Nikon has just announced the release of its first major firmware update for the Nikon Z 8 full-frame mirrorless camera. With firmware version 2.00, the Z 8 gets some of the advanced photo and video features available in newer Nikon cameras like the Nikon Z 9 and Z f. Firmware version 2.00 for the Nikon Z 8 adds a number of new features that promise to make it easier to capture high-quality images.
Good news for birders
Birdwatchers and wildlife photographers will appreciate the new dedicated [Birds] autofocus subject-detection option. Nikon says the Z 8 firmware 2.00 update improves bird-detection performance and offers better support for bird photography. With [Birds] subject-detection, the camera can more easily detect and track birds against complicated backgrounds, like trees. The new option also improves the detection of both perched and flying birds, as well as birds with unique features.
Another creature comfort comes in the form of a new Auto Capture function. This feature allows the camera to automatically capture an image when certain criteria are met. Auto Capture works for both still photography and video shooting. This is another boon for birders or anyone else who needs to be able to capture a fleeting moment.
Three different criteria can be configured to trigger auto-capture: [Motion], [Distance] and [Subject detection]. The criteria can be set individually or in combination.
Pixel-shift photography for his-res capture
Another new feature added with firmware version 2.00 is pixel-shift shooting. With the pixel-shift function enabled, the camera captures multiple images with a tiny shift in sensor position between each one. This gives each pixel on the sensor multiple opportunities to capture accurate color data. Then, the NEF (RAW) files are stacked and combined using dedicated in-camera software. The result is a hyper-detailed, high-resolution image that Nikon says is ideal for capturing intricate designs with precise rendering of color, textures and structures.
Rich Tone Portrait Picture Control
Also introduced with this firmware update for the Nikon Z 8 is Rich Tone Portrait Picture Control. This feature is intended to enhance color tones without interfering with skin detail. Nikon says the setting is best used when image retouching is presumed, such as in wedding photography. The feature can also be combined with other camera features, like skin softening, to achieve pleasing portrait images.
In addition to the big improvements listed above, Nikon snuck in a few less obvious upgrades. For example, with firmware version 2.00, more functions can be assigned to the Nikon Z 8’s custom controls. In another improvement, Z 8 users can now exit zoom with a half-press of the shutter release button.
Where to get Nikon Z 8 firmware version 2.00
The new Nikon Z 8 firmware version 2.00 is available for download now. Get the free update from Nikon’s Download Center.