Z 9 Firmware 4.0 is Here!

This is impressive! Check it all out!!! And download it here!

My Updated Z 9 Settings Here

  • • Camera Control Pro 2 version 2.36.0 or later, IPTC Preset Manager version 1.3.0 or later, NX Studio version 1.4.0 or later, NX MobileAir version 1.2 or later (Android edition), NX Field version 1.4 or later

Note: The changes listed below under “Still Photography”, “Video Recording”, “Playback”, “Controls”, “Displays”, and “Network (Also NX Field)” are detailed in the Supplementary Firmware Update Manual.

■ Still Photography

  • • Added [Auto capture] to the photo shooting menu. Users can select capture criteria from [Motion] (the direction the subject is moving), [Distance] (how far the subject is from the camera), and [Subject detection] (whether or not a subject of a given type is detected), and the camera will take photographs automatically while it detects subjects that meet the selected criteria. Note that [Distance] is available with NIKKOR Z lenses and may not function as expected when used with other lenses.
  • • The length of time the camera will continue to buffer frames before cancelling shooting during the Pre-Release Capture phase of high-speed frame capture has been increased from 30 to 300 seconds.
  • • Added [Large] to the size options available for [Role played by card in Slot 2] > [JPEG Slot 1 – JPEG Slot 2] in the photo shooting menu.
  • • Added new bracketing increments for use during auto bracketing with [AE & flash bracketing], [AE bracketing], or [Flash bracketing] selected for [Auto bracketing set]. This change also applies to [Interval timer shooting] > [Options] > [AE bracketing] > [Increment].

■ Video Recording

  • • Added [Auto capture] to the video recording menu. Users can select capture criteria from [Motion] (the direction the subject is moving), [Distance] (how far the subject is from the camera), and [Subject detection] (whether or not a subject of a given type is detected), and the camera will record video automatically while it detects subjects that meet the selected criteria. Note that [Distance] is available with NIKKOR Z lenses and may not function as expected when used with other lenses.
  • • Added low ISO sensitivity options to [ISO sensitivity settings] > [ISO sensitivity (mode M)] for use during N-Log video recording.
  • • Changed the range of speeds available for Hi-Res Zoom.
  • • Added slow-motion video recording.

■ Playback

  • • Made changes to the [Select for upload to computer] and [Select for upload (FTP)] items in the playback “i” menu and added [Select for priority upload to computer] and [Select for priority upload (FTP)].

■ Controls

  • • Added support for the power zoom feature on power zoom lenses.
  • • Added an [Exposure delay mode] item to the [CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU] in position d6.
  • • Added to the custom controls and roles assignable via the following items in the [CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU]. New reset options have also been added.
    • – f2[Custom controls (shooting)]
    • – f3[Custom controls (playback)]
    • – g2[Custom controls]
    •    Among the roles that can now be assigned via Custom Settings f2 [Custom controls (shooting)] and g2 [Custom controls] is [Switch eyes], which can be used to switch focus between the subject’s left and right eyes.
    •    A new [Frame advance zoom position] > [Prefer focus point] role for Custom Setting f3 [Custom controls (playback)] can be used during playback zoom to center the display on the active focus point for each picture when scrolling through pictures using a command dial.
  • • Made updates to [Non-CPU lens data] in the [SETUP MENU].
  • • Increased the character limit for “Category” entries in IPTC presets.
  • • Restructured the [Camera sounds] item in the [SETUP MENU] with the addition of new options, including new sounds and volume level adjustment for the electronic shutter.

■ Displays

  • • Added focus-distance information to the focus distance indicator displayed during manual focus.
  • • The option selected for [Viewfinder display size] (formerly [Finder display size (photo Lv)]) in the [SETUP MENU] now also applies in video and playback modes.

■ Network (Also NX Field)

  • • Made changes and additions to the [Connect to FTP server] item in the [NETWORK MENU].
  • • Changed the procedure used when configuring the camera for synchronized release, increasing to twenty the number of groups that can be created, while the number of cameras in each group that can be controlled from the master camera has been increased to sixteen.
  • • Added [Overwrite copyright info] under [Connect to other cameras] in the [NETWORK MENU].

