Booya! Nikon has announced a second significant update for the Nikon Z 9 and it’s bringing more powerful performance and added features to one of Nikon’s most loved mirrorless cameras. Firmware 3.0 for the Nikon Z 9 is now available for free download, instantly giving both video and photo shooters added enhancements to multiple features. Newly upgraded features include a new Hi-Res Zoom function, which provides the effect of additional optical zoom for 4K video, and a new C60 High-Speed Frame Capture+, enabling 60 fps still shooting in DX format. Firmware 3.0 also includes enhancements to the AF as well as upgraded display and operability, such as increasing the number of buttons that can be used as custom controls. Talk about one exciting firmware update for the Z 9!
When capturing 4K UHD video, Hi-Res Zoom enables the option for high-resolution zooming, which effectively extends the focal range of a lens. 4K UHD footage is captured in 8K resolution and then gradually cropped to the 4K frame size in real-time, doubling the focal length while maintaining resolution. Hi-Res Zoom is available regardless of the lens used, allowing users to streamline production and take advantage of prime lenses or the extremely shallow depth of field of an f/1.2 maximum aperture lens.
This feature can be assigned to the camera’s Fn1/Fn2 buttons, a lens’ Fn ring or control ring, in addition to the left/right buttons on the multi-selector. The result is a smooth, parfocal zoom transition with no loss of resolution. Using the buttons enables zooming at a constant, selected speed. Using the control ring allows users to zoom in or out as quickly or slowly as they like.
High-Speed Frame Capture+ C60 Mode
High-Speed Frame Capture+ now offers a C603 option for bursts of continuous shooting of approximately 19-megapixel still images at approximately 60 fps. This feature is in DX mode, which increases effective focal length while satisfying the diverse needs of photographers. This is extremely useful for photojournalists, sports and bird photographers who value speed and reach.
Firmware 3.0 improves the Z 9’s powerful AF system, enhancing performance and subject detection. The low-light limit has been extended by 0.5 EV, with improved accuracy in low-light and low-contrast conditions. Multiple enhancements have been made to the 3D-tracking mode. The focus will be stickier on a subject and less likely to shift into a foreground obstacle that momentarily obscures the subject. Users now also have the option to change the colour of focus points to red, useful for shooting in a variety of backgrounds. Additionally, the detection and tracking of fast-moving animals have been improved for when ‘animal‘ is selected in 3D-tracking.
Timecode synchronization and UltraSync Blue
Timecode across multiple Z 9 cameras controlled by a single wireless remote control is now possible. ATOMOS UltraSync BLUE is now supported over a Bluetooth connection, enabling the syncing of recording equipment and/or audio-device timecodes, including equipment from other manufacturers. This is extremely helpful when editing videos recorded in multiple external audio recorders.
Improvements to Flash workflow
The ‘Show Effects of Settings’ option in View mode (Photo Lv), which reflects exposure settings in the photo live view display, has been improved. This update allows users to choose whether the effects of exposure settings are reflected when a Speedlight or when a remote trigger is attached. This function allows the user to check background exposure before shooting, helping to confirm the resulting background exposure in advance.
Additional Significant Updates with Firmware 3.0:
- More buttons for Custom functions: The number of buttons that can be used as custom controls and the extension of customizable functions has been increased for smoother access to frequently used functions. This also includes the ability to make the Record button programmable.
- Reset focus distance during [Focus shift shooting]: During focus shift shooting, the focus position at the start of shooting can be memorized and returned to the initial focus position after a series of shots have been taken.
- Full Format Function: When using CFexpress cards that support full formatting, ‘Full Format Function‘ can be used to delete data completely to help users maintain maximum performance.
- Display enhancements: ‘File Info’ has been added to the information display, and a focus indicator is now available in camera.
- Vertical Playback Display: Images and the i menu can be displayed in vertical orientation during playback mode.
- Auto Series Playback function automatically displays images from the same burst of continuous shooting group after the first image in the burst is displayed in playback mode.
- An ‘Override Other Cameras’ function has been added, enabling easy switching between master cameras when multiple cameras are designated as primary.
- ‘High-Frequency Flicker Reduction‘ added with firmware version 2.10 is now available for video recording.
- Support for the FTPS protocol offers faster, safer image transfer with encryption.
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