Split-Second Shooting with Nikon Z

Started Jan 17, 2021 | Discussions thread
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1llusive Veteran Member • Posts: 3,559
Split-Second Shooting with Nikon Z

The Setting Guide for the Z 6 and Z 7 series cameras (I am referencing the Z 6II guide here) reveals a "Split-second" shooting mode. Never heard of this before? Me either! I have not seen any reviewer mention it nor have I seen any talk on the forums about it.

This little gem allows the Z 6 and Z 7 series cameras to shoot ultra-high speed photos at up to 120fps at 1920x1080 resolution! When you fire off your first burst you will feel like you entered a cheat code and unlocked a hidden mode. Here's how:

  • Select movie mode
  • Set the frame size and rate to 1920x1080, 120p (24x5 mode also works)
  • Set the camera to continuous release mode
  • Set the focus mode to AF-S or AF-C depending on the situation
  • Set the mode dial to "M"
  • Set your exposure
  • Focus and shoot!
  • Be prepared to delete several hundred images

If 1920x1080 is not enough resolution, you may shoot continuous stills in any movie resolution and frame rate, up to 3840x2160 at 24, 30, or 60fps!

Some limitations/caveats of this mode are:

  • Still images taken while in movie mode are saved as jpegs
  • Dynamic-area AF focusing mode is not available
  • Your custom controls will be different as you're in movie mode
  • Silent Shooting is the only shutter type available
  • While the frame rate is so fast there is almost NO EVF lag, it is not suitable for panning as vertical objects will skew like inflatable tube people
  • Shooting can be sustained for up to 3 seconds on the Z 7II and 2 seconds on the Z 6II

So what could we use this for? Anything where changes happen quickly that are hard to capture with traditional means and don't have much horizontal movement. Moon shot stacking comes to mind, if you don't mind the drop in resolution. Maybe tiny macro ant battles? I don't know.

My question is, if the hardware is capable of this, why doesn't Nikon give us a split-second shooting toggle in stills mode so we can keep all of our normal settings and custom controls intact while we fire off these insane bursts without needing movie mode?

 1llusive's gear list:1llusive's gear list
Nikon Z6 II Sigma 100-400mm F5-6.3 Nikon Z 24-70mm F4 Nikon Z 85mm F1.8 +1 more
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7
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