Z5 low light autofocus limitations

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Kenneth Almquist Regular Member • Posts: 127
Z5 low light autofocus limitations

I ordered a Z5 with the 24-200mm lens using the Nikon Yellow program.  The picture below was shot in pretty dark conditions, as you can tell by the fact that it was shot at f/8, 1/6 sec., ISO 9000.  The good news is that the full-frame sensor on the Z5 can actually capture a usable image at ISO 9000.  The bad news is that I had to manually focus, presumably because there wasn't enough light for the autofocus system to function.

Shooting at f/5.6 would have resulted in lower ISO value (and hence less noise), but as I understand it wouldn't have helped with focusing at all.

A faster lens (like the f/1.8 50mm, which I don't currently own) would be a better choice for this shot, but would it allow the camera to autofocus?  My understanding is that PDAF doesn't benefit from an aperture larger than f/5.6, but perhaps the camera will use CDAF instead of PDAF?

Presumably the Z6 is no better than the Z5 for low light AF?  I could wait for the Z6 II, which is supposed to be 1 stop better than the Z6 in low light AF.

Or perhaps I should get used to using manual focus in low light?

Above is the SOOC JPEG image.  To show the noise, I've placed below the decoded raw image with no noise reduction or other adjustments other than brightness.

 Kenneth Almquist's gear list:Kenneth Almquist's gear list
Nikon D7200 Fujifilm X-H1 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-300mm F3.5-6.3G ED VR Fujifilm 16-55mm F2.8R LM WR +2 more
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z6 II
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