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Nikon Z6 Prores RAW Review: Worth it?

I finally had a chance to shoot a project with the Nikon Z6 and the Atomos Ninja V. I tested both N-Log and Prores RAW, and here’s what I have to say about it:

Exclusive Bonus: Download my camera settings and 7 cinematic custom picture controls for the Nikon Z6. Setup your camera for cinematography, ready to shoot.

And, get bonus videos - How to expose and grade N-log, and How I have tweaked my favorite picture control for video - delivered to your inbox!

Thanks to Nikon India for arranging an Atomos Ninja V and lenses for the shoot. Special thanks to Naveen and Yusuf for supporting us and thanks to Vinod for helping us with the lenses. The Nikon Z6 (AmazonB&H) is my own.

In a nutshell, here are the positives and negatives of N-Log vs Prores RAW with this combination:

FeatureN-LogProres RAW
PriceFree$200 in some countries
ExposureEasyNeed to underexpose
Colors10-bit 4:2:212-bit RAW
LUTsOfficial and third-partyNone available
Dynamic Range12 stops12 stops
Colors (Monitoring)Easy with LUTsUnreliable
NLEs SupportedAny professional NLEOnly FCP X, Scratch, Edius (Premiere Pro coming soon)
Color Grading ExpertiseGoodVery Good
HDMI Lag400ms200ms
Crop1.1x1x
FCP X SupportFullNot implemented yet (hopefully soon)
Lowest ISO800100

Takeaway

RAW is theoretically good – you get to shift White Balance and have lots of options in color grading. But all that assumes you have a great colorist on hand.

You can grade in FCP X, but seriously, how many will in the real world? How many can grade well enough to take advantage of RAW?

Interacting with thousands of filmmakers monthly, I can tell you: not a whole lot.

Until the workflow is solid i just can’t recommend Prores RAW. N-log is still 10-bit 4:2:2 so its good enough for almost every person who’ll be using this combination of gear. The armchair warriors can play in their back yards but professional filmmakers and photographers who rely on Nikon and Nikon colors must at present stick to N-log.

I’ve been able to get great results with N-log on the shoot, and more importantly, I can get Nikon colors.

That’s what matters most, to me at least. What do you think?

2 replies on “Nikon Z6 Prores RAW Review: Worth it?”

Thank you for the video

I upgraded to prores Raw on my Z6…. I stopped using Final Cut Pro a while ago but I have just been converting it to 4444 XQ using Apple compressor on my Mac pro 2013…. and continue to grade/edit in DaVinci Resolve (pc) and I am actually very happy with it more so then n-log, which I absolutely loved using for the last year

Only problem with it is 4444 xq is larger file… but I like it grading more than n-log especially white balancing

In the beginning I tried to go back to n-log but I couldn’t figure out how to do it once Z6 system is upgraded to prores raw… so I pushed on with 4444 XQ but now I’m so happy with the z6 Prores raw to 4444 XQ (12bit) I’ve continued to go down this route and I’m not regretting it

But if I do did to go back to n-log for a project, can I do it? Cuz I can’t figure it out how too

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