Hands-on with Nikon Nikkor Z 100-400mm F4.5-5.6 VR S

Rishi Sanyal

Though we haven’t tested the Z9’s accuracy of Eye AF, we generally found that Nikon’s Eye AF (Z7/II, recent firmware) was:

  1. The most eager to find eyes/faces in a scene, leading to many false positives
  2. Tended to front-focus.

We surmise Nikon’s machine learning-based approach was trained in a looser manner, with less stringent criteria.

Sony/Canon are conservative but with fewer false positives.

WIth the Z9, though, things have advanced considerably. It is able to identify faces / eyes in the scene far smaller than either Sony or Canon, though this aligns with the general trend that Nikon’s Eye AF is trained to over-identify eyes/faces rather than under-identify them (with the risk of more false positives). As far as accuracy of placement of focus (front of back focus) as well as false positives / negatives, we’ll have to wait to comment on that until we’ve been able to test the Z9, R3, and A1 further side-by-side.

Suffice it to say all 3 cameras are phenomenal & deliver.