The future of Nikon is strong and powerful! Nikon released the new Firmware Version 2.20 for the Nikon Z 7 and Nikon Z 6 full-frame mirrorless cameras. This update will make both the Z 7 and the Z 6 even more exceptional than they already are, including several improvements, with the two major ones being, support of CFexpress memory cards, as well as services to install RAW video output.
Firmware 2.20 enables the use of CFexpress memory cards, the next generation of memory cards. CFexpress are more durable and dependable than your standard XQD, while also allowing for faster data transfer for a smoother and more efficient photographic workflow.
CFexpress memory cards share a similar form factor to XQD, eliminating the need to physically modify the camera’s memory slot. Once upgraded, CFexpress and XQD cards will work interchangeably in both the Z 7 and Z 6.
Nikon also mentioned that they will also be implementing this upgrade to the Nikon D5 (XQD-Type), Nikon D850, and Nikon D500 digital SLR cameras in the future.
One detail to keep in mind is there is a limited selection of CFexpress card types that are fully supported (Type B CFexpress cards manufactured by Sony Corp.). However, the number of supported cards will continue to expand as additional cards are tested and certified.
Firmware 2.20 also includes the integration of ProRes RAW video output (4K UHD and Full HD). This is an exciting upgrade for those who want enhanced professional video capabilities. This upgrade is not a necessity for the continued use of the Z 7 of Z 6, however, it is an excellent upgrade for those wanting more video potential from their Z series.
Created in conjunction with Atomos, this upgrade enables recording of ProRes RAW video, which has greater flexibility for colour grading compared to other video formats. With the Z 7, full-HD RAW video can be recorded using the FX-based movie format, and 12-bit 4K UHD RAW video can be recorded using the DX-based movie format. For the Z 6, recording of either 12-bit 4K UHD or full-HD RAW video is possible with both FX- and DX-based movie formats. Both cameras can record to the Atomos Ninja V in ProRes RAW with the use of an HDMI cable.
Since RAW video is not subjected to in-camera processing, all the information outputted from the image sensor is preserved, allowing for an abundance of information that can be used in post-production.
The RAW video output capability upgrade can be installed at a Nikon service center but does involve a fee of $249.95 plus shipping and applicable taxes. However, if you purchase a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s kit bundle, the upgrade will be free of charge. For Canadians who have already purchased a Nikon Z 6 Filmmaker’s kit, you will be eligible to have the fee waived with proof of purchase.
For more information on the RAW video upgrade and the steps to getting it, click here.
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