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Thursday, December 30, 2021

Equipment | Focus Tracking and Quick Thoughts with the Nikon Z9 | Also Professional Wakeboarder Shota Tezuka

 Day One  |  The Nikon Z9

"Always remember, your focus determines your reality"   -  George Locus   

Nikon Z9 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S 1/1250 sec at f 3.2

In this case, the Nikon Z9 does all the focusing while the photographer (that's me) is splashing around in reality.  

There is a lot to be said about the Nikon flagship with it’s updated full figured body, lack of a physical shutter, "pro"-res video, buttons that light up with a single touch, and so on.  For the sake of not auditing every bit of character from the Z9; I would like to throw it back to the most basic of camera functions. With Nikon's updated focus tracking/auto detection and over all image quality the Nikon Z9 will .. (just wait for it) .. blow out out of the water.

Please see above inspirational quote

Let's just skip past the "wade in section" if you will, and jump right into the deep end. The Nikon Z9 is a monster step forward from the from it's older cousins.  You can find an endless amount of technical data, write ups, comparison, "how to's" online, but let's just say you will have to try hard not get a solid image out of this machine.

"... and here we go."

It's no secrete that "AI" auto focus has been around the camera brands for some years.  Almost every mirrorless camera has it now.  After switching from dslr's to the mirrorless systems I always struggled with high action/movements keepings the subject tracked and in focus.  Please considered I am usually standing ringside with The WWE or hanging out of a heli chasing some sort of boat at 50 plus MPH with crosswinds.

With the release of the Z9 I can say that the new focusing system is so good that will detect and follow the eyes behind shades! Granted its is most likely running some kind of mathematical equation with facial recognition, but who cares.  The Z9 just grabbed and kept focus while I was hanging on the dock talking to Shota will I had the camera waist level.

Shota Tezuka - Professional Wakeboarder/Billboard

I'll call it eye focus tracking #ShotonIphone

Now it is time for me to finally get my feet with the Z9 and see how it really performs.  And there is no better way to treat a new camera than to put it a few inches above the water with a waist size wave straight for it.  After all, Nikon has said it is "weather sealed" right!? #NoWaterHousingNoWorries

... not a cliche opening shot.

AD ....

Time to get real

The Z9 tracks

... and tracks at 20FPS! 
Nikon Z9 .5 Second burst(ish))

The files also look good

But not as good as this one.  I'm talking about the boat you perv!

Did I mention the "eye tracking" auto focus yet.

@Shotatezuka Looking back at 2021 like (peace emoji here)

We can skip past the "no cameras were harmed" talk and just say I was pleasantly surprised with everything the Z9 has to offer down to the "weather sealing."

Even the overall raw image files are amazing.  I always struggled with the "look and feel" of the mirrorless files.  The highlights and shadows never really separated properly, and the colors never graduated how I liked.  The Nikon Z9 has taken a massive step forward in this by giving me the same look and feel I loved from the D850 or D6!

Down a dirty the Z9 does everything I needed a still camera to do, and updates what it's predisestors were missing. There are also many more features that makes the Z9 more than a camera, but an overall workflow partner. I prefer not to get into every detail within a single blog as I have most likely lost you after my first bad joke.  Lets say, if you can find a way to skip the line and get this Z9 in your hands, please do!  Just maybe pass on jumping directly into a Central Florida lake with it, for a bit at least!

"Shota Tezuka coming into 2022 like..."

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