Technical Solutions | Z 7II/Z 6II TIPS

Camera Settings

The core settings for portrait and wedding photography are:

AF-area mode Wide-area AF (L-people)
ISO sensitivity ISO 200
Picture Control Portrait
White balance Auto
Image quality NEF (RAW) + JPEG normal
Photo shooting menu
Portrait impression balance Adjust hue and brightness for portraits as desired
Custom Settings
f2 Custom controls Assign [Playback] to the Fn1 or Fn2 button

AF-Area Mode: Wide-Area AF (L-People)

This mode uses a wider area for focus than single-point AF. Another benefit is that the camera detects the faces and eyes of human portrait subjects automatically. You still have the option of focusing on a specific subject if, for example, you want to single out the bride in a photograph of the wedding couple.

Improving Focus with Single Subjects

An AF-area mode of [Auto-area AF (people)] is recommended for more accurate focus on individual portrait subjects.

Face- and Eye-Detection AF

The camera detects the faces and eyes of human portrait subjects when [Wide-area AF (L-people)] or [Auto-area AF (people)] is selected for [AF-area mode] in the photo shooting menu (face/eye-detection AF).

  • When the camera detects a human face, a yellow border indicating the focus point will appear around the subject's face. If the camera detects the subject's eyes, the yellow focus point will instead appear over one or the other of their eyes.
  • If AF-C is selected for focus mode, the focus point will light yellow when faces or eyes are detected. If AF-S is selected, the focus point will light green when the camera focuses.
  • If the subject looks away after their face is detected, the focus point will move to track their motion.
  • During playback, you can press to zoom in on the face or eye used for focus .
  • If more than one human face or eye is detected when [Auto-area AF (people)] is selected, and icons will appear on the focus point. You will be able to position the focus point over a different face or eye by pressing or .

ISO Sensitivity: ISO 200

When choosing a value for ISO sensitivity, you'll need to consider such factors as ambient lighting (natural or designed) and whether your subject is static or in motion—try starting with values between ISO 100 and 800. You can always use auto ISO sensitivity control if you have trouble deciding.

Subject on the Move? Try Auto ISO Sensitivity Control

Enabling auto ISO sensitivity control lets the camera adjust ISO sensitivity automatically.

  • In modes P, S, A, and M, you can select from ISO AUTO (auto ISO sensitivity control enabled) and ISO (auto ISO sensitivity control disabled) by holding the ISO button and rotating the sub-command dial. In mode, auto ISO sensitivity control is enabled by default. To switch to a manually-selected value, hold the ISO button and rotate the main command dial.
  • One effective way of preventing motion blur is to select [Auto] for [ISO sensitivity settings] > [Auto ISO senstivity control] > [Minimum shutter speed] and choose a fast value for auto minimum shutter speed selection.
  • Custom Setting e4 [Auto ISO sensitivity control] can be used to choose how the camera adjusts flash level when auto ISO sensitivity control is enabled.

Picture Control: Portrait

This choice smooths complexions for natural-looking portraits.

Custom Picture Controls

Picture Control parameters can be fine-tuned and the results saved as custom Picture Controls using [Manage Picture Control] in the photo shooting menu. It's a good idea to use the [Portrait] Picture Control as a starting point when creating custom Picture Controls for portrait photography.

Using Picture Controls to Soften Skin Texture and Make Eyes More Visible

Picture Control settings for softening skin tones while leaving the eyes clearly visible can be found under 'Step 2: Fine-Tune "Sharpening", "Mid-Range Sharpening", and "Clarity"' in the Z 7/Z 6 Professional Technical Guide: Images, available for download from The Technical Guide uses the [Standard] Picture Control as an example, but this has no effect on the techniques described.

White Balance: Auto

White balance will be adjusted automatically for optimal results with most light sources. If an optional flash unit is used, white balance will be adjusted in accord with the conditions in effect when the flash fires.

  • [Auto] may not produce the desired results when used with non-Nikon flash units.

Image Quality: NEF (RAW) + JPEG Normal

The camera will record two copies of each picture, one in NEF (RAW) format and the other a normal-quality JPEG copy.

Portrait Impression Balance: Adjust Hue and Brightness

Use [Portrait impression balance] to fine-tune hue and brightness for portrait photos and save the results as [Mode 1], [Mode 2], or [Mode 3]. The saved modes can be applied to new pictures. The steps involved are as follows:

1 Select [Portrait impression balance] in the photo shooting menu.

2 Highlight a mode from [Mode 1] through [Mode 3] and press .

3 Adjust and save hue and brightness settings.

  • Press or to adjust brightness and or to adjust hue on the magenta (M)-yellow (Y) axis. Adjustments change hue and brightness as shown below.
  • Press to save changes and return to the photo shooting menu.

4 Highlight the desired mode in the [Portrait impression balance] display and press .

Cautions: Portrait Impression Balance

  • [Portrait impression balance] will not be available if:
    [Monochrome] or [Creative Picture Control] is selected for [Set Picture Control], or
    [N-Log] or [HDR (HLG)] is selected for [HDMI] > [Advanced] > [N-Log/HDR (HLG) output options]
    in the setup menu.
  • The values selected for portrait impression balance cannot be viewed in the camera playback display, in the [NEF (RAW) processing] display in the retouch menu, or in Nikon's NX Studio software.
  • Portrait impression balance settings for existing pictures cannot be altered using NX Studio or the [NEF (RAW) processing] item in the retouch menu.

Assign Playback to the Fn1 or Fn2 Button

Assigning this role to the Fn1 or Fn2 button lets you start playback without taking your eye from the viewfinder.

Playback Zoom Using the Button

Pressing during playback zooms in on the active focus point (assuming that the default setting —[Zoom on/off]— is selected for Custom Setting f3 [OK button] > [Playback mode]). Pressing a second time cancels zoom. A single press of the button zooms in a preselected amount, a feature that comes in handy for quick focus checks and the like.

Assigning Related Functions to the Fn1 and Fn2 Buttons

Assigning related functions to the Fn1 and Fn2 buttons—for example, assigning [Playback] to the former and [Protect] or [Rating] to the latter—makes for smoother shooting and helps speed post-shooting review.