Revolutionary RAW video output coming to Nikon Z6 and Z7 later this year

RAW video output coming to Nikon Z6 and Z7 after announcement from Nikon
(Image credit: Digital Camera World)

UPDATE 28/08/19:

In light of the announcement of the Panasonic S1H's full specs, it's now been announced that Atomos is working with Panasonic to develop RAW video output for the S1H on the Ninja V monitor. Nikon's announcement yesterday for RAW video output for the Z6 and Z7 is still very exciting, but it's clear that RAW video output will start to become more of an industry standard - which is great for consumers.  

In a surprising and revolutionary development, Nikon has announced that it will be releasing a firmware update that will make the Z6 and Z7 the first consumer cameras to officially support RAW video output. 

Previously, RAW video output has only been supported by professional cinema cameras (or through third-party software such as Magic Lantern). This is a significant announcement because, just like RAW photo files, RAW video files provide videographers with ultimate flexibility in their post-production editing.

Read more: Best 4K camera for filmmaking

This firmware update for the Nikon Z6 and Nikon Z7 will enable recording in Apple's versatile ProRes RAW video format on the Ninja V 4K HDR monitor/recorder made by Atomos, Nikon's collaborator in developing RAW video output technology. 

This essentially means that you'll need to purchase an $695/£620 Atomos external recording monitor in order to be able to use the RAW video output feature. But the cost doesn't end there. Additionally, while the firmware update itself is free of charge, you must take your Z6 or Z7 to an authorized Nikon Service Centre prior to downloading the firmware update to allow RAW video output to be enabled. The cost of this will depend on the individual centre you're visiting.

The Z6 and Z7 will be able to officially support RAW video output by the end of the year

The Z6 and Z7 will be able to officially support RAW video output by the end of the year (Image credit: Nikon)

While we're certainly intrigued and excited at the prospect of officially supported RAW video output from a consumer camera, we do find it interesting that Nikon has announced this just hours before Panasonic is due to release more information on the S1H. 

If the S1H does support RAW video output, Nikon will have conveniently pipped Panasonic to the post for being the first consumer camera to do so. However, if the S1H doesn't, could this be a potential egg-on-face moment for Panasonic and its big video-focused release?

Readers with good memories will remember that this isn't the first time that the Panasonic S1H has had its thunder stolen – Blackmagic Design released the first 6K consumer camera just a few months after Panasonic first announced the S1H's development. 

However, no matter what happens with the S1H, we're certainly excited to see RAW video output for the Z6 and Z7. 

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Louise Carey

With over a decade of photographic experience, Louise arms Digital Camera World with a wealth of knowledge on photographic technique and know-how – something at which she is so adept that she's delivered workshops for the likes of ITV and Sue Ryder. Louise also brings years of experience as both a web and print journalist, having served as features editor for Practical Photography magazine and contributing photography tutorials and camera analysis to titles including Digital Camera Magazine and  Digital Photographer. Louise currently shoots with the Fujifilm X-T200 and the Nikon D800, capturing self-portraits and still life images, and is DCW's ecommerce editor, meaning that she knows good camera, lens and laptop deals when she sees them.