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Nikon Z9 vs Canon EOS R3

Updated: Jul 9, 2022

The recently-announced Nikon Z9 immediately drew comparisons with Canon’s high-end EOS R3, another mirrorless camera geared toward sports and wildlife photography. While the two cameras have plenty of differences, they’re targeted at similar photographers and both cameras bring a lot of features to the table. I’ll compare them below.

Before I begin, I want to note that this is primarily a comparison of specifications. We will add more detailed information to this comparison like dynamic range, high ISO performance, and focusing performance after our copy of the Z9 ships later this year or early 2022.

The biggest difference between these two cameras is resolution, with the Nikon Z9 having a 45-megapixel sensor compared to the Canon EOS R3’s 24 megapixels. A big win on Nikon’s part is that so many of the other specifications – maximum FPS, buffer, and continuous shooting time – still manage to remain competitive or even ahead of the R3. It’s also the less expensive camera by $500.

But the EOS R3 certainly isn’t out of the running. While the Nikon Z9 maxes out at 20 FPS when shooting raw, the R3 goes up to 30 FPS. The R3 also has a feature that detects where the photographer is looking and places the initial focus point at that location. Both of these features are considerable advantages for sports and wildlife photography where every millisecond counts.

Something interesting about the Nikon Z9 and EOS R3 is that they are the first two full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market with an integrated grip: