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on Feb 20, 2020 in Field Reports

Z Animal Eye Detection for Critters

Barred Owl
captured by Z6 / 300PF

Nikon just dropped a firmware update bringing animal eye detection to the Z7 / Z6. Does it work with critters? I wanted to know so I gave it a heck of a field test yesterday to get some answers for myself. Now the final goal is to capture sharp images. My question is whether I can credit just the new Animal Eye Detection or just the Z AF system in general, I can’t honestly tell you. The AF locked on and I got sharp images of busy, darting birds so I was happy. When it comes to the animal eye detection, this is what I found.

Black-capped Chickadee
captured by Z6 / 300PF

When you’re in Auto Area AF with the Z with eye detection turned on, when it is working, a yellow box attaches to the eye. The photo of the Barred Owl above, I quickly saw the yellow box appear and the focus snap into place. When I had it on the Boreal Chickadee, in this photo, the yellow box appeared but that was perhaps only 40% of the time. This is in part I think because the two eyes were not forward and because chickadees just don’t hold still. Yet, even without the yellow box, the photo was sharp. As far as I’m concerned, the AF is improved and delivered which is what is important to me.

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