Author Topic: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7  (Read 2683 times)

Stany Buyle

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Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« on: May 31, 2019, 23:18:35 »
Good afternoon!
An incredible bunch of negative nonsense has been spread on the internet about Nikon Z' autofocus, more specific about Z' AF on moving subjects and for action photography. Those Nikon' Z bashers are simply wrong...
I am using both Nikon Z6 and Z7 since they were available and I dare to write that the Nikon Z' AF is simply excellent. Please notice that these findings and attached pictures out of a topic on my own website "birds and dolphins in flight with Z7 & 70-300 AF-P" are based on experiences and pictures taken with both Z6 & Z7 BEFORE install of the important 2.0 firmware.
During my recent trip to Kyoto-Japan I was one more time amazed how well the Z' AF performs.

Some cropped and full images resized to 1000 px longest side:






An image taken in Kyoto aquarium during a great dolphin and seal show:


and a 100% crop from the above:


Thanks and kindest regards,
Stany


MFloyd

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 13:44:32 »
I hope you don't take it wrong, but these pictures are not tack sharp. Not later than last week I spoke to a Nikon representative at a gathering around the Z: she agreed that there is still some room for improvement with regard to "Z"-AF. Might be sufficient for 95% of the jobs but just not enough for circumstances putting high pressure levels on the AF hard- and software.

These are the difficult circumstances to which I'm confronted with shutter speeds as low as 1/40s: https://crvermeulen.myportfolio.com/pf-aston-martin-masters-endurance-legends-race-series
All taken with a Nikon D5 & Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF. I'm using also a D850, but he D5 still outpaces slightly the D850 with regard to their respective AF capabilities.

😊
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Stany Buyle

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2019, 14:30:19 »
I hope you don't take it wrong, but these pictures are not tack sharp….
😊
No I really don't care because with a couple of PP clicks they would look "tack sharp". Had/have to do the same with my D5, D850, D500 files with one difference that, TMHO, Z files always look sharper SOOC.
For a topic on a camera, I prefer to post the files as they come OOC, rather than optimised by PP.
Kindest regards,
Stany

longzoom

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2019, 15:14:07 »
I hope you don't take it wrong, but these pictures are not tack sharp. Not later than last week I spoke to a Nikon representative at a gathering around the Z: she agreed that there is still some room for improvement with regard to "Z"-AF. Might be sufficient for 95% of the jobs but just not enough for circumstances putting high pressure levels on the AF hard- and software.

These are the difficult circumstances to which I'm confronted with shutter speeds as low as 1/40s: https://crvermeulen.myportfolio.com/pf-aston-martin-masters-endurance-legends-race-series
All taken with a Nikon D5 & Nikkor 500mm f/5.6E PF. I'm using also a D850, but he D5 still outpaces slightly the D850 with regard to their respective AF capabilities.

😊
While I agree there is a big room for improvement of Z AF, the final sharpness is strongly depends on the lens used. Their 70-300P lens used for birding is not for so high resolving sensor, as Z7's one is. As well as, BTW, your and mine 28-300, which long enough life of usability stops on D810. This lens is not covering the D850 sensor, as well as even more demanding Z7's one. Terribly hunting under low light, even after second update, but, usable, thou, with Z6, without reservations.  LZ

ColinM

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2019, 23:18:51 »
Hasn’t  Gonvulo posted lots of shots with the Z6 taken under challenging stage lighting and involving moving dancers?

They’re a different sort of challenge to birds of prey or leaping dolphins, but usually seem pretty sharp to me.
And given its small size in the frame, that dolphin seems quite sharp @ 100%

Kenneth Rich

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2019, 17:21:29 »
If those images are evidence of the Z6/Z7 AF potential, and not the photographer's expertise, then the cameras are beyond criticism, but what amazes me is the fact that the Z6 and Z7 have been around for nine months! Time for Nikon to be thinking of Mark 2 replacements beyond which simply new firmware can provide? Like Fuji X100 style hybrid viewfinder, no video, old fashioned knobs and dials, higher price?

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2019, 13:40:54 »
If those images are evidence of the Z6/Z7 AF potential, and not the photographer's expertise, then the cameras are beyond criticism, but what amazes me is the fact that the Z6 and Z7 have been around for nine months! Time for Nikon to be thinking of Mark 2 replacements beyond which simply new firmware can provide? Like Fuji X100 style hybrid viewfinder, no video, old fashioned knobs and dials, higher price?

A typical replacement period for this class of camera body on the DSLR side has been 2-4 years. I am sure that they are working on technology that will be used in the Z6/Z7's replacements but I would imagine they will not be released before 2020. In the meantime they may introduce additional models to the Z lineup and keep updating the Z6/Z7 firmware with new features and improvements.

I don't like hybrid viewfinders, there is a lot of geometrical distortion in the Fuji and limited focal length options if using the optical side of it. The quality of the viewfinder image on the X-Pro2 is not that good and I can't see the corners of the image with glasses on, whereas on the X-T2 it is easy to see the whole frame and the EVF is more brilliant. I think a hybrid viewfinder is just too much of a compromise in an ILC. On the X100 series it is somewhat better as they only had to implement it for one focal length. But still I prefer clean separate OVF and correspondingly a clean electronic-only EVF rather than a hybrid. Of course a Nikon implementation might be different from Fuji's.

MFloyd

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2019, 19:19:35 »
No I really don't care because with a couple of PP clicks they would look "tack sharp". Had/have to do the same with my D5, D850, D500 files with one difference that, TMHO, Z files always look sharper SOOC.
For a topic on a camera, I prefer to post the files as they come OOC, rather than optimised by PP.
Kindest regards,
Stany

I would be very surprised that with « a couple of clicks » your birds become sharp. Anyway, TMHO.
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pluton

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Re: Nikon Z' AF thoughts after 9 months with Z6 & Z7
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2019, 19:52:54 »
I think a hybrid viewfinder is just too much of a compromise in an ILC. On the X100 series it is somewhat better as they only had to implement it for one focal length. But still I prefer clean separate OVF and correspondingly a clean electronic-only EVF rather than a hybrid. Of course a Nikon implementation might be different from Fuji's.
I suspect that the Fuji implementation of the instantly switchable OVF/EVF involves a fixed partial mirror.  If true, then both finders are delivering 1/2 of the brightness they would be capable of if operated alone.  Not a big issue for the OVF, but serious degradation of performance for the [usually] brightness-starved EVF.
Keith B., Santa Monica, CA, USA