Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

Started 7 months ago | Discussions
HRS Regular Member • Posts: 338
Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
6

I'm a decades-long Nikon shooter, with a natural affection for their products. That said, I paid approximately $1,000 to upgrade from the Z6 to the Z6 II, and, given the high expectations from the hype surrounding the supposed eye and face focusing improvements, I am highly disappointed. (The problems below occur with the kit 24-70 F4 zoom lens.)

Specifically:

  • I have shots of a grandchild in which I saw the yellow eye box land on one eye at the instant I took the shot. But, on playback, the camera selected the other eye to focus on. (This was not a the case of the subject moving rapidly.) This is with the Auto-area AF (people)/AF-C settings and default focusing parameters.
  • In general, in many, if not most, of the shots with an eye supposedly in-focus, the camera has selected a completely different place to focus on, like the nose. Yes, some shots are in perfect eye-focus, but I cannot count on that happening. God forbid you use this camera for photographing a wedding, with no chance for a do-over.

Also:

  • Using Auto-area AF/AF-C, after hitting the OK button to get the white selection box, and then selecting a subject, the yellow box will appear to follow the subject (just don't go too fast!) around, but in Playback the camera-selected focus point (the small red box) lags *way* behind the subject. The inability of the now-dual processors to keep pace is really laughable!

Again, I have been a huge Nikon fan for a long time, and have a lot invested in the system that I don't want to sell. But the downward trajectory of Nikon, vis-a-vis Canon especially, would lead me to a different manufacturer if I had it to do over.

Finally, I do not think the camera is a bad copy because single-point AF with AF-S is perfect. Maybe future firmware changes will improve things as they did for the Z6, but the Z6 II is a huge disappointment focusing-wise as things stand today.

I don't want to put pictures of the grandchildren on the internet, so I don't include samples. They would just show a lot of out-of-focus eyes in any event, and I don't have a viewfinder recorder to show how misleading the display can be.

 HRS's gear list:HRS's gear list
Nikon Z6 II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon Z 24-70mm F4
Nikon Z6 II
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20thCentury Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
34

HRS wrote:

I'm a decades-long Nikon shooter, with a natural affection for their products. That said, I paid approximately $1,000 to upgrade from the Z6 to the Z6 II, and, given the high expectations from the hype surrounding the supposed eye and face focusing improvements, I am highly disappointed. (The problems below occur with the kit 24-70 F4 zoom lens.)

Specifically:

  • I have shots of a grandchild in which I saw the yellow eye box land on one eye at the instant I took the shot. But, on playback, the camera selected the other eye to focus on. (This was not a the case of the subject moving rapidly.) This is with the Auto-area AF (people)/AF-C settings and default focusing parameters.
  • In general, in many, if not most, of the shots with an eye supposedly in-focus, the camera has selected a completely different place to focus on, like the nose. Yes, some shots are in perfect eye-focus, but I cannot count on that happening. God forbid you use this camera for photographing a wedding, with no chance for a do-over.

Also:

  • Using Auto-area AF/AF-C, after hitting the OK button to get the white selection box, and then selecting a subject, the yellow box will appear to follow the subject (just don't go too fast!) around, but in Playback the camera-selected focus point (the small red box) lags *way* behind the subject. The inability of the now-dual processors to keep pace is really laughable!

Again, I have been a huge Nikon fan for a long time, and have a lot invested in the system that I don't want to sell. But the downward trajectory of Nikon, vis-a-vis Canon especially, would lead me to a different manufacturer if I had it to do over.

Finally, I do not think the camera is a bad copy because single-point AF with AF-S is perfect. Maybe future firmware changes will improve things as they did for the Z6, but the Z6 II is a huge disappointment focusing-wise as things stand today.

I don't want to put pictures of the grandchildren on the internet, so I don't include samples. They would just show a lot of out-of-focus eyes in any event, and I don't have a viewfinder recorder to show how misleading the display can be.

Hmmm, completely the opposite experience to what I have had and with pretty much every review out there...

Many may not like the implementation, but even Jared Polins review showed that the Nikon had a very high keeper rate.

Regardless, without images, it is impossible to see what you are claiming.

If I was a betting man I would bet that half of the images you are complaining about are motion blur and not an issue with eye focus, but without images, we will never know.

 20thCentury's gear list:20thCentury's gear list
Nikon Z7 II Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon Z 35mm F1.8 Nikon Z 24-70mm F2.8 Nikon Z 85mm F1.8 +4 more
BISCUT Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
3

I'm interested to see posted images as well.

 BISCUT's gear list:BISCUT's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon Z7 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF Nikkor 135mm f/2D DC +15 more
JasonTheBirder
JasonTheBirder Senior Member • Posts: 1,807
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
3

HRS wrote:

I don't want to put pictures of the grandchildren on the internet, so I don't include samples. They would just show a lot of out-of-focus eyes in any event, and I don't have a viewfinder recorder to show how misleading the display can be.

