ANYONE USING Z7 FOR BIRDS IN FLIGHT?

PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,748Member
edited May 1 in Nikon Z cameras
Now I am revising my equipment following my retirement I am looking to reduce the weight of the D850/N200-500 combination. I have read reports of people using Z6 for BIF but sorry don't get it 24MP FX cropped ? Also reports on the Z7 but how compromised is the focus tracking? Some say bad some say acceptable. Now you cannot trust the "people" on Nikonites or ugly hedgehog so an opinion from the members here would be valid. do I wait for a firmware update that never comes or the Z8?
Post edited by Pistnbroke on

Comments

  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 371Member
    The EVF is always behind, so no fast objects for the Z serie, I wait for the firmware on 16th of may, see if it becomes better.
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,748Member
    Thanks for that Toni. I did some research on the update and the problems it might solve. To be honest I was horrified at the problems and at present would not touch one with a barge pole as they say in the UK. Keep us updated on the update ( !! )
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    There are a couple youtube videos showing varying degrees of success. But yes lets hope it improves with the new firmware update.
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 371Member
    edited May 2
    The system does not work at all for BIF.

    You press OK to set the AF-area point, focus and press OK again (what?) to lock on that point to follow.

    It is a great system when there is slow movement and you can manage the scene, but that is never the case for BIF. It will be super with eye focus in a studio surrounding, but in my case there is often no eye available to detect.

    I set my Nikon Z6 on AF-C and the single AF point in the center, hope not to touch the joystick and make short bursts. Then 3 photo's are in focus and from the 4th the bird is not in the EVF and the photo anymore. I hope it become better with the new firmware, but I also need a native Z-mount 70-200mm f/whatever.

    It should not be a problem for my kind of BIF photography, because I always did it this way. AF from the Z6 is very precise, but slow sometimes, not a snap as with the D7200 and the 70-200mm f/4.

    I solved this problem to take my Nikon D600 with the 70-200mm f/4 on it for BIF.

    For everything else the Nikon Z6 always does a better job due to IBIS, touchscreen, sensor and the native mirrorless lenses. Let's face it, is there something better "light walk around" FF combo then the Nikon Z6 with the 50mm f/1.8 S or 24-70mm f/4 S at this moment in time.
    Post edited by Ton14 on
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    So do you use a tracking mode on the D600 for BIF?
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 371Member
    edited May 2
    No just AF-C and single focus point and D9 or D21.
    Menu a3 set on 5 AF (Long), helps a bit when it went behind a branch for a moment. Learned this from @Coastalconn (Kristofer Rowe, you can look him up on Flickr and this forum).
    Post edited by Ton14 on
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    Well you might want to try AF-C and dynamic area AF on the Z6. I have decent luck with that for kids soccer.
  • Ton14Ton14 Posts: 371Member
    edited May 2
    Yes that works great on the Z6. Sometimes I switch to dynamic AF area, but I cannot use it in a lot of situations, with the square fixed on my subject, it focus on the foreground with the bottom points, but my subject is further away and out of focus.
    Post edited by Ton14 on
    User Ton changed to Ton14, Google sign in did not work anymore
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 981Member
    @Pistnbroke even an ancient body like the D7000 would do better than the Z7 at bif. No firmware is going to fix that. Nikon needs to license the Sony pdaf af and copy the a9’s No blackout vf. Maybe a Z8 is going to do that, but I think probably not. There are no teles on the Z Nikon roadmap until 2020 at the earliest.
  • PistnbrokePistnbroke Posts: 1,748Member
    done the D7000 years ago ..point taken
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    well personally that sounds a bit pessimistic, but I don't shoot BIF. I find the Z6 AF to be pretty similar to the D7200 in terms of action performance. Not sure how the D7200 and D7000 compare.
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 981Member
    @mhedges
    The guys at DP review have a new video out comparing the Z7’s autofocus to Sony a7riii and Panasonic’s new S1R. Not surprising the Sony won easily. However what should be surprising is that the contrast-detect only Panasonic bested the Nikon Z7. Think about that for a second. The Z7 is so bad in autofocus that a camera without phase detect can beat it for action sequences!

    I think we are all Nikon fans, but generally the folks in this forum are better than fanboys who blindly downplay defects. However, that’s why the OP came here - because we are good enough to objectively say what’s great and what’s not so good. It’s really a kudos to everyone here.
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    @manhattanboy just watched it. Interesting comparisons. They basically said they Z7 and S1R were almost identical in performance, but preferred the controls and tracking AF implementation on the Panasonic. Also said that the CDAF pulsing on the Panasonic was not fun to deal with from an operator perspective.

