Now Nikon Z9 owners really have something to be excited about with the launch of Nikons new Firmware 2.0 update.
This highly anticipated free firmware download brings amazing new features and functionality to your camera. The upgrade is Nikons most comprehensive update to date. Significantly expanding the Z9s already powerful video and stills features while giving a performance boost to the hardware itself.
This revolutionary camera software update is a big one with a lot of benefits. Let’s dive into it.
-Internal 12-bit RAW
For the first time in a Nikon camera, you will be able to record video internally in one of two 12-bit raw formats. Pro-Res RAW or the new Nikon format N-Raw. These new options give you maximum flexibility for adjusting the look of your video including color grading thanks to the broad dynamic range and latitude preserved in these files.
The Pro-Res RAW option gives you a higher bit rate and is available in various resolutions and frame rates up to 4.1k 60p.
Nikon N-Raw leverages revolutionary interpics technology to record raw files at half the size of Pro-Res RAW and because of this breakthrough, the Z9 can now shoot extraordinarily detailed raw files at up to 8.3k60p. If you need faster frame rates, N-Raw is actually able to capture 120p in 4.1k.
Both raw formats are recorded internally to compatible schiff express cards which means you can shoot more portably and because the z-9 shoots raw video at higher resolutions support for both UHD and DCI for digital subsystems is now possible.
-Waveform and new recording indicator
In addition to these Raw video upgrades, the camera firmware 2.0 offers even more support for movie mode. Waveform monitoring for evaluating brightness levels across the frame. A red record indicator. During movie recording a new red border around the frame has been added in the monitor and EVF to make it more obvious that the camera is actually recording.
ISO fine tuning Adjust ISO settings at increments of 1/6 stops giving you more freedom to tweak your exposure when shooting video in manual mode.
An improved information display has been added to help you monitor important video settings before and while you’re recording.
Depending on your situation, you can now switch between two different AF speeds during the same video take. AF-ON for slow focused pulls and fast AF-ON to quickly achieve focus.
These new amazing features for video photography sound amazing, but if you think that sounds good, wait until you hear what the Nikon Z9 firmware 2.0 will bring to your still photography.
Let’s start off with a new feature called Pre-Release Burst. Imagine trying to anticipate the most important moment in an actions sequence. That moment is usually completely unpredictable. Your child scoring a winning goal in youth sports or a bird launching into flight. You’re tracking your subject, but you cannot assume that a big moment is about to happen. Nikon is addressing this issue with Pre-Release Burst.
With Firmware update 2.0’s Pre-Release Burst, when you shoot stills at 30 or 120 FPS you can set the camera to start capturing images in the buffer 1 full second before the shutter is fully depressed giving the photographer a safety net for delayed reactions so you can never miss the decisive moment.
-Custom Wide Area AF
Custom Wide Area AF, another valuable addition to the Z9, falls into the category of auto focusing. For the first time in a Nikon Z camera, it will now be possible to customize the focus area in virtually any configuration you need. In Custom Wide Area AF you will be able to select from 20 different combinations of active focus areas to precisely define what part of the frame your auto focus will react to.
This is one of my favorites and one of the coolest. This new in camera retouch feature was added called Motion Blend which allows you to create an image in camera that blends a sequence of shots on your memory card over the same background. You just select the images you want to use and the z9 will do all the heavy lifting without the need for external software.
-Programmable Focus buttons
Save and recall focus positions. This new benefit allows for setting multiple buttons for predictable places where action may occur. Meaning, you can set shortcut buttons with your choice of focus settings which works great in scenarios where you want to shoot multiple areas from one location but are not sure which area your subject will be in next. For example, for a sports game, you set focuses for different locations on the field, or in nature you can set multiple focuses within your surrounding area to be available, so you are ready to capture the most crisp and focused stills.
For the first time in a Nikon z camera, you will be able to program one or all of 12 different buttons on the camera and lens to save multiple focus positions with the many Nikon Z lenses available.
-Skip to First Frame
Firmware improves your workflow when sifting through large amounts of images shot at fast frame rates. Instead of having to go one by one with your saved images, you will now be able to skip to the first frame in a sequence of shots. This is a huge time saver when under pressure to produce a shot that was taken many sequences ago.
Count Up Timer & New EVF Dim Levels
Astral photographers will now benefit from a timer that starts counting up during timed exposures to keep track of your shutter speed. Additionally, the view finder can be customized to new dim levels, reducing light pollution in images, and making it easier to view your scene in extremely dark situations such as shooting the night skies.
The firmware 2.0 now unlocks 120fps EVF refresh rate and an optimized viewfinder workflow for true DSLR like performance.
As you can see, Nikon is committed to continually improve and deliver major enhancements through powerful firmware upgrades. This massive update was everything expected and more for their flagship Z9 camera. The upgrade is free and every Nikon Z9 owner should go download this and begin enjoying these new benefits right away. The camera driver update was released late April and you can use the free Snap-bridge app found in the Nikon download center to update.