Z6ii/Z7ii Animal Eye AF

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I did a search and all of the threads I found on this topic were several months old. I'd like to hear any more recent feedback/experience with the version 2 Z bodies using animal eye focus. I haven't gone mirrorless yet and am considering various options.
 
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I have a mark II now after owning the 6 for over 1 year. It does work pretty well. I have an active, 8 month old Beagle. As long as I can frame her face, the eye detect picks her up. If she is moving and sniffing with her head down, it can lose tracking if her head turns away, but the red box focus stays on her head. I just ran off 5 shots, 4 got the right eye, nearest me. The other one was the crown of her head, just off.
 
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I have a mark II now after owning the 6 for over 1 year. It does work pretty well. I have an active, 8 month old Beagle. As long as I can frame her face, the eye detect picks her up. If she is moving and sniffing with her head down, it can lose tracking if her head turns away, but the red box focus stays on her head. I just ran off 5 shots, 4 got the right eye, nearest me. The other one was the crown of her head, just off.
Thanks for the input.
 
I thought this is the Nikon Cafe. 😁
And indeed it is.....but to a fair extent the Cafe, in spite of the name, is and has been for a while rather brand-neutral, brand-agnostic, brand-eclectic these days. Members are using all kinds of gear, not just Nikon any more.

As it happens, Dan is sorting through choices available to him at this point before making a shift to mirrorless, which is why I mentioned what is currently available with Sony..... Human and animal eye AF have been really nice features/functions to have on Sony's cameras. That said, though, I also should've added that at this point I haven't had the actual experience of enjoying the new bird eye AF, as I think it's only just become available with the new Sony A1 flagship camera and although I haven't checked, probably the firmware or software updates have not yet trickled down to those of us using other Sony cameras. For bird shooters, bird eye AF can be a big deal. Sony has already pretty well wrapped up human and animal eye focus, though, for those who need and want those functions.
 
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As it happens, Dan is sorting through choices available to him at this point before making a shift to mirrorless, which is why I mentioned what is currently available with Sony.....
Thanks, Connie. I'm aware of the capabilities of the Sony cameras. I've done a good bit of research and found that there aren't any useful (for my needs)Nikon F to Sony E adapters nor are there likely to be due to how Nikon implements AF. Since I'm not eager to give up use of the 300 and 500 PF lenses I'm now re-thinking the Nikon options. If the Nikon eye focus works well enough on mammals then I may dip my toes into mirrorless with the Z7ii and wait to see how things develop before making any major moves. Though I'm also contemplating just waiting and renting a Sony a9ii and 200-600 for a week this summer and trying out on eagle BIFs and otters. If that completely blows my socks off I suppose it will be elementary.
 
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Not sure about animal eye detect but since the firmware upgrade in February, the people eye detect is spot on. I will see whether I have any animal subject matter later today for animal eye autofocus.
Thanks, Bob. Shooting Trooper with say a 200mm lens and 15 or 20 meters distant would do nicely :)
 
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Thanks, Connie. I'm aware of the capabilities of the Sony cameras. I've done a good bit of research and found that there aren't any useful (for my needs)Nikon F to Sony E adapters nor are there likely to be due to how Nikon implements AF. Since I'm not eager to give up use of the 300 and 500 PF lenses I'm now re-thinking the Nikon options. If the Nikon eye focus works well enough on mammals then I may dip my toes into mirrorless with the Z7ii and wait to see how things develop before making any major moves. Though I'm also contemplating just waiting and renting a Sony a9ii and 200-600 for a week this summer and trying out on eagle BIFs and otters. If that completely blows my socks off I suppose it will be elementary.
The pro Nikon Z9 is coming this year but it will be expensive.
 
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Steve Perry did some testing with the Z7II. His conclusions matched my experience with the 1.10 firmware. Firmware 1.20 is coming on April 26th and may improve this feature.

Here’s the link to Steve’s video: https://backcountrygallery.com/nikon-z6ii-and-z7ii-wildlife-photography-review/

IMO, I’ve never tried the Sony cameras but Nikon’s improvement in this release need to be extreme to match the AF eye detection and tracking of the Canon R5. I was out shooting osprey on Blue Cypress Lake with Whispering Wings Photography. Ron shoots Canon and let me try the R5 with 100-500 and 1.4x. I was amazed how it locked on to the eye of an osprey in flight and tracked it. My Z7II with FTZ adapted 200-500 with or without the 1.4x could not lock on to or track the osprey at all, even perched was a struggle for it. The Canon was able to grab the eye of the bird, perched or in-flight and hold it as long as the bird was in the frame. It was very impressive. Nikon needs a huge step forward just to catch up.
 
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Steve Perry did some testing with the Z7II. His conclusions matched my experience with the 1.10 firmware. Firmware 1.20 is coming on April 26th and may improve this feature.

Here’s the link to Steve’s video: https://backcountrygallery.com/nikon-z6ii-and-z7ii-wildlife-photography-review/

IMO, I’ve never tried the Sony cameras but Nikon’s improvement in this release need to be extreme to match the AF eye detection and tracking of the Canon R5. I was out shooting osprey on Blue Cypress Lake with Whispering Wings Photography. Ron shoots Canon and let me try the R5 with 100-500 and 1.4x. I was amazed how it locked on to the eye of an osprey in flight and tracked it. My Z7II with FTZ adapted 200-500 with or without the 1.4x could not lock on to or track the osprey at all, even perched was a struggle for it. The Canon was able to grab the eye of the bird, perched or in-flight and hold it as long as the bird was in the frame. It was very impressive. Nikon needs a huge step forward just to catch up.

The animal eye AF of the Nikon Z6II and Z7II cameras were never supposed to be able to do eye AF with birds. Nikon only ever stated it was for cats and dogs and you may be able to get similar animals like tigers, lions etc. Even with the next firmware update, I would be very surprised if bird eye AF was included. I think that Nikon would need a stacked sensor (like the upcoming Z9) or some other type of sensor for that to occur, the Canon uses a dual pixel set up of some sort from memory.
 
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The animal eye AF of the Nikon Z6II and Z7II cameras were never supposed to be able to do eye AF with birds. Nikon only ever stated it was for cats and dogs and you may be able to get similar animals like tigers, lions etc. Even with the next firmware update, I would be very surprised if bird eye AF was included. I think that Nikon would need a stacked sensor (like the upcoming Z9) or some other type of sensor for that to occur, the Canon uses a dual pixel set up of some sort from memory.
I can attest to the fact that it doesn't work with birds...
 
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