Time for Another Download? It’s Raining Nikon Z7 II Firmware

The Nikon Z7 II is nearing its second birthday this fall, but the brand hasn’t been shy about launching updates via firmware. Nikon has now launched six updates for the full-frame mirrorless: its former flagship before the announcement of the Z9. I recently took the camera for another test, trying out the latest firmware, version 1.4. While the update is minor, the regularity with which Nikon is launching updates is impressive.

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The autofocus system gains a bit more stability with the most recent update. In Auto Area AF mode, the camera now prioritizes the objects towards the center of the frame. This is a change only illustrated when there is no face or eyes to detect in the frame. The update also fixes a bug where the camera sometimes wouldn’t focus immediately after re-inserting the battery.

Nikon Z7 II firmware update 1.4 adds a number of customization features, though these are limited to use with the Z 70-200mm f2.8. The update allows photographers to change the rotation direction of the focus ring, as well as switching the roles of the focus and control ring. The update also allows photographers to use the focus point memory recall without continually pressing a button.

Update 1.4 also fixes a few minor bugs and adds support for the new 800mm and ML-L7 remote. I won’t bore you with the details; you can read the full list here.

The latest update is certainly minor, and, okay, a little boring. It doesn’t change my overall opinion of the camera or the rating in my updated Nikon Z7 II review. Custom lens controls and a change to the Auto Area AF aren’t earth-shattering, 

But, what’s nice to see is Nikon not pouring all its energy into the development of the next big camera, but trickling some features down to existing cameras. Yes, the Z9 firmware update was much bigger. But, more than a year out from the launch and Nikon is still refining the Z7 II.

We’ve added the following to our Nikon Z7 II review:

I find that the best low light AF comes from turning the exposure preview in the viewfinder off and adjusting my grip so that my left hand is underneath the lens. The AF assist beam is on the left and can be occasionally blocked by the left hand.

I tested the autofocus again after installing firmware. Update 1.31 focuses (pun intended) on the single point AF mode in low light. The April 2022 update for version 1.4 adds more focus stability in the auto area AF mode by placing more priority on subjects in the center when a face is not detected.

Hillary Grigonis

Hillary K. Grigonis is a photographer and tech writer based in Michigan. She shoots weddings and portraits at Hillary K Photography. A mother of three, she enjoys hiking, camping, crafting, and reading.