■ App-Related Changes

With NX MobileAir:

  • • the camera live view display for photo mode now shows NX MobileAir status, and
  • • camera settings saved to a memory card using [Save/load menu settings] can now be downloaded to the smart device or copied from the smart device to the camera memory card using NX MobileAir.

■ Other Changes

  • • Improved the accuracy of [3D-tracking] for small, fast-moving subjects when [Auto], [People], [Animal], or [Vehicle] is chosen for [AF subject detection options] and no subject of the selected type is detected.
  • • Improved focus accuracy for dark, low-contrast subjects.
  • • Improved focus lock-on with flicker detection in low-speed continuous release mode.
  • • Made other improvements to the autofocus operation and its reliability.
  • • Improved the performance of auto white balance during portrait photography.
  • • Fixed an issue that sometimes resulted in the viewfinder darkening during playback when [Auto] was selected for [Viewfinder brightness].
  • • It is now easier to obtain the correct exposure from the first shot during interval-timer photography in high-contrast settings or settings dark enough for starlight view.
  • • The histogram display is no longer available when starlight view is enabled.
  • • Changed the video low-capacity warning so that it is now displayed in white on a red background when there is less than one minute remaining. The warning is now also displayed when recording is not in progress.
  • • Users now have more precise control when scrolling through videos during playback using the progress bar.
  • • Fixed the following issues:
    • – The camera would sometimes stop responding if the standby timer was reactivated after having expired with [Prioritize viewfinder (1)] or [Prioritize viewfinder (2)] selected for [Limit monitor mode selection] and high-speed frame capture selected for [Release mode].
    • – The camera would sometimes stop responding if changes were made to Picture Control parameters during NEF (RAW) processing.
    • – The viewfinder would in rare instances fail to display the focus point correctly during burst photography.
    • – [Image size] could not be adjusted by holding the QUAL button and rotating the sub-command dial if a DX-format lens was attached with [ON] selected for [Image size settings] > [Enable DX image sizes].
    • – SB-800 flash units would sometimes stop responding after pictures were taken with the flash disabled.
    • – [Vignette control] would sometimes fail to correctly control vignetting when an option other than [Off] was selected.
    • – Users could no longer select the FX image area after choosing the DX image area in Camera Control Pro 2 with a 100p or 120p option selected for video frame rate.
    • – Focus could still be adjusted using the focus ring when [Disable] was selected for [Manual focus ring in AF mode] in the [CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU] if an option other than [Non-linear] was chosen for [Focus ring rotation range] in the [CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU].
    • – The battery would draw down more quickly while the camera was off if [ON] was selected for [Connect to smart device] > [Wi-Fi connection] in the [NETWORK MENU] even if [OFF] was selected for both [Bluetooth connection] and [Upload while off].
    • – The German and Korean menus and help text contained typos.

The Spectacular Z600f4

Z600f4 w/ Z 9 attached

The Z600f4 is gorgeously spectacular! It is the sharpest telephoto I’ve ever shot with if not sharpest lens period! It’s not a secret that I love long glass, shooting with them all over the decades, including my treasured and all-time favorite, the 800f5.6 AFS. And while it’s hard to come to this realization but as I get older, the romance of carrying big, heavy gear isn’t as romantic as it once was. That’s why I first requested the loan of the Z600f4 from NPS to see if it was a good fit for me and my photography. I’ve shot and owned all the 600f4s in my day starting with the manual version. And of all the long glass I’ve shot, without a doubt, the Z600f4 is the best! Did I mention it’s really sharp! Here’s the real biggie for me though when it comes to the Z600f4. It is four pounds lighter and focuses five feet closer than the 800f5.6 AFS! Four pounds lighter and focuses five feet closer … oh my! That’s a monstrous improvement that my back and photography truly appreciate! The Z600f4 has an internal 1.4 that engages with a flip of a lever. The vast majority of the time I have it engaged so I’m shooting at 840mm f5.6 which is my favorite focal length. And it’s really sharp! And it feels like a zoom as I can disengage the 1.4 and be at 600mm. And if I need even more reach, I add the Z1.4x or Z2x delivering outstanding image quality. The wait to buy one is long, 4-6 months minimum but to me it is so worth it. The latest addition to the kit is the spectacular Z600f4! mtc

It’s Not the Size that Counts!

