NIKON...MIRROR LESS NOW WITH FIRMWARE UPDATE

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  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,384Member
    Searcy said:



    I'm sure a lot of it is me getting used to the Z6. Tuesday night I'm going to shoot single point all night and see if my results improve.

    So many new features that I'm not used too. Case in point.... Nashville Fashion Week typically has 5 runways a night with a 10 min pause between runways. I keep my camera on a Peak Design Sling strap and let it hang off my hip when not shooting. I want to be ready for anything that might happen and the Z6 has a longer boot up time than the 7200 so I leave it on all the time. That combined with the new ability to shoot "cell phone" style by but touching the rear screen means I came home with many accidental but super share pictures of the concrete floor.

    Have you tried the dynamic area AF? That seems to work the best for me.

    Went through last nights shots and it seemed it (or I) did better. Still some baffling misses though, where the AF point was right on the subject but it wasn't anywhere near in focus. I did slow the camera down from High Extended to just High - maybe that helped.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    Hopefully when Nikon releases eye AF update it will also cover other aspects of the AF system.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,333Member
    While I would not buy a full frame 24 MP camera for bird photography because I don't believe its enough MP. I feel Nikon should be embarrassed to be selling a camera that wont even keep focus on a catwalk model. Improving the focus by software would be ideal but if they just make an improved model the value of theZ6 will drop through the floor. Very disappointed in Nikon.
  • SearcySearcy Posts: 723Member
    edited April 2019
    I'm not totally willing to blame the Z6 for my missed runway shots yet. As I mentioned before there were other differences that are contributing factors. Next Tuesday I'm shooting another show in what I'm sure will be horrible light. My plan is to set my U3 setting on the Z6 to be as close to my d7200 as I can get it. Back button focus and as close to the same focusing and metering as possible. I'll also be shooting straight down the runway this time like I usually do. Then I'll feel like I have given it a real test.

    What I suspect is that when using the face detect the focal point is not that consistent. I also wonder if face detect isn't fast enough to snap the shot of a moving model before she has moved out of focus. Increasing my depth of field may help with this but I'm really hoping the firmware update will improve it.

    Lily G
    Post edited by Searcy on
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    might help. www.sansmirror.com/articles/choosing-a-mirrorless-camer/why-autofocus-is-contentiou.html
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 861Member

    might help. www.sansmirror.com/articles/choosing-a-mirrorless-camer/why-autofocus-is-contentiou.html

    That's a good read. It may get me off the fence or maybe not. It's either a D850 or Z7. I do want the resolution for landscape once again as well as silent shooting.... Then there is that erratic action to deal with. If what the article expressed pans out then the Z7 may be the camera I once again fully retire with as it is passed to an heir. We shall see. I don't really want a Sony to do action with unless there is an adapter for Nikon glass.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    @Searcy and others, moving from a crop camera to FX narrows your depth of field. Your near misses were still passable because of the larger dof in the DX cameras. You have to be bang on with your model shots focus when using the Z6.

    In regards to the autofocus, it basically sucks on my Z7. Single point is worse than dynamic area, which is the best of the modes but easily drifts off of subjects in afc mode despite them being under the af point in the viewfinder.

    FYI My A9 mostly doesn’t have this problem, but I haven’t shot with the new firmware yet so we’ll have to see.
  • donaldejosedonaldejose Posts: 3,403Member
    Hopefully Nikon's coming AF update will fix a lot of AF issues. Maybe Thom Hogan's Z7 and Z6 books go into detail about how the mirrorless AF system works and which is best to use on walking pace subjects.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,333Member
    The silent shooting mode on the D850 is basically rubbish as it takes too long to focus and of course you cannot use flash.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    @donaldejose I hope the new firmware improves things, as it does seem to have the ability to acquire focus at times but has trouble holding it for the life of the burst. Other times however it just flat out misses and takes the background instead. Part of that may be solved by shooting single point, however I have tested single point vs dynamic area head to head and dynamic area is about twice as fast at acquiring focus and can do so with less light.
  • SearcySearcy Posts: 723Member

    @Searcy and others, moving from a crop camera to FX narrows your depth of field. Your near misses were still passable because of the larger dof in the DX cameras. You have to be bang on with your model shots focus when using the Z6.



