Nikon Z6 / Z7 firmware update boasts animal AF and more CFexpress support

Nikon Z6 / Z7 firmware update boasts animal AF and more CFexpress support
(Image credit: Nikon)

Nikon has rolled out another beefy firmware update for its Z6 and Z7 duo. And while Animal-detection AF is the main talking point, additional CFexpress compatibility will surely please the full-frame mirrorless faithful. 

The Nikon Z50 receives a modest update, too, with firmware version 1.10 designed to improve AF when users record self-portraits in Movie mode.

At the tail end of last year Nikon boosted the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 with RAW video output and CFexpress compatibility, and the new firmware version 3.00 boosts the camera duo's abilities even further. Animal-detection AF is designed to work with cats and dogs, and boasts both face and eye detection, with face detection working in video mode, too.

• Read more: The best Nikon camera in 2020

Subject tracking has been altered to operate more like the 3D-tracking found in Nikon DSLRs. Half-pressing and holding the shutter button (or pressing AF-ON) while in AF-C mode will activate tracking, and when no longer held down the tracking will stop. When this happens, the focus point will revert to its original position.

The Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 will receive more robust support for CFexpress cards

The Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 will receive more robust support for CFexpress cards (Image credit: Digital Camera World)

CFexpress cards are big news at the moment, widely regarded as the super-fast format of the future. However, while last year's firmware version 2.20 premiered Nikon’s compatibility with the new storage medium, only Sony-branded cards were officially supported by the two full-frame cameras. 

Following that firmware release, we tested a pair of SanDisk cards on the Nikon Z7 just to see what would happen; while it was possible to take and record images, a number of bugs were certainly present, requiring such measures as turning the camera off then on again or removing and reinserting the card to keep shooting. 

Thankfully, the situation has improved with firmware version 3.00. Nikon has announced that both ProGrade and Lexar-branded CFexpress Type B cards are now supported – it seems likely that other cards not specifically mentioned by Nikon will likely result in similar bugs as before, but at least the rollout of full compatibility appears to be well underway.

To download firmware version 3.00 or version 1.10, or to find out more, visit the Nikon Download Center.

Read more:

Nikon Z6 vs Z7 – which should you buy?
Nikon Z50 review
The best Nikon camera in 2020
The best Nikon Z lenses for the Z6, Z7 and Z50

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Mike Harris
Technique Editor

Mike is Deputy Editor for N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine, and brings with him over 10 years experience writing both freelance and for some of the biggest specialist publications. Prior to joining N-Photo Mike was the production editor for the content marketing team of Wex Photo Video, the UK’s largest online specialist photographic retailer, where he sharpened his skills in both the stills and videography spheres.  

While he’s an avid motorsport photographer, his skills extend to every genre of photography – making him one of Digital Camera World’s top tutors for techniques on cameras, lenses, tripods, filters and other imaging equipment, as well as sharing his expertise on shooting everything from portraits and landscapes to abstracts and architecture to wildlife and, yes, fast things going around race tracks.