Author Topic: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon  (Read 11367 times)

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #195 on: October 12, 2020, 18:34:20 »
Here is an example of how I use the custom group-area AF mode. I select a horizontal line which is short enough to cover one deer and long enough to give some compositional freedom. It is one sensor array row high so that I minimize the chances of the camera catching onto foreground or background details. You can also see the "gap" between major blocks of sensor columns.

The weather is getting darker and there is cloud and rain. This weekend it may be first snow in some places in Finland. I look forward to making the most of what winter there may be, as last year reminded me that having a winter is not a given!

Frank Fremerey

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #196 on: October 12, 2020, 18:59:41 »
I am a bit rusty with regards to photographing people, as I have only had a couple of situations where I've done that since the beginning of the pandemic in March. (I've mostly hid myself in nature and at work.)

I wanted to go out and document the people on the streets in this time. In the spring the streets of Helsinki were basically empty. Now there are people with many wearing masks.

There was a group of skateboarders doing their tricks near the railway station. They didn't mind me taking photos.

I'm only getting used to the capabilities of the camera, but so far it has impressed me. The 3D tracking is really sticky and it's much harder to get it fooled. It feels quieter than the D5 (one of my complaints about the older camera is that it's really quite loud) and even 14 fps mode doesn't seem to be much of a ruckus. The viewfinder visibility at 14 fps is excellent, the blackout is less of a problem than it was in the previous model.

This is with 70-200/2.8 FL, ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/5000s, 82 mm and cropped somewhat.

Stunning Skater Shot
You are out there. You and your camera. You can shoot or not shoot as you please. Discover the world, Your world. Show it to us. Or we might never see it.

Me: https://youpic.com/photographer/frankfremerey/

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #197 on: October 12, 2020, 20:03:51 »
Stunning Skater Shot

Thanks, Frank. :-)

chambeshi

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #198 on: October 13, 2020, 14:34:53 »
Thank you for sharing all this detailed information on the AF! Your evidence suggests Nikon engineers have succeeded in refining the pattern recognition in the D6 - its Stickiness! The official documentation and brief videos cannot reveal / test such complexity. We can infer it's all the more remarkable how the camera is processing information so effectively tracking a fast moving subject. This really is most impressive.

It will be interesting to to try and confuse the D6 with other colours eg white clothing against a white pillar etc. I'm wondering if the D6 AF is able to track a fast moving animal which appears camouflaged against clutter. It will be fascinating to test if the camera is able to "see" through such challenges.

Such a pity the D6 came out during the pandemic, and has missed intensive testing at big sporting events, the Olympic especially.

" In the previous models, if I was using 3D to focus and track a person, it would almost always lose the subject if another person walked across the subject. 3D now works much better in the D6. I did manage to get it confused when a skateboarder in black clothes went behind a black lamp pole and the camera did get confused and stuck to the lamp pole. However, in most cases it worked perfectlỵ...."

When the D5 got the horizontal line (and vertical) group area mode, I wanted to use it in such a way that I could move the subject's position in the frame and just hold it on the line and it would keep it focused, but the gaps in the sensor array made this less practical than I hoped. In the D6, the gaps are narrower and there are fewer of them, basically there are three groups of five columns of sensors, and the groups are virtually gapless, but it's possible for the subject to fall within one of the two gap columns between groups. I played with this when photographing deer hanging out in a field, and basically as long as one is aware that these two gaps exist, it is easy to use the custom group modes and it does as you'd expect, focusing on the closest subject.

In the D6, the single-point AF has the choice of wide and normal coverage, and I wondered if this setting could be used to cover the gap columns in group-area mode, but it can't. According to the manual, the single point watch area setting affects single point and dynamic area modes, but no mention is made of its effects on group-area AF. In my testing I was able to confirm the wider and narrower single-point areas have a real difference; basically in the wide watch area setting, one can assume the camera will focus on detail that is just outside of the single-point brackets reliably if there is nothing clear to focus on within the brackets themselves (which is the normal watch area). However, in dynamic-area the difficulty is that it's dynamic, so it's more difficult to demonstrate the difference. I believe it is there as indicated by the manual. In custom group area mode I wasn't able to see a difference due to the single-point watch area setting, which is consistent with the reference manual's description. Nikon suggest the wide setting should be used for fast-moving subjects.

