Basically, once you switch the autofocus function from your shutter release (half-press) to the AF-ON button on the back of the camera, your camera will no longer autofocus through the shutter release button and will only respond to depressing the rear AF-ON button. Nikon Z6 Auto-focus modes The Z6 has 273 focus points (231 used for video) spread across its 24.5 megapixel sensor (the 45.7 MP Z7 has 493, with 435 used for video). Nasim Mansurov is the author and founder of Photography Life, based out of Denver, Colorado. If you have not read our articles on the Focus and Recompose technique and Back-Button Focusing, now is a good time to do it, because it explains this feature in detail. Improvements to Nikon’s tracking focus system promise even better continuous-focus performance, including tracking out … Position is controlled with the sub-selector, AKA joystick. Without further ado, let’s get started! This is known as “Limit AF-area mode selection”. Excellent. In addition, since we are providing our readers a downloadable settings file that can be loaded directly into the Z6, the file from the Z7 settings article would not work either. “NEF (RAW) recording” is always set on mine to 14-bit Lossless Compressed. Here is a quick recap: AF-S – this mode is called “Single-servo AF” and it is used only for stationary subjects that do not move. Lens Ring Functions. Once again, these are settings that work for me and they might not necessarily suit your needs. Autofocus is unfortunately a weak point on the Nikon Z6. I don't use them as much as I should. It will eventually unstick itself. However, if focus accuracy is more important to you than FPS, then the “Focus” option is going to be the way to go. When Nikon released its v2.0 firmware update for the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, it added a powerful new capability for Eye-detection autofocus and AE (Auto Exposure) tracking in continuous high-speed (extended) mode, as well as extending the low-light detection range of the autofocus. For erratic subjects that move in and out of the frame, Auto-area AF might work the best, while for subjects you can easily track, Dynamic-area AF might be a better choice. With Dynamic Area AF—and depending on which D-SLR you are using—you can select from several focusing options—9, 11, 21, 39 or all 51-points AF. I do not like the default settings that Nikon provides on the Z6, since there are things like Picture Controls and Image Quality that I never touch. If you ever happen to lose your memory card somewhere (which I personally have in the past) and someone finds it (let’s just assume that you have no labels on the card with your info) leaving your Copyright and/or Name could help big time in finding/locating you. Shutter shock is not an issue at such fast shutter speeds, so it is safe to use “Auto” in most cases. The other two important buttons are on the right side of the LCD. I like keeping Face detection on when using Auto-area AF mode and it works fairly well. Focus mode by default is set to AF-S (Single AF). For still photography there are 5 zones you can choose for both AF-S and AF-C. You can use the full frame, Wide-L, Wide-S, Small and Pin-Point. Current Canon Pricing The Z6’s AF system offers 273 phase-detection AF points that cover 90% of the image area both vertically and horizontally, making it great for stills and video. • 03 Ergonomics 1/50, f/8, ISO 100. The AF-Area mode allows you to choose the size and characteristics of the active focus area in the Nikon Z6/Z& viewfinder. The camera will then use EFCS at shutter speeds of 1/250 and slower, while switching to mechanical shutter at faster shutter speeds. If you want to completely eliminate Shutter Shock, you will need to make sure that the camera can automatically switch between Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter (EFCS) and mechanical shutter. The only two settings that I ever mess with are “Playback display options” and “Rotate tall”. For this shot, I was glad I had my AF-C release mode set to “Release” rather then “Focus” According to Capture NX, the camera did NOT have an AF lock, however, the eye of this bird is crazy tack sharp. Do you have a new settings file for firmware 3.0? The “Prioritize viewfinder” mode is more practical to use in situations when I want to preserve battery life as much as possible, since neither the EVF nor the LCD are engaged by default. I use those grids all the time when composing my shots – they are great for aligning the horizon horizontally or vertically and having a better visual look at my framing/composition. I just bought a used Z6 and it is sticking sometimes at 8000 shutter speed in manual mode. are turned off, since none of them (with the exception of “Long Exposure NR”) affect RAW images. With good light control and a static subject, Single Point AF ensures that the most important element in the composition, such as the eyes in a portrait, will be sharply focused. When going minimum shutter speed > 1/1000. • 11 Conclusion Speaking for myself as to why I purchased the Z6. This is the single biggest area that needs improvement as you’re going to miss shots. This focusing mode relies on the focus locking on to the subject, and it will then move the focus point automatically if the subject moves in the frame. In continuous-servo AF (AF-C), the camera will continue to focus if the shutter-release button is kept pressed halfway after the camera focuses. When using in-body image stabilization (IBIS), which is referred to as “Vibration Reduction” in the camera menu, the “Auto” setting should work quite well, although you can often safely push it to “Slower”. Its essentially AF-C but the difference being that its constantly focusing until you half-press the shutter to hold. When pressing the “DISP” button, the camera cycles between the following: Here is the graphical representation of all this: Personally, I prefer to use an uncluttered view