    In regards to the autofocus, it basically sucks on my Z7. Single point is worse than dynamic area, which is the best of the modes but easily drifts off of subjects in afc mode despite them being under the af point in the viewfinder.



    FYI My A9 mostly doesn’t have this problem, but I haven’t shot with the new firmware yet so we’ll have to see.

    Excellent point about the FX narrows your depth of field Verses the DX. I've shot DX on the runway for 5 years and I now have some learning to do. I need to break my "wide open" default habit to be sure.
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 861Member

    The silent shooting mode on the D850 is basically rubbish as it takes too long to focus and of course you cannot use flash.

    I haven't seen a continuous quiet mode yet that was worth the time to blow them up. And to boot they aren't quiet. So for now it's continue with DSLR and longer lenses. It just seems like maybe to much of a risk for me now to jump into the mirrorless bodies for the things I like to do the most. Both the D850 and Z7 have the pixels and image stacking for landscapes but the D850 has proven itself for BIF... It's just that noisy slow quiet mode that isn't quiet that bugs me but low sharp rates on action with a Z7 would stir up feelings of pure hatred....after such an investment.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,333Member
    you nailed it 100% though the D850 silent is so silent you cannot be sure you took a photo
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    @FreezeAction Nikon's quietest shutter was actually the D810, which I think was carbon fiber allowing it to be extra quiet. Not sure why they abandoned that for the D850, but perhaps it was because they included the liveview silent mode.

    The Z7 is totally silent and you definitely know when you've shot as the viewfinder blacks out. This is in contrast to my A9 which really confuses folks as it does not black out the viewfinder with each shot. Unless you need complete silence, I would think the D850 is still the best overall camera. If you need silence, then for action it's no contest, it's the A9. For static shots, I would say the Z7 is the best as the IQ is the best. For an all around do everything camera, I would probably give it to the a7riii as the IQ is close to the Z7, but the AF, dual cards and battery life are all better allowing it to be more versatile than the Z7.
  • FreezeActionFreezeAction Posts: 861Member
    @manhattanboy I appreciate the insight you have added to the conversation. The Sony sounds good but at my age I'm not starting over from the ground up and really don't want to be a multi brand shooter. So Maybe a D850 for most things and Z6 for those confined up close silent mode things. The Z6 with a 70-200 f2.8 would be a really nice way for up close birding from a blind. By the time everything is in one body I could easily be out of body so I will work with what is working in the present. Thanks again for sharing your direct knowledge.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,384Member
    Used my Z6 and my friends 70-200 VRII lens for some evening kids soccer last week. Honestly it did very well - noticeably better than it has been doing with my 70-300 AF-P lens, even though the raw AF speed on the 70-200 is slower. Not sure why. My technique was different - I had to hold it differently because of the weight of the lens. But I can't see that making that much difference. There were still focus misses, of course, but they were relatively close, unlike the out of focus blobs I was getting sometimes with the AF-P.

    DZ6_7253

    Here's a link to the album if anyone is interested:

    https://flic.kr/s/aHskTPuWiA
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    mhedges said:

    Used my Z6 and my friends 70-200 VRII lens for some evening kids soccer last week.

    Its hard to compare AF performance versus some of the earlier events because of the significant difference in ISO. The AF in PDAF will slow down in proportion to the available light. This album had some great shots (kudos!) and was shot in ISO2K-5K range, for which the 2.8 was a much better choice versus the variable 70-300 zoom. I saw a soccer album shot in relatively low ISO with the Z6, which I am assuming is the 70-300? It would be interesting to see how the 2.8 fairs in good light, to see if the AF speed picks up and you get those razor-sharp edges that end up a little blurred at higher ISOs.

    Out of curiosity are you shooting Dynamic or single point, or something else?
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 1,003Member
    mhedges said:

    Used my Z6 and my friends 70-200 VRII lens for some evening kids soccer last week.

