lighter than the Z9. At 737 grams, it weighs only about half of what the Z9 does, making it a better choice for travel and street photography. Another noteworthy design feature of the Alpha 1 is its large 9.44M-Dot electronic viewfinder (EVF).
Here’s a head-to-head look at the key features and specs of the Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 to see how they stack up:
Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1: Imaging Performance
Regarding photography, let’s start with the similarities between the Nikon Z9 and the Sony A1. Both have incredibly high-resolution image sensors (45.7MP on the Z9 and 50.1 on the A1) that produce gorgeous RAW and JPEG images. The high pixel counts of these two cameras make them ideal choices for professionals who need to enlarge their images for printing.
Other highlight-worthy similarities include 30 frames per second (fps) continuous shooting, outstanding autofocus performance, and customizable controls. Their industry-leading burst shooting is perfect for wildlife and sports photography. Their responsive AF systems can lock onto and track various subjects (people, animals, cars, etc.). And the customization options allow you to set up the camera in a way that best suits your shooting style.
Now for the differences between the Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1. The biggest one is that the A1 has a BSI (Back Side Illuminated) sensor, which gives it the upper hand when shooting in low-light conditions. Another plus of the A1 is its unique pixel shifting mode which compiles 16 exposures into one super-high-resolution 199MP still image.
Alternatively, a strength of the Z9 is its all-new electronic shutter-only design. It’s the first digital camera to completely ditch the mechanical shutter, giving it a longer lifespan and making the camera completely silent in every shooting mode.
Which is the best camera for photos? It’s extremely close, but we like the Sony A1.
Nikon Z9 vs Sony A1: Video Performance
As great as the Nikon Z9 and the Sony A1 perform during still photography, they are equally (if not more) impressive when used as video cameras! Both of them boast stunning 8K video capabilities, along with 4K and 1080p Full HD recording modes. The Z9 has 8K/60p video, and the A1 tops out at 8K/30p.
Furthermore, both cameras can shoot 4K/120 slow-motion video directly in the camera. And while the Z9 maintains that frame rate when filming Full HD slow-motion clips, the A1 can record 1080p/240p super-slow-motion video. That’s an advantage for YouTubers, vloggers, and social media influencers.
Another difference is that the Z9 is capable of recording 12-bit color, but the max on the A1 is 10-bit color. Although this sounds like a minor difference, it can have a big impact when color-correcting your footage in post-production, particularly if you are a professional creating content that wide audiences will watch.
The two cameras share a few more common features that deserve to be mentioned: dual memory card slots, unlimited recording, live streaming capabilities, and in-body image stabilization technology.
Which is the best camera for video? It’s another tough call, but we’ll give the Nikon Z9 the slight edge this time.
Recommended Nikon Z9 & Sony A1 Lenses
Nikon Z9 Lenses
Sony A1 Lenses
Final Thoughts on the Sony A1 vs Nikon Z9
As you can see, both of these flagship cameras are powerhouses, and you really can’t go wrong with either of them if you are a professional photographer, videographer, or filmmaker. Ultimately, the biggest differences between the Nikon Z9 and Sony A1 are the size and weight of the two cameras.
With that in mind, here are our final recommendations. If you travel a lot and having a compact and portable camera is important to you, go with the Sony A1. On the flip side, if you want a mirrorless camera with a DSLR's classic look and feel, the Nikon Z9 is the better choice.
Still not 100% sold on either of these cameras? No Worries! Check out the list below of other high-end mirrorless cameras currently available at MPB: