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Technical Solutions | Z 9 TIPS

Picture Quality

The settings covered in this section control video picture quality.

Frame Size/Frame Rate

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Choose the video frame size (in pixels) and frame rate.

Choosing a Frame Size and Frame Rate

1 With the camera in video mode, press the button and then highlight [Frame size/frame rate] and press .

  • Options will be displayed.
  • The options available for frame size vary with the settings chosen for [Video file type] in the video recording menu. See the table below for more information.
  • You can also select an option using the command dials before pressing the button.

2 Press or to highlight the desired option and press to select.

  • To exit to the shooting display, press the button again.

Frame Size and Rate Options for RAW Video

Consult the table below for information on the [Frame size/frame rate] options available when [N‑RAW 12‑bit (NEV)] or [ProRes RAW HQ 12‑bit (MOV)] is selected.

Option Video file type
N‑RAW 12‑bit ProRes RAW HQ 12‑bit
[[FX] 8256×4644; 60p]
[[FX] 8256×4644; 50p]
[[FX] 8256×4644; 30p]
[[FX] 8256×4644; 25p]
[[FX] 8256×4644; 24p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 120p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 100p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 60p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 50p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 30p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 25p]
[[FX] 4128×2322; 24p]
[[DX] 5392×3032; 60p]
[[DX] 5392×3032; 50p]
[[DX] 5392×3032; 30p]
[[DX] 5392×3032; 25p]
[[DX] 5392×3032; 24p]
[[2.3×] 3840×2160; 120p]
[[2.3×] 3840×2160; 100p]
[[2.3×] 3840×2160; 60p]
[[2.3×] 3840×2160; 50p]

Click here for the image optimized for small screens. (JPG 123KB).

  • Regardless of the setting chosen for [Image area] > [Choose image area] in the video recording menu, "FX" options will be recorded using the [FX] image area and "DX" options using the [DX] image area. Choosing a "2.3×" option increases the apparent focal length by approximately 2.3× when compared to FX format.
  • DX-based video format is selected automatically when a DX lens is attached. "FX" options cannot be selected.

Frame Size and Rate Options for Other Video Formats

Consult the table below for information on the [Frame size/frame rate] options available when [ProRes 422 HQ 10‑bit (MOV)], [H.265 10‑bit (MOV)], [H.265 8‑bit (MOV)], or [H.264 8‑bit (MP4)] is selected.

Option1 Video file type
ProRes 422 HQ 10-bit H.265 10-bit H.265 8-bit H.264 8-bit
[7680×4320; 30p]2, 3
[7680×4320; 25p]2, 3
[7680×4320; 24p]2, 3
[3840×2160; 120p]2, 4
[3840×2160; 100p]2, 4
[3840×2160; 60p]4
[3840×2160; 50p]4
[3840×2160; 30p]4
[3840×2160; 25p]4
[3840×2160; 24p]4
[1920×1080; 120p]2
[1920×1080; 100p]2
[1920×1080; 60p]
[1920×1080; 50p]
[1920×1080; 30p]
[1920×1080; 25p]
[1920×1080; 24p]

Click here for the image optimized for small screens. (JPG 102KB).

  • The actual frame rate may differ from that shown. The actual frame rates are: 120p: 119.88 fps; 100p: 100 fps; 60p: 59.94 fps; 50p: 50 fps; 30p: 29.97 fps; 25p: 25 fps; 24p 23.976 fps.
  • Fixes [Electronic VR] in the video recording menu at [OFF].
  • Videos are recorded in 8K UHD. Not available with DX lenses.
  • Videos are recorded in 4K UHD.

Video Quality (N‑RAW)

  • -button menu : —
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Choose a video quality option when filming footage with [N‑RAW 12‑bit (NEV)] selected for [Video file type] in the video recording menu.

Settings can be adjusted using [Video quality (N‑RAW)] in the video recording menu. Choose from [High quality] and [Normal].

"High Quality" Versus "Normal"

[High quality] features a bit rate approximately 1.6 to 2 times higher than [Normal], resulting in larger files. [Normal] is recommended when recording to memory cards with slow transfer speeds, as the higher bit rate for [High quality] necessitates higher transfer speeds.

Choose Image Area

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls :
  • Other menus :

Choose the image area. Select [FX] to shoot videos in what is referred to as "FX-based video format", [DX] to shoot in "DX-based video format".

