Nikon today announced new firmware for the Z 7II and Z 6II full-frame mirrorless cameras. Firmware version 1.10 is scheduled for release on 25 February 2021 and will improve the eye AF performance of the Z 7II and Z 6II. In addition, there are new video recording capabilities that may make some slashCAM readers sit up and take notice:
So the Z6 and Z7 II get the option of external RAW output at up to 30p. This RAW option still has to be activated at a Nikon Service Point for a fee. Subsequently, the Z 7II can record Full HD RAW video in FX film format and 4K/UHD RAW video in DX film format (i.e. APS-C/S35). With the Z 6II, 4K/UHD or Full HD RAW videos can be recorded in FX and DX film formats, which is why the Z6II is probably still the more interesting choice for filmmakers. A big question mark remains as to how Nikon will create a 4K RAW format from downscaled 6K sensors.
A new feature is the possibility to record externally not only ProRes RAW with Atomos recorders, but also Blackmagic RAW with a Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G HDR. However, a firmware update for the Blackmagic Video Assist recorder must also be released for this.
Only the Z6 II will receive the additional option of 4K 60p video recording in full DX sensor format with the new firmware.
Nikon has also put together a new Z 6II Essential Movie Kit, which is expected to be available from the end of February. It includes the Nikon Z 6II full-frame mirrorless camera with RAW video output function already enabled, the Atomos Ninja V external HDMI recorder, the Nikon FTZ bayonet adapter, a SmallRig camera mount with quick release and essential accessories such as batteries. Nikon lists 3199 euros as the recommended retail price.