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Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings

  
 
sashasud
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


How are people setting up their z8 custom buttons now that the AF has some improvements along with af setting cycling options? Any good videos yet that provide an custom button setting overview with firmware 2.0? Or is it too soon to ask.


Feb 09, 2024 at 08:44 AM
molson
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


For me, the biggest change was being able to assign one function button to toggle through multiple AF settings. Now I have the AF-On button set to toggle my most-used AF modes, rather than having to have them set to various different buttons all over the camera.


Feb 09, 2024 at 11:08 AM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


How many AF modes do you realistically need when shooting wildlife? Most folks who already have this AF update in the form of the Z9 are using auto area with subject detection most of the time, with a single back up mode set to AF-On.


Feb 09, 2024 at 11:31 AM
Vinnie_VdB
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


I could understand the question to ask around what settings somebody was using for his or her wildlife shooting but in fairness, we all should know our Z8 or Z9 by now and understand the new features and how they can or can't help in how we shoot today and make it all the more faster with the extra bells & whistles :-)
Steve Perry has his way of setting up a camera, so will Hudson Henry, Morton Hilmer or RoamingScott :-) I picked ideas from everyone, worked with the camera and found my own settings that are working for me.



Feb 09, 2024 at 11:53 AM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


Hey Iím in pretty good company there 😊

Vinnie_VdB wrote:
I could understand the question to ask around what settings somebody was using for his or her wildlife shooting but in fairness, we all should know our Z8 or Z9 by now and understand the new features and how they can or can't help in how we shoot today and make it all the more faster with the extra bells & whistles :-)
Steve Perry has his way of setting up a camera, so will Hudson Henry, Morton Hilmer or RoamingScott :-) I picked ideas from everyone, worked with the camera and found my own settings that are working for
...Show more



Feb 09, 2024 at 11:54 AM
CanadaMark
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


I'm surprised people like the toggle - AF modes are not something I would want to be cycling through, especially if you accidentally go past the one you want, you need to start over and that could easily mean missing shots. And if you just want to cycle through a very short list, you're probably better off putting those on their own buttons anyway so you don't miss any action.

You can already limit the available AF modes to a list of your choosing and just use the existing AF mode button + wheel to cycle through them quickly and easily if you really want to, and you can go in either direction with the wheel which is much faster than cycling one-way though a list.

Everyone has different ergonomic preferences though, so it's nice to have options. The more customization the better as far as I'm concerned. Apparently the toggle is something Ricci was asking from Nikon for a long time.

Auto Area works for me in 99% of situations, I just keep a "dumb" AF point on a Fn button in case I need to force the AF somewhere with a quick tap due to a huge subject distance change, or unexpectedly encounter a subject not included in the Ai mode I'm using at the time. I almost never use this but it's there.

On another Fn button I use recall shooting functions to enable a "catch all" shooting mode with Auto Area AF + Auto Subject detection and a fast minimum shutter speed. It's basically my 'oh sh*t' button. That way if I'm ever caught off guard by something, there is a high chance that mode will be able to capture it if my existing settings aren't appropriate.



Feb 09, 2024 at 12:11 PM
molson
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


CanadaMark wrote:
You can already limit the available AF modes to a list of your choosing and just use the existing AF mode button + wheel to cycle through them quickly and easily if you really want to, and you can go in either direction with the wheel which is much faster than cycling one-way though a list.


I'm almost always had-holding the camera, and I don't like having to let go of the lens in order to use the AF mode button, so the toggle under my thumb is much faster and more convenient for me. You can limit the number of AF settings to choose from, and I only have three AF settings programmed (single point, 3D tracking, and all-area) so it's considerably faster than letting go of the lens, pushing buttons and turning dials, and then trying to re-acquire the subject - for me. YMMV.



Feb 09, 2024 at 12:47 PM
cvrle59
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


molson wrote:
I'm almost always had-holding the camera, and I don't like having to let go of the lens in order to use the AF mode button, so the toggle under my thumb is much faster and more convenient for me. You can limit the number of AF settings to choose from, and I only have three AF settings programmed (single point, 3D tracking, and all-area) so it's considerably faster than letting go of the lens, pushing buttons and turning dials, and then trying to re-acquire the subject - for me. YMMV.


I'm still experimenting, but it seems to be, that's exactly how I'm gonna set mine up.




Feb 09, 2024 at 12:58 PM
Eric214
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


If it's going to be exactly like the Z9 now, you won't really need any AF modes other then Auto Area AF modes for 95-99% of the time in Bird Subject Detection mode. You should set up your RSF (Hold) for Animal and have the setting in RSF (Hold) for how you shot it before FW 2.0

So for Animal I only have my FN1 set for RSF (Hold) and only change the shutter from AA AF mode to Wide C1 and the subject detection to Animal.

with RSF (Hold) off my normal settings are Shutter AND AF ON button set to AA AF mode, DISP=3D, Sub Selector=Single point. When I hit FN1 I am in WC1 and can hand off to Auto Area just like 3D sop no issues there and super simple to switch from birds to mammals (Animal SD). My front FN buttons are all just for toggles and the AF modes are accessible by my thumb making it very easy and comfortable.



Feb 09, 2024 at 01:44 PM
arthurquinlan
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


I love this update- I have been holding off buying either a Z9 or Z8 (my preference as it is smaller), so the update seals the deal for me.