What I like about the custom group area setting is that it allows me to accommodate a deer or bird who changes direction or orientation and maintain good composition without necessarily moving the focus area. I typically use horizontal lines when photographing deer on the move, it gives me some forgiveness for not being able to hold the subject's eye perfectly under the selected focus point but is less likely to focus on background or grass than dynamic-area modes. Group area focusing has closest-subject priority built in and this is true of custom group area as well as the standard one. I felt that custom group area with a horizontal line worked really well for photographing flocks of birds at distance, as it reliably allowed me to avoid focusing on grass and gave enough focus points (adjustable!) so that I could be sure that at least one point was on a bird, so I avoided both focusing on foreground grass as well as background trees behind the birds. But, when using this technique it is good to remember the two gaps even though they are narrow, they are still there.

For photographing a single subject at close distance, dynamic area is probably better as one can apply it with greater precision on the eye, but for distant animals, custom group area is my favorite mode now. When using dynamic area on distant animals, often the depth of field is such that the system can pick up on background objects instead of the main subject and this was a common problem when using dynamic area with Multi-CAM 20k bodies. Now there are more options to work with. I think the custom group-area is likely to become quite popular when the system is adopted into less expensive camera models. I will try to make some screen shots from Nikon ViewNX-i that show the custom groups in action so you can get an idea of how they can be used.

3D tracking now shows multiple focus points in use over the subject, this is seen in the viewfinder as well as in ViewNX-i if settings to display focus point are turned on. Previously the 3D tracking showed only one active focus point. I think the new system is clearer as it shows what the camera considers to be the subject (often in the previous cameras the selected point seemed to be outside of the subject even though focus was correct! This is probably because of the 153 focus points, only 51 were displayable so the camera and browser would show the closest match but it sometimes wasn't the actual focus point the camera had used if it used one of the in-between points that are invisible). The D6's way of showing what the camera focused on is much more clear and believable. 3D tracking seems to now able to overcome the situation where the selected subject that is being tracked is temporarily occluded by a subject going across the line of sight, and can maintain focus on the selected subject. In the previous models, if I was using 3D to focus and track a person, it would almost always lose the subject if another person walked across the subject. 3D now works much better in the D6. I did manage to get it confused when a skateboarder in black clothes went behind a black lamp pole and the camera did get confused and stuck to the lamp pole. However, in most cases it worked perfectlỵ.

There is now a setting if activated, your selected point guides auto-area AF to start from focusing on the selected point and then it continues doing its auto-thing. What's more you can have the camera switch from 3D or auto-area into single point and it retains the automatically tracked subject as the selected point in the mode where one can manually move the focus point around. This seems very fluid. I will test to see how easy this is to use in practice.

In the D850, I've found I get noticeably sharper results hand-held with my 500 PF when using EFCS with Qc rather than normal drive mode (S or CL/CH). The D6 has Qc with 1-5 fps (user selectable) and it supports EFCS. However, I haven't been able to see a clear improvement by using EFCS in these hand-held situations with the D6, it's possible that the camera's normal drive modes are sufficiently well-damped, or it could be the lower-resolution sensor. I will try to more to see if the difference from use of EFCS is visible at some shutter speeds and conditions.

Overall, I am very pleased with the new camera. The customizability of controls and level of refinement especially in the autofocus are great. I hope Nikon puts out updated D850 and D500 models with as much of these features imported as possible so that more people (and those who prefer high-resolution sensors) can take advantage of the development.
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MFloyd

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #199 on: October 13, 2020, 17:46:44 »
Excellent ! horizontal row, and diamond shape are the most frequent ones I use in motorsport photography; the shapes are easy to move without having to plunge into menus. Beside that the second more frequent used are 3D and Full Auto.
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Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #200 on: October 13, 2020, 21:06:58 »
I don't know how 3D tracking would work in a wildlife situation with the subject moving fast through line-of-sight obstacles. I suspect that it wouldn't, unless the animal is "large" in the frame. 3D seems to catch onto objects that are several focus points in size in both x and y dimensions.

