Z50 and Z6 BIF review at Mirrorless Comparisons

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
mosswings Veteran Member • Posts: 9,735
Re: Z50 and Z6 BIF review at Mirrorless Comparisons

mbike999 wrote:

DaveyB wrote:

I’ve been thinking of changing from M4/3rds to to Nikon Z with the 300PF and 1.4 TC for birds and wildlife and BIF in particular. I asked Mathieu Gasquet at the above site to test the outfit for BIF and include it in his rankings. I’m not surprised that, with a native lens and firmware updates, it did well but am amazed by how well. The Z50 performed as well as the Sony A6500 for AF. The big surprise was that the Z6 with 2.0 TC was second only to the Sony A9 for BIF. Amazing for Nikon’s first real foray into the mirrorless market makes me think that the Z6s and Z7s will be something special for action photographers.

Thank you for sharing this. This is impressive performance with an adapted lens.

I am pleased to see that Nikon has drastically improved the AF performance of these bodies with firmware.

My 2 cents worth on this:

For me personally, I don't think the AF is much of an issue for BIF applications with any of the modern ML bodies, but IMO the slideshow frame insertion delay in high FPS mode is a disadvantage for BIF on the current Z bodies when compared to other cameras.

Being a non-brand loyalist I like to give credit where credit is due:

- Canon's animal subject tracking with the new R's is really astonishingly good in use. I got the chance to try the R5 over the weekend and was particularly impressed by how tenaciously the AF tracks even when busy background. You can shake the camera like a madman and the focus square sticks to the animal or even the animals eye if you are close enough. I would need more time with it, but this seems like the holy grail for BIF shooting, especially for the spray and pray inclined. I was really impressed.

- I really, really like Sony's real time tracking AF mode in the latest bodies. On my A6600 for example I don't miss a joystick at all because I can rely on the excellent object tracking to focus and recompose. I have really come to enjoy this way of shooting because I can focus more on composition versus focus point positioning. I find the object tracking box on the Z's to be pretty effective as well, but the focusing square is too large in comparison to fully rely on it the way I do on the Sony. It's not as dead simple as the Canon, you still have to put the square on the right place, but it is mind boggling how sticky the real time tracking works.

This I'd have to agree with. My A6400 - which gets almost no use these days because it's just no fun to operate compared to my Z50 - has a lot more sensible fully integrated implementation of subject feature tracking. Nikon still thinks subject feature recognition (and subsequent tracking) isn't useful in other than AA-AF. And I've noticed the much smaller focus boxes on the Sony. On the other hand, I can induce the A6400 to run away to the edge of the frame on an extended contrast feature if it can't find an intersecting horizontal contrast feature to anchor the tracking algorithm. Most subjects have a combination of X and Y contrast features so this is not typically reported.

With all that being said, I know what Nikon is capable of in the AF department having owned both the Nikon D850 and the D500. Also my preference for their design ethos, ergonomics, and intuitive operation makes them one of my favorite camera brands. For those reasons I'm quite excited to see if Nikon can incorporate some of what makes those other AF systems great into a new body. A Z7S with improved subject tracking, better burst function, and access to the wonderful PF and Z lenses would be a dream.

Agreed, with the exception mentioned above. The problem boils down to - how much of Nikon's lauded DSLR operational design and operation do you or can you carry over to mirrorless? Does it require a completely different operational philosophy?  Sony says yes; Canon seems to have merged philosophies rather well; Nikon seems to have started out a bit confused.  They're sorting things out, but there's still a big shift to come in their UI philosophy.

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Nikon D7100 Sony a6400 Nikon Z50 Olympus XZ-1 Olympus Stylus 1 +8 more
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