The Nikon z6 and Nikon z7 are Getting New Autofocus Updates, Eye Detection

The Nikon z6 and Nikon z7 have autofocus performance issues; and those are being addressed by Nikon.

Coming in May 2019, a firmware update will be of great use to those who didn’t return their Nikon z6 or Nikon z7 cameras out of frustration. Nikon announced today that this new firmware update will address and fix the issues that photographers have been having with the system. The XQD-Card-using-but-otherwise-not-bad camera system has been under scrutiny of many bloggers, reviewers, vloggers, etc. With competition from Sony and others seem to have better autofocus, there have been promotions to get units moving as much as possible.

Nikon has so far spoken about two firmware updates at least. The one coming in May will cover autofocus issues while two changes coming will be for RAW video support and for CFExpress memory cards in the XQD slot. Panasonic did something similar with the S1 and S1R cameras. The later releases are not clear as to whether or not they will be the same release or two separate ones–therefore making the Nikon Z6 and Z7 have up to potentially three firmware updates.


Here’s the important tidbits from the press release:

  1. Support for Eye-Detection AF for still image shooting (scheduled for release in May 2019)

Eye-Detection AF is convenient for portrait photography. The Eye-Detection AF in development will work not only with the AF-S (Single AF) focus mode that is convenient when photographing still human subjects, but also with the AF-C (Continuous AF) focus mode, which is effective when photographing human subjects that frequently adjust or change their pose. What’s more, the function is capable of detecting multiple eyes, from which the user can select the eye upon which the camera should focus, allowing the photographer greater flexibility when photographing multiple people to suit their intent.

  1. Increased AF/AE performance (scheduled for release in May 2019)

AE (auto exposure) tracking will be newly possible in continuous high-speed (extended) mode, in addition to the AF tracking that existed previously. In addition, low-light AF performance will be improved, enabling faster autofocusing in dark or dimly lit surroundings with both still-image shooting and movie recording.

  1. Support for RAW video output

Output of 4K UHD and Full HD RAW data stream from the camera will be supported. The output RAW data stream can then be recorded in the compatible RAW format using an external recorder. This will allow users to utilize rich 12-bit colors to achieve flexible color grading.

Release timing for this feature will be announced at a later date.

  1. Support for CFexpress memory cards

The new firmware will provide support for CFexpress, a new standard for memory cards. Having passed durability tests in which they were inserted and removed from a camera 12,000 times, these memory cards offer users a greater sense of security. They also offer high-speed performance that will provide users with a more efficient workflow. After upgrading, users will be able to use both CFexpress as well as XQD cards in their camera interchangeably. In addition to the Z 7 and Z 6, in the future, CFexpress memory card support will be added to the Nikon D5 (XQD-Type), Nikon D850, and Nikon D500 digital SLR cameras as well.

Release timing for this feature will be announced at a later date.