I'm surprised by the amount of color in the landscape at this time of year, it has been a really warm September and October. D6, 500 PF, f/5.6, 1/200s, ISO 2000, single point AF. 

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #201 on: October 16, 2020, 17:09:55 »
One thing that I can't understand is why drive mode can't be assigned to any custom function; it is on the dial by default, and there is a setting on the dial that allows assigning it to another button in the lower back under the back LCD. But it can't seemingly be assigned under a custom function button or under the recall shooting functions feature. Almost everything else imaginable can be assigned.

I would like to have the following configuration:

A) Normal operation for moving subjects: AF-ON activates autofocus (AF-C), shutter button takes pictures. Exposure set so that I have aperture prioirty and auto ISO with minimum shutter speed of 1/1000s. Exposure compensation set using main command dial (easy exposure compensation). Drive mode set to CH or CL.

B) Recall shooting functions assigned to Fn1 (middle front button so it is easy to reach either in vertical or horizontal orientation). The functions set are exposure mode manual, shutter speed 1/200s, and auto ISO. I would then prefer to have the drive mode temporarily switch to Qc mode so that I can access a low frame rate with EFCS. This would be used when the subject is still.

If the animal is standing, I can choose between medium ISO with slow shutter speed and high ISO with fast shutter speed basically by selecting A or B. I will usually choose B if I have time to think about it. When the animal starts moving quickly, I let go of Fn1 and turn the mode dial to CH but often the situation is progressing so quickly that I miss the beginnings of the fast movement. I don't want to fire at 14 fps when the subject is still as it would be wasteful.

Anyway this is a minor complaint. But it is major in that it affects how many shots I end up with from an encounter with a subject and especially how many repetitive shots I get, which just take hard drive space and time selecting the one shot, when there are often multiple identical frames. I guess a reasonable compromise is to use an intermediate drive speed that would allow me to minimize the extra frames but still capture key moments of the action.

I've now concluded that Qc with EFCS does give higher sharpness with the 500 PF used at medium shutter speeds, and that it's worthwhile to use when the subject is not moving or is not moving quickly. With the D850 the difference due to EFCS is perhaps more obvious but it's still clear with the 20 MP of the D6, after gathering enough material. Qc in the D6 can be adjusted to 1,2,3,4, or 5 fps so it can be customized to the user's requirements. I'm very happy about this feature. As with the maximum aperture of the lens being f/5.6, I'm not easily able to reach 1/2000s without high ISO degrading image quality, so I'm glad that I'm able to optimize image quality at slower shutter speeds. With shorter focal lengths (e.g. 70-200mm) I can more easily reach fast shutter speeds and the camera shake from mechanical shutter use is less of an issue.

I think I will submit a request for Nikon to allow assigning drive mode settings to Fn buttons via recall shooting functions. It shouldn't be outside of the reach of a firmware update.

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #202 on: October 17, 2020, 19:33:20 »
The lack of possibility to assign drive mode to a function button is also present in the Z series - so it is not accidentially but on purpose, a feature so to say (one of the not so good things on my Z6 besides a few others). The difference is that the D6 still has the old standard dial that is easi to access, whereas with the Z6 it is a rather misplaced button backwards on the right side. I think I shall write Nikon too.
Wolfgang Rehm

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #203 on: October 18, 2020, 12:30:22 »
I'd like to add that the D6's old style drive mode dial is still present but not highlighted any more in the manuals graphic scheme of the camera. unfortunately there is no more Qc on it (different to the D500, D850 and probably D5) and the place was wasted to activate a different setup mode with a Button on the back (like the Z6 but on the left side) which enables Fps changes and could have left as well to the Menu (as speed shooting imho does not require quick changes of thes e parameters. It is a real pity that configuratoins do not allow assignment to one of the function button or if present to one of the buttons on the lens. The idea ist that you are holding the camera on the eye the right hand on the camera and the left on the lens and should still be able to change these settings. Neither the button on the back, nor the dial wheel on the top left side do allow that. The F4 camera had a better placed dialer but you needed a second hand to unlock before changes so it was a misconceptoin as well.
Workaround until Nikon improves that: Stay at CH all the time and take into account that you get at least two shots even if you press the shutter shortly or be very quick when it is required to go more silent and vice versa
Wolfgang Rehm

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #204 on: October 18, 2020, 14:43:36 »
Also on the D5 the Q setting on the release mode dial covers both Q and Qc. The actual fps rate is set using the button under the back LCD and turning a dial.