Feb 09, 2024 at 01:53 PM
 


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ericbowles
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


The other key option is to use the "Cycle AF Area Modes" setting. I have assigned that function to the Video Shutter Release in still photography mode. It is near the shutter and allows me to quickly cycle through the 4 AF area modes I use most often. Be sure at least one of those modes does not have subject recognition - because occasionally subject recognition makes AF difficult or you want to focus on something instead of the subject.


Feb 09, 2024 at 03:21 PM
Kry27
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings




molson wrote:
I'm almost always had-holding the camera, and I don't like having to let go of the lens in order to use the AF mode button, ...

Of course that button is uselessly positioned. That's why we 'hold-button-and-cycle-people' re-programm the video record button for that functionality.



Feb 09, 2024 at 05:27 PM
RoamingScott
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


I didn't know that button existed for that purpose for a full year of shooting the Z9

Literally the most functionally useless button on any camera I've ever owned.



Feb 09, 2024 at 05:29 PM
Eric214
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


ericbowles wrote:
The other key option is to use the "Cycle AF Area Modes" setting. I have assigned that function to the Video Shutter Release in still photography mode. It is near the shutter and allows me to quickly cycle through the 4 AF area modes I use most often. Be sure at least one of those modes does not have subject recognition - because occasionally subject recognition makes AF difficult or you want to focus on something instead of the subject.


I have heard of this about deactivating SD with the Z9. I have yet to ever have a problem with SD since the release of the Z9. As far as wanting to focus on something else, that's why I have Auto Area AF mode on the shutter as well as the AF ON back button. As the default AF mode (what's assigned to the shutter button), you get the white passive AF box that tracks with arrows and you can dictate what it focuses on and if you want to focus on a non subject, that is what single point is for.



Feb 09, 2024 at 06:45 PM
sashasud
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings



Hi Eric,

I like that approach. Can you elaborate on the acronyms in the post? Also can you share how you set up a button to toggle between birds and mammals or auto? Thanks

Sasha
Eric214 wrote:
If it's going to be exactly like the Z9 now, you won't really need any AF modes other then Auto Area AF modes for 95-99% of the time in Bird Subject Detection mode. You should set up your RSF (Hold) for Animal and have the setting in RSF (Hold) for how you shot it before FW 2.0

So for Animal I only have my FN1 set for RSF (Hold) and only change the shutter from AA AF mode to Wide C1 and the subject detection to Animal.

with RSF (Hold) off my normal settings are Shutter AND AF ON button set
...Show more



Feb 10, 2024 at 03:00 AM
sashasud
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


Still don't know what button this is 😅

RoamingScott wrote:
I didn't know that button existed for that purpose for a full year of shooting the Z9

Literally the most functionally useless button on any camera I've ever owned.




Feb 10, 2024 at 03:04 AM
Eric214
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


sashasud wrote:
Hi Eric,

I like that approach. Can you elaborate on the acronyms in the post? Also can you share how you set up a button to toggle between birds and mammals or auto? Thanks

Sasha



The acronyms are ...

RSF is Recall Shooting Functions (Hold)
AA is Auto Area

Setting up a button is assigning RSF (Hold) to any button. In my case i use FN1. In the RSF settings, i just check AF Area mode and Subject Detection that that's all that it changes



Feb 10, 2024 at 10:29 AM
armd
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


It's too soon to tell and it will largely depend on the shooting conditions, subjects, and photographers' preferences. My subject matter consists largely of birds and as such FW 2.0 was welcomed. It has largely eliminated the need for "handoffs" and the AF is much more Canon/Sony like. I have AA assigned to the shutter button, and AF cycle to one of the fn buttons. That way, I can quickly cycle through AF modes if AA doesn't identify/capture the subject. Unfortunately, this method doesn't provide for handoff and as I continue to experiment with the new AF system, its utility will eventually declare itself. For now, I have two separate AF modes set to another fn and the BBAF so that I can continue to use handoff when necessary. FWIW, AA works extremely well for BIF when they transition against busy backgrounds (ie. sky to water/trees). I haven't yet been able to test it against diving birds (osprey, eagles, pelicans) so what AF settings will work best for those scenarios needs to be determined. Thank you Nikon for providing an extremely useful FW update.


Feb 10, 2024 at 11:45 AM
dalegaspi
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


i use the side button for switching AF mode. for macro on a tripod, it's actually conveniently placed for me.


Feb 10, 2024 at 12:15 PM
ericbowles
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Nikon z8 firmware 2.0 wildlife custom settings


Eric214 wrote:
I have heard of this about deactivating SD with the Z9. I have yet to ever have a problem with SD since the release of the Z9. As far as wanting to focus on something else, that's why I have Auto Area AF mode on the shutter as well as the AF ON back button. As the default AF mode (what's assigned to the shutter button), you get the white passive AF box that tracks with arrows and you can dictate what it focuses on and if you want to focus on a non subject, that is what single point
...Show more

A good example is photographing engagement photos (or a bride at a wedding). 95% of the photos are going to have a person as the subject. But a few photos will likely include the engagement ring and hand instead of the face of the person wearing it - and possibly the shot with the hand and ring in focus and the bride out of focus in the background. Using SD, you would simply cycle to Dynamic or Single AF area and be able to focus on the ring, then repeat the process to return to a mode with SD. You could also use "Store By Orientation" if you had Dynamic or Single last used with one of the orientations.

The version of this for wildlife is when you need to pre-focus on a tree or the opening of a burrow while you wait for the subject to appear. Sometimes you just need a way to temporarily exit SD and return to it because it does not recognize the subject as an animal.



Feb 10, 2024 at 05:22 PM
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