Z7/Z6 Animal Detection

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Tried Animal face/eye detection AF (ver. 3.00) on my Z7 --- worked pretty well. Pattern recognition technology is amazing. I used Hi-speed continuous mode, Z24-70mm f/4 at wide-open, at 70mm, basic, jpeg. Cats can be anywhere in the frame, and the eye-detection algorithm finds and follows the cat's eye quite accurately even when the cats are moving. In the past, a photographer specializing in pet photography spent half a day shooting hundreds of shots to get one photo in sharp focus. I just spent 5 minutes firing 20 shots, lens wide open, and a few shots came out good. What an amazing technology!


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Tried Animal face/eye detection AF (ver. 3.00) on my Z7 --- worked pretty well. Pattern recognition technology is amazing. I used Hi-speed continuous mode, Z24-70mm f/4 at wide-open, at 70mm, basic, jpeg. Cats can be anywhere in the frame, and the eye-detection algorithm finds and follows the cat's eye quite accurately.View attachment 1655654View attachment 1655655
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the update
 
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When it works, it's great. Some quick snaps with the 24-70mm f/4 S, shown in ViewNX-i to illustrate the AF target that the camera selected.
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Like the human face/eye AF, if it recognizes an animal, the camera first displays a box around the face, then changes to a smaller box around one of the eyes, which you can toggle to the other eye. If it recognizes the animal.
 
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A guinea pig's face does not qualify as an animal. (But Auto Area AF still chose two targets that got the job done).
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Sony's Animal and Human Eye-AF works great on geese and hooded mergansers, too! Haven't tried it with squirrels yet, though, or smaller birds......
I think Nikon knows how far behind they are in this regard, and they are working hard to catch up. As you know, I did the same analysis you did (and have been on the Sony E-mount forums to learn what I can), but I am sticking with Nikon in hopes that they are going to close the gap soon. But it certainly was tempting to just go for the more mature mirrorless technology. This current firmware update is very encouraging, even if imperfect.
 
I commend Nikon for providing this, and definitely they are working hard to catch up. For me it was yes, indeed tempting to go for Sony and its offerings because of the lenses available and the fact that they'd been doing mirrorless for some time already and I had already had a taste of it with the NEX 7. I was especially interested in being able to get my hands on macro lenses immediately rather than having to wait or to use an adapter. I am very glad to see that Nikon is now putting them on their "roadmap" for the future!

I didn't really pay much attention to the whole Eye-AF thing until I actually had the camera in my hands and was using it. I don't have any pets or other people around, and really was surprised when I saw that it works on the geese and the mergansers -- cool! Waiting to get a squirrel or two in my sights....
 
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A couple more observations about the new Animal AF function:

1. It actually seems to work better when I frame the subject more loosely. When I'm close, I think the camera is having a harder time deciding that it sees an animal, and I get the annoying flutter of red boxes with no identification of a face, much less an eye.
2. The addition of this mode necessitates (for me) having the ability to quickly change between "regular face and eye detection" and "animal detection." I made this a "my menu" selection to be able to toggle reasonably quickly between these modes. Even so, toggling between the modes is a somewhat busy task.
3. It does not seem to be quite as effective with my 85mm f/1.8G compared to the only native Z-mount lens I own (24-70mm f/4 S).

I'd be very interested to hear if others are having similar or different experiences.
 
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I wonder whether the black eye in black fur confuses it.
As @makoto honda pointed out, guinea pigs are not part of the current capability. And certainly the dark fur and eye would not make matters any easier, but further testing has revealed that the eye AF is not even consistently recognizing my dog, whose fur and eyes have greater color contrast.
 
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San Diego, CA USA
A couple more observations about the new Animal AF function:

1. It actually seems to work better when I frame the subject more loosely. When I'm close, I think the camera is having a harder time deciding that it sees an animal, and I get the annoying flutter of red boxes with no identification of a face, much less an eye.
2. The addition of this mode necessitates (for me) having the ability to quickly change between "regular face and eye detection" and "animal detection." I made this a "my menu" selection to be able to toggle reasonably quickly between these modes. Even so, toggling between the modes is a somewhat busy task.
3. It does not seem to be quite as effective with my 85mm f/1.8G compared to the only native Z-mount lens I own (24-70mm f/4 S).

I'd be very interested to hear if others are having similar or different experiences.
So Animal AF works better with native lenses than adaptive lenses?
 
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So Animal AF works better with native lenses than adaptive lenses?
Well I’m not sure yet. I’ve just started playing with it, but that seems like the case. Actually, I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t be able to detect animal faces and eyes equally well with any optic clear and bright enough to cast an image onto the sensor.
 
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Well I’m not sure yet. I’ve just started playing with it, but that seems like the case. Actually, I can’t think of a reason why it wouldn’t be able to detect animal faces and eyes equally well with any optic clear and bright enough to cast an image onto the sensor.
would the distance of the subject from the camera and amount of light be a factor too? but keep on testing, we'll be looking forward to your results (y)
 
There has to be plenty of light on the eye so that the camera "sees" it..... Dark eyes are indeed a problem. If the subject is not looking at the camera, is turned away, nothing will happen. I notice this with the geese -- when I capture them at angles when at least one eye is readily visible to me that is when I get the better shots; if they're moving quickly and they turn their heads so that I can't see the eye, or only a small part of it, then success is much less likely. I have better luck on sunny days rather than overcast, cloudy ones. Geese have dark eyes and dark heads, too, so I have to hope that catchlights and reflections will help the camera in nailing the focus.
 
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