Is N-RAW real RAW? Nikon Z9 under the spotlight at EOSHD

It is time for a good old fashioned EOSHD article. Everything you’ve seen so far on YouTube is meaningless – yes it is. Comparing one shot to another this way is no longer representative of the camera. Our camera’s capabilities far outstrips what you can see via YouTube. At best it’s a comparison of grading styles.

Back in the days before LOG recording, your camera’s colour science was baked in and you were reliant on it. Since then, most footage looks very similar in LOG before it’s graded, and the main difference you’ll see on YouTube is how two cameras have been graded to match, or how the default picture profile and white balance compares. Then, on top of that it will all be converted to H.265 at a very low bitrate for streaming, even in 8K. In fact 8K looks dreadful on YouTube if you really examine it. So how can we really judge what a camera and codec as powerful as 12bit N-RAW is doing?

The answer is to have a good pixel peep. Freeze a frame, and look at it up-close at full resolution, without adding noticeable compression. This is what I set out to do here, to examine the texture and look of the image in 8K N-RAW on the Nikon Z9. Does it really have an advantage over the Sony A1 in H.265? Does N-RAW as a “film stock” really LOOK like RAW if we compare it to the Sigma Fp-L in uncompressed Cinema DNG? It’s time to find out.

Read moreIs N-RAW real RAW? Nikon Z9 under the spotlight at EOSHD

Sigma Fp L adds long awaited phase-detect AF to L-mount system, 61MP sensor and 4K RAW

Kazuto Yamaki with the new Sigma Fp L

Kazuto Yamaki with the new Sigma Fp L

Now we know what the L stands for in Sigma Fp-L. Landscape, or possibly large prints! Although the new sensor takes aim at photographers needing 9.5K resolution, it maintains all of the 4K Cine modes, frame rates and codec options of the original Fp. The big news for cinematographers is the addition of phase-detect AF for the first time with an L-mount camera, which is what many have been asking of Panasonic. This is a very good move and should make the Fp-L much better at subject tracking in video mode.

4K is most likely pixel binned as with the Sony A7R IV. The 61MP / 9.5K total resolution for stills is output via an electronic shutter from the new BSI CMOS sensor. As with the original Fp there is no mechanical shutter inside the body, so I’d be curious to see how rolling shutter and banding is at the full 61MP resolution for stills.

The higher resolution sensor enables some nice 4K lossless crop modes. There is still the 120p full HD too, but this comes with an APS-C crop this time. The new EVF attachment costs $699 separately or an extra $500 in the kit bundle. Together with the EVF, the Fp-L is $2999. Happily the EVF, although on the expensive side, is a masterpiece. Very high resolution and fully articulated.

UPDATE: The HDMI label on the EVF is for a slot to place the rubber cover from the camera ports. It is not an HDMI passthrough as previously thought.

Read moreSigma Fp L adds long awaited phase-detect AF to L-mount system, 61MP sensor and 4K RAW