In February, Nikon released updated firmware for their Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras. Version 3.00 offered an improvement to subject-tracking AF. Specifically, the F1 and F2 buttons can be used to initiate 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.”
Photographer Manny Ortiz has been testing the performance of the Z6’s subject tracking AF, and has produced the following video. It should be noted that it is not underwater.
For completeness, here is the full list of changes contained in the 3.00 firmware update:
- 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.
Note: For information on the license for the open-source software included in the camera’s NVM Express driver, see “BSD License (NVM Express Driver)”.