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Author Topic: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support  (Read 4497 times)

BernardLanguillier

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Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« on: January 11, 2019, 04:54:16 pm »

Hello video experts,

Nikon and Atomos have announced that they will be providing soon HDMI based proprietary support for Apple ProRes Raw 4k for the Z6/Z7, which has been described by some as the Holy Grail of video.

On top of this the Z6 is a full frame no crop 4K, has an AA filter, has excellent DR and high ISO image quality, is a 10 bits output (possibly soon 12 bits), has excellent live view video AF (apparently very close to Canonís video AF), has IBIS, can adapt any lens made, is fully weather sealed, has one of the best EVF and touch screens on the market, is releases by Nikon that has no other high end video line to artificially protect,...

- What do you guys think about this offering in the serious video segment?
- Are there some technical concerns still?

Thank you.

Cheers,
Bernard
« Last Edit: January 11, 2019, 05:01:56 pm by BernardLanguillier »
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 10:44:07 am »

A few thoughts on the Nikon Z6

This is a very welcome and impressive debut for Nikon with respect to mirrorless video.

The Z6 appears to be positioned, priced and built to credibly compete with the Sony A7R iii series which is arguably the market leader in this segment. The fact that a firmware update alone enables the APR raw 4k shows how robust the design and build is. For anyone with existing Nikon glass who contemplates shooting video, the Z6 would be a good place to start.

But...

The lenses available that will fully use the functions of the camera are very, very few for the moment.

There are questions as to how good the AFC is compared to the Sony. Check DP review.

There is little information on the camera from video shooters.

This is a first generation camera and my advice would be to hold back until the second or third iteration and a full set of lenses is available.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 10:47:12 am by Christopher Sanderson »
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bcooter

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2019, 08:18:28 am »


But...

The lenses available that will fully use the functions of the camera are very, very few for the moment.

There are questions as to how good the AFC is compared to the Sony. Check DP review.

There is little information on the camera from video shooters.

This is a first generation camera and my advice would be to hold back until the second or third iteration and a full set of lenses is available.


I would agree with Chris in most situations, I guess it depends on what you shoot, what you expect.   

The new Nikons seem impressive on the specs, though I have yet to find mega bits/bytes per second and all of these small 4k cameras concern me at high bit rates with heat.  Then the announcement of prores raw said it is only useable is fcp X which excludes premier and resolve at this point.

Just running a quick add up buying the lenses available, the body, cage, atomos, sound connectors, a stabilizer nd filters, shades or matte box, storage media, and  youíll get over 10 grand pretty quick.   Much better than a lot of dedicated $20,000 to $40,000 cameras, but only if the file holds up.

I always believe that first let the camera get out and get heavy use, in other words let someone else do the testing and even then rent before you buy to check for rolling shutter (fast readout) etc.   

IMO

BC
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2019, 10:59:25 am »

I should also add that these are very early days for compressed raw video with its lower bandwidth.

There appear to be emerging at least three different flavours of compressed raw: the Z6/7's Apple ProRes raw (limiting as coot suggests above), BlackMagic's RAW and the rumoured Sony XEVC codec that may be used for raw. My guess is that it may take a bit for the leader of this pack to emerge. Others may also appear. So once again there is uncertainty surrounding the long-term viability of competing formats. Sigh.

bcooter

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 12:24:39 pm »

I should also add that these are very early days for compressed raw video with its lower bandwidth.

There appear to be emerging at least three different flavours of compressed raw: the Z6/7's Apple ProRes raw (limiting as coot suggests above), BlackMagic's RAW and the rumoured Sony XEVC codec that may be used for raw. My guess is that it may take a bit for the leader of this pack to emerge. Others may also appear. So once again there is uncertainty surrounding the long-term viability of competing formats. Sigh.

Chris,

Yes itís the early stages of RAW, well RED then Arri has had Raw for a long time, then others have some sort, like you mentioned BM with dng raw, the braw. 

Looking at digital motion capture itís mirrored still capture in progression.   SD, 2k, 2.6k, 3.2k, uhd, 4k, 5k, 8k and 8k is the new buzzword.   I donít see the need of 8k, but I donít make those decisions.

As far as Raw when you think about it all still cameras shoot their own proprietary version of RAW (which I find quite maddening) except my Leicas which are dng and will process in about any suite from any period.

Wish they all did and it must be maddening for all the software makers to have to update their color grading suite in still or motion, everytime a new codec is introduced.

But I agree itís the early days and whatever equipment weíre working with today, will probably change pretty quickly.

