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How-to's Camera Reviews

Eye Detection (Eye AF) in the Nikon Z6 and Z7 Cameras

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell)

Keywords: z6, z7, eye, af, focus, digitaldarrell, mirrorless

Beginning with firmware version C2.00, Nikon added eye detection to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 cameras. If you haven’t updated your camera’s firmware yet, you can download the needed update and instructions for installation at these Nikon web addresses: Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7

Select the Firmware tab, download the latest firmware for your camera, and install it per the instructions on the download page. 

Let’s examine when Eye AF is available to use, how to enable it, which AF mode it works in, and how to use it for accurate focus on the eyes and face of your subject. Remember, “the eyes make the portrait.”

Eye-AF is available only when using the Auto-area AF function and when the camera is in Photo mode; it will not work in Movie mode. When Eye-AF is enabled, the camera notifies you that it has detected a human eye by surrounding the eye with a yellow square (figure 1, red arrow). 


Figure 1: Eye detection (Eye-AF)


The eye detection square can be manually moved to a different eye on your subject, or to an eye on a nearby subject, such as when you are photographing a group of people. This enables you to select the sharpest focus for a particular eye of the most important subject.

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Art Alexion (artAlexion) on July 25, 2022

Thanks Darrell. Very helpful article. I have a Z7 and found that the AF was not as good as spot focus on my D800e. Not sure what I am doing wrong.

Darrell Young (DigitalDarrell) on October 28, 2019

Founding Member of the Nikonians writer Guild. Author of most of the NikoniansPress books. Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Darrell offers expert advice as the author of several Nikonians Press Books.

Thanks for reading my article. I'm glad it was beneficial to you. I hope those of you who have my Mastering the Nikon Z6 or Z7 book will give it a good review on Amazon. Right now is a critical time for reviews and your review will affect the success of the book. Thank you in advance.

Kent Lewis (nkcllewis) on September 23, 2019

Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Darrell, Hi. Just thinking there are few things better than reading a well-written, thorough and easy to follow "how-to" guide; especially when it comes to technology. Thank you very much. Kent in VA

Dave Barnes (DBarnes) on September 21, 2019

This is a spectacular article, Darrell! Best one on Eye detection that I've read. Thank you so much for the information. You're making my shooting better moment by moment!

Jon Kirshner (jbk224) on September 20, 2019

Does Darrell share his suggested settings with a .bin file download when the book is purchased?

Dinesh Joshi (DRDCJOSHI) on September 17, 2019

I am happy that I have received Darrell Young's Mastering the Nikon Z7, rest I will go through step by step and raise query Regards

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on September 17, 2019

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017 Awarded for her in-depth knowledge and high level of skill in several areas.  Awarded for winning in The Best of Nikonians 2019 Photo Contest

Thanks Darrell, My book has just been shipped. In the meantime I really enjoyed your information on this topic and will look forward to trying Eye AF out with family.