I get that. Why don't you at least post a very tight crop of each eye, and EXIF info. Also include a crop of as large a part of the image as you can without the person in it, so we can get an idea of the lighting conditions.

Marcus Parham New Member • Posts: 17
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
8

Not my experience. The eye auto focus on the Z6II has been really good and it sticks to a particular eye far better than the original Z6. I have used it to shoot grandkids in poor lighting conditions and been impressed with the results.

 Marcus Parham's gear list:Marcus Parham's gear list
Nikon D850 Nikon D3 Nikon D700 Nikon D750 Nikon Z6 +15 more
starbase218 Contributing Member • Posts: 857
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
3

HRS wrote:

I'm a decades-long Nikon shooter, with a natural affection for their products. That said, I paid approximately $1,000 to upgrade from the Z6 to the Z6 II, and, given the high expectations from the hype surrounding the supposed eye and face focusing improvements, I am highly disappointed.

I have no Z experience with the Z series whatsoever. I do however read and watch a lot of Z body reviews, and err... hype? I must have missed that one.

 starbase218's gear list:starbase218's gear list
Sony RX100 Sony RX100 V Nikon D750 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +5 more
mrjpack Contributing Member • Posts: 895
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
13

Jeez I was shooting a high school soccer game Sr. Night and accidentally had it in animal eye focus. Didn’t realize it till I got home.  Under high school stadium lighting it still found human eyes and nailed the focus. This was Z6II with 24-70 F4  3600 ISO. I even backed off the sharpness to ease the skin. I have not had any issues with eye detection...

 mrjpack's gear list:mrjpack's gear list
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1llusive
1llusive Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
1

My experience with Eye AF has been positive. It even focuses correctly on eyes for eyeglass wearers.

1. You are pressing and holding your focus button after you get the yellow eye/face box, right? It doesn't AF by itself.

2. What was the lighting like?

3. Assign Subject Tracking to Fn2. The OK button is useful in certain situations but not usually when hand-holding. You're right that it's not super quick.

 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
OP HRS Regular Member • Posts: 338
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

Tomorrow, I'll do just that...

 HRS's gear list:HRS's gear list
Nikon Z6 II Nikon 85mm F1.8G Nikon Z 24-70mm F4
beatboxa Veteran Member • Posts: 7,937
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
14

HRS wrote:

...given the high expectations from the hype surrounding the supposed eye and face focusing improvements...
<snip>

But the downward trajectory of Nikon, vis-a-vis Canon especially, would lead me to a different manufacturer if I had it to do over.

How long have you been shooting with the Canon R5/R6?

If the answer is "not long" or "not at all" then what exactly are you complaining about?  Because at that point, the logic you are following is that you are complaining about the hype-vs-results of the Z6ii vs. hype (only) of the Canon R5 or R6.

One of the things I've pointed out many, many, many times on these forums is that there are a lot of components in the processing chain, which includes some serial processes that contribute to various lags / latencies.  And if you become educated on what they are and how they work, you will be better prepared to understand and set proper expectations, mitigation strategies, and purchasing decisions.

If you choose not to learn about how these things work and instead choose to go purely on performance results, then you need to actually compare results.

And if you choose to compare your misaligned expectations (between your expectations and the results you get) of one camera vs. only the hype of the other (and not actual results), then you're doing it wrong.

Ernie Misner
Ernie Misner Veteran Member • Posts: 7,845
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

1llusive wrote:

My experience with Eye AF has been positive. It even focuses correctly on eyes for eyeglass wearers.

1. You are pressing and holding your focus button after you get the yellow eye/face box, right? It doesn't AF by itself.

Doesn't Eye AF also now work well using AF area Wide rather than Auto?  If true it seems like that would be a lot easier than using the box in Auto Area.

2. What was the lighting like?

3. Assign Subject Tracking to Fn2. The OK button is useful in certain situations but not usually when hand-holding. You're right that it's not super quick.

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Ernie Misner
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erniemisner/
The first digital image was made in the late '60's for NASA, as a way to record images of Mars. Each "square" was represented by three numbers, corresponding to the red, green, and blue hue on a scale of 0 to 255. This eliminated the need to ship film back to Earth.

 Ernie Misner's gear list:Ernie Misner's gear list
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1llusive
1llusive Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
2

Ernie Misner wrote:

1llusive wrote:

My experience with Eye AF has been positive. It even focuses correctly on eyes for eyeglass wearers.

1. You are pressing and holding your focus button after you get the yellow eye/face box, right? It doesn't AF by itself.

Doesn't Eye AF also now work well using AF area Wide rather than Auto? If true it seems like that would be a lot easier than using the box in Auto Area.

That just limits the area in which eyes and faces will be looked for. it's just a tool if you have multiple people in the scene and you want to limit that. If you don't, it's just more work compared to using the full frame.

 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
MrHollywood
MrHollywood Senior Member • Posts: 3,819
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
2

I have the Z7II and the eye AF is nailing 98% of the time at least. It's gotten to the point where an out-of-focus shot is a shock. I've been shooting a lot of stuff sailing where my D850 had a lower keeper rate.