IMO

BC
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Malina DZ

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 11:42:01 pm »

RAW over HDMI is something new and exciting, no doubt. Let's look at current specs we have on hand.
Nikon Z6 HDMI ver 2.0 (my guestimate)
Ninja V HDMI ver 2.0 (https://www.atomos.com/ninjav)
Max resolution supported by HDMI 2.0 with uncompressed 10 bpc color depth and RGB or Y′CBCR 4:4:4 color format - 5K (5120◊2880) @ 30p or 60p (4:2:0 color format).
4K (3840 ◊ 2160) up to 60p (4:2:2 color format).
Nikon Z6 max frame rate in 4k UHD is 30fps. That's the max frame rate Ninja V will record in 4k APR RAW.
Both Nikon Z6 & Ninja V mention 10-bit 4:2:2 output and input respectively over HDMI. So, I do not expect anything over 5k at max 30p 10-bit 4:2:2 in APR RAW container. It'll be interesting to see if there is any FOV crop when recording APR RAW. I wish both Nikon Z series and Ninja V featured HDMI version 2.1
BTW, there are already several professional camera options available for recording 4K DCI @ 60p 12-bit APR RAW: https://www.atomos.com/shogun-inferno
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D Fuller

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2019, 12:56:22 pm »

RAW over HDMI is something new and exciting, no doubt. Let's look at current specs we have on hand.
Nikon Z6 HDMI ver 2.0 (my guestimate)
Ninja V HDMI ver 2.0 (https://www.atomos.com/ninjav)
Max resolution supported by HDMI 2.0 with uncompressed 10 bpc color depth and RGB or Y′CBCR 4:4:4 color format - 5K (5120◊2880) @ 30p or 60p (4:2:0 color format).
4K (3840 ◊ 2160) up to 60p (4:2:2 color format).
Nikon Z6 max frame rate in 4k UHD is 30fps. That's the max frame rate Ninja V will record in 4k APR RAW.
Both Nikon Z6 & Ninja V mention 10-bit 4:2:2 output and input respectively over HDMI. So, I do not expect anything over 5k at max 30p 10-bit 4:2:2 in APR RAW container. It'll be interesting to see if there is any FOV crop when recording APR RAW. I wish both Nikon Z series and Ninja V featured HDMI version 2.1
BTW, there are already several professional camera options available for recording 4K DCI @ 60p 12-bit APR RAW: https://www.atomos.com/shogun-inferno

4:2:2 is an RGB video spec. It shouldnít reallly have relevance in raw recording, which should be recording sensor data for debayering in post-production. Color resolution will depend on the debayering target codec. Bit depth is relevant, and the Atomos link lists ď12-bit+Ē. Hard to know exactly what that means, but it suggests bit depth will be goodópossibly Red good. That would be nice.
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D Fuller

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2019, 05:02:13 pm »

I should also add that these are very early days for compressed raw video with its lower bandwidth.

There appear to be emerging at least three different flavours of compressed raw: the Z6/7's Apple ProRes raw (limiting as coot suggests above), BlackMagic's RAW and the rumoured Sony XEVC codec that may be used for raw. My guess is that it may take a bit for the leader of this pack to emerge. Others may also appear. So once again there is uncertainty surrounding the long-term viability of competing formats. Sigh.

Red cameras have been recording compressed raw for more than 10 years now, so it's not all that early. An important part of RedCode's implementation is that compression ratios are user-selectable, so you can choose anything from 3:1 to 10:1 compression (or maybe more, but I've never chosen to go below 10:1) to prioritize image quality or storage space as you need to.

The biggest current issues I see with ProRes Raw are that it requires FCP-X, as no other program can yet read the files, and FCP-X offers no true Raw controls as far as I am able to discover. I hope that when support shows up in Premiere (assuming it does show up) it will come with access to some raw development parameters.
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Malina DZ

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2019, 08:38:34 am »

4:2:2 is an RGB video spec. It shouldnít reallly have relevance in raw recording, which should be recording sensor data for debayering in post-production. Color resolution will depend on the debayering target codec. Bit depth is relevant, and the Atomos link lists ď12-bit+Ē.

There is a problem Nikon & Atomos promise to overcome then, which is undebayered raw data transfer over HDMI. HDMI is for video/audio signal transfer only, as we know. A RAW data of an image sensor is not a video.
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D Fuller

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2019, 10:26:44 pm »

There is a problem Nikon & Atomos promise to overcome then, which is undebayered raw data transfer over HDMI. HDMI is for video/audio signal transfer only, as we know. A RAW data of an image sensor is not a video.

Thatís not really the case, for two reasons. One is that hdmi is also capable of carrying Ethernet signals, and does in several applications. The other is that video data takes many forms. Are you sure undebayered raw data is not video? Because itís not human-viewable as pictures does not mean it isnít a video stream to a machine. Data is, after all, just data until some algorythm renders it understandable by us.
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Malina DZ

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2019, 09:04:32 pm »

Thatís not really the case, for two reasons. One is that hdmi is also capable of carrying Ethernet signals, and does in several applications. The other is that video data takes many forms. Are you sure undebayered raw data is not video? Because itís not human-viewable as pictures does not mean it isnít a video stream to a machine. Data is, after all, just data until some algorythm renders it understandable by us.