    Its hard to compare AF performance versus some of the earlier events because of the significant difference in ISO. The AF in PDAF will slow down in proportion to the available light. This album had some great shots (kudos!) and was shot in ISO2K-5K range, for which the 2.8 was a much better choice versus the variable 70-300 zoom. I saw a soccer album shot in relatively low ISO with the Z6, which I am assuming is the 70-300? It would be interesting to see how the 2.8 fairs in good light, to see if the AF speed picks up and you get those razor-sharp edges that end up a little blurred at higher ISOs.

    Out of curiosity are you shooting Dynamic or single point, or something else?
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,384Member


    Its hard to compare AF performance versus some of the earlier events because of the significant difference in ISO. The AF in PDAF will slow down in proportion to the available light. This album had some great shots (kudos!) and was shot in ISO2K-5K range, for which the 2.8 was a much better choice versus the variable 70-300 zoom. I saw a soccer album shot in relatively low ISO with the Z6, which I am assuming is the 70-300? It would be interesting to see how the 2.8 fairs in good light, to see if the AF speed picks up and you get those razor-sharp edges that end up a little blurred at higher ISOs.

    Out of curiosity are you shooting Dynamic or single point, or something else?

    Thanks! It was dynamic area AF. That's what Nikon recommends for action. I tried plain single point for a bit and it seemed worse. The tracking modes definitely were no good at all.

    Yep the 2.8 lens is a must for the evening/night games. Even with 2.8 it's marginal once the sun is down and all you have are the field lights. I had to drop down to 1/320s just to keep the ISO under 10000 or so. The earlier albums are all shot with the 70-300.

    The spring season is winding down - there are two or three more games left. They will probably all be evening games. If any are day games I'll try the 2.8 lens to see how it does. It is a tad on the short side, but at least then the ISO will be down and I'll be able to crop more.

    As far as focus - all the images I uploaded for the spring season are ones where I consider the focus to have been nailed, or at least very close. The misses that I am complaining about are way out - much more difference than you get due to ISO changes. Here is an example, and it's not even one of the worst ones. I did a screen grab so you could see the focus point is on the subject:

    Soccer out of focus

    Looking at it more I do see where the focus point is there is basically no contrast, so maybe that is part of the problem. I'll have to go back and look at more misses and see if there are any similarities.
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 622Member
    We need that upgrade in may, hope it is good. I have exactly the same problems.
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,384Member
    edited April 2019
    Anyone clean the sensor on their Z's yet? I'm noticing dust specks in some images. Tried the blower bulb thing but it didn't seem to help. I think a swab clean is necessary.
    Post edited by mhedges on
  • SymphoticSymphotic Posts: 704Member
    edited May 2019
    mhedges said:

    Anyone clean the sensor on their Z's yet? I'm noticing dust specks in some images. Tried the blower bulb thing but it didn't seem to help. I think a swab clean is necessary.

    The first thing I did when I got my Z7 was get a dog hair on the sensor. I couldn't get it off with the blower bulb in my bag and I was getting really unhappy about bricking my new camera on just about the first day.

    I ALMOST went at it with a swab, but was finally able to get it off with a serious bulb blower: the kind with a large volume, thick rubber, and a metal jet tip. I'm glad I had it: I've used it on special optics (non-linear crystals) and to blow cleaning fluid out of electrical contacts, but I had not used it on cameras until I got the Z7. Now the big bulb is the one in my bag.

    Since then I've been a lot more careful. That sensor is front and center, indeed.
    Post edited by Symphotic on
    Jack Roberts
    "Discovery consists in seeing what everyone else has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought"--Albert Szent-Gyorgy
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 2,333Member
    Remember that the actual sensor is behind a sheet of glass ..it no more sensitive than cleaning a window . The point is you don't want any smears !
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,384Member
    That is true. I think the presence of the IBIS mechanism intimidates some folks (me included).
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 2,384Member
    Apparently there is a recall of some Z6 and Z7's due to a possible issue with the IBIS. I looked mine up and it is on the list. Sigh. Guess I should send it in, even though the IBIS seems to work fine.

    Wonder how long they will have it.
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