Nikon has just announced important firmware updates for its mirrorless full format Z-series at the CES. Maximum explosive force for the moving image induradie is likely to be the announcement that ProRes RAW, in combination with the Atomos Ninja V, will be introduced on the Nikon Z6 and Z7 with a future firmware update.
One can assume that other manufacturers of mirrorless DSLMs will follow suit. This should provide the impetus for an entire camera class to catapult itself to the level of compact, dedicated cine cameras in terms of image technology. In this context we remind you of our gloss from 1.5 years ago When does Nikon replace RED?.
This also makes www.slashcam.de/news/single/Atomos-startet-erfolgreich-an-der-Boerse-und-gibt-A-14813.html understandable (the dimension of the patent dispute between RED and Atomos). For a company like RED with roots in indie filmmaking and currently probably the No. 2 behind ARRI in high-end cine cameras, licenses for ProRes RAW implementations could become a question of survival. We see ARRI less affected here, because RED cameras have also sold via their compact form factor. An advantage that is likely to be a thing of the past with compressed RAW-enabled, highly compact DSLMs. In addition to this, Nikon is also gaining more and more performant autofocus systems as an additional bonus.
Speaking of autofocus: Nikon has also announced the implementation of an eye AF system and the update to the fast CFExpress standard for future firmware.
For more information about the 8 and 10 bit video capable of the new Nikon full format mirror lots see our related tests (also with the Atomos Ninja V) NIKON Z6 - THE BEST 4K FULL FORMAT 10 BIT MIRROR LESS FOR VIDEO? as well as our Nikon Z6 test lab report and our comparison between Nikon Z7 and Sony A7III as well as the corresponding test lab report.