Video Image Area Options

The illustration shows the crops used for filming videos. Regardless of the option selected, the aspect ratio is 16:9.

  • Select [FX] to shoot videos in what is referred to as "FX-based video format", [DX] to shoot in "DX-based video format".
  • The image area for videos recorded with [N‑RAW 12‑bit (NEV)] or [ProRes RAW HQ 12-bit (MOV)] selected for [Video file type] in the video recording menu is determined by the option chosen for [Frame size/frame rate]. The option selected for [Image area] > [Choose image area] in the video recording menu does not apply.
  • Selecting [DX] for [Choose image area] or mounting a DX lens on the camera with [3840×2160; 120p], [3840×2160; 100p], [1920×1080; 120p], or [1920×1080; 100p] chosen for [Frame size/frame rate] increases the apparent focal length by approximately 2.3× when compared to FX format.
  • The sizes of the different crops are as follows.

    Format Size
    FX-based video format Approx. 35.9 × 20.2 mm
    DX-based video format Approx. 23.5 × 13.2 mm
    2.3× Approx. 16.7 × 9.4 mm
  • DX-based video format is selected automatically when a DX lens is attached.
  • When 7680 × 4320 is selected for frame size, image area is fixed at [FX]. The frame size changes to 3840 × 2160 when a DX lens is attached.
  • Selecting [ON] for [Electronic VR] in the video recording menu reduces the size of the crop.

Choosing the Image Area

The image area can be selected by holding the Fn2 button and rotating a command dial.

  • The option currently selected is shown by an icon in the display.

Extended Oversampling

  • -button menu : —
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Selecting [ON] optimizes image readout for improved image quality when [3840×2160; 60p] or [3840×2160; 50p] is chosen for [Frame size/frame rate] in the video recording menu.

Settings can be adjusted using [Extended oversampling] in the video recording menu.

  • Note that the drain on the battery increases when [ON] is selected.
  • Extended oversampling does not apply to RAW footage filmed with [ON] selected.

ISO Sensitivity

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls :
  • Other menus :

Videos recorded in modes P, S, and A are shot using auto ISO sensitivity (ISO AUTO). You can, however, select an upper limit to prevent the camera choosing too high a value. In mode M, you also have the option of adjusting ISO sensitivity manually.

Modes P, S, and A.

  • The camera adjusts ISO sensitivity automatically in response to shooting conditions, choosing from values of from ISO 64 to Hi 2.0; the chosen value is shown in the shooting display and control panel.
  • ISO sensitivities of Hi 0.3–Hi 2.0 are not available during RAW video recording.

Mode M

  • Auto ISO sensitivity control can be enabled or disabled by holding the ISO button and rotating the sub-command dial; the display shows ISO AUTO when auto ISO sensitivity control is enabled and ISO when it is disabled. If desired, auto ISO sensitivity control can also be enabled or disabled using [ISO sensitivity settings] > [Auto ISO control (mode M)] in the video recording menu.
  • When auto ISO sensitivity control is disabled (i.e., when ISO appears in the shooting display and control panel), ISO sensitivity can be manually set to values between ISO 64 and Hi 2.0 by holding the ISO button and rotating the main command dial. If desired, ISO sensitivity can also be adjusted using [ISO sensitivity settings] > [ISO sensitivity (mode M)] in the video recording menu. ISO sensitivities of Hi 0.3 – Hi 2.0 are not available during RAW video recording.
  • If [On (1/6 EV)] is selected for Custom Setting g8 [Fine ISO control (mode M)], ISO sensitivity in the range ISO 64 to 25600 can be adjusted in increments of 1/6 EV (see this section).
  • Your selection will be shown in the shooting display and control panel.

