The firmware for the Z 9 expands the video production capabilities for the flagship camera, including internal recording of RAW video up to 8K/60p among various other features.
SINGAPORE – The releases of firmware version 2.00 for the Nikon Z 9 and firmware version 1.40 for the Nikon Z 7II and Nikon Z 6II are announced with great excitement from Nikon Singapore Pte. Ltd.
Firmware version 2.00 for the Z 9 will support in-camera recording of RAW video including over 8K which was announced in the press release dated October 28, 2021. Included in the firmware is the 12-bit RAW 8.3K/60p in-camera recording which achieves rich tonal gradation, as well as various video features that will be greatly evolved to meet video production needs. For still shooting, it also introduces Pre-Release Capture1, a first2 for full-frame mirrorless cameras. This records images for up to one second before the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down after the half press of the button.
Furthermore, Custom Wide-Area AF that supports various AF-area arrangement patterns has been newly adopted, enabling more reliable acquisition of main subjects according to each scene. In addition, some functions and features of DSLRs have also become available, including the Prioritize Viewfinder function, so that Z 9 users switching from DSLRs can benefit from consistent operational feel.
Meanwhile, with firmware version 1.40 for the Nikon Z 7II and Z 6II, it is now possible to prevent the focus point from unintentionally moving to the background in Auto-area AF mode, so photographers can easily focus on the closer subject when AF starts. This firmware update also supports the ML-L7 Remote Control, which allows one to take photos even when being away from the camera, facilitating the capture of selfies from a distance where the photographer cannot reach the shutter-release button, and nightscapes which are likely to cause camera shake when the button is pressed.
• Evolution of video features such as RAW video internal recording in 12-bit 8.3K/60p
This version update enables internal recording in two different 12-bit RAW video formats — N-RAW and ProRes RAW HQ3. The new format, Nikon's proprietary N-RAW, offers recording with a file size approximately half that of ProRes RAW HQ, providing longer recording time. It supports up to 8.3K/60p and 4.1K/120p when shooting in the FX-based video format. Up to 4.1K/60p can be supported in the FX-based video format with ProRes RAW HQ. A Full-HD mp4 proxy file suitable for transfer and editing is generated at the same time as RAW video file generation in either format. Record a video on a compact system without an external recording device attached and achieve full-scale editing by taking advantage of rich 12-bit tonal gradation utilising video editing software4. Other new features include a variety of useful video functions, such as recording in high-resolution 4K UHD/60p oversampled from 8K.
• Various features added with consideration given to video recording
With firmware version 2.00 for the Z 9, operability in video recording is also remarkably improved. The red REC frame is displayed on the viewfinder and monitor during recording to indicate recording is in progress, preventing mis-pressing of the rec button. Also, video recording settings, such as frame size and rate or audio, can be confirmed on a single screen with View Video Info. The Waveform Monitor can confirm the brightness levels according to the subject position. In addition, when recording video in M mode, ISO sensitivity can be adjusted in 1/6 steps, enabling finer exposure adjustment while preventing ISO from increasing more than needed.
• Pre-Release Capture acquires decisive moments more securely than ever before
The version update introduces the Pre-Release Capture for the first time in a full-frame mirrorless camera. This new feature prevents photographers from missing decisive moments by recording for up to a second before the shutter-release button is pressed all the way down during High-Speed Frame Capture+. For instance, users can capture the moment when a baseball bat hits a ball even when pressing the button all the way down after seeing the batter hit the ball while half pressing the button. The screen display for High-Speed Frame Capture+ is improved by adding the Release Timing Indicators, so that users can visually recognise the shutter release timing. In addition, version 2.00 allows one to jump to the first frame of each continuously shot sequence during playback. This makes workflow more comfortable for sports or bird photographers who tend to use high-speed continuous shooting.
• Improved AF performance, including Custom Wide-Area AF with 20 options
The updated firmware adds Custom Wide-Area AF, which is similar to the Custom Group-Area AF that is highly evaluated with the D6. The pattern of AF area arrangement is selectable from 20 options for stills and 12 for videos, realising the capture of main subjects in a wide range of scenes. Since it also supports subject detection, you can nail the decisive moment with perfect focus on an athlete behind obstacles in hurdling, for example, by setting the AF area to the upper half of the frame. Also, through reassessment of the algorithm, AF stability, tracking performance, and subject detection in low-light situations have been enhanced.
• Other features
- Motion Blend function overlays a series of subject movements during continuous shooting into a single still image in-camera without using editing software.
- With the Save Consecutive Frames function, frames in a selected section of footage can be saved as a series of JPEG still images while the playback is paused.
Both firmware will be made available at the Nikon Download Center on April 20, 2022.
Nikon will continuously meet users’ needs through timely updates of firmware versions with various useful functions.
1 Pre-Release Capture can be configured only when High-Speed Frame Capture+ is active.
2 Among full-frame mirrorless cameras enabling to shoot at 20 megapixels or larger when using this function, as of April 14, 2022. Based on Nikon research. (Revised from “As of April 14,2022. Based on Nikon Research.” Revised on April 27, 2022)
3 Use of the ProGrade Digital COBALT 650GB or ProGrade Digital COBALT 325GB memory card is recommended.
4 N-RAW will be supported by EDIUS X ver.10.3.2 (by Grass Valley) and DaVinci Resolve 17.4.6, DaVinci Resolve Studio 17.4.6 (by Blackmagic Design). For N-RAW readout in 8K, DaVinci Resolve Studio ver.17.4.6 is required. As of April 14, 2022.
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Nikon is the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology and is globally recognised for setting new standards in product design and performance for its award-winning consumer and professional photographic equipment. Nikon Singapore Pte Ltd distributes consumer and professional digital SLR cameras, NIKKOR optics, Speedlights and system accessories; Nikon COOLPIX compact digital cameras; Nikon sports optics as well as the latest mirrorless cameras in over 50 countries.