Nikon is First to Offer HDMI Raw Output with the Z Line

Filmmakers (and Atomos) have been waiting for camera-makers to output raw over HDMI. Now Nikon is the first to launch the long-awaited feature.

2018 was a big year for raw.  Between ProRes Raw and Blackmagic Raw, the once proprietary format (if you don't count the unwieldy Cinema DNG, with files too big for most of us to bother) is now approachable to the mass audience.  However, other than the Blackmagic Pocket, which does raw for $1,295, you needed to spend at least $5,000 to get your hands on a camera that would output raw, primarily over SDI. 

When Atomos first announced ProRes Raw with Apple at NAB 2018, CEO Jeromy Young made it clear that Atomos was ready for raw over HDMI; it was just up to a manufacturer to do it.  With today's announcement, it appears Nikon is going to be first out of the gate with HDMI raw output from their Z cameras, including the filmmaker-focused Z6.

This move from Nikon is a major step forward in comparison to Cannon. Both the Nikon Z and Canon R cameras were announced around the same time, and while Nikon obviously has a market share, Canon has a deep existing customer base in the filmmaking community (going back a decade to the original 5D Mark II that Nikon has to work against).

Conveniently, the switch to full frame mirrorless is a great time to switch brands, since it's a new lens mount that can be adapted to a variety of older lenses, the "lock-in" of your lens investment doesn't keep you committed to your DSLR brand as you go mirrorless. Raw over HDMI is a key feature that can help filmmakers give Nikon a serious look as they get ready to move to the format.

Nikon also announced a filmmakers kit built around the combination of a Z6, kit lens, F mount adapter, Rode microphone, the Atomos Ninja V, and a Moza Air 2 gimbal, all for a package price that saves you $600.

Nikon Z7 Tech Specs: 

  • 45.7 MP
  • 493 AF Points
  • ISO 64-25600 
  • 9 FPS
  • 5-axis stabilization
  • 4K UHD 30p, FHD 120P
  • 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output
  • Raw to Atomos V over HDMI
  • N-Log color profile

Price: $3,396.95

Nikon Z6 Tech Specs:

  • 24.5 MP
  • 273 AF Points
  • 100-51200 ISO 
  • 11 FPS
  • 5-axis stabilization
  • 4K UHD 30p, FHD 120P
  • 4:2:2 10-bit HDMI output
  • RAW to Atomos V over HDMI
  • N-Log color profile

Price: $1,996.95     

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