You bring up HDMI Ethernet, but forget to mention that its data transfer speed is limited to 100Mb/s or 12.5 MB/s.
These days even stills RAW images are often delivered with baked in noise reduction, distortion correction, sharpening, CA removal, cropping, resizing, etc. What is RAW nowadays? Is there an ISO standard for RAW to let us know how well an image's cooked? I have no doubts both parties can deliver what's promised. I hope it's not just a 10-bit N-log wrapped in a ProRes RAW container.
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D Fuller

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2019, 10:40:31 pm »

You bring up HDMI Ethernet, but forget to mention that its data transfer speed is limited to 100Mb/s or 12.5 MB/s.
These days even stills RAW images are often delivered with baked in noise reduction, distortion correction, sharpening, CA removal, cropping, resizing, etc. What is RAW nowadays? Is there an ISO standard for RAW to let us know how well an image's cooked? I have no doubts both parties can deliver what's promised. I hope it's not just a 10-bit N-log wrapped in a ProRes RAW container.

I donít really think Ethernet will be the data transfer mode at all (usually in HDMI theyíre used for control functions), but HDMI has significantly higher data rates than you mention. HDMI 2.0 has a data rate of 16Gigibits/second; the 2.1 spec takes that up to 48 Gigabits/second (probably 40-42 in the real world). Itís easily able to carry an uncompressed 16-bit 4K signal at 60 FPS, and thatís surely more than will be available from the camera.

Your second question is the interesting oneówhat do Nikon and Atomos mean by ďRaw?Ē I like Redís definition of Raw: unmucked-with sensor data (yes, itís compressed, but you can dial that down to very low ratios) and metadata, but I donít see that in very many systems. 10-bit N-log in a ProRes container wouldnít be raw at all, and I donít think either company is dumb or unethical enough to try to sell that. This is Nikonís best chance in 10 years to grab a piece of the video market, and doing that would slam that door in their face. But your guess is as good as mine as to what they can actually put out that port.

In theory, it could be pretty good. At the higher end of video, the principal engineering obstacle for a small camera is heat. That comes from two places: processing data and moving data. Raw video data should be lighter than RGB video, all things being equal, but that is probably about equalized by the fact that Nikonís RGB is 4:2:2. But in the processing side, Raw data might require enough less processing that heat levels could drop a bit and allow for a higher bit-rate signal to be transferred. 12-bit Raw would match what Black Magic is doing, and that would put Nikon in a very good place. Thatís what Iím hoping for. This is all conjecture, of course, but itís what Iím hoping for.

« Last Edit: January 24, 2019, 03:18:05 pm by D Fuller »
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Malina DZ

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #12 on: January 19, 2019, 11:05:06 pm »

Both parties are HDMI adopters. They can choose to support the declared features of HDMI up to its max specs, but hey can't introduce their own features. HDMI can transfer a video signal at those Gb/s mentioned above as long as it's in the RGB or YCbCr color format. It applies to both latest versions of the HDMI 2.0 & 2.1. Hence, my doubt about an undebayered RAW signal capture over HDMI at its current stage (ver. 2.0 & 2.1).

BTW, can one extract a RAW frame from a ProRes RAW footage for further editing in a RAW developer of your choice?
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D Fuller

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2019, 12:12:39 am »

Both parties are HDMI adopters. They can choose to support the declared features of HDMI up to its max specs, but hey can't introduce their own features. HDMI can transfer a video signal at those Gb/s mentioned above as long as it's in the RGB or YCbCr color format. It applies to both latest versions of the HDMI 2.0 & 2.1. Hence, my doubt about an undebayered RAW signal capture over HDMI at its current stage (ver. 2.0 & 2.1).

Well, if this is true, then the Atomos announcement is "misleading." If the signal has been converted to RGB or YCbCr, then it is no longer RAW.

BTW, can one extract a RAW frame from a ProRes RAW footage for further editing in a RAW developer of your choice?

At this point, no. The only program capable of reading ProRes RAW is Apple's Final Cut.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2019, 09:52:51 am by D Fuller »
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D Fuller

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #14 on: January 24, 2019, 06:16:51 am »

This announcement from Red and Atomos might have a lot to do with this:

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/01/24/atomos-and-red-announce-a-royalty-based-license-agreement/
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Christopher Sanderson

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Re: Nikon Z6 Apple ProRES Raw 4K support
« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2019, 10:42:48 am »

Ah ha! Yes David, this now all makes complete sense. My ďearly days of compressed raw videoĒ is actually the adoption of existing proprietary tech from Red. They apparently want new revenue from the mid and lower end of the market.
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