Maximum Sensitivity

  • To prevent auto ISO sensitivity control setting ISO sensitivity too high, you can use the [ISO sensitivity settings] > [Maximum sensitivity] option in the video recording menu to select an upper limit from values between ISO 200 and Hi 2.0.
  • The maximum ISO sensitivity for videos recorded with [ON] selected for [Electronic VR] in the video recording menu is ISO 25600.
  • The selected setting applies in modes P, S, and A and in mode M when [ON] is selected for [Auto ISO control (mode M)].
Cautions: Auto ISO Sensitivity Control
  • At high ISO sensitivities, "noise" (randomly-spaced bright pixels, fog, or lines) may increase. Noise can be reduced by selecting [High], [Normal], or [Low] for [High ISO NR] in the video recording menu (see this section).
  • At high ISO sensitivities, the camera may have difficulty focusing.
  • The foregoing can be prevented by choosing a lower value for [ISO sensitivity settings] > [Maximum sensitivity] in the video recording menu.
  • The minimum values available for [Maximum sensitivity] and [ISO sensitivity (mode M)] when [HLG] is selected for video tone mode are ISO 800 and 400, respectively.
  • The minimum values available for [Maximum sensitivity] and [ISO sensitivity (mode M)] when [N-Log] is selected for video tone mode are ISO 1600 and 800, respectively.

White Balance

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls :
  • Other menus :

Adjust white balance according to lighting conditions.

Adjusting White Balance

  • Hold the WB button and rotate the main command dial. The effect of the chosen setting can be previewed in the shooting display.
  • When AUTO (auto) or (fluorescent) is selected, you can choose an AUTO (auto) or sub-option by holding the WB button and rotating the sub-command dial.
  • When (choose color temperature) is selected, you can choose the color temperature by rotating the sub-command dial.
  • When preset manual is selected, you can choose a white balance preset by rotating the sub-command dial.
  • White balance can be fine-tuned by holding the WB button and pressing , , , or .
  • Your selection is shown in the shooting display.

Fine-Tuning White Balance from the Menu

  • Pressing when [White balance] is highlighted in the menu displays a list of white balance options. If an option other than [Choose color temperature] is highlighted, fine-tuning options can be displayed by pressing . Any changes to fine-tuning options can be previewed in the shooting display.
  • Tap the arrows in the display or use the multi selector to fine-tune white balance.
  • Press to save changes and return to the menu.
"Same as Photo Settings"

To use the option currently selected for photos, choose [Same as photo settings] for [White balance] in the video recording menu.

"Auto" and "Natural Light Auto": Locking Auto White Balance

You can temporarily lock auto white balance when shooting in [Auto] and [Natural light auto] modes. This can, for example, be used to prevent colors changing when you zoom in on subjects wearing reds, greens, or other bright colors.

White balance in close shot is adjusted to reflect colors of objects visible in frame, potentially lending shot a color cast.

Using auto white-balance lock (AWB-L) to lock auto white balance before starting close shot eliminates color cast.

  • Assigning [AWB lock (hold)] to a control using Custom Setting g2 [Custom controls] lets you lock white balance at the touch of a button. If desired, you can assign [AE/AWB lock (hold)] to a control to lock both white balance and exposure (see this section).
  • The lock ends when the control to which [AWB lock (hold)] or [AE/AWB lock (hold)] is assigned is pressed a second time or the standby timer expires.

Measuring a New Value for Preset Manual White Balance

Use preset manual white balance to measure a custom white balance value for the current light source and save it for later recall.

1 Hold the WB button and rotate the main command dial to select PRE.

2 Hold the WB button and rotate the sub-command dial until the destination preset is displayed.

  • Choose from presets d-1 through d-6.

3 Release the WB button briefly and then press it again to select direct measurement mode.

  • The PRE icon in the shooting display will flash.
  • A white balance target () will be displayed in yellow in the center of the frame.

4 While PRE flashes in the display, use the multi selector to position the over a white or gray area of the subject.

  • To zoom in on the area around the for more precise positioning, press the button.
  • Position the target () using the multi selector.
  • To measure white balance, press the shutter-release button all the way down or press .
  • You can also position the target () and measure white balance by tapping the display.

5 Press the button to exit direct measurement mode.

Picture Controls

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls :
  • Other menus :

Choose a Picture Control according to the subject or type of scene. Choose [Same as photo settings] to use the option currently selected for photos. [Flat] preserves details over a wide tone range, from highlights to shadows, making it a good choice for footage that will be tweaked in post-production. Combining this option with highlight-weighted metering minimizes loss of detail in highlights.

Choosing a Picture Control

Hold the (Fn4) button and rotate the main command dial to choose a Picture Control.

