In a press release today, Nikon announced that the upcoming RAW video feature on the Z6 and Z7 will not work without a hardware update performed at a Nikon service center, including a service fee. The company also released dedicated lookup tables (LUTs) for the Z6 and Z7 when shooting N-log video over HDMI.
Neither of these announcements apply to regular stills shooters who use the Nikon Z6 and Z7, or even to typical video shooters. Both RAW video and N-log video require you to output via HDMI to a device like the Ninja V recorder in order to function.
That said, one of the big selling points of the Z cameras is their highly impressive set of video specifications. 10-bit N-log output over HDMI is already remarkable for a sub-$2000 full-frame camera. 12-bit RAW video will take that a step further when it arrives later this year. (Nikon has yet to announce the specific date.)
The only real surprise in this announcement is that the RAW video update is not going to be a free firmware update, but instead a paid hardware adjustment that requires servicing at a Nikon center. Before this – though they never stated anything outright – Nikon made no mention that the RAW video feature would be different from any other firmware update.
In fact, Nikon even demonstrated its RAW video feature at NAB in Las Vegas back in April, according to their own press release at the time. They made no mention of a paid hardware adjustment in April, nor when they first announced the feature’s development in February.
Personally, I’m not disappointed that Nikon recognized the need for hardware tweaks to implement the Z6 and Z7 RAW video. Anyone who needs this feature, I’m sure, won’t be stopped by a service fee (though we don’t yet know what the exact cost will be). Other camera companies already make you pay to download some of their firmware updates online, and luckily Nikon is not doing that for now.
That said, if you’ve been waiting with wide eyes for RAW video on the Z cameras, the news that you’ll need to send off your camera and spend a bit of money might put a damper on your spirits. Hopefully the new LUTs make up for it to some degree. You can download the LUTs here for both the Z6 and Z7.
Nikon Z Series Adds More Capability For Pro Video and Production With The Dedicated 3D LUT For N-Log
Additional Details Announced for Upcoming RAW Video Output Update
MELVILLE, NY – Today, Nikon has introduced a dedicated LUT (lookup table) for users of the N-Log feature on the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 cameras, allowing greater creative control in post-production. Further adding to the Z series’ capabilities for professional and advanced video creators, a new update will also be released later this year for the Z series cameras, which will enable the support of RAW video output from the camera when using a compatible ATOMOS Ninja V digital recorder.N-Log and LUT: Next Level Control in Post
While Nikon’s legacy in color science delivers an appealing palette and tones, this free upgrade takes color control to the next level. For even more flexibility, the dedicated LUT available for Nikon’s N-Log is compatible with the Rec. 709 color space and is available in several versions, allowing users to easily apply different looks to their content. This 3D LUT is a preset of RGB color values, used to transform the appearance of video footage in post-production color grading, and enables adjustment of brightness, saturation and hue. The Nikon Z 7 and Z 6’s N-Log HDMI output is optimized for 10-bit recording, bringing out the image sensor’s full dynamic range. It records rich gradation information in highlights and shadows to allow for more flexible color grading.
To download the LUT free of charge, please visit the following links:
Support for RAW video output
Scheduled to arrive later this year, the output RAW data stream will enable recording in ProRes RAW video format on the Ninja V 4K HDR monitor/recorder made by ATOMOS, Nikon’s collaborator in developing RAW video output technology. RAW video files provide the richest information, just like still image RAW data. By bringing even more flexibility to post-production color grading, RAW video output support firmly places the Nikon Z series as an affordable contender for professional-level production and filmmaking of any scale. This feature will require an additional internal upgrade that will need to be performed at a local Nikon service center, which will incur a service charge.
For more information about ProRes RAW and the advanced video capabilities of the Nikon Z series mirrorless cameras, please visit www.nikonusa.com.
Nikon Inc. is a world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo and video capture technologies; globally recognized for setting new standards in product design and performance for an award-winning array of equipment that enable visual storytelling and content creation. Nikon Inc. distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories, Nikon COOLPIX® compact digital cameras and Nikon software products, as well as the revolutionary Nikon Z series of mirrorless cameras and NIKKOR Z lenses, which achieve a new dimension in optical performance. In 2018, Nikon Corporation, the parent company of Nikon Inc., announced the production of 110 million NIKKOR lenses, creating a new milestone in Nikon’s heritage of superior optics. For more information, dial (800) NIKON-US or visit www.nikonusa.com, which links all levels of photographers and visual storytellers to the Web’s most comprehensive learning and sharing communities. Connect with Nikon on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vimeo, and Flickr.