Nikon has revealed further details on the development of new firmware for its full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6, first announced at CES in January.
The firmware will enable new functions, such as Eye-Detection AF, RAW video output, and support for CFexpress memory cards. In addition, the cameras’ AF/AE functions will be improved. Here's the full lowdown:
1. Support for Eye-Detection AF for still image shooting (scheduled for release in May 2019)
Eye-Detection AF is ideal for portrait photography. The Eye-Detection AF in development will work with both the AF-S (Single AF) focus mode that is useful when photographing still human subjects, and with the AF-C (Continuous AF) focus mode, which is effective when photographing those that frequently adjust their pose. The function is capable of detecting multiple eyes, from which the user can select where the camera should focus, offering more flexibility when photographing multiple people.
2. Increased AF/AE performance (scheduled for release in May 2019)
AE (auto exposure) tracking will soon be possible in continuous high-speed (extended) mode, in addition to the current AF tracking. Low-light AF performance will also be improved, enabling faster autofocus in dark or dimly lit surroundings with both still-image shooting and movie recording.
3. Support for RAW video output (release date to be announced)
Output of 4K UHD and Full HD RAW data stream from the camera will be supported. The output RAW data stream can then be recorded in the compatible RAW format using an external recorder. This will allow users to utilise rich 12-bit colours to achieve flexible colour grading.
4. Support for CFexpress memory cards (release date to be announced)
The new firmware will provide support for CFexpress, a new standard for memory cards that offer users greater security. They deliver high-speed performance for a more efficient workflow. After the upgrade, users will be able to use both CF Express as well as XQD cards in their camera interchangeably. In addition to the Z 7 and Z 6, In the future, CFexpress memory card support will also be added to the Nikon D5 (XQD-Type), Nikon D850, and Nikon D500 digital SLR cameras as well.