Nikon Releases Major Z8 Firmware Update 2.0.

Nikon just announced a major firmware update for the Nikon Z8. This 2.0 update includes several new features and improvements that enhance the camera's still-image and video capture and its overall workflow. 

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One of the most exciting updates is the dedicated autofocus option for birds, which debuted on the Nikon Z9. This feature promises to improve the camera's bird detection performance in various scenarios. According to Nikon, it enhances detection, tracking, and autofocus performance in complex and high-contrast backgrounds, such as forests and mountains. It also enables better bird detection in situations that involve birds flying, perched, or even those with unique appearances.

In addition, the Z8 now offers Auto Capture, originally introduced last year on the Z9, allowing automatic shooting of stills and video when the subject meets specific pre-configured criteria. Nikon outlines that users can choose from three criteria: Motion, Distance, and Subject Detection, which includes people, animals, vehicles, or airplanes within the frame.

The update even includes Pixel Shift shooting, which merges multiple RAW files to create a high-resolution image. This feature requires a tripod or other stabilizing device and Nikon's NX Studio computer software.

Nikon has also added Rich Tone Portrait Picture Control, which aims to retain skin detail while producing "rich tones." This feature helps create a base image in scenes where retouching is necessary, such as weddings and studio photography. The firmware update includes various functions and operations that can be assigned to custom control. Users can also exit the zoom feature with a half-press of the shutter-release button when focus mode is set to manual focus.

Firmware version 2.0 includes new shutter sound and volume options, the option to choose the width of focus-point borders, and the ability to opt out of recording shooting orientation information in image EXIF data. Additionally, the update includes a new Prefer focus point (face priority) option, which centers the display on a detected face while scrolling through photos during playback zoom.

Nikon has also updated its NX Tether software to version 2.0 to enhance the functionality of shooting tethered with a Nikon camera. This software update offers interface updates, photo and video capture support, full-coverage live view display, and control over shooting settings unique to Nikon, such as Picture Control and Active D-Lighting. NX Tether 2.0 also enables photographers to select the image format (JPEG, RAW, or HEIF) and transfer only the JPEG or HEIF images to the computer when recording to both card slots.

Wireless control is enabled through the built-in WiFi feature on both the Z8 and Z9, connecting via Nikon's Wireless Transmitter Utility software. Nikon's website offers the free NX Tether Version 2.0 download, with a complete list of new features, supported operating systems, and cameras. In conclusion, Nikon's Z8 firmware version 2.0 and NX Tether 2.0 software update significantly enhance the camera's performance and functionality, keeping the Z8 a competitive and top-performing option in the mirrorless camera market.

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