We are in the coldest part of winter right now in Colorado, so it is providing great opportunities for winter shooting. Subzero temps, over a foot of new snow…bring it on! But you might not think portraits are good in these conditions, but it can provide some unique, beautiful images. Cree had a senior portrait last night, she was shooting the Z9 with the 50mm F1.2. The subject wanted a Japanese winter garden theme, and the weather cooperated. 8 degrees, blowing heavy snow…perfect!
So how did the Z9 do? Let’s start with blowing heavy snow. Have you tried autofocus in a heavy snowstorm? It goes wild focusing back and forth trying to find the subject and not get confused by falling snow. Cree shot in Auto-area AF and face/eye detect…the Z9 did not miss one shot…and snow didn’t affect performance at all…incredible! Her glasses were so fogged up wearing a mask that eye detect and Auto-area AF saved the day. Everything on the Z9 was steamed up, but the Z9 autofocus just did the work. Take a look at the behind the scenes photo…conditions were full on!
We used an Elinchrom ELB500 in TTL mode with a 36″ octabox soft box…no problems shooting in High Speed Sync and TTL using the Elinchrom light, our main light for many of our commercial shoots. After close to two hours working in the snow, the camera, lens and lighting gear were covered in snow. The Z9 is turning out to be a real champion in cold weather.
Another point is worth mentioning here. I would say the ISO performance is similar to the Z7II. We are shooting birds at ISO 6400, running them through Topaz DeNoise, and the results are excellent. I’m sure I could shoot at higher ISOs if I needed, but currently I have my Auto ISO upper limit set to 6400.