Is Nikon's Raw Video Worth the Upgrade?

Nikon recently brought raw video to the Z 6 and Z 7 mirrorless cameras, a huge step forward for filmmakers working with the cameras. However, the feature is not free, and you might be wondering if the upgrade is worth it for your own work. This excellent video discusses the new capabilities. 

Coming to you from DP Review, this great video takes a look at the new raw video on the Nikon Z 6 (which you will need a Atomos Ninja V to use). The ProRes RAW (12-bit 4K UHD or full HD) capabilities are quite exciting and will open some new possibilities for filmmakers, but of course, shooting raw video requires a ton of storage and processing power, so it is not the sort of thing you just want to flip on and use for every single shoot. Furthermore, the upgrade is not free (unless you buy the Z 6 Filmmaker's kit), as you will have to ship your camera to a Nikon service center and pay $200 to enable the feature. Nonetheless, while it will require a little extra computing horsepower and the upgrade charge, it could be a real boon to your workflow if you are looking to push your video quality to the next level. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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5 Comments

Spy Black's picture

Nikon will have to make sure the second gen bodies won't need to be sent back for such capabilities, which I suspect will be the case. It would be nice if needing something like the Atomos is optional, and would have some sort of internal RAW capability.

Lee Morris's picture

Seems like more effort than it's worth to me. It's so strange to think you can get worse image quality shooting raw when you put all of that effort into it. Maybe Nikon's next camera will make this easier.

Leigh Miller's picture

Ditto....why in the world would a MAN. be charging for this type of upgrade in the first place.

Then again..they used to charge for the RAW Processor software years ago.

Spy Black's picture

ProRes only is a problem too. Most people edit in Premiere or Resolve.

Christopher Ashworth's picture

While I always enjoy your discussions. I kind of find that you rushed this particular article or video without covering the Nikon Z6 HDR capabilities fairly.

The Nikon Z6 is the first camera to shoot full frame Pro Res RAW. It’s really an attempt of Atomos to democratize the industry to make a DSLR camera that will allow anybody to shoot at an extraordinary level to produce content for Dolby Vision or any form of HDR. Which you neglected to cover at all. Really this cameras destination shouldn’t be about shooting to Rec.709 it’s about Rec.2020 PQ.

You mention the addition of noise in low light which would understandably be there being that this is a Raw source mitigating this is easy with FCPX new noise suppression tools which also regain detail and sharpness wonderfully. We don’t want to have the camera use is limited noise cancelation we want to use more advanced tools in post as they improve in the industry over time.

Your lack of mentioning the specific HDR tools effect in FCPX just show how much your interview was lacking. The problem is everybody thinks they know how to do proper workflow with Pro Res RAW and they don’t. I would love to see your comments on how to effectively produce Dolby Vision video for streaming media which is featured all over Vimeo. Did you even upload your video in HDR?