Nikon Z6 & Z7 Firmware Updates Supports Blackmagic RAW External Recording

Nikon has announced an update to Z6 and Z7 cameras that will add 12-bit Blackmagic RAW video support to the cameras via an external Blackmagic recorder. This update will also come to the Z6 II and Z7 II next year.
It seems that Nikon Z and SIGMA fp are the only cameras for now that support the Blackmagic RAW capture over HDMI with the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G devices.

With the firmware update v3.20, along with the ProRes RAW support for the Atomos Ninja V, Nikon cameras will also support the Blackmagic Design Video Assist 12G recorders that can capture Blackmagic RAW. For users who work in DaVinci Resolve, the BRAW workflow might be, therefore, more suitable as Resolve does not support ProRes RAW natively.

Blackmagic RAW is a new and very modern codec that’s easy to use and much better quality than popular video formats, but with all the benefits of RAW recording. Featuring multiple new technologies, such as a new advanced de-mosaic algorithm, Blackmagic RAW gives you visually lossless images that are ideal for high resolution, high frame rate and high dynamic range workflows.

Other features with firmware 3.20 are:

  • Users of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X (version 10.4.9 or later) can now adjust ISO sensitivity—and display and adjust color temperature—for ProRes RAW footage output to ATOMOS NINJA V external recorders using the fee-for-service RAW video output upgrade.
  • Added support for NIKKOR Z 50mm f/1.2 S lenses.
  • Fixed the following issues:
    • Rotating the focus or (if Focus (M/A) is assigned to the control ring) control ring would sometimes fail to activate manual focus during burst photography when a NIKKOR Z lens was attached.
    • The exposure indicator would not be displayed in mode M when a non-CPU lens was attached via an FTZ mount adapter.
    • Certain aperture values would not be selected when control rings for the following lenses were rotated to stop aperture down in movie mode:
      NIKKOR Z 24-50mm f/4-6.3
      NIKKOR Z 24-200mm f/4-6.3 VR
      NIKKOR Z DX 16-50mm f/3.5-6.3 VR
      NIKKOR Z DX 50-250mm f/4.5-6.3 VR
    • Unexpected aperture values would sometimes be displayed during bracketing in mode M if a bracketing option that made changes to aperture was selected with a NIKKOR Z lens attached.
    • Power aperture controls would sometimes stop responding after the standby timer had been on for an extended period in movie mode.

The Nikon RAW video output upgrade is – unlike with other camera manufacturers – a paid service and it is available now. Not all Nikon Z cameras are compatible with the upgrade though. Compatible models are:
Nikon Z 6
Nikon Z 7
Nikon Z 6II
Nikon Z 7II
Both Nikon Z 5 and Z 50 do not support the RAW video output upgrade. Customers who have previously purchased the ProRes RAW video upgrade for their Z 6 or Z 7 will simply need to download and install a firmware upgrade which is available starting today, free of charge.

For those interested in adding the Nikon RAW update, it costs $199.95 and must be sent into a Nikon service facility. Owners of the Z7 II and Z6 II should expect a firmware update in 2021 that will provide Blackmagic RAW support.

You download firmware version 3.2 for the Nikon Z 7 here and Z 6 here.

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