Nikon Z6 & Z7 Firmware Updates Add Blackmagic RAW & ISO/WB ProRes RAW Controls!
There’s some more great news for video shooters today as Nikon has released a new firmware update for the Nikon Z 7 and Z 6 mirrorless cameras, which enables users to record 12-bit RAW video in 4K UHD or Full HD to a compatible Blackmagic Design external recorder. With firmware version 3.2, users will have expanded recording options for RAW video and further support for the production of advanced video projects.
Customers who previously purchased the RAW video upgrade can simply download firmware version 3.2 for free with no service required. Owners of the Z 6II, Z 7II, Z 6 or Z 7 who are interested in activating RAW video features on their cameras can send them to a Nikon service facility (a $199.95 fee applies). A free firmware update is scheduled for February 2021, which will enable Blackmagic RAW functionality in Z 6II and Z 7II cameras that have had the RAW video upgrade previously activated.
[Related Reading: Nikon Z 70-200mm f/2.8 VR S Review | The Most Anticipated Lens Of 2020?]
What is ProRes RAW?
ProRes RAW combines the flexibility of RAW video with the incredible performance of the Apple® ProRes codec, allowing you to edit and grade pristine video with RAW data straight from the full-frame camera sensor—without slowing down your edit. It also provides maximum flexibility for adjusting the look of your video, while extending brightness and shadows.
What Is Blackmagic RAW?
Blackmagic RAW is a new and very modern codec that’s easy to use and much better quality than popular video formats, but with all the benefits of RAW recording. Featuring multiple new technologies, such as a new advanced de-mosaic algorithm, Blackmagic RAW gives you visually lossless images that are ideal for high resolution, high frame rate, and high dynamic range workflows.
What’s New in Version 3.20
- Support for RAW video output is available via a fee-for-service upgrade, * and firmware version 3.20 adds support under this service for Blackmagic Design external video recorders (currently the Video Assist 5″ 12G HDR and Video Assist 7″ 12G HDR). If you have already purchased the RAW video output upgrade for your camera, updating to firmware version 3.20 will add support for Blackmagic Design external video recorders automatically.
- Users of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (version 10.4.9 or later) can now adjust ISO sensitivity—and display and adjust color temperature—for ProRes RAW footage output to ATOMOS NINJA V external recorders using the fee-for-service RAW video output upgrade. *
- Choosing a RAW Output Type
- Before filming RAW video, choose an option for HDMI > Advanced > RAW output options > RAW output type in the SETUP MENU based on the type of recorder connected: select Type A for NINJA V recorders and Type B for Video Assist recorders.
- Added support for NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lenses.
- Fixed the following issues:
- Rotating the focus or (if Focus (M/A) is assigned to the control ring) control ring would sometimes fail to activate manual focus during burst photography when a NIKKOR Z lens was attached.
- The exposure indicator would not be displayed in mode M when a non-CPU lens was attached via an FTZ mount adapter.
- Certain aperture values would not be selected when control rings for the following lenses were rotated to stop aperture down in movie mode:
- NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3
- NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR
- NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR
- NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR
- Unexpected aperture values would sometimes be displayed during bracketing in mode M if a bracketing option that made changes to aperture was selected with a NIKKOR Z lens attached.
- Power aperture controls would sometimes stop responding after the standby timer had been on for an extended period in movie mode.
- The RAW video output upgrade is available on a fee-for-service basis. For more information, contact a Nikon-authorized service representative.
Nikon Webcam Utility Update:
- Added support for macOS Big Sur version 11.
- Added support for Apple Silicon. Note that the Webcam Utility functions as a universal plugin and on Apple Silicon machines runs as an Apple Silicon native app in the universal version of Chrome.
Why is this a Big Deal?
RAW Video Output preserves the deepest black to the brightest white and every color in between from your Z 6/Z 6II or Z 7/Z 7II image sensor. Combined with those sensors’ vast dynamic range, RAW Video Output delivers the fullest spectrum of color imaginable—ideal for HDR content creation. Also, the RAW Video Output has a much smaller data footprint than Uncompressed 12-bit RAW footage. Transfer, render, and export faster, and fit more 4k UHD footage on compatible hard drives with smaller files than standard RAW formats. And the fact that this is a FREE update for Z6 & Z7 shooters is pretty great news going into the holidays! Read more at the official Nikon Firmware Page Here.
Will you be downloading this update? Are you going to test out these new features? Let us know in the comments below.