  • The shooting display will immediately be updated to show the effects of the selected Picture Control.
  • When a Creative Picture Control is selected, the effect level can be chosen by holding the (Fn4) button and rotating the sub-command dial.
  • The camera will exit to the shooting display.
[Auto] The camera automatically adjusts settings based on the [Neutral] Picture Control to optimize contrast and outlines for videos.
  • Recommended for most situations.
[Standard] Choose for results that give more priority to resolution than does [Auto].
[Neutral] Minimal processing for natural results.
  • Choose for photographs that will later be processed or retouched.
[Vivid] Pictures are enhanced for a vivid, photoprint effect.
  • Choose for photographs that emphasize primary colors.
[Monochrome] Take monochrome photographs.
[Portrait] Smooth complexions for natural-looking portraits.
[Landscape] Shoot vibrant landscapes and cityscapes.
[Flat] Details are preserved over a wide tone range, from highlights to shadows.
  • Choose for photographs that will later be extensively processed or retouched.

[Creative Picture Control] Creative Picture Controls offer unique combinations of hue, tone, saturation, and other settings tuned for particular effects.
  • Choose from a total of 20 options, including [Dream] and [Morning].

Click here for the image optimized for small screens. (JPG 142KB).

HLG and N-Log Recording
  • Picture Controls are not available in [HLG] and [N-Log] video tone modes. Settings for HLG recording can be adjusted using [HLG quality] in the video recording menu (see this section).
  • Picture Controls are not applied to RAW footage.

Modifying Picture Controls from the Menu

  • Highlighting [Set Picture Control] in the menu and pressing displays a Picture Control list. To modify a Picture Control while previewing the effects in the shooting display, highlight it in the Picture Control list and press .
  • Press or to highlight settings. Press or to choose a value in increments of 1, or rotate the sub-command dial to choose a value in increments of 0.25.
  • The options available vary with the Picture Control selected.
  • To abandon any changes and start over from default settings, press the () button.
  • Press to save changes.
Modified Picture Controls

Picture Controls that have been modified from default settings are indicated by an asterisk ("").

Picture Control Settings

[Effect level] Mute or heighten the effect of Creative Picture Controls.
[Quick sharp] Use [Quick sharp] to quickly adjust levels for balanced [Sharpening], [Mid-range sharpening], and [Clarity]. These parameters can also be adjusted individually.
Manual
adjustments
[Sharpening] Control the sharpness of details and outlines.
[Mid-range sharpening] Adjust the sharpness of patterns and lines in the range between [Sharpening] and [Clarity].
[Clarity] Adjust overall sharpness and the sharpness of thicker outlines without affecting brightness or dynamic range.
[Contrast] Adjust contrast.
[Brightness] Raise or lower brightness without loss of detail in highlights or shadows.
[Saturation] Control the vividness of colors.
[Hue] Adjust hue.
[Filter effects] Simulate the effect of color filters on monochrome pictures.
[Toning] Choose the tint used in monochrome pictures.
[Toning] (Creative Picture Control) Choose the shade of color used for Creative Picture Controls.

Click here for the image optimized for small screens. (JPG 132KB).

The [ Auto] Picture Control

Settings can be adjusted in the range [A−2] to [A+2].

[A] (Auto)
  • Selecting the A (auto) option available for some settings lets the camera adjust the setting automatically.
  • Results vary with exposure and the position of the subject in the frame.
TheIndicator

The indicator under the value display in the Picture Control setting menu indicates the previous value for the setting. You'll find that this comes in handy when making adjustments with reference to the previous value.

[Monochrome] > [Filter Effects]

Choose from the following [Filter effects]:

[Y] (yellow) * These options enhance contrast and can be used to tone down the brightness of the sky in landscape photographs. Orange [O] produces more contrast than yellow [Y], red [R] more contrast than orange.
[O] (orange) *
[R] (red) *
[G] (green) * Green softens skin tones. Use for portraits and the like.

* The term in parentheses is the name of the corresponding third-party color filter for black-and-white photography.

Toning (Monochrome Only)

Pressing when an option other than [B&W] (black-and-white) is selected for [Toning] displays saturation options. Press or to adjust saturation.

HLG Quality

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Adjust HLG video image processing options for use when [HLG] is chosen for tone mode.

HLG quality can be adjusted using [HLG quality] in the video recording menu.

