Nikon is pleased to announce the release of firmware version 4.00 for its flagship full-frame/FX-format mirrorless camera, the Nikon Z 9. The upgraded firmware version 4.00, which is the third major firmware update since the Z 9's release, adds several new features for both still and video shooting, including Auto Capture. In addition, it offers improved operability and display features that respond to user needs for the further evolution of the Z 9.
The new Auto Capture function enables automatic shooting when the subject meets one or more pre-configured criteria, providing users with new options for both still and video shooting, particularly in situations that require increased automation or when the camera must be positioned in places where the user cannot remain for extended periods of time. Additionally, video functions have been further improved by expanding the minimum ISO sensitivity available with N-Log recording, increasing the number of options available for Hi-Res Zoom speed, and adding slow-motion video recording. With still-image shooting, the subject acquisition performance of 3D-tracking when capturing stills of small and fast-moving subjects (When the subject is not detected with [AF subject detection options] set to [Auto], [People], [Animal], or [Vehicle]) has been improved. The firmware also supports enhanced operability by increasing the number of functions that can be assigned to custom controls, as well as the addition of new shutter sound options.
Nikon will continuously meet users' needs through firmware updates that expand the functionality of its cameras.
1. Auto Capture realizes a wider range of shooting styles with automatic shooting
Users can set the camera to automatically record still images or video by pre-configuring Auto Capture criteria. The three criteria that can be configured include a [Motion] option that detects subjects that make certain movements, a [Distance] option which begins shooting when a subject is within a certain range of distances, and a [Subject detection] option which detects a person, animal, or vehicle within the frame. These options can be used either separately or together to automatically trigger shooting when the selected criteria are met.
This allows the user to shoot remotely and without having to manually determine the timing of shooting/recording, providing users with more freedom to perform other tasks, or to leave their camera outside in places they cannot remain for extended periods of time, such as when shooting or recording wild animals.
When using more than one Z 9, one camera can be used for hand-held shooting as the user moves from place to place, with the other cameras set up for automatic shooting from tripods at fixed locations. Auto Capture also enables shooting from multiple angles without using the extension cords previously required to control multiple cameras, eliminating worries about connections during remote shooting. It can also be used with the Pre-Release Capture function for more reliable capture of decisive moments.
*[Distance] is available only when a NIKKOR Z lens is used with the camera. Auto Capture may fail to function when lenses other than NIKKOR Z lenses are used.
2. Further advanced video recording functions
ISO sensitivity can now be set as low as Lo 2.0 with N-Log recording. Expanding ISO sensitivity on the dark side increases dynamic range in shadows and enables rich and clear expression of shadow tones in which noise is suppressed.
In addition, the number of options available for Hi-Res Zoom speed has been increased from 3 to 11 for more precise speed control. Finer adjustment of the zoom speed is now possible, enabling zoom expression that better matches the user's intent with more stable zooming at slower speeds, for example.
Firmware version 4.00 also adds a slow-motion video function that enables high-speed recording of videos that play back at 1/4 (4x) or 1/5 (5x) the frame rate for a slow-motion effect.
3. Improved still-image shooting functions
Superior subject acquisition performance is possible when 3D-tracking is used to capture stills of small and fast-moving subjects that cannot be detected with subject detection. In addition, to better respond to the needs of those working on location, the length of time the camera continues to buffer frames before canceling shooting during the Pre-Release Capture phase of High-Speed Frame Capture has been increased from 30 to 300 seconds, allowing users to wait longer between the half press and full press of the shutter-release button. Firmware version 4.00 also adds an [Exposure delay mode] item to the Custom Settings menu, which helps to reduce blur caused by the camera shake that occurs when the shutter-release button is pressed.
4. Other improvements for superior operability and functionality
The number of functions that can be assigned to custom controls has been increased, as well as the number of controls that can be customized.
The focus distance indicator for manual focus newly displays the approximate distance between the camera and the focus position in units selected by the user.
Users can choose from five types of shutter sound played when the shutter is released, and set a higher volume for the sound.
The new [Frame advance zoom position] option that allows users to choose how the camera centers the display when scrolling through pictures during playback zoom can now be assigned to a custom control. When [Prefer focus point] is selected, the camera centers the display on the focus point active with shooting.
The accuracy of the progress bar displayed with video playback has been increased.