Nikon Introduces Firmware 2.20 for Z6/Z7 with CFx Compatibility

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by ShunCheung, Dec 16, 2019.

  1. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Version 2.20 is available for both the Z6 and Z7, respectively. It provides CFexpress compatibility. However, initially it is only compatible with Sony CFx Type B cards. Future firmware upgrades will add compatibility with other CFx cards.

    However, at least according to B&H's web site, the only CFx cards that are in stock ready to ship immediately are the four SanDisk brands. The Sony CFx cards, among several other brands, are "coming soon." It'll be interesting to see whether after the 2.20 upgrade, the Z6 and Z7 can use SanDisk CFx cards, or we need to wait for further upgrades.

    At this point I don't think it is a good idea to buy CFx cards until the dust settles. Since SanDisk has a close relationship with Nikon, I am sure they'll iron out any issues soon.

    Firmware upgrades for the D5, D850, and D500 CFx compatibility are forthcoming.

    Additionally, there is another firmware upgrade that costs $200 to gain the RAW video output function:

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019
    ilmilco and Mary Doo like this.
  2. mmm strange, this CFexpress update only for selected brands..

    If manufacterers follow a standard one would say that an update should not be brand selective , but 1 for all ..:(o_O
    Erik-Christensen likes this.
  3. That's just criminal for a software tweak that should have been there all along....:mad:

    I've heard tell it's going to be included for free with the 'Filmmaker Kits'

    Is this a first for Nikon with 'in-game' purchases??
  4. I have a d850 with card slots for Xqd card and sad cards. Which slot gets used for CF cards?
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    CF express type B is just a new name for XQD cards. They look the same, have the same size, and use the same PCIe technology, but CFx has multiple PCIe lanes instead of just 1 in XQD.

    I have seen some early reports that after the 2.20 firmware upgrade, the Z7 works with SanDisk