    Gotta admit I’m a bit prejudiced against DPreview after they incorrectly butchered the Z 50 1.8 due to basic stupidity, (and their constant hounding about the PDAF banding “issue”) but I am surprised that they were so close.

    Z AF has to improve, no doubt. It’s basically good enough for me right now, but I’m well aware there are plenty of users out there who need better AF than I do.
  • BVSBVS Posts: 398Member
    edited May 6

    @mhedges

    The guys at DP review have a new video out comparing the Z7’s autofocus to Sony a7riii and Panasonic’s new S1R. Not surprising the Sony won easily. However what should be surprising is that the contrast-detect only Panasonic bested the Nikon Z7. Think about that for a second. The Z7 is so bad in autofocus that a camera without phase detect can beat it for action sequences!

    Personally, I have little confidence in whatever these guys say about AF, after they tested the AF with only an adapted Sigma lens in a previous video and then basically declared the AF to be bad. Further, there's no mention of what lens(es) or AF mode(s) they were using in this comparison, so who knows what they're basing their judgement on.

    On the other hand, they do say that the Z7 has the best video AF of the three, so Nikon must be doing something right.
    Post edited by BVS on
    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • manhattanboymanhattanboy Posts: 981Member
    edited May 6
    @BVS While I love the image quality coming from my Z7, I don't love the AF.
    If you don't trust DPreview, there have been countless others stating similar things for Nikon's Z cameras and I've pasted some comments below that you may have not seen. I'm not hear to bash the Z7, just to point out BEFORE the OP lays down more than $3.5 grand on a Z7 camera, that buying it for bifs is probably not a wise choice. I challenge anyone here to tell me that $3.5 grand could not buy you a far superior alternative camera vs the Z7 for bifs.

    Thom Hogan
    "One thing, though: none of these autofocus detection sites are cross-type, as you find in the DSLRs. That means that focus is more responsive to detail on one axis only (long axis).
    ...
    So the Z7 can track motion well, then?

    No."


    ArtofPhotrography
    "Autofocus is unfortunately a weak point on the Nikon Z6. I’m going to explain my experience, but in short – its not horrible, but its flawed in some situations that you’ll need to understand how to work around. This is disappointing considering the competition from Sony. I think its something Nikon will improve though, as this is their first mirrorless offering."

    Photographylife
    "The bad news is that the Z7 focus system is, still, just an improved version of Nikon’s live view autofocus. It isn’t at the same level as the 153-point phase detect system found in the Nikon D5, D850, and D500, or even the 51-point system found in older Nikon DSLRs – particularly in terms of tracking capabilities. You’ll also find the DSLR autofocus layout and options to be much more extensive and logical, while the Z7 includes some peculiar handling choices in this respect."
    Post edited by manhattanboy on
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    The only nit I I will pick with the above statements is with the one from photography life. I remember it kind of bothered me when it was first published, as it was an uncharacteristic misstatement from what I consider to be an excellent website. I’m not arguing with his conclusion, but the “regular” af in the Zs has nothing at all to do with the contrast detection AF used in DSLR live view. If you choose to use the low light or pinpoint AF then that can be thought of as an evolution of live view af, but the normal af uses a totally different implementation.
  • BVSBVS Posts: 398Member

    While I love the image quality coming from my Z7, I don't love the AF.
    If you don't trust DPreview, there have been countless others stating similar things for Nikon's Z cameras and I've pasted some comments below that you may have not seen. I'm not hear to bash the Z7, just to point out BEFORE the OP lays down more than $3.5 grand on a Z7 camera, that buying it for bifs is probably not a wise choice. I challenge anyone here to tell me that $3.5 grand could not buy you a far superior alternative camera vs the Z7 for bifs.

    I agree, the Z7 is not the best camera for BIF. Even if the AF was perfect, other things like the smallish buffer, viewfinder blackout/stutter at high fps, and lesser battery life would still make it less than ideal. A D5, D850, D500, or A9 are probably be the best choices. On the other hand, if a person mainly wants the Z7 for other uses and BIF is only an occasional thing, then people have been able to get by with it.

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=sNAziALpnXc

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=DQFPjvIBQfE





    D7100, 85 1.8G, 50 1.8G, 35 1.8G DX, Tokina 12-28 F4, 18-140, 55-200 VR DX
  • mhedgesmhedges Posts: 982Member
    Curious if anyone has really put the Z7 buffer to the test. Do you often find it filling up?

    Z6 buffer performance is just fine, IMO, but I could see how Z7 could have issues considering the buffer is the same size but the images are almost twice as big.
  • WestEndFotoWestEndFoto Posts: 2,881Member
    I suspect that the upgrade to CFExpress will make the buffer a moot point. And if not, certainly on subsequent cameras.
Sign In or Register to comment.