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Old March 18th, 2019, 10:44 PM   #1
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Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Just the past week I purchased both a Z6 and the Atomos Ninja V recorder, specifically because of the "ProRes Raw" and 120fps recording capabilities well documented in both sales literature on their websites and the dozens of press releases/reviews around the web.

Alas, neither feature are currently possible.

To wit myself and my lead camera operator spent and entire day troubleshooting why we couldn't get ProRes RAW option to appear on the Ninja or, why no frame-rate beyond 60p was recognized by the recorder.

There's no documentation either in the Atomos or NIkon full owners manuals as to how PR-RAW or 120fps settings could be made compatible. However there's tons of reviews and two official press releases from Atomos and Nikon announcing both features are supposedly available *now*.

A support ticket to Atomos was sent - no reply. We contacted two other retailers of both the Z6 and Ninja V and asked if they could get either feature to work, none could.

This all with current firmware on both devices, the proper HDMI 2.0 cable and dozens of setting combination changes between the two units, all to no avail.

My guess is this is a major faux-pa on both Atomos and Nikon; the functionality may yet be coming, but as of today it is not yet actually available.

So if you intend on getting this pairing for these features, hold off for now. There's no official word from either company when these features will actually be activated but don't be hoodwinked like were thinking you can do it now.

Cheers.
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Old March 19th, 2019, 05:23 AM   #2
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Nikon was very clear when they announced raw at CES in January:

"RAW Video Support - Nikon is currently developing a feature that works with the ATOMOS Ninja V to output video in RAW format, using the ProRes RAW codec.
Details, including the release date of new firmware updates, will be shared at a later date."
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Old March 19th, 2019, 07:40 AM   #3
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ackerman View Post
"... at a later date."
So ambiguous... and yet so common. I see this phrasing used all the time. It could mean next month, or later this year, or beyond.

The better companies in this industry will at least give you some kind of approximation, such as "by June 2019" or some kind of wording that doesn't just leave the issue up in the air.

"At a later date" to me sounds like "well, we hope to do this at some point, but we really don't know when."

And then customers get left hanging. Why even say it at all, until it's a real thing immediately available?
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Old March 19th, 2019, 08:04 AM   #4
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

The only reason I made the post is because all the marketing hype is worded to make you think the features are working *today*. They do in fact use the phrasing, "now...". I just don't want others to be hoodwinked as we were. If I had the time and money I'd sue both Nikon and Atomos for false and misleading advertising.

It would have been totally appropriate to say, "coming soon", which is the reality. More egregious is the total lack of response from Atomos in my two support tickets for more info to clarify this.

Outside of this snafu, the Ninja V is a fantastic unit, and I should clarify that all other flavors of ProRes are available including 422HQ which is 10-bit. Just not RAW and no fps higher than 60 at this time.

I've returned both the Z6 and Ninja units, but if this gets sorted out and I decide to re-engage I'll share details on workflows. You know, like back in the day when I did that stuff for you guys. haha
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Old March 21st, 2019, 03:38 PM   #5
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Follow Up:

I just spoke to Atomos tech support. They in fact confirmed that ProRes RAW is NOT currently available, they say it's up to Nikon to update the camera to give that output. The tech did not have an estimated date but suspected "second-half of the year...".

To me this is a major hoodwink in marketing from both companies, and I am definitely going to pursue this further.

UPDATE: Looks like Atomos is attempting to avoid a lawsuit: now one of the marketing panels says, "under development, coming soon.". hmmm
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Old March 21st, 2019, 08:06 PM   #6
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
UPDATE: Looks like Atomos is attempting to avoid a lawsuit: now one of the marketing panels says, "under development, coming soon.". hmmm
Let me know how well that's going to work to sue a company that is in another country.
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Old March 22nd, 2019, 11:21 AM   #7
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

all the marketing hype is worded to make you think the features are working *today*

I have a Z6 and will buy a Ninja V. I have never once in all the marketing and reviews that I have read EVER been given the impression that Prores raw was available now. You must be reading a different internet to me.....
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Old March 22nd, 2019, 12:55 PM   #8
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Remember to save all the WWW pages before they go offline.
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Old March 25th, 2019, 01:19 PM   #9
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

This is not new and gets worse every year. I learned my lesson back in 2004. Sony Professional Broadcast Division released a new product called Sony Anycast AWS G500. It was supposed to be so revolutionary Sony hyped it bigtime as "A Broadcast Truck in a Box". It was a highly glorified video switcher unlike anything else on the market at the time. I ordered one at release for full MSRP of $19,000.00 because it fit my needs at the time perfectly.

When it arrived I thought it was defective. Probably a full 1/3 of the new super features this thing was supposed to do did not work. I called Sony Professional support and had a shocking conversation. I was told in a very nonchalant way the unit was not defective, the exact phrase was "Those features are not supported yet." In short I was told:

Things would start working whenever the engineers got around to writing the code for the OS to make them work. No dates or promises, just "whenever it happens someday" it will work. Sony would not even notify when an upgrade was posted. I had to spend two years randomly checking their professional services website for updates that trickled in. Every Time there was any type of change I had to download a completely new version of the entire OS and reinstall it.

At no time during my research phase did Sony or the distributor mention verbally or in writing anything about the unit not being fully functional. In fact in those days Sony even snail mailed me a beautiful four color glossy multi page brochure touting this thing and a personal letter with it answering a few questions I asked.

Imagine spending $19,000.00 on a piece of gear and the technology did not exist! I learned my lesson!

So next month when all of the press releases start flowing out of NAB you know why I am a sceptic and do not buy into all of the BS manufacturers pitch about future upgrades. At least some of them are honest about things not working yet. This thread says all of them are not. To me, it is outright fraud to sell something that does not work as advertised but it happens far to often. Buyer beware!

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old March 25th, 2019, 04:03 PM   #10
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Except nowhere has Nikon or Atomos claimed that these features were already supported in the products. Nowhere!
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Old March 26th, 2019, 04:59 AM   #11
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

Hence the claim that the pages were altered. More than likely, they just weren’t paying attention in the first place.
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Old May 13th, 2019, 07:21 PM   #12
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

I've been following this since day one, and never at any point did I think it was available immediately.

Anybody who purchases any kind of significant investment without doing a one minute google check on it first is an idiot. It wasn't hard at all to find more info on this in this day and age of 2019
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Old May 16th, 2019, 03:06 PM   #13
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

When this was announced at CES on January, it was clear then that this was in development. I have been watching this Z6 and NinjaV combo very carefully and at no time did I ever feel it was close to being done.

Raw sensor data over and HDMI data bus is massively ground-breaking stuff. When this gets finished, believe me.....we will ALL hear about it. The industry cheers will be very loud! Panasonic and Sony will not be that far behind.

So, no. I dont feel anybody has ever tried to sell HDMI raw as being available now. What good would that do? It would only take a buyer 5 min to know it wasnt true when they surfed the camera menu.

I do think that they hoped it would be ready sooner so maybe their marketing materials were rushed?

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Old May 17th, 2019, 04:44 AM   #14
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

I went through hell and back when I bought the original Shogun. When I received it, it would only record not play back. It took a year to get it to work.
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Old May 17th, 2019, 06:13 AM   #15
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Re: Z6 and Ninja V: Buyer Beware

There's an old english saying: 'never buy a pig in a poke'. Which translated to modern speak means: Never buy anything without knowing what it is you are buying.
It's disappointing in a field such as video where specification and functionality is everything that so many still don't heed such advice. In addition, with so many not taking appropriate precautions, vendors have less encouragement to clean their act up.
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