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Nikon Just Added Animal Detection AF to the Crop-Sensor Nikon Z50

In addition to the Nikon Z5, a new lens, and two Z-mount teleconverters, Nikon also released a few firmware updates today. The Nikon Z6 and Z7 got some minor improvements, while the Nikon Z50 got a significant new feature: Animal Detection AF.

The crop-sensor Nikon Z50 is a bit of a sleeper: generally well-reviewed, the APS-C mirrorless camera has flown under the radar as manufacturers (including Nikon) keep releasing full-frame mirrorless cameras left and right. Given the full-frame fever, it’s nice to see Nikon isn’t ignoring the littlest sibling in the Z-Series lineup.

With Firmware Version 2.0, the Nikon Z50 gets Animal Detection AF (Face and Eye), improved subject tracking that more closely mirrors the 3D tracking mode in Nikon’s DSLRs, support for the newly announced TC-1.4x and TC-2x teleconverters, and a few other minor updates and bug fixes.

The major improvement is obviously Animal Detection AF, and you can see it in action in the demo below:

According to the release notes, the Animal Detection option will now appear under Custom Setting a2 (Auto-area AF face/eye detection), and will automatically turn on when the camera is set to Pet Portrait mode. Note that the point of this feature is to capture better photos of Dogs and Cats, so while Animal Detection might pick up on other animals, don’t expect it to compete with the impressive wildlife photography demo we saw from Canon’s EOS R5 earlier today.

To read up on the full release notes or download Firmware Version 2.0 for the Nikon Z50 for yourself, head over to the Nikon support website here.

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