When we went about testing the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon Z7, we found the autofocus performance of each of them to be behind that of pretty much every other manufacturer. And now, the long awaited autofocus improvement firmware is ready to launch. The company is today announcing that in addition to eye-detection autofocus for still-image shooting, the Nikon Z6 and the Nikon Z7 should be able to focus better in low light situations. All the details you need from the press release are after the jump.
PRIMARY FEATURES OF THE NEW FIRMWARE
1) Eye-Detection AF for still-image shooting
The new firmware offers Eye-Detection AF functionality that automatically detects and focuses on human eyes when using the Auto-area AF mode in both AF-S and AF-C. When the eyes of multiple subjects are detected, the multi-selector or sub-selector can be used to select the eye upon which the camera should focus. This enables precise focus on the eye of the intended individual, even when looking through the Electronic Viewfinder. This function is applicable even when the subject’s face is partially covered by another object, or in the event when a subject is frequently changing their pose.
2) AF performance improvements in low-light situations
The new firmware enables even faster autofocusing when capturing photos and video in dark or dimly lit scenes, for both stills and video. It will extend the AF detection range1 from −1 EV to −2 EV with the Z 7, and from −2 EV to −3.5 EV with the Z 6. In addition, the Z 6 will be able to autofocus with even darker scenes, as the available low-light AF detection range1 will be extended*2 from −4 EV to −6 EV when the Low-light AF function is enabled.
*1 With still-image photography in AF-S mode, ISO 100, f/2.0 lens, at 20° C/68° F.
*2 The low-light AF detection range will remain the same with the Z 7.
3) AE tracking in continuous high-speed (extended) mode
With earlier firmware versions, auto exposure (AE) was locked with the first shot in a burst of high-speed continuous shooting at approx. 9 fps (Z 7) or 12 fps (Z 6) in continuous high-speed (extended) mode. Firmware Ver. 2.0 adds support for AE tracking in continuous high-speed (extended) mode, allowing the cameras to track exposure just as it does focus (AF tracking). This helps to ensure that all images captured with a burst of high-speed continuous shooting are in focus and exhibit optimal exposure, even when the brightness of the scene changes
The new firmware can be downloaded (free of charge) from Nikon’s Download Center at the following link. Users will be prompted to follow the instructions provided to successfully install the firmware.