HLG Quality Settings

[Quick sharp] Use [Quick sharp] to quickly adjust levels for balanced [Sharpening], [Mid-range sharpening], and [Clarity]. These parameters can also be adjusted individually.
Manual
adjustments
[Sharpening] Control the sharpness of details and outlines.
[Mid-range sharpening] Adjust the sharpness of patterns and lines in the range between [Sharpening] and [Clarity].
[Clarity] Adjust overall sharpness and the sharpness of thicker outlines without affecting brightness or dynamic range.
[Contrast] Adjust contrast.
[Saturation] Control the vividness of colors.
[Hue] Adjust hue.

Click here for the image optimized for small screens. (JPG 85.7KB).

High ISO NR

  • -button menu : —
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Reduce "noise" (randomly-spaced bright pixels) in videos recorded at high ISO sensitivities.

Choose a setting using the [High ISO NR] item in the video recording menu.

  • To enable noise reduction at all ISO sensitivities, select [High], [Normal], or [Low]. The higher the sensitivity, the greater the effect.
  • The amount of noise reduction performed can be selected from (in order from high to low) [High], [Normal], and [Low].
  • Note that edges may soften and the picture may lose definition at higher settings.
  • If [Off] is selected, noise reduction will be performed only as required. The amount of noise reduction performed is always lower than when [Low] is selected.
  • High ISO noise reduction is not available during RAW recording.

Vignette Control

  • -button menu : —
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Vignette control reduces "vignetting"—a drop in brightness at the edges of the frame—by an amount that varies from lens to lens. Its effects are most noticeable at maximum aperture.

[Vignette control] is available in both the photo shooting and video recording menus. Changes to one apply to the other.

  • To enable vignette control, select [High], [Normal], or [Low].
  • The amount can be selected from (in order from high to low) [High], [Normal], and [Low].
  • Vignette control is not applied to RAW footage.

Diffraction Compensation

  • -button menu : —
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Select [ON] to reduce diffraction at small apertures (high f-numbers).

[Diffraction compensation] is available in both the photo shooting and video recording menus. Changes to one apply to the other.

  • Diffraction compensation is not available during RAW recording.

Auto Distortion Control

  • -button menu : —
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Select [ON] to reduce barrel distortion when shooting with wide-angle lenses and pin-cushion distortion when shooting with long lenses.

[Auto distortion control] is available in both the photo shooting and video recording menus. Changes to one apply to the other.

  • When [ON] is selected, auto distortion control will be applied only if the camera judges it necessary.
  • Note that [ON] may be selected automatically with some lenses, in which case this item will be grayed out and unavailable.
  • Auto distortion control is not applied to RAW footage.

Vibration Reduction

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Choose whether to enable vibration reduction.

Choosing a Vibration Reduction Option

1 With the camera in video mode, press the button and then highlight [Vibration reduction] and press .

  • Options will be displayed.
  • The options available vary with the lens. See the table below for more information.
  • Select [Same as photo settings] to use the option currently selected for photos.
  • You can also select an option using the command dials before pressing the button.

2 Press or to highlight the desired option and press to select.

  • To exit to the shooting display, press the button again.

Vibration Reduction Options

[Normal] Choose for enhanced vibration reduction when photographing static subjects.
[Sport] Choose when photographing athletes and other subjects that are moving rapidly and unpredictably. [Sport] is recommended for videos. Selecting [Sport] eliminates choppiness during recording.
[Off] Vibration reduction is disabled.
Cautions: Using Vibration Reduction
  • Vibration reduction may be unavailable with some lenses.
  • We recommend that you wait for the image in the display to stabilize before shooting.
  • If an F mount lens with a vibration reduction switch is attached via an optional FTZ II or FTZ mount adapter, [Vibration reduction] will be grayed out and unavailable. Use the lens switch for vibration reduction.

Electronic VR

  • -button menu :
  • Camera controls : —
  • Other menus :

Choose whether to enable electronic vibration reduction in video mode.

1 With the camera in video mode, press the button and then highlight [Electronic VR] and press .

  • Options will be displayed.
  • You can also select an option using the command dials before pressing the button.

2 Press or to highlight the desired option and press to select.

  • To exit to the shooting display, press the button again.
Electronic Vibration Reduction
  • Electronic vibration reduction is fixed at [OFF] at a frame size of 7680 × 4320 and at frame rates of 120p or 100p.
  • Selecting [ON] reduces the size of the crop, slightly increasing the apparent zoom ratio.
  • Selecting [ON] may result in a slight delay before the image in the display follows the movement of the camera when the camera is panned horizontally or vertically.
  • Electronic vibration reduction is not available during RAW recording.