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Nikon Z-Series Firmware Update to Add ProRes RAW Video Output
By Ian Bongso-Seldrup, January 8, 2019 @ 09:30 PM (EST)
Source: No Film School

Nikon has announced three significant forthcoming features for its pair of Z-series full-frame mirrorless cameras, the Z6 and Z7. The most important will be music to the ears of serious underwater videographers: the ability to output RAW video over HDMI. This will make Nikon’s Z-series the first cameras of their kind to support the ProRes RAW standard for compatibility with the Atomos Ninja V recording monitor.

Apple’s ProRes RAW recording is a big deal, since the files give filmmakers the ability to adjust footage in highly flexible ways—much like RAW image files do. As such, files are ready to edit and grade in Apple Final Cut Pro X, one of the most popular and widespread video post-production tools. It’s a particularly big deal for Nikon considering rival Canon’s following in filmmaking circles. Indeed, with this news, Atomos—which currently only mentions Canon, Sony and Panasonic on its ProRes RAW page—will soon have to add Nikon.

The second feature that Nikon will be introducting in its firmware update catches up with another mirrorless rival: Eye AF, a function that attains focus by automatically detecting a subject’s eye, has been long established on Sony’s mirrorless cameras. Finally—and more relevant for underwater shooters—Nikon’s press release confirms that the Z6 and Z7 will also be able to support CFexpress cards, which are able to read and write at much higher speeds than present XQD cards do.

More information on the developments are expected later but no firm date has been given for the new firmware release.


The Nikon Z Series: Upcoming Firmware on Display

The Nikon Z series will continue to adapt to changing user needs through the development and roll-out of firmware updates to meet and exceed creative expectations. Taking into account feedback from photographers and creators, Nikon will display three feature updates under development that open creative opportunities for the Z 6 and Z 7. Displays will include:

  • CFexpress - Coming soon to the Z 6 and Z 7 cameras is support for CFexpress, which is compatible with the XQD memory card form-factor.
  • Eye AF - Under development is an Eye AF function, which will automatically detect the subject’s eyes to make attaining critical focus on the eyes easier. It will allow users to capture photos in which focus has been clearly acquired on the subject's eye, which is useful for portrait, event and street photography scenarios.
  • RAW Video Support - Nikon is currently developing a feature that works with the ATOMOS Ninja V to output video in RAW format, using the ProRes RAW codec.

Details, including the release date of new firmware updates, will be shared at a later date.

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