My preparing these details on frequently asked questions regarding the Nikon Z6 & Z7 was prompted by the same questions and errors being repeatedly posted in a Facebook group dedicated to the Nikon Z cameras. Not only were the same questions being asked but many of them are clearly covered in the User Manual and Reference Manual.
My hope was that in putting this together people might read this before posting the same question yet again. Also, by having ‘correct’ answers I’d be doing my bit to help stop the promulgation of errors, fallacies and Internet hysteria. However, this morning whilst out for an early run, I have realised that the people who are too lazy to read the manual or to use the search facility on the Facebook group are probably as too lazy to read this. Oh well, it is done now so I may as well post it.
- Can I update my firmware without a card reader ?. NO. That is it, plain and simple. Transferring files via a card reader will also tend to be faster. The Sony ‘adapter’ reader is about £30.
- Will my F-mount lens work with the FTZ ?. Define what you mean by work.
- Will my F-mount lens autofocus with the FTZ ?. Nikon AF-I/P/S lenses have AF since they have a focusing motor in the lens. Most of the AF-D lenses do not have a focusing motor in the lens and will not have AF. Older AF lenses, pre-AF-D will not have AF. Manual focus lenses, not surprisingly, will not have autofocus. Full Nikon lens compatibility details For Sigma, Tokina and Tamron lenses check their own listing on their websites.
- Why can I not turn VR on or off in the camera menu ?. You are using an F-mount lens which has VR built-in. When you do that the VR on / off is determined by the controls on the lens.
- Can I force FX frame coverage when using a DX lens ?. NO.
- Can I override the automatic switching off of D8 when using my flash / trigger ?. NO. If the camera senses the flash or trigger the user control of D8 off / on is disabled.
- Can I get my red speedlight AF-assist beam to activate ?. No. The infrared light these use is blocked by the sensor filter so it is of no use. This is the same on other makes of Mirrorless cameras.
- Will my flash work on a Z6/7 ?. Nikon provides comprehensive details with regard to their own flash units on a page in the user guide. ProFoto A1 and the rest of the ProFoto system via the Nikon dedicated remote or standard Air Remote work within the described parameters. Other makes, particularly the cheaper ones with a wide variety of different flash and trigger models are less predictable.
- Why is my flash not working ?. Assuming that it is compatible there are a few possibilities. If shutter speed is above 1/200, is FP sync set in the camera menu to enable HSS and is the flash HSS compatible ?. Are you in silent mode or some other mode that the user guide / manual makes clear that flash will not be active ?.
- How many images can I fit on a memory card ?. There are many different file options and, therefore image number capacities. The manual has comprehensive details for most combinations.
- How can I transfer images wirelessly to an iPad / phone etc ?. Full details of the options and how to set them up are in Nikon’s networking guide.
- Can I recharge the battery in-camera whilst using the camera ?. NO.
- Can I use older Nikon 15 & 15a batteries in my Z6 / Z7 ?. Yes but they cannot be recharged in-camera.
- My EVF / rear Monitor are blank / won’t switch over ?. There is a button on the left of the EVF housing. This cycles through the various options. Press this until you revert to the option that you had previously. You can reduce the options in the menu: Setup menu, Spanner, Limit monitor mode selection. Some people find that they get hair or dust on the sensor in the EVF and this prevents the automatic switching. Similarly some get a distorted or misplaced eyecup that needs to be reshaped or re-seated.
- How do I get the level showing on the EVF / monitor ?. The display ( DISP ) button on the camera body backplate to the right of the EVF cycles through the options.
- In AF-C a lot of my photos are not in focus, why ?. Is the custom settings menu item a1 set to Focus or Release ?. The default is release so the shutter fires when you press the button. If you set it to focus then it only fires when it is focused. This is possibly one of the causes of the hysteria ‘AF failures’ that some people complain about.
- What information is displayed with manual focus lenses including AF-D lenses with screw drive AF ?.
a) Nikon AF-D lenses and the Irix 15mm: focus confirmation green, exposure scale, shutter speed, Aperture.
b) Zeiss Milvus lenses: exposure information as above but no focus information.
c) Nikon AF ( pre-D ) Nikon AI and other manual focus lenses. No focus or exposure information. Remember to enter the lens data into the camera. Spanner menu, non-CPU lens options.
d) Other lenses: try and see.
- Why can’t I see / import / open my files in Lightroom / ACR / other software ?. You will need the latest version. On Adobe CC, do the updates that you should have already done. On other Adobe software, the Z files are not supported and you will need to change your raw processing software. Capture One Pro, you need version 12.
- What is the best free raw processing software for the Z cameras ?. Nikon’s own software. It does a good job with keeping the picture controls as well. Just rather cumbersome if you have a lot of images to process.
- What is this bit in the box for ?. Dedicated cable restraint for the USB and HDMI cables. It is listed in the items included in the box and it is covered in the manual, Page 188 ?.
- Why can’t I set a shutter speed faster than 1/2000 ?. This is because you have silent or Electronic First Curtain Shutter ( EFCS) set.
- In Adobe Camera Raw ( LR or Bridge / Photoshop ) my Z6 files white balance not right or have a slightly magenta, how do I correct this ?. Are you using the V2 camera profiles for the Z6 ?. No, there’s your problem. Adobe update files here.
- When tethered, cable connection to a computer, it is not possible to set a custom in-camera whitebalance reading. Nikon have been made aware.
- In low light or in the studio, turning d8 off enables you to actually see what you are trying to photograph. By default I have d8 off.
You might notice that there is nothing here on using the Zs for video. Well, whilst I have done some video snippets I know that I’d be out of my depth making any comment on videos use apart from: read the manual and reference guide.