Although Newsshooter might’ve been the first to see Nikon’s Eye AF in action at this year’s CP+ 2019, DPReview actually took along a Sony A7RIII with them to see how well Nikon’s new Eye AF, coming in a firmware update for the Nikon Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras, really compares side-by-side. At least under the environmental conditions set by Nikon on their stand.
While this was a fairly non-scientific demonstration on Nikon’s stand at the show, and while they weren’t allowed to actually put cards in the cameras on the stand and take footage away with them, this comparison shows that Nikon’s Eye AF does indeed seem to be able to keep up just fine with Sony’s Eye AF. At least, for the most part.
The Sony A7RIII definitely looks like it handles eyes at a distance a little better than the Nikon Z7, however, when it did have a lock, the Nikon seemed to want to hold onto the eye for much longer once it became obscured – in this case, by the subject’s hand.
Of course, the firmware isn’t coming out for a couple of months yet, so Nikon has time to tweak it. It will be interesting to see how much, or even if, the firmware improves at all between now and the final release when it comes to Eye AF. But it looks like they might not have screwed it up, after all.