The Nikon Z Firmware Wish List

We've now had two major drops from Nikon on Z camera firmware updates. While substantive progress has been made on already good cameras, the list of things that Nikon should still do is actually quite long: 

  • Z50: add Z6/Z7 3.00 Subject Tracking changes
  • Z50: add Save/Load Settings (to/from card)
  • Z50: add Viewfinder Priority
  • Z50: add Battery Info
  • all: touchscreen focus positioning while shooting*
  • all: make Subject Tracking an AF Area Mode, not a sub-mode
  • all: add no overlays/info to DISP settings
  • all: report actual top fps with current settings (help indicates constraining settings)
  • all: support all Trim aspect ratios in Choose Image Area (e.g. 5:4, 4:3)
  • Z6:Z7: support DX lenses in FX Image Area selection
  • Z6/Z7: support multiple Load Settings (i.e. named files on card)
  • Z6/Z7: support U1/U2/U3 with Save/Load Settings
  • Z6:Z7: allow simultaneous Peaking Display and Highlight Display (and in still shooting)
  • Z6/Z7: allow AF-ON+Autofocus Area button assignments
  • Z6/Z7: AF-C focus sensor turns green on focus achieved*
  • Z6:Z7: At least one AF Area Mode with guaranteed CSP (closest subject priority)
  • Z6/Z7: option to let manual focus ring movement trigger zoom
  • Z6/Z7: add pixel shift shooting mode(s)*
  • Z6/Z7: fix focus stacking (multiple issues)
  • Z6/Z7: create RAW output when shooting Multiple Exposure if set (ala D850)
  • Z6/Z7: add RAW ability to HDR (actually Keep All Exposures becomes Save JPEG Exposure; the camera already make HDR raws, but only if you've set JPEG ;~)
  • Z6/Z7: add Shooting Method and Choose Image Area to U1/U2/U3 memory
  • Z6/Z7: add ML-L7 support
  • Z6/Z7: add extended shutter speeds (ala D810A, D780, D6)*
  • Z6/Z7: rethink HDMI video settings (bare HDMI, N-Log, ProRes RAW not well consolidated)*
  • Z6/Z7: address low level banding issue in 14-bits*
  • Z6/Z7: allow button press to invoke Silent Photography
  • Z6/Z7: restore Image Protect capability
  • Z6/Z7: restore RGB channel Highlights capability
  • Z6/Z7: record Non-CPU Lens Data in EXIF
  • Camera Control Pro: restore ability to fully set everything on Z cameras

That's probably a bare minimum of things that should be eventually done in firmware updates. Things that might be more Mark II type changes (e.g. next model update) have an asterisk after them. The rest, I'd argue, should be implemented on the current models to make them fully competitive.

It's easy to imagine more features and changes that require hardware changes. But I've tried to avoid those here. I've also tried not to suggest a Z50 should be pushed to much towards the high end by swamping it with extra features not likely appreciated by its target buyer. 

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