Robert

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 MrHollywood's gear list:MrHollywood's gear list
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Ernie Misner
Ernie Misner Veteran Member • Posts: 7,845
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

MrHollywood wrote:

I have the Z7II and the eye AF is nailing 98% of the time at least. It's gotten to the point where an out-of-focus shot is a shock. I've been shooting a lot of stuff sailing where my D850 had a lower keeper rate.

That sounds great.  Is the eye AF any slower to acquire focus than using a single AF point and putting it on the eye?

Robert

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Ernie Misner
http://www.flickr.com/photos/erniemisner/
The first digital image was made in the late '60's for NASA, as a way to record images of Mars. Each "square" was represented by three numbers, corresponding to the red, green, and blue hue on a scale of 0 to 255. This eliminated the need to ship film back to Earth.

 Ernie Misner's gear list:Ernie Misner's gear list
Nikon Z6 Nikon Z7 II Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR +5 more
sharkyofcuths Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

1llusive wrote:

My experience with Eye AF has been positive. It even focuses correctly on eyes for eyeglass wearers.

1. You are pressing and holding your focus button after you get the yellow eye/face box, right? It doesn't AF by itself.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the moment you press the shutter it automatically focuses?

BernhardF
BernhardF New Member • Posts: 24
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
1

sharkyofcuths wrote:

1llusive wrote:

My experience with Eye AF has been positive. It even focuses correctly on eyes for eyeglass wearers.

1. You are pressing and holding your focus button after you get the yellow eye/face box, right? It doesn't AF by itself.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the moment you press the shutter it automatically focuses?

Not if you’re using back-button-focus only

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Nikon D50 Nikon D750 Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II +5 more
sharkyofcuths Regular Member • Posts: 136
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
1

BernhardF wrote:

sharkyofcuths wrote:

1llusive wrote:

My experience with Eye AF has been positive. It even focuses correctly on eyes for eyeglass wearers.

1. You are pressing and holding your focus button after you get the yellow eye/face box, right? It doesn't AF by itself.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought the moment you press the shutter it automatically focuses?

Not if you’re using back-button-focus only

That's a relief, since I never use that particular technique.

MrHollywood
MrHollywood Senior Member • Posts: 3,819
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
2

Ernie Misner wrote:

MrHollywood wrote:

I have the Z7II and the eye AF is nailing 98% of the time at least. It's gotten to the point where an out-of-focus shot is a shock. I've been shooting a lot of stuff sailing where my D850 had a lower keeper rate.

That sounds great. Is the eye AF any slower to acquire focus than using a single AF point and putting it on the eye?

Robert

Using a single point will always be better in some cases. I can CHOOSE exactly where I want the AF to be. But in a lot of situations the eye AF is getting me the focus points required quicker than I was doing it myself. It's really dependent on the situation.

I only wish there was a big fat button to toggle between Eye-AF and Single point instantly. Maybe there is, but I haven't looked into it.

Robert

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"You're gonna need a bigger boat."

 MrHollywood's gear list:MrHollywood's gear list
Nikon D850 Sigma 35mm F1.4 DG HSM Art Nikon 200-500mm F5.6E ED VR Nikon AF-S 70-200mm F2.8E FL ED VR Sony RX100 VI +19 more
1llusive
1llusive Veteran Member • Posts: 3,529
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux
1

MrHollywood wrote:

Ernie Misner wrote:

MrHollywood wrote:

I have the Z7II and the eye AF is nailing 98% of the time at least. It's gotten to the point where an out-of-focus shot is a shock. I've been shooting a lot of stuff sailing where my D850 had a lower keeper rate.

That sounds great. Is the eye AF any slower to acquire focus than using a single AF point and putting it on the eye?

Robert

Using a single point will always be better in some cases. I can CHOOSE exactly where I want the AF to be. But in a lot of situations the eye AF is getting me the focus points required quicker than I was doing it myself. It's really dependent on the situation.

I only wish there was a big fat button to toggle between Eye-AF and Single point instantly. Maybe there is, but I haven't looked into it.

Robert

Unfortunately there is not. The best we can do is use a7 to remove modes we won't use so cycling is faster. Careful because if you do end up needing those modes you'll create more work going in and re-enabling them. I suggest doing so within the context of a User Settings mode so it doesn't affect all of your shooting styles.

A lot of the time when I'm in Auto-area AF and I want a single point, I bring up subject tracking with Fn2. If that's not fine enough, then I'll switch.

 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
skyrunr
skyrunr Senior Member • Posts: 1,397
Re: Z6 II Eye and face focusing--Sux

I see the benefit, but I'm actually the opposite. After MANY years of that being my preferred DSLR configuration, and even having a funct button for spot metering to go with it, I've moved so far away from AF-C Single (I find it too NERVOUS on every Z and lens combination I've tried) that I'd like to uncheck it in a7. 

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