What is Auto Capture like? The new Nikon Z 8 firmware v.2.0 update is put to the test

Adrien Coquelle Φυσικά τοπία και άγρια φύση17 Μαΐ 20245 λεπτά ανάγνωσης
Adrien Coquelle's assets for Nikon magazine

We sent wildlife photographer Adrien Coquelle to France’s magnificent Vanoise National Park to put the latest Nikon Z 8 firmware v.2.0 update through its paces

When you live in the French Alps, it’s hard not to take inspiration from the beauty around you. Having photographed everything from the common blue tit to the majestic ibex, Adrien Coquelle is well-known for creating a streamlined and creative atmosphere celebrating animals undisturbed in their natural environment. His signature style is light, pastel colours.


An ideal choice to test the latest firmware update, Adrien tried out the new bird-recognition Auto Capture mode and Flat Monochrome and Deep Tone Monochrome features.

Adrien Coquelle
Φυσικά τοπία και άγρια φύση
What’s in my kitbag?
Adrien Coquelle's assets for Nikon magazine

What are you looking for in your composition and lighting? How do you achieve the ‘Adrien Coquelle’ look?

When I photograph wild animals, I always look for creative atmospheres. I try to keep my image simple and to highlight the subject in its environment, with very diluted backgrounds and foregrounds. Light plays a crucial role in my composition and is often the main subject before the animals themselves. That is why I love pastel atmospheres or, by contrast, very pronounced backlighting.


Photography is, above all, a means of conveying emotions. If all the conditions aren’t right, then I prefer not to press the shutter and avoid disturbing the animals for nothing. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the moment with your own eyes and remember that we’re just guests in this magnificent and incredible wilderness.


How did you find the Nikon Z 8 firmware v.2.0 update?

The update offers very interesting improvements for wildlife photography, such as bird detection, but also Pixel Shift where you can photograph up to 180MP, which is useful for macro photography. It gave me plenty of ideas to explore.


I film wildlife on a regular basis and love the new video features, such as the extended ISO range and the ability to create a digital zoom. It’s really nice to see that Nikon regularly updates its cameras to offer its users newer features.


Read more: 6 key features in the Nikon Z 8 v.2.0 firmware update that videographers will love

Adrien Coquelle's assets for Nikon magazine

How was the new bird-recognition Auto Capture mode?

This is a major innovation for the Nikon Z 8’s autofocus. Many people had been looking forward to it, following its implementation on the Z 9 a few months ago.


In the field, I noticed the Z 8 recognised birds better, even from a long way off or in cluttered environments. I tested it in various situations, such as birds in flight, birds at feeders or with tricky subjects, like crows, because they make the autofocus work harder as their black eyes are surrounded by black feathers. I was amazed to see how the autofocus never lost the subject every time, regardless of the situation or the movements.


I was even pleasantly surprised to discover that this new autofocus mode made the detection of dragonflies in flight much easier. This opens a new world of possibilities to macro photographers.


In short, it’s a real pleasure to be able to rely on your camera with your eyes closed and concentrate solely on the composition and exposure of your images. My advice to readers? Use bird detection in combination with 3D tracking and you’ll never have blurry photos again!

Adrien Coquelle's assets for Nikon magazine

How were the new Flat Monochrome and Deep Tone Monochrome features? How would you apply these features to wildlife photography?
As I photograph almost exclusively in RAW, I was very curious to try out the new monochrome profiles and see if they could do anything for me. I particularly liked Deep Tone: it creates very special, high-contrast atmospheres, unusual so far in wildlife photography. This profile is also interesting when the lighting presents a naturally high contrast, to amplify the play of light and shadow.


Viewing the scene you’re shooting directly in black and white really changes the vision, as well as the way the shot is composed, as it takes photographers out of their comfort zone.

What’s in your kitbag?

Combines performance and innovation in a compact and lightweight format


Offers incredible professional performance in both photography and video


An exceptional lens that responds quickly to any situation thanks to its built-in x1.4 teleconverter


Compact and ideal for long hikes at high altitude, it’s an all-purpose versatile lens


For situations where I need to zoom in even more


For landscape photography when I’m in the mood


  • Feisol tripod

For improved stability

Adrien Coquelle's assets for Nikon magazine
Adrien Coquelle’s top tips for making the most out of the firmware update
  • Combine new bird-recognition Auto Capture with Pre-Release Capture and never miss a moment
  • Try Pixel Shift in macro photography on still subjects, such as flowers. The results are striking, with images packed with details
  • Experiment with the new Auto Capture mode and place the Z 8 into a hide and watch it do its magic
  • Use the new Deep Tone profile in sunny conditions to increase contrast and create a really cool atmosphere
  • If you are struggling with your autofocus zone, use the new setting to increase the width of the zone (a11 menu)


Follow Adrien Coquelle on Instagram here. For easy instructions on how to install firmware updates and download the free Nikon Z 8 firmware v.2.0, click here.

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