When it comes to the Nikon Z7ii, the focusing mechanism is one of the aspects about which I am most enthusiastic. As I discussed in a previous piece, the Z7ii features 493 autofocus points that are spread out throughout the full frame to ensure accurate focusing.
In addition to that, it possesses a face and eye-detecting autofocus technology. It was important to me to investigate these autofocus technologies and evaluate how well they function in practical settings.
There were three different things that I was interested in evaluating.
- Taking portraits with a lens that has a wide aperture, such as an 85mm f/1.4 or a 105mm f/1.4. When the aperture is wide open, these lenses have an extremely small depth of focus. How accurate is the Nikon Z7ii’s eye focus, and does it maintain that focus even when the subject moves?
- The presence of more than one person in the picture. What kind of results can you expect from the Z7ii when there are a number of people in the shot? Who is the main emphasis of it? How difficult is it to make a shift in where the attention is placed?
- Engaged in a Sport or an Action. Can the Z7ii reliably track the subject’s eye gaze when they are engaged in an athletic activity?
Detection of the Subject’s Eyes in Photographs
When I am taking pictures of people, how well does the eye recognition focusing function of the Nikon Z7ii work? If I am going to take a picture using a lens that has a wide aperture, it is imperative that I get a sharp image of the subject’s eye. When using a lens with a shallow depth of focus, such as the Nikon 85mm f/1.4, it is extremely important to be in close proximity to the subject of your photograph.
The camera’s capability of swiftly locating the subject’s eye and focusing on it was really impressive to me. It performs an excellent job, and the resulting photographs are of an extremely high resolution.
In addition to this, the Z7ii enabled me to switch between eyes by providing me with a little arrow that I could use to go to the other eye. This allows me to select which eye I want the camera to focus on while taking a picture.
Several Individuals Can Be Seen Within the Frame
Naturally, the next inquiry on my list is going to be about how well this method works in situations where there are numerous persons involved. Where exactly does the point of emphasis go?
Given that there are numerous faces contained inside the frame, the Z7ii will have to determine which face and eye to concentrate its attention on. If the camera finds more than one face, you will see arrows that let you select other faces or different eyes if the camera finds more than one face.
In addition to this, if the touch screen feature is activated on the display of the camera, you may also touch the eye or face on the monitor that you would want the Z7ii to concentrate on. This is only possible if the touchscreen feature is active. Not only will it focus on one face or eye, but even if the person moves, it will still keep the focus on that face or eye.
When photographing a bigger group of people, the Z7ii determined where to focus, but I retained the ability to make adjustments to the focal point. On the other hand, when there are a large number of faces, it functions similarly to auto area autofocus, in which the camera chooses what to focus on.
It’s not really up to the camera to choose which of my faces to emphasize in the frame. I want to decide. Therefore, when it comes to shooting groups, I will continue to use single-point autofocus and manually select the focus point.
A subject that moves quickly
The final test I carried out involved a person who was playing basketball. When I was photographing basketball, I utilized a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 FL lens, which is a lens that I had utilized quite frequently in the past. I made the decision to utilize auto ISO so that I could get my shutter speed up to 1/500 of a second and maintain the sharpness of my subject.
The Z7ii appeared to be able to locate the eye and focus on it when I observed the little yellow square displayed on the monitor or in the viewfinder of the camera.
There were a few instances in which the camera had some difficulty focusing, namely when the subject moved across the frame or directly at me. However, the Z7ii seems to be capable of finding the topic and focusing on my subject the majority of the time.
But even if the Z7ii was successful in locating the eye, does it mean that the photographs it took were sharp? When I looked at the images more attentively, I noticed that the results were mixed. The majority of the photographs had a clear focus, but a few of them did not.
On the other hand, I can’t say for certain that switching to single-point dynamic autofocus would make the Z7ii perform better. My ideal test setup would involve placing two Z7ii cameras next to each other. Both of them would use autofocus, but one would use eye detection while the other would use single-point dynamic autofocus, and I would be able to compare the outcomes of the two.
Eye focusing is not something I would utilize if I were photographing a sporting event that had a large number of spectators. I need to determine where the emphasis needs to be placed. Therefore, I will utilize dynamic autofocus after choosing the focusing point that I wish to use. In this manner, even if my subject suddenly moved away from the focal point, the camera would adapt and maintain them in focus despite the movement.
Conclusions and musings
In conclusion, what are my thoughts on the eye detection autofocus that comes standard on the Nikon Z7ii, and when would I utilize it?
After giving the eye-focusing feature of the Nikon Z7ii a try for the first time, I was immediately compelled to purchase the camera. I could not believe it. After putting it to the test in a variety of settings, there are certain scenarios in which I will utilize it, while others will not include its use.
When taking portraits, I will unquestionably be making use of the eye recognition autofocus function, particularly when utilizing wide aperture F1.4 lenses. It does an incredible job of bringing the most important aspect of the face into focus.
When photographing sports or larger groups, I will continue to rely on my tried-and-true method, which is dynamic autofocus. Because I have a greater degree of control over the location of the focus point, I am able to produce images that are both more and more focused.
When the eye autofocus technology and the 493 AF points are brought together, a wide range of compositional options become available to the photographer. I cannot express how delighted I am about this particular matter. With my other cameras, I am unable to accomplish something called “tracking a subject that is in the periphery of the frame.” This ability is only available with one of my cameras.
Even while the Z7ii has pushed the boundaries of what is feasible, there is always the potential for improvement. There is no doubt in my mind that the system will be improved, and it is without a doubt something that I am looking forward to seeing how it develops over the course of time.