Nikon Z 6 / Z 7 – Focusing on Video Quality, Explained

As Nikon and Atomos have announced, the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras will output RAW video signal via HDMI and the Atomos Ninja V will record it in high-quality ProRes RAW format. During CP+ we spoke with Shoji-san from Nikon, about this new capability. Please note that CP+ is a local show taking place in Japan and as such, most Japanese company representatives speak Japanese only. We chose to highlight this subject and bring you the video in Japanese with English subtitles. (Please turn CC on if needed)

As you might already know, in January 2019 Nikon and Atomos have announced that the Nikon Z 6 and Z 7 full-frame mirrorless cameras will be able to output RAW signal through HDMI and the Atomos Ninja V recorder will be able to record that stream as a high-quality ProRes RAW video. My colleague Olaf wrote a nice article about the announcement titled “Why Atomos ProRes RAW Recording for Nikon Z7 and Z6 Could Change our Industry”. Give it a read if you haven’t already.

Shoji-san states that Nikon received feedback from their pro photographers, who are being asked to also shoot video next to photo, by their clients, nowadays. That’s why Nikon decided to include pro video features in their cameras. As the company does not have any cinema cameras range to protect, they can include whatever innovative feature they can, in their mirrorless cameras.

At the moment, both Nikon cameras record in 8-bit H.264 internally and up to 10-bit with N-log externally in ProRes 4:2:2. Soon, these cameras will be able to output 12-bit RAW signal and the Atomos Ninja V will record the footage into ProRes RAW. The function was developed together with Atomos. We didn’t get any information on when exactly the RAW output will be available, yet.

One important piece of information Shoji-san did share with us (without disclosing too much about future plans), is that Nikon is closely looking at the possibility of including high-quality internal recording in their future cameras. Reading between the lines, we won’t be surprised if some sort of internal high quality recording will be available within a reasonable timeframe…

What do you think of Nikon cameras outputting high-quality RAW signal? Would you consider buying one of their cameras because of the new feature? Let us know in the comments underneath the article.

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