Nikon Z8 and Z9 firmware updates released
Over the last two days, Nikon has released new firmware updates for its two most premium full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z9 and Z8.
The Z9, Nikon’s flagship model, launched in late 2021, received a major upgrade recently, adding a host of new features and enhancements like smart ‘Auto Capture’, slow motion video and shutter sound customization, among others. This latest update, version 4.01 (available here), fixes relatively minor bugs, notably:
- The camera would fail to be woken from standby to record video under some settings.
- The first shot in a photo burst would have incorrect white balance when set to auto.
- Camera controls would not adjust image area settings in slow motion video mode.
The more recent Z8, launched in May this year, is getting its first update, version 1.01 (available here) which includes several changes, prominently addressing users’ feedback related to overheating warnings and abnormal battery drain:
- The time before which high-temperature warnings for the memory card and processor appear has been adjusted; presumably this reflects more realistic estimates of the camera’s heating behavior revealed by testing with a variety of cards – some cards run cooler than others – and shooting conditions. The placement of the warning signs has been changed to reduce screen clutter.
- Two bugs causing battery drain were fixed: the camera connecting to WiFi devices even when instructed to not “upload while off”, and the manual focus ring (which focuses-by-wire using motors) continuing to change focus even when disabled.
- An issue with SB-800 flash units becoming unresponsive under certain situations was also fixed.
Incidentally, it was this Z8 firmware update that Nikon had alluded to recently when stating that the Z9's Auto Capture feature would also be coming to the Z8. Soon afterwards, though, it quietly removed all records of that claim from their promotional material, leaving people speculating on the reasons. The Z8, while broadly well-received, has also been plagued by hardware issues that resulted in recalls of some affected units.
The exact list of firmware changes can be found in the drop-down section below.
Nikon Z9: changes from “C” Firmware Version 4.00 to 4.01
Fixed the following issues:
- The camera would in rare circumstances stop responding or fail to record a video correctly if an attempt for video recording took place after the standby timer had expired then reactivated with [Frame size/frame rate] set to 1920 × 1080 in the VIDEO RECORDING MENU.
- The [Choose image area] and [Switch FX/DX] roles assigned to camera controls were disabled when a slow-motion video option was selected.
- The first shot in burst photography would sometimes fail to acquire appropriate white balance when [Auto] or [Natural light auto] was selected for white balance.
- If shooting continued while [ON] was selected for [PHOTO SHOOTING MENU] > [Photo flicker reduction], the photo live view display would be partially disrupted.
Nikon Z8: changes from “C” Firmware Version 1.00 to 1.01
- Changed the timing of the high-temperature warnings appearing when the camera’s internal temperature increases mainly during video recording.
- Changed the position where the memory card high-temperature warning is displayed in video mode.
Fixed the following issues:
- The battery would draw down more quickly while the camera was off if [ON] was selected for [Connect to smart device] > [Wi-Fi connection] in the [NETWORK MENU] even if [OFF] was selected for both [Bluetooth connection] and [Upload while off].
- Focus could still be adjusted using the focus ring when [Disable] was selected for a15 [Manual focus ring in AF mode] in the [CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU] if an option other than [Non-linear] was chosen for f9 [Focus ring rotation range] in the [CUSTOM SETTINGS MENU].
- SB-800 flash units would sometimes stop responding after pictures were taken with the flash disabled.