Why 3D-tracking autofocus is a game-changer in the Nikon Z9

Concentrate on your composition, not your AF-area

Red-winged blackbird in the dreaded “back to the photographer” pose.

This red-winged blackbird provides us with a perfect example of how animal face detection in the Nikon Z9 is a game-changer for Nikon shooters. The bird is in the dreaded “back to the photographer” pose, which is always a challenge for us photographers who want to get the eye in focus.

In previous Nikon cameras, using a traditional AF-area mode such as Dynamic or Group would have a tendency to lock onto the body of the subject when its back was turned to you. Instead, you’d need to use something like single-point AF and work hard to keep the active AF point on your subject’s eye.

With the Nikon Z9, I selected 3D-tracking and had subject detection set to “animals.” Once the blackbird turned its head, the camera immediately detected the eye and locked the active AF point on it. This AF mode let me then recompose my shot without having to move my active AF point all over the frame with the sub-selector joystick. The camera does that for you, so you can concentrate on your framing.

Get my Nikon Z9 Settings Guide Here

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