Nikon Firmware Update Brings Animal Eye Autofocus and a Few Upsettingly Jaunty Videos

Nikon has just released firmware updates for the Z 6 and Z 7 (firm ware up dates?), and there’s a video demonstrating the new animal eye autofocus. If jaunty melodies, guitars, and people whistling make your skin crawl, make sure to keep the sound turned off.

Firmware 3.0 brings improved focus tracking, support for the new lens controls such as the lens function buttons found on the NIKKOR 70-200mm  f/2.8 VR S, and expanded support for CFexpress cards. Z cameras will now accept Type B cards made by ProGrade and Lexar. Unfortunately, this firmware update does not add any extra slots.

Initial comments suggest that the improved focus tracking is noticeable, and Nikon mirrorless shooters will be keen to see how the autofocus performs overall. There have been a few minor frustrations that it wasn't quite up to scratch when it came to moving subjects, as detailed in this video from photographer Manny Ortiz.

You can read an overview of all of the improvements on the Nikon USA website (warning: more skin-crawling music) and download the firmware update by clicking here.

Does Canon need to pull its finger out? Will the autofocus upgrades bring significant improvements to the Z 6 and Z 7? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

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16 Comments

Nicolas KIEFFER's picture

Really seems that whatever Nikon could release, it will just be blasted to death because, he, Nikon have to die for not very clever reason... Go figure...

Raul Arias's picture

I agree, some self named photography journalist just criticize Nikon no matter what they do. They throw bias after bias against Nikon without having full knowledge and miss represent what a journalist should be and write. It’s sad that we get constantly miss information disguised of “irony” or exaggerated and out of place criticism, and not facts

T Scarb's picture

I liked it... but I am not a "pro"... so.

Mladen Pikulic's picture

What a dirty campaign against Nikon, Andy Day. Even music from Nikon bother you, though the autofocus is perfect. And he put that insinuation in the title of the text as well that although the music has nothing to do with autofocus

To confirm "the bad autofocus" he put a "review" from 2019 even though it is an upgrade that Nikon just did yesterday.

I just love the snarky, click-bait articles. For a minute I thought I was over at Petapixel.

Fritz Asuro's picture

People keeps complaining about the Z6/7 despite of it being capable.
I have shifted 100% to it and I have no regrets so far, and I'm happy that Nikon fixes the issues and introduce more features.

And I'm not sure why the music in the sample video is bothering you. I mean, if you don't like it and as you have mentioned, just mute it. The music fits the video anyway as it's just showcasing cute pets.

Lastly, can we quit the "1 card slot" whining? It can be a potential problem if you're a sports photographer shooting for prestigious agencies or a wedding photographer who just don't want to risk the whole day.
Mind you, I've used it for F1 races, lots of concerts, and other important events and it was never much of a big deal.

Jason Flynn's picture

Z6 looks better every day. I’m contemplating trading some stuff to buy a mirrorless later this year and the far superior weather sealing of the Z bodies compared to Sony and Canon is awfully appealing. Check out a tear down of the various bodies to see for yourself if you haven’t already.

Andy Day = snarky ass.

Alex Yakimov's picture

Thanks Andy. Here is what I think.
New update is real bad. It makes me lazy and not wanting to use manual focus glass no more.
I am loosing my skill already. We should stop ‘em if not to protect the precious manual skills, but for the sake of the alphas and other r’s. Because with such dangerous speed of development they have a solid chance to reinstate themselves among newcomers. Back to you.

Spy Black's picture

I'm surprised they didn't show wildlife samples. Seems to imply on Nikon's part that these are merely fancy consumer cameras to snap away at Fluffy and Fifi.

Then again it may suck for wilflife. I guess we'll see.

Black Rock's picture

This is the video made by Nikon regional office, being in Thailand, it seems quite normal.

Andy is allowed for his personal opinion, right ? Easy, people. :D

Remarkable update! thank you Nikon. My Z6 now performs better than my Sony a7rIV, unsurprisingly the a9II is still better with eye-AF, but the gap is closing fast. It seems pretty clear that a dedicated sports camera from Nikon would probably over-take the Sony if both companies continue with the current trend. This shouldn't come as a surprise since Nikon's AF algos in the D5 have been best in class for many years. Well done Nikon!

Mark Boltman's picture

Sure, he has his personal opinions and feelings, Nikon owners do as well.
There is definitely a huge amount of Nikon bashing from the likes of Polin, Northrups, etc.
Also a photo article with ±107words and 24words telling us his musical opinions is a bit much...(Fstoppers take note)
If Nikon are getting on and updating their products firmware, good for them, our equipment is getting better.

Rob Davis's picture

Enough with the constant Nikon bashing. It’s gotten so ridiculous we’re now at background music.