One of the great things about mirrorless cameras are firmware updates. Significant updates are like getting a new camera! The Z6 and Z7 went through three major firmware updates and added major new features like eye and animal face detection. Even better, now using Snapbridge, you just link to your camera using the bluetooth connection and the firmware is automatically downloaded to your camera. No need to use a flash card and manually download from your computer.
Yesterday Nikon just released a firmware update to the Z6II and Z7II, from version 1.02 to 1.10. For movie shooters, the Z6II now has new movie formats. For still photographers, eye detection was improved in Auto-area AF and Wide-area AF. And this performance bump is impressive. We love to shoot our 85mm 1.8 Z lens at 1.8. The depth of field is very narrow, and getting the eye in focus is critical. It is absolutely uncanny how eye detection autofocus works. The small yellow square just snaps right onto the eye, now at long distances like 20 feet or more, and stays there. As you and your subject move around, the yellow focus square just stays locked onto the eye. I can’t tell you how helpful this is with portraits and travel photography. Trying to keep your focus on the eye can be very challenging. Imagine walking through a busy street market photographing people. This is a breeze with eye detection autofocus. If you are a Nikon wedding or portrait photographer, you should be shooting the Z mirrorless cameras just for this one feature. But then add small size, in camera body stabilization, viewfinder histogram and class leading sharpness in the lenses…you are ready to go.
What is interesting is this update was a small one. When we get firmware version 1.2 I expect some significant changes, probably more predictive autofocus enhancement. I have been very impressed with the Z6II autofocus, much better than the original Z6 and quicker start up times. With a second Expeed processor in the mark II versions, Nikon has the processing power to tap into more performance improvements. I can’t wait.