What’s the most important tool, that you already own, for the perfect photograph? It’s the exact same tool you need to improve your photography too? I’ve become quite aware of late that there is a perception it’s the size of the camera bag that counts. Rather, it’s the size of your heart that counts! It pumps the passion through your photography! The most important tool is the one between the ears which is empowered by your heart! I remember fondly when I went to the camera counter at Fedco with my hard earned cash in hand to buy my first camera. I knew I would be buying a Minolta SRT202 but it was what we call a “kit” lens was the big question. You had the option of the 50f2, 50f1.8 or the 50f1.4 – it was the most expensive. I didn’t have the money for the f1.4 (which was my choice) with sales tax. My dad stepped in and covered the extra from sales tax so I walked out with that body and one lens. For the next year, that was it, my total kit and it taught me so much. I’ve written many, many times that when I get a new body or lens, I marry myself to it for weeks and weeks just shooting with it. This comes from my first purchase. You’ve probably read my words advice when folks ask what lens they should buy next. If you find yourself backing up all the time, get a wide angle. If you find yourself getting closer all the time, purchase longer. This comes from my first year with that 50f1.4. You might notice my preference to shooting wide open. Yep, that comes from that first year with the 50f1.4! And yes, I still love and own a 50mm, now the Z50f1.2. I’ve been very fortunate throughout my carrer having the work that pays for my passion permitting me to have the kit I require to tell my visual storytelling. And while that kit has changed many, many times in my years and is changing, again, there is one tool that has been in the kit since the very beginning. The most important one we all have, our heart! Look at what you do have in your kit and empower it with your heart and you’ll see just how much gear you really do have. You don’t need every lens in the store or your friends kit to be successful and for your photography to grow. It’s the size of your heart that counts, not the size of your kit. It’s not the size that counts!

Settings Need Muscle Memory

My Menu on my Z 9 … you can click to see all the options

If you have a Z 9, D6 or any Nikon body, you know what I’m talking about. There is a boat load of options / features / tools available to us with the push of a button. It is after all a very complicated computer we’re using to bring back to share our visual stories. But I gotta tell ya I’ve picked up a few photographers camera and push a button and I felt like I was launching Starship and with kinda the same results … rapid disassembly! Most definitely we need to experiment with the feature we associate with a certain button to see how it aids our photography but there is a time when we need to stop experimenting and get to shooting. The biggest issue I’ve come across with photographers is, there are TOO many available options! How to narrow them down, that’s the challenge. What I recommend is finding the top ten and making those your primary. Why ten? Because we have ten fingers and when it comes to muscle memory, that’s most folks limit. Programming buttons with features is only as good as your remembering IN THE HEAT OF BATTLE which finger hittin what button makes what feature come to life.

I state quite honestly that I can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. It’s knowing my own limitations combined with the photographs I want to bring home that I set up all my settings and program the various buttons as I do. We all have a different logic system, physical abilities and most importantly, passion to tell our stories. The settings I have listed below while being my everyday settings, they are just a starting point for you. Think through those top ten you depend on most and use that as a starting point and then put the power of Nikon’s engineering and craftsmanship in your hands! Literally!!

I hope this helps you jump start your Nikon body experience!


ProGrade PG05.5 Screamer Reader

The ProGrade PG05.5 Dual-slot reader

I went looking for the fastest reader I could find to compliment the speed of the MacBook Pro Max and there was for me a clear winner. The new ProGrade PG05.05 Dual-Slot Card Reader is a screamer! Using AJA System Test I got average speeds of W903 / R662 with peaks of W1775 / R1245! In this process I tested seven other CFexpress Type-B readers with the PG05.5 clearly the fastest. Does it really matter? I comes down to your shooting and workflow habits. For me, time is precious with anything I can do to be back out behind the camera and not the computer is worth the expense. The small size, light weight and speed, it was a no-brainier adding it to the kit. I’m telling ya, the ProGrade PG05.5 is a screamer reader!

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