with minimal information when composing my images, so I use the “Simplified display”. On the grip of the camera, you will find three buttons: “ISO” for changing camera ISO, video recording button (with a red dot) and Exposure Compensation button. You can also try the pin-point AF zone or manual focus, but again this takes away the speed this camera should be capable of performing at. Before we go into the camera menu, let’s first check out the exterior controls. • 04 Autofocus If the EVF does not detect an object at proximity, it goes blank, while the LCD will not do anything until I fire up the camera menu or play back an image. bigger. The nice thing about the Nikon Z6 / Z7 cameras, is that you can set them up with different profiles such as landscape, portrait and action, then depending on what you are shooting, simply rotate the PASM dial to one of the user settings and all the menu items will switch accordingly. I won’t go into too much detail about each focus mode, since it is all explained in detail in this article. Thank you for the article. Once you get to know your camera better, I would recommend exploring these user settings, as they could save you quite a bit of time when switching between different shooting environments (say when switching between photographing landscapes to fast action). It is best to leave the AF-C priority selection at the default “Release” option, so that the camera takes a picture even if the subject is not in focus. Recommended to you based on your activity and what's popular • Feedback Manual focus features the small area which will turn green when something is in focus acting as a focus aid. The options shown on the screen are customizable, which is great (more on how I customize this screen below). I really enjoyed your Guide and clear explanations. Use Single Point AF when the animal is stationary or slower moving subjects. This can be rectified by simply moving the focus manually closer to the zone but this isn’t easy to do fast. Being new to this camera, I hope this is user error. Once you do that, pressing the movie recording button and rotating the front dial will not toggle through that option, which is neat! Thank you Aart. < — back to Nikon Z6 II Review < — back to Nikon Z6 Review. Viewfinder Monitor Control Button Fn Buttons. Although color space does not matter for RAW files, I use AdobeRGB because it gives a slightly more accurate histogram (since the camera shows histograms based on camera-rendered JPEG images, even if you shoot exclusively in RAW). For me, the key button is Fn1, which I set to AE lock (Hold), so that I can easily lock my exposure with a single press of a button. I am not going to go through these settings since they go over the scope of this article. The Nikon Z6 II uses a new 24 megapixel Full-frame sensor as incorporates many of the features and improvements brought in the last years by competitors like Olympus, Fuji and Sony.These mirrorless improvements mainly focus on enhanced speed, with now on sensor phase detection AF points and an entirely new processor. I mostly use this mode when shooting landscapes and doing travel photography. I haven’t touched this menu on my Nikon Z6, since I don’t care about doing any in-camera post-processing. • 09 Video Quality In addition, the Z6 has a better low-light sensitivity range of -3.5 to 19 EV vs -2 to 19 EV. Instead of going through the whole menu again, let me show you the settings that differ for each user setting on my Nikon Z6. 1. David Busch's Nikon Z6 Guide to Digital Photography is your all-in-one comprehensive resource and reference for the exciting and affordable Nikon Z6 compact mirrorless camera. The first one is the button / switch with the “DISP” label on it. I never mess with any of the “Metering/exposure” settings, so I would just recommend leaving them at default values. Labor Day 2020, Huntington Beach, CA. I thought maybe it would stop me from adjusting my shutter below 1/1000, but it is not… what am I missing here? It is best that you explore your camera and learn about each setting as much as you can in order to take advantage of all the available features and customizations! The most important setting for the Action user setting is the minimum shutter speed under ISO sensitivity settings. If you don’t use a tripod, make sure to modify some of these settings such as Auto ISO and Exposure Delay Mode as needed. Although the Nikon Z6 is practically identical in its build, button layout / design and ergonomics to the Z7, there are some important differences between the two cameras worth going over. Thanks for your detailed article, Sharon, Program Mode, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority and Manual modes, Recommended Camera Menu Settings for Landscape Photography, Tips for Photographing the Great Conjunction. If you do not need the resolution, if you aren’t cropping or printing and you need video, the Z6 II is a great option. And with its hardware, future firmware updates will really boost performance. I probably won’t use the function as I’m using auto ISO I am happy to adjust my shutter speed as needed… just very curious what I am missing….. Hi, Being a beginner your settings are a great help. If you would like to download my Nikon Z6 settings to your camera without having to go through the whole menu one by one, please download the below file: Once you download the file, please copy it to the root folder of your XQD memory card, then put the memory card into your Nikon Z6 and go to Menu -> Setup Menu -> Save/load settings -> Load settings. Would you suggest any other changes as I shoot in jpeg? Also, can you turn framing grid on and off with button? Being able to quickly access critical camera settings is very important for me, so I chose the ones above for that reason. …then you’ll probably love the Nikon Z5, too. Nikon D850 over Nikon Z6 ii for Wildlife ? If you want to capture a fast subject such as a bird in