Author Topic: New firmware for Z cameras.  (Read 1137 times)

Netr

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 72
  • You ARE NikonGear

Jack Dahlgren

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1113
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2020, 06:14:33 »
Contents:
Added support for ProGrade and Lexar CFexpress memory cards (Type B). For more information, see the Nikon website for your country or region.
• Custom Setting a4 (Auto-area AF face/eye detection) now offers an Animal detection option that adds dogs and cats to the subjects supported by face- and eye-detection autofocus. As a result, the camera can now detect and focus on the faces and eyes of dogs and cats. Animal face detection (but not eye detection) is also available in movie mode.
• Improved the functionality of subject-tracking AF (available when Auto-area AF is selected for AF-area mode) as follows:
- Subject-tracking AF can now be initiated via the Fn1 or Fn2 button on the camera or the Fn1 or Fn2 button on the lens. Subject-tracking AF must first be assigned to the control using Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment) in Group f (Controls) of the CUSTOM SETTING MENU or Custom Setting g2 (Custom control assignment).
- The behavior of the camera when tracking is end by pressing the AF-ON button or by pressing the shutter-release button halfway with AF-C (continuous-servo autofocus) and subject-tracking AF enabled in photo mode has been changed to more closely resemble that of the 3D-tracking option for digital SLR cameras.
• Custom Setting f2 (Custom control assignment) in Group f (Controls) of the CUSTOM SETTING MENU now offers a Lens Fn2 button option, which can be used to choose the role played by the L-Fn2 button available on certain Z mount lenses (as of February 12, 2020, only the NIKKOR Z 70–200mm f/2.8 VR S).
• Added support for the focus limit switch available on certain Z mount lenses (as of February 12, 2020, only the NIKKOR Z 70–200mm f/2.8 VR S).
• Optimized the responsiveness of the switch to manual focus when the focus or control ring on a Z mount lens is rotated during autofocus. Note that the control ring only functions in this capacity when assigned the Focus (M/A) role.
• Fixed the following issues:
- When Viewfinder brightness was adjusted manually, brightness would sometimes change when the standby timer was restarted.
- iOS devices running iOS 13 would sometimes display a Bluetooth pairing request when pairing was complete.


Here is my dog reacting to the animal face detection feature...

John Geerts

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 6247
  • Photojournalist in Tilburg, Netherlands
    • Fotoverhalen
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 06:51:44 »
She seems to like it, Jack  ;)     Was it a quick update?

Mike G

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2020, 08:39:09 »
The Z6 update I found to be quite quick, once I realised not to use the DNG file but the DIN file instead! Oops
Took about five minutes, but I like the fact that once the update has been completed one can delete the update file from within the camera!
I also like that these updates are coming at quite a rate, bodes well for the future status of Z6/Z7 infrastructure. And it tells me that development is going to be ongoing, good oh. I would assume that it’s because the Z bodies are more heavily firmware based than their DSLR cousins, do you think I’m right?
Nikon Z6, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

John Geerts

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 6247
  • Photojournalist in Tilburg, Netherlands
    • Fotoverhalen
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2020, 09:02:37 »
I  think it is the other way around, Mike. Because of the new Z-system, there are a lot more changes to  the camera than usual (thus compared with the DSRL system). This implies usually more firmware-updates.

On top of that there are new lenses all of the time, and that requires also a firmware-update.

Mike G

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #5 on: February 18, 2020, 09:24:17 »
John, my memories from my Nikon DSLR days, D70s, D200, D300, D700, D800, and  D810 I seem to remember that firmware updates were few and far between!
Also will a lens firmware update necessitate a camera firmware update?
Nikon Z6, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Fons Baerken

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 6861
    • https://www.flickr.com/photos/fonsbaerken/
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #6 on: February 18, 2020, 09:39:54 »
Beware it only works on pets of the domestic kind ;D

Birna Rørslett

  • Global Moderator
  • **
  • Posts: 2254
  • A lesser fierce bear of the North
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2020, 11:33:15 »
Should work on wives or husbands, then :) :)

OK, on a more serious note: the upgrades on my various Z bodies went smoothly and effortlessly.  I noticed the menu mentions "Animal detection" with a dog-like icon.

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 607
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2020, 13:59:40 »
Preliminary first tests Z7, Auto-Mode AFC, 80-400 G, BBF:
1. Eye tracking does not work on brown horses - expected. This included close up portraits.

2. Strongly backlit Black cat up in tree looking down at me - 2-3m distance. Burton's bright yellow eyes blazing in his black face! With both BBF and custom spot-exposure (Fn1), the camera failed to grab focus at all. Yes, Burton is a challenging subject who tests, rather stresses, my skills on backlit animals, but I do know the Single-Point AFC + spot-exposure custom settings in the D850 grab focus, and very fast.

