Nikon Z6 RAW video update is now a PAID service centre update! Still no release date…

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The Nikon Z6 RAW video update has been a shambles from start to finish. With myself a disappointed early adopter of both the Z6 and Z7, the story isn’t reflecting well on Nikon…

Here’s why –

First there was the launch pricing of the Z7 which put it firmly in pro territory (alas without pro support or AF) above the D850. I wanted to be the first to shoot with it, and it cost me 3800 euros (body only + FTZ adapter) for the privilege… 4 months later the Z7 was heavily reduced in shops and now it’s discounted AGAIN at B&H by a full $646 to $2996 helping to tank the value of my camera even further.

Then up pops the cheaper Z6 and promises of RAW video, which necessitated I sell the Z7 which wasn’t going to get the RAW update. I sold mine used for just 2300 euros/$ last month. Messy.

Bottom line is Nikon got the pricing wrong and it wasn’t a pro camera after all – it was a consumer one. Since Sony launched the A7 III, $3500 consumer cameras haven’t been selling like they used to.

The Nikon Z6 now sells for $1350 on B&H for a Refurb and about the same used in “as new” condition. At this price the Z6 is a total steal. Nevertheless it’s only been out 8 months – this is the sort of price drop you usually see after 2 years or when the new version is released. Indeed, never have I seen such an array of bundles, offers, trade-ins and deals in the first few months after release.

The Z6 isn’t a bad camera. Why has the market seemingly rejected it when it’s better specced than the A7 III? The Z6 was $2300 at launch but the latest price is $1796 with a free 32GB XQD, FTZ adapter and camera bag.

Now to the RAW video update we’ve all been promised for so long…

I have learned today from Nikon that this will be a paid update and require the camera to be sent to a service station, cracked open and an “internal change” carried out to the hardware. Nikon still however leaves us dangling without any price or release date, a full 7 months after announcing it.

This news was announced alongside a LUT to soften the blow! A LUT!!

  • The dedicated LUT available for Nikon’s N-Log is compatible with the Rec. 709 color space
    • Available in several versions, allowing users to 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
    • Also, 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
  • Records rich gradation information in highlights and shadows to allow for more flexible color grading

To download the LUT, please visit the following links:

The bottom line is I am not happy at paying for a late-delivered wobbly HDMI-cabled RAW to an Atomos recorder when I can get it internally from Blackmagic for cheaper. HDMI is simply an odd way to do RAW and I wonder how the HDMI standards body feel about a garbled totally outside of the spec signal being sent over their connector. Personally I don’t mind at all Atomos offering ProRes RAW when the camera lacks the necessary encoder chipset, or charging what they like for it and doing deals with whoever they like… What I do resent is internal RAW being censored in this way, snuffed out all-together and not even available as an option.

With the write speeds of the XQD slot in the Z6 there is absolutely no reason why RAW sensor data cannot be written at 24ps to the card.

The 4K RAW sensor data already exists in the memory buffer of the camera. To get this into editable form you only need software on a computer.

In summary I urge Nikon to change their whole approach in future.

Having a protracted year-long pantomime in public over delivering such a basic feature is frankly a complete JOKE.

It is a complete joke that our cameras have depreciated so much in value, assisted by constant (and some would say desperate) discounting by Nikon.

It is also a joke that on top of that we are now asked to pay for the RAW video update, which is late and basically a marketing ploy to sell more Atomos recorders.

A very good deal for Atomos but not so much for Nikon, in my opinion.

The Z6 has been one of the worst investment I’ve ever made.

For as long as there’s the Blackmagic Pocket 6K camera available with internal BRAW recording and ProRes, the motivation for me to pump more money towards my Nikon Z6 or sending it off to a service centre is virtually zero.

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