Video demo of Eye AF at the Nikon exhibition during CES 2019. The new mirrorless cameras from Les Shu / Digital TrendsNikon are already getting new features thanks to firmware updates. During CES 2019, Nikon shared several new features that are currently being developed for the Z7 and Z6, including support for CFexpress, autofocus for eye detection, and RAW video output. On February 13, Nikon released the first two updates – Eye AF and Enhanced Autofocus and Exposure – a launch date for May 2019.
Additional CES 2019 cover
Eye-AF makes it easier to capture sharp eyes when taking portraits, street and event photography. The software helps to automatically detect the eyes to avoid defects. If you get it right, Eye AF is a welcome addition to the series – with options such as the Sony a7R III already including Eye AF.
According to Nikon, photographers can choose which eye to focus on when shooting with multiple people. The options are also available in both AF-S and AF-C modes.
Nikon adds to the list of previously requested firmware updates that auto focus and exposure adjustments in May with a firmware update will also come on the Z6 and Z7. The update improves the autofocus focus in low light and also allows access to the auto exposure setting when shooting in extended burst mode.
The Z6 and Z7's XQD memory card slot can also accept CFexpress cards with an upcoming firmware update. CFexpress and XQD are similar formats that are larger than the traditional SD card, with some differences. CFexpress cards are limited to specific speeds and capacities, while XQD cards are fast and may be even faster in the future.
Nikon calls this speed along with a handful of other reasons such as capacity, transfer rates and durability as reasons why the company chose the XQD instead of the older CFexpress format. However, Sony is the only major manufacturer of XQD cards and can sell for almost $ 150 for a 64GB card. The firmware update will open more options – and photographers who already have CFexpress cards can use those cards again. This update does not have a start date yet.
Finally, the upcoming firmware will allow support of RAW video output via HDMI. In this way, the external Atomos Ninja V-Recorder can save 12-bit ProRes RAW files from the Z6 and Z7, but RAW videos can not be captured with the camera.
While some firmware has no start date, models with the updated firmware were displayed during the CES. Nikon says the firmware updates are based on user feedback.
At CES, Nikon also launched the NIKKOR Z 14-30mm 1: 4 S lens, the widest Z-series lens ever. The lens is also unique in that even though the lens is ultra-wide-angle, it still can pick up front filters because the front panel is not as rounded as most full-frame ultra-wide-angle lenses. Nikon also says that the lens is lighter and more compact than the comparable F-mount lens. A kit for filmmakers for the Nikon Z6 was also part of Nikon's CES announcements.
Updated on February 13 with estimated dates and new firmware additions.