OMG! I am awestruck at how I captured this image of a young male Anna’s Hummingbird. It’s all thanks to a new firmware update in my camera that Nikon added just a few days ago that includes a feature called “Auto Capture.” The Z9 is already a phenomenal camera, the most incredible camera I have ever used. Firmware 4.0 is the third firmware update to add features that in essence have made the Z9 feel and perform like a new and improved camera with each subsequent update. The new Auto Capture feature allows the photographer to set up the camera with the desired parameters for exposure and focus, what will trigger the camera, and the duration of shooting once the camera is triggered. With Auto Capture, I can, in essence, set it and forget it. The camera will focus on the subject and release the shutter when the parameters are met without me pressing the shutter release. Needless to say, the first subject that came to my mind on which to try the feature was hummingbirds. I positioned a California Fuchsia that had just begun to bloom in a place on my patio so the background had no distractions. I focused the camera on one of the blossoms as a starting point, triggered Auto Capture, and went inside. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say I am just learning to use this feature and am fine tuning my settings as I go. This feature is not a slam dunk. You may not get a single photograph after hours or you may get hundreds without a subject because something moved and the camera triggered. Or, if the subject does appear, it may not be in the right place in the frame or the auto focus system may not immediately acquire focus. I kept fine-tuning the camera position after seeing where the hummers appeared in the images until late yesterday when it took this image. I would have been pleased to have taken it myself, although I do take credit for setting it up correctly.

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