3. Gray Burmese strolling towards me from 30m. I tracked him successfully all the way. Eye AF kicked in at about 12m. I had to zoom out to keep him in the frame

4. Ginger and gray Burmese sparring and wrestling at 3m. Here I found Eye tracking is highly sensitive. This mode snaps in and out between the auto-tracking blocks if interrupted by cats turning their heads rapidly, and if a paw covers a face. As soon as even one eye of the focal cat reappears the cursor focus grabs back on in Eye-mode.

5. Sunbathing cat grooming- Eye-AF tracks the rollicking face ie keeping on his eye. If he rolls on his back, Eye tracking crashes out back to Auto blocks. In this 1 case, the Eye AF failed to pick up the eyes in this orientation (still to be trained on these lessons, one asks?!).

7. Both Cats dozing with eyes closing shut. Occasional blinks. Eye AF still recognizes the slits. It can also recognize cat in profile if enough of just one eye is visible.

8. Flock of white geese: dark eyes against white plumage. Distances up close to MFD of the zoom, which allowed tight framing of their heads. AF sensor works mostly in Auto-Area tracking but kept a sharp focus and Eye recognition kicked in sporadically (thinks it's got a cat?!). This included a goose looking right into the lens with both eyes.
#chambeshiphoto
D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E PF, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

chambeshi

  • Woody
  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 607
  • Woody
    • Chambeshi Photography FCotterill Photographic Explorations
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2020, 14:01:29 »
I also tested a few images on a computer monitor.
1. Gray cat portrait. Animal-Eye AF locked on eyes instantly and stuck to subject

2. Baby baboon, Papio griseipes, looking directly into the lens. Animal-Eye AF failed to recognize his eyes; Human-eye AF locked right on to his eyes, jumping back and fro. Baby baboon looking sideways, both eyes visible. Neither mode worked.

3. Portrait of male leopard facing camera, looking upward slightly. Animal-Eye AF locked instantly on to one of his eyes and stuck to subject

4. Full frame portrait of Spotted-eagle owl, Bubo africanus, looking into lens. Neither mode worked

Eye-recognition may be dismissed as a gimmick but it does indeed work on the subjects for which it's trained. The categories of subjects covered by these AF algorithms will increase in diversity. This ability to use automated eye-tracking on a carnivore moving his head around can make a shot.... manual tracking on muscle memory is impossible in such cases.

It will take me some time to test out this Animal-mode or tracking galloping cats, particularly the 3 residents here. They pick and choose when they indulge in calisthenics. But even very preliminary tests I tried earlier today [geese, horses as well as cats] confirm the tracking has improved significantly even without this animal eye-mode. Previously I never bothered with Auto. The ability to activate this mode with BBF should have been there on release. Perhaps, Nikon have done cryptic changes in aspects of the AFC.... Any Nikon FW takes some time to test out (and I will seek out other species too)  Testing a continua :-)
#chambeshiphoto
D850, Z7, 20 f4 AI 28 f2.8AIS 45 f2.8AIP 55mm 2.8AIS+60 f2.8G Micro 58 f1.4G, 85 f1.4D, 400 f2.8E VRII 300 f4E PF 500 f5.6E PF, 70-180 Micro f4-5.6D 70-200 f2.8E FL, Zeiss Distagons -15 f2.8, 21 f2.8

Nikfuson

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2020, 18:09:42 »
It is funny that I had no problem with eye AF photographing our dog before this latest FW. Will of course do a before/after test to check the expected improvement.
Update: Improved eye AF indeed! On another topic; striping (caused by OSPDAF array) has not improved.
Next will be the mandatory continuous AF tracking which will have to wait until there's ample daylight.

Mike G

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 191
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2020, 20:25:00 »
Am I right in thinking that animal AF switches off normal human eye detection?
I can’t see how to implement it any other way, hopefully I’m missing something?
Nikon Z6, 24-70mm f4, 14-30, 35, 50,  85.

Nikfuson

  • NG Member
  • *
  • Posts: 249
  • You ARE NikonGear
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2020, 20:57:14 »
Am I right in thinking that animal AF switches off normal human eye detection?
I can’t see how to implement it any other way, hopefully I’m missing something?

You’re right methinks.

Chris Dees

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 739
  • Amsterdam
    • Todaysphotography
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2020, 21:31:26 »
I welcome every firmware update. It makes the Z’s more competative/better.
But seriously; cat/dog eyefocus? What joke!
The other changes are looking much more important to me. Better AF tracking, easier AF-tracking.
Chris Dees

Eddie Draaisma

  • NG Supporter
  • **
  • Posts: 361
Re: New firmware for Z cameras.
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2020, 23:16:05 »
Re the compatibility with additional brands of CFexpress cards, there is a technically interesting read at DPreview forums regarding relative XQD vs CFexpress card performance:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/4465507#forum-post-63614671

No need to throw away XQD cards yet.