When Nikon released its v2.0 firmware update for the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, it added a powerful new capability for Eye-detection autofocus and AE (Auto Exposure) tracking in continuous high-speed (extended) mode, as well as extending the low-light detection range of the autofocus.
UPDATE: since the time of writing there are now more Nikon cameras that support this new feature. Here’s our round-up of which Nikon cameras have Eye-Detection AF.
How to use Nikon Eye AF
Eye-detection autofocus works in the same way as Face-detection autofocus on the Nikon Z6 and Z7. After installing the firmware update you can use it as follows:
- Set the AF-area mode to Auto-area AF via the ‘i’ menu.
- Through the EVF (or on the LCD screen) in Auto-area AF you’ll see the red corner markings identifying it’s in auto-area AF.
- As soon as the camera detects a face, this switches to a large yellow autofocus box that starts tracking the subject.
- Now with the firmware updated, when the camera detects an eye the autofocus box switches to a smaller yellow box and tracks the eye.
- Check the price of the Nikon Z6 at Amazon UK, Amazon.com, Wex Photo Video, Park Cameras, Adorama, BH Photo Video
Continuous and Single AF Mode
Nikon’s eye AF works in both AF-C (continuous focus) and AF-S (single focus) mode, so you chose the mode most suitable for your subject.AF-C is for moving portraits, like kids playing, while AF-S is for posed-portraits.
In AF-S mode, half-press the shutter button to focus the lens. Then, when the camera locks on, the autofocus box goes green and you can fire off a shot.
However, in AF-C mode the lens is constantly focusing, so there’s no focus confirmation and you can grab a shot at any time.
For more information on your camera’s AF system and how it works, read our in-depth guide on the Nikon Z6 and Z7 autofocus system.
You may also like our guides to setting up the Nikon D850 for the first time, setting up Nikon DSLRs for wireless flash and using your Nikon camera’s interval shooting mode to make a timelapse movie.