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Techinsights confirms the Nikon Z9 is using a Sony Semiconductor sensor

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In news that shouldn’t surprise anyone who keeps up with the technology behind Nikon cameras, Techinsights is reporting Nikon’s flagship Z9 mirrorless camera is powered by a Sony Semiconductor image sensor.

It’s more or less an open industry secret Nikon has used Sony Semiconductor sensors at the heart of many of its DSLR and mirrorless camera systems. While Nikon and Sony Semiconductor are both evasive when questioned about these matters on the record, Nikon has been using Sony sensors for the past two decades in both its DSLR and mirrorless cameras, long before Sony’s separate imaging business started selling large sensor cameras.

The latest reveal, which was first reported by Nikon Rumors and based on a Techinsights analysis, is that Nikon’s Z9 mirrorless camera is using —or at the very least heavily based on — Sony Semiconductor’s IMX609AQJ sensor, a 45.7MP Stacked backside-illuminated sensor.

A close-up shot of the Z9’s full-frame sensor.

Techinsights provides this info as part of its Device Essentials Folder (DEF), which third-parties can purchase from the company to better understand the architecture of various tech components – in this case, the design of the sensor inside the Nikon Z9. Included in Techinsights’ DEF is a a ‘downstream product teardown, Package X-rays, die photograph, non-invasive optical photos of die features and SEM images of the pixel array delayered to the metal, transistor, and diffusion levels.’ Techinsights also provides ‘Exploratory cross-section SEM imaging of the general pixel array and peripheral structures.’ In other words, it’s pretty safe to assume Techinsights’ report is accurate and extremely detailed.

Again, this news shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been paying attention to Nikon hardware over the past decade or so. Since Sony Semiconductor (which has gone through a few name changes over the years) has been producing image sensors, other manufacturers have been purchasing their technology, including (but not limited to): Canon, Fujifilm, Hasselblad, Leica, Olympus, Panasonic, Pentax, Phase One, Samsung, Sigma and others. Still, it’s nice to get confirmation of a detail that’s been suspected since launch.


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