Atomos has announced it's working alongside Nikon to develop PreRes Raw recording with Nikon's Z6 and Z7 mirrorless cameras. This marks the first time any mirrorless camera will be able to output 4K Raw video over HDMI to an external recorder, in this case the Atomos Ninja V.
'Capturing Apple ProRes RAW video with the Ninja V unlocks complete control of the video image at the highest quality possible,' says Atomos in the press release. 'The maximum dynamic range, color accuracy and detail is preserved, while at the same time every aspect of the video image can be controlled with precision for maximum creativity.'
Atomos explains the Raw video capture works by streaming Raw data across an HDMI cable to the Ninja V external recorder. That footage is then repacked into the ProRes Raw format and stored to a removable SSD drive inside the Ninja V.
When the SSD drive is full or shooting is completed, the drive is then removed and connected to a computer for post-processing. The resulting footage is decoded (debayered) on the computer, as it's quite a processor-intensive process, and ready to be edited accordingly.
As previously noted, this is the first time 4K Raw video over HDMI has been seen in a mirrorless camera. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K offers Raw output both internally and over USB Type-C, but not over HDMI.
Atomos and Nikon are currently showing off the new 4K Raw recording feature at CES 2019 (Booth #14006), but there's no official timeframe on when we'll see this new capability publicly.


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