Nikon has released its first major firmware upgrade for the Nikon Z 8, providing improvements to photo and video features.

The new firmware adds bird detection to the Z 8’s AF subject-detection options, improving overall AF detection and tracking of birds compared to modes like [auto] and [animal]. It also adds the Auto Capture function, which automatically shoots stills and video when the subject meets the user’s configured criteria. Users can choose from three settings to be used separately or in combination; [Motion] detects subjects moving in a set direction; [Distance] starts shooting when the subject is within a certain range or distance; and [Subject detection], which detects people, animals, vehicles, or aeroplanes within the frame. In addition, Auto Capture is available when users shoot with a DX lens, or the image area is set to DX.

The upgrade also includes the pixel-shift shooting function, which enables users to capture subjects with the finest of details such as buildings, art pieces, and insects, with precise rendering of the subject’s colours, textures, and structures. This function allows the creation of high-resolution photos by using dedicated software to merge multiple NEF (RAW) files recorded with the camera mounted on a tripod or otherwise stabilised. Also new is the addition of the Rich Tone Portrait Picture Control, which aims to enhance skin details while minimising white clipping. Other enhancements and functions in the Nikon Z 8 firmware upgrade version 2.00 include:

  • Increased number of functions and operations can be assigned to custom control
  • A function that allows users to exit zoom with a half-press of the shutter-release button when focus mode is set to manual focus
  • An option that allows users to choose the width of the focus-point borders
  • An option that allows users to choose not to record shooting orientation information in the image’s EXIF data
  • A new [Prefer focus point (Face priority)] option that centres the display on a face when detected while scrolling through photos during playback zoom
  • UltraSync BLUE, an ATOMOS AirGlu accessory, can be connected via Bluetooth when the MC-N10 Remote Grip is attached to the camera

The new firmware is available to download here.