flight, you might want to set the minimum shutter speed to something like 1/1600 or 1/2000 of a second. First I have 4 Nikon Prime lens all manual focus and no VR. You can touch an area to select a focus point on the LCD screen or you can use the joy-stick to move the AF point selection. You should keep this turned off by default, because turning it on will engage the electronic shutter (and you should only use the electronic shutter for non-moving subjects). Make sure to add a few important items under “MY MENU”, so that you can have quick access to them. • 02 EVF/LCD Unfortunately, the Nikon Z-series cameras do not have the AE / AF lock button, so another button is used to compensate. Nikon Z6 II. The “OK button” is now set by default to zoom into the image at 1:1 when you press it in playback mode, which is nice! All the other buttons are fairly standard, similar to those you can find on many other Nikon DSLRs. So finally bought Nikon Z6 along with 50 1.8S, loving it so far. They each include AF-F for video and MF (Manual Focus) when you, as the photographer want full manual control of the focus when shooting either stills or video. Alright, now that we have gone through all the important buttons, let’s go through the camera menu and customize the settings. For stills, you get AF-S for single servo focusing, AF-C for continuous and MF for manual focusing. Note that this is one area of clear difference between the Z5 and Z6: the Z6 goes to -6EV (-3.5EV normally). By checking this box I consent to the use of my information, as detailed in the Privacy Policy. Thanks for the guide! You can find it on YouTube, iTunes and Facebook. The solution is to set up your Nikon … The Z6 II uses a brand-new Nikon Z mount optimized for Nikon's new Z-mount mirrorless S lenses. If you turn it off, your camera will boost the LCD and the EVF to the same brightness each time, no matter what camera settings you have chosen. In my experience, the camera has trouble in low light, but more specifically lower contrast. The only thing I would do is set up “Image comment” and “Copyright information”. The settings are for the latest firmware 3.0. If you have shaky hands, you can change the Minimum shutter speed Auto to be one step closer to “Faster”, which basically doubles the minimum shutter speed. If there are no faces, the second priority will be depth awareness. When shooting fast action, I tend to reduce that setting to short delays, because I want autofocus to re-engage even with smaller changes. Your reviews are always great, useful and more importantly I like your style of photography which is important as this helps to translate into the the types of images I also enjoy creating . • 06 Performance Let’s go through the differences for portraiture: Most of the action settings are going to be similar to portrait ones. The Z6 II is the same, although some menu items may be in slightly different places. The second important menu item under “Controls” is “Custom control assignment”. Currently have D750. All three are “entry-level” full-frame cameras, with 24 megapixels and in a similar $2,000 price league, though the older D750 now often sells at a considerable discount. When photographing landscapes or architecture with the camera mounted on a tripod, you should turn Auto ISO off and use base ISO 100 to get the highest dynamic range and lowest noise levels. I did not bother changing the lens buttons and control ring – the defaults work just fine. Basically, with “Exposure delay mode” turned on, the camera waits a specified amount of time and only then opens up the shutter to capture the image. Dual Card Slot: Dual card slot now available in Nikon Z6 II and Nikon Z7 II camera. Video shooters also prefer the Z6 that oversamples 4K video at full sensor width, while the Z7 is forced to skip lines, producing inferior results. Camera and Lens Specials Autofocus on the Nikon Z6 is the area with the most needed attention. When you half-press the shutter button, autofocus lock on the subject and if the subject moves, the focus will not … Because the camera continues to focus up to the moment the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down, this mode is … Personally, I add a few menu options here such as “ISO sensitivity settings”, “Interval timer shooting” and “Time-lapse movie” but that’s all a matter of preference. However, as pointed out above, I did change the Movie record button to change Focus mode / AF-area mode, so that I can toggle between AF-S, AF-C, MF and different focus options using the movie record button + front and rear dials. The first one is useful for shooting with both the EVF and the LCD, but does end up wasting battery life because either the EVF or the LCD is always turned on. On the top left side of the camera, you will find a standard “PASM” dial with a lock button on the top. When shooting landscapes, I assume that you are going to be using a tripod. To make the EVF and the LCD also zoom in to 1:1 when shooting (incredibly useful when manually focusing), I set the same button to “Zoom on/off -> 1:1” under “Shooting Mode”. Really useful and surprising as I also use U1 for landscape, U2 for portrait and U3 settings for action. The priority is Face Detection – if it sees faces in frame it will auto-detect them as the first priority. When you press the playback button on the back of the camera, you can press up/down buttons and you will be able to see different types of information. (Nikon D4, 600mm + 1.4TC, 1/4000th, F6.3) Hi Nasim, I am considering the Z 6. If the camera fails to focus, the focus point will flash red. Lenses FTZ Adapter Adapted Manual Lenses In this video, we’ll cover focus modes (AF-S & AF-C), AF Area Modes (Single Point, Dynamic, Wide, Auto, Pinpoint, Tracking, Eye Detection, More), PLUS a ton of autofocus custom settings! NOTE: The below article is applicable for Nikon Z6 firmware v3.00. 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