My Video-Centered Firmware Wishlist for the Subsequent Replace to the Nikon Z 9

The brand new Nikon Z 9 is almost an ideal digital camera for my wants. So how may it get much more good?

I’ve made no secret in my writings concerning the new Nikon Z 9 about how happy I’m with my buy. I’ve written teasers and in-depth opinions of the system, and it’s protected to say that my phrases have been virtually unanimously constructive. This isn’t as a result of I’m a Nikon fanboy. I’ve been taking pictures with Nikon for my total profession. So, I do just like the model. However, my gear closet additionally contains cameras and lenses from a number of different manufacturers, which have additionally carried out valiantly within the subject. So, I’m underneath no phantasm that there’s just one model that’s able to producing a superb photographic machine.

As an alternative, my phrases concerning the Z 9 have been so overwhelmingly constructive as a result of, regardless of having shot with it virtually continuous since getting mine on the finish of final 12 months, I’ve but to search out any main points with the digital camera that will, in any approach, hinder me from doing my finest work. This opinion, in fact, is extremely depending on my workflow. I’m a industrial promoting photographer, director, and cinematographer. Lots of my shoppers are giant activewear manufacturers, and I spend quite a lot of time creating photographs of athletes and/or health fashions transferring in dynamic movement. I’m not a photojournalist taking pictures from the sideline. I’m on an organized (or considerably organized) set that I’ve lit and have some management over. I must ship each nonetheless pictures in addition to commercials, so I make the most of each the Z 9’s excessive body charge for stills and its excessive decision for video. With its dimension and bulk, I notice the digital camera isn’t going to be the precise device for each photographer. However, till confirmed in any other case, it does appear to be the precise device for me.

But, as a result of I provide full opinions and have promised you that I might point out the issues I don’t like concerning the digital camera in addition to the issues that I do, I’ve been looking out for one thing much less glowing to say. Undecided I’ve discovered something to completely fulfill the haters but. However I’ve discovered just a few issues I want have been higher. But, as I scratched my mind to jot down an article concerning the disadvantages of the digital camera, I spotted that nearly the whole lot on my checklist was the kind of issues that might simply be fastened in firmware. For all I do know, lots of this stuff might already be on the best way. So, quite than body this essay as a list of the defects of the Z 9, consider the next factors as extra of a wishlist for future firmware releases. Simply in case Nikon occurs to be studying this, hopefully, a few of these objects will make it into the subsequent spherical of downloads.

Waveforms and False Colour

Taking pictures in N-log and utilizing the in-camera technical LUT preview, I’ve had completely no hassle exposing appropriately in video. Simply utilizing the histogram, it’s fairly simple to nail your publicity. And I’ve discovered the information loads malleable to push or pull publicity in put up with out sacrificing high quality. However as a result of, with out a line of cinema cameras, the Z 9 is essentially the most highly effective video choice Nikon makes, I’d like to see them throw in some further monitoring features that you’d discover in most cinema cameras.

Particularly, I’d love them so as to add a waveform in addition to the choice to make use of false coloration. For many who don’t do a variety of movies, consider this stuff as other ways to measure publicity. Each are extra graphical than a conventional histogram and permit you to be a bit extra exact in realizing the publicity of each element in your scene. When attempting to get essentially the most correct publicity straight out of the digital camera and handle lighting ratios, these instruments will be absolute game-changers.

Up to date N-log Profile

Nikon has already introduced that an upcoming firmware replace will embrace each ProRes RAW and a newly developed Nikon RAW video format. Till then, I’ve merely been taking pictures in ProRes HQ 4:2:2 utilizing N-log. As I do put up work by way of DaVinci Resolve Studio, my post-production coloration course of is to make use of a DaVinci YRGB Colour Managed workflow and easily assign the Enter Colour House of the Z 9 clips to N-log. This will get me 99% of the best way to the place I need to be generally and able to edit and/or make extra inventive coloration grades. I’ve by no means dissected the nuts and bolts of the N-log profile. I’ve neither the curiosity nor the talents to take action. However as lots of the different digital camera methods I’ve used, together with Sony and Canon, have had a number of flavors of the log over time, often corresponding with elevated ranges of dynamic vary, I’d be curious to see what an N-log 2 profile would possibly be capable to deliver to the desk.

Don’t get me incorrect. The N-log straight out of the Z 9 seems to be implausible as is. However, I consider it’s the identical log format as the unique Z cameras?  And I’m curious to know what is feasible when it comes to dynamic vary with an up to date version.

Elevated Integration With Submit-Manufacturing Plugins

Till just lately, the concept that Nikon could be a significant participant within the video market was merely remarkable. Certain, the nonetheless cameras have all the time been wonderful. However, till the Z line, Nikon merely didn’t have a lot of a presence on the excessive finish of the market. As I discussed earlier, they nonetheless don’t have a cinema digital camera as of this writing. And the Z 9 is the most effective video digital camera they produce.  

The excellent news is that they obtained it proper with this digital camera. There’s part of me that will love a full-sized Nikon cinema digital camera, however, in sensible phrases, I’ve discovered little or no that the Z 9 can’t do. It’s each bit pretty much as good because the competing mirrorless video choices, if not higher in lots of circumstances, and I plan to make use of it as a lot as I can to carry out my work.

One factor that I’ve seen nevertheless is that relating to post-production, not as many third social gathering purposes are arrange for N-log as they’re for the assorted flavors of S-log or C-log. It’s not that N-log isn’t included among the many majors. As I mentioned, I run it by way of DaVinci Resolve Studio on daily basis, and it’s supported simply positive. However there are some third-party plugins, like ones meant so as to add extra movie results, that don’t but embrace N-log as a default of their Enter Gamma units. They have a tendency to incorporate the massive ones like Arri and Purple. They usually embrace S-log and C-log codecs. However N-log isn’t all the time as properly represented because the others.

This isn’t a shock. Once more, Nikon is comparatively new to the sport relating to establishing itself within the video market. And you may’t anticipate that each plug-in developer would have the bandwidth to maintain up with each log format immediately. However, as a result of the Z 9 has confirmed that Nikon isn’t solely able to competing, but in addition exceeding expectations within the video market, I’d love to start out seeing that recognition exhibiting up amongst all of the third-party apps.

This isn’t a Nikon downside. It’s a third-party app developer downside. And it’s not one thing that may be fastened with firmware. Extra like a cellphone name. So, whoever’s job it’s at Nikon to succeed in out to third-party builders and ensure they combine Nikon cameras and log profiles into their software program, it’s time to take out your Rolodex. Particularly with the proposed new N-RAW video format coming. I’m hoping packages like DaVinci Resolve Studio will absolutely help the format as soon as the firmware is on the market. I, for one, can’t wait to check out the mix. The Z 9 is a digital camera that may compete with some other digital camera available on the market. As such, the post-production workflow ought to be simply as fluid.

So, that’s it. These are the one issues I’ve present in my expertise with the Z 9 thus far that I’d like so as to add to the digital camera. My unique plan was to incorporate some nonetheless options on this checklist. However, actually, I haven’t discovered something on the pictures entrance that I might change. Even the video options listed above are the kind of issues that could possibly be fastened simply by way of a firmware replace or a cellphone name to some third social gathering builders. If Nikon updates the firmware of the Z 9 with the identical ardour it has issued updates for the unique Z 6 and Z 7 cameras, there isn’t any telling what this digital camera is absolutely able to.  It’s already the right digital camera for my workflow. Is it attainable it may get even higher?

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