Nikon has released firmware version 2.0 for its Z 8 high-end mirrorless camera, which includes capabilities for both picture and video photographers.
Fans of avian photography will like the addition of a specialized bird detection mode. Nikon claims that the Z 9 improves recognition, tracking, and AF performance in a variety of situations. The mode (which is unique from the animal detection mode) should be capable of recognizing a broader range of birds in a larger range of positions, even against complex backdrops.
A new Auto Capture feature will snap a photo or video if one or more of the specified parameters are met. Those criteria are distance, motion, and subject detection, so as soon as that deer enters the picture, headling right to left, the Z 8 may begin working.
The Pixel Shift function, previously seen on the Z f, has also arrived. The camera can shoot 4, 8, 16, or 32 photos by moving the sensor by 1/2 or 1 pixel and saving each one as a separate NEF file. The 4 and 8-shot modes boost color resolution and reduce noise at the sensor’s normal 46MP resolution, whereas the 16 and 32-shot modes produce massive 180 Megapixel files with considerably greater detail. Before sharing or editing the files, they must first be combined in NX Studio.
A new Picture Control mode has been added for portrait photographers. The “Rich Tone Portrait” setting preserves skin detail while preventing highlight clipping, making it excellent for wedding and portrait photos.
The camera now adds a broader range of shutter sound effects to indicate the firing of its quiet electronic shutter. Instead of the default DSLR-style sound effect, you can choose sounds that approximate the shutter of a Nikon F5 or S-series rangefinder.
Other enhancements include:
- The number of functions and operations that can be assigned to custom control has increased.
- A function has been added that enables users to exit zoom with a half-press of the shutter-release button when focus mode is set to manual focus.
- An option that allows users to choose the width of focus-point borders has been added.
- An option that allows users to choose not to record shooting orientation information in image EXIF data has been added.
- A new [Prefer focus point (face priority)] option has been added that centers the display on a face when one is detected while scrolling through photos during playback zoom.
The Z 8 firmware, version 2.0, is available on the Nikon website.