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Nikon Corp. is announced the release of firmware version 2.00 for its full-frame/FX-format mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 8. The firmware is the first for the Z 8, offering new still-image and video options:
1. Addition of a dedicated [Birds] mode to meet the needs of bird photography
A dedicated [Birds] option has been added to the Z 8’s AF subject-detection options. In addition to increased detection, tracking and AF performance with complicated and high-contrast backgrounds such as forests and rocky mountains, this option better enables the detection of birds in various circumstances, including flying, perched, and even those with unique-looking appearances.
2. Addition of functions expanding the range of shooting styles
The Auto Capture function has been added, enabling the automatic shooting of stills and video when the subject meets one or more pre-configured criteria. The three criteria that can be configured are a [Motion] option that detects subjects that move in a designated direction, a [Distance]* option which begins shooting when a subject is within a certain range of distances, and a [Subject detection] option that detects people, animals, vehicles, or airplanes within the frame. These options can be used separately or together according to the user’s needs. Additionally, Auto Capture is also available when lenses for DX-format mirrorless cameras are used with the image area set to [DX].
The new firmware also adds the pixel-shift shooting function, allowing users to create high-resolution photos by using dedicated software to merge multiple NEF (RAW) files recorded with the camera mounted on a tripod or otherwise stabilized.
3. Addition of functions for portrait photography
The addition of the Rich Tone Portrait Picture Control increases options for portraiture by realizing the rendering of portraits with rich tones, while retaining skin details. This Picture Control is ideal for the creation of a base image in scenes where retouching is presumed, such as at weddings and for studio photography. In combination with the variety of other functions offered by Nikon for portrait photography, such as portrait impression balance and skin softening, as well as NIKKOR Z lenses popular for portraiture, including the NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S, NIKKOR Z 85mm f/1.2 S, and the NIKKOR Z 135mm f/1.8 S Plena, users are better able to capture the shots they desire.
4. Enhancements in operability and functionality, and other functions
- The number of functions and operations that can be assigned to custom control has increased.
- A function that enables users to exit zoom with a half-press of the shutter-release button when focus mode is set to manual focus, has been added.
- An option that allows users to choose the width of focus-point borders has been added.
- An option that allows users to choose not to record shooting orientation information in image EXIF data has been added.
- A new [Prefer focus point (face priority)] option has been added that centers the display on a face when one is detected while scrolling through photos during playback zoom.
- When the MC-N10 Remote Grip is attached to the camera, the ATOMOS AirGlu accessory, UltraSync Blue, can now also be connected via Bluetooth simultaneously.
- *[Distance] is available only when a NIKKOR Z lens is used with the camera. Auto Capture may fail to function when lenses other than NIKKOR Z lenses are used.
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