At CP+ 2019 we got a first look at the new Eye AF for the Nikon Z6 & Z7. New upcoming firmware that is scheduled to be released in May will include Eye AF, better autofocus performance in low light conditions, and the ability to use CFexpress cards.
We got to try out a beta version of the new firmware that includes Eye AF and better autofocus performance, especially in lower lighting conditions. Other competing cameras such as Sony’s a7R III have had Eye AF for quite some time. The Eye AF was working well on the Z7 that we tried and you can easily switch from one eye to the other using the joystick or dial on the back of the camera. While it did work well once it locked onto someone’s eye, occasionally it looked like it was initially hunting around looking for an eye to track. As the firmware is still very much beta I imagine Nikon will continue to tweak it in the months leading up to its release.
In general, the overall autofocus performance seems to have improved. When using the upcoming 24-70mm f2.8 Z mount lens on the Z7, I found the autofocus was snappy and responsive.
What surprised me was Nikon told us that at the moment the Eye AF only works when taking photos and currently it does not work when shooting video. Let’s hope that Nikon does make the Eye AF work for both video and stills.
It’s good to see Nikon continuing to improve and add functions to the Z6 and Z7. With a flexible mount, a large collection of lenses that can be used through adapters, good video performance, and the upcoming ability to record Prores RAW to an Atomos Ninja V, they certainly are trying to win over video shooters.