Nikon has just released a new firmware update for its flagship Z9 camera that adds two more subject recognition modes to the autofocus algorithm: birds and planes.
Interestingly, airplane subject detection was present at launch in the Nikon Z8 – temporarily making it the flaggier flagship. However, now the Nikon Z9 gains the ability to detect birds as well – a trick that its little brother doesn't have.
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Not yet, at least. However, the Z8 will also be getting the autofocus algorithm for birds in an upcoming update in the first half of 2024, along with "other functional improvements".
So the Nikon Z9, once again, has a little more swagger right now. "Firmware Ver.4.10 adds new modes for 'bird' and 'plane' to the Z9's subject detection," says Nikon.
"'Bird' mode improves overall detection performance for birds. In addition to improved AF performance and detection in complex, high-contrast backgrounds such as rocky mountains and forests, it also quickly detects birds in a variety of conditions, including those in flight, perched, and birds with distinctive appearances.
"It also has improved tracking performance for fast-moving birds, providing a smooth shooting experience that will ensure you never miss a crucial moment when photographing wild birds.
"The 'Airplane' mode, which is also included in the Nikon Z8, allows stable detection of aircraft regardless of the size of the subject. The detection ability in scenes with various objects reflected in the background and in dark scenes has been improved."
(Also, yes, it is the second time recently that I've made the Superman reference at the top of the page. Sue me, I'm having Henry Cavill withdrawal.)