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #205 on: October 18, 2020, 19:41:32 »
I sent my proposal to Nikon regarding programmability of a custom function button to change release mode using only the controls accessible to the right hand. I also suggested the recall shooting functions functionality to be implemented in the D850.

It's interesting how much has been left out from the user's guide and is in the various extra manuals available online (refernce manual, setting guide sports AF edition, and technical guide (useful features). It's quite a chore finding all the details from the manuals. I do particularly appreciate the latter two guides, they are compact and contain useful information indeed.

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #206 on: October 18, 2020, 19:47:16 »
Got my sampleof the D6 finally. I am right in the process of configuring it for my needs and getting familiar with its specialities and consider what I am going to do with the new Group-AF options.
One of the new things (that has been reoorted by Brad Hill)  is the option  to assign a whole exposure setup to one of the Functoin button- fine. Sadly instead of having this as an added feature it has replaced other options. So it is not possible any more to assign a exposure metering mode to a button.

(UPDATE: its not possible directly but via Recall shooting functions, which i misunderstood - see post below)

I am used to give Fn1 the option to quickly switch to spot metering (and PV to Group AF), the first one is not possible any more although In some situations i want to keep all other settings and just go from Matrix metering to spot metering (Birds against the sky mainly ). It can be worked around but I don't see the reason to remove the option.
If I havent overlooked something, it is still not possible to get a whole predefined Setup (exposure and AF) by just pressing one button

(UPDATE: it is possible)
FN3 options are still very limited BTW
Wolfgang Rehm

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #207 on: October 18, 2020, 19:53:37 »
I sent my proposal to Nikon regarding programmability of a custom function button to change release mode using only the controls accessible to the right hand. I also suggested the recall shooting functions functionality to be implemented in the D850.

It's interesting how much has been left out from the user's guide and is in the various extra manuals available online (refernce manual, setting guide sports AF edition, and technical guide (useful features). It's quite a chore finding all the details from the manuals. I do particularly appreciate the latter two guides, they are compact and contain useful information indeed.
Great that you sent it already, Nikon could do a lot more via Firmware updates if they want to
For instance the D6 still has got just 9 memory places for non CPU- lens data as all the others back to the D700 that could have been updated in between, The Z6 now has 20 - this should not be too much of a problem given the computer capacity built in. The Cameras still have just a 4 digit image numbering instead of 6 which gives a unique number and should cover the whole lifetime of the shutter.

I still have to dig my way through all the guodes and manuals. The paperback version that comes with the camera is rather limited
Wolfgang Rehm

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #208 on: October 18, 2020, 19:55:37 »
I am used to give Fn1 the option to quickly switch to spot metering (and PV to Group AF), the first one is not possible any more although In some situations i want to keep all other settings and just go from Matrix metering to spot metering (Birds against the sky mainly ). It can be worked around but I don't see the reason to remove the option.

Metering pattern can be programmed to Fn1 via Recall shooting functions.

Quote
If I havent overlooked something, it is still not possible to get a whole predefined Setup (exposure and AF) by just pressing one button

You can do this with Recall Shooting Functions. There are check boxes for shutter speed, aperture, ISO, metering pattern,  AF area mode, white balance and AF-ON among other things. You check the boxes which you want the control to remember and the settings stored under each category. Note that if you are making adjustments while the button assigned to recall shooting functions is depressed, those altered settings are stored under the button then! So you can adjust the stored setting while being in that mode, or by going to the custom settings menu.

Quote
FN3 options are still very limited BTW

I use it to open My Menu.

MILLIREHM

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Re: Nikon D6 formally announced by Nikon
« Reply #209 on: October 18, 2020, 20:04:05 »
Thanks for your input


I use it to open My Menu.

Probably the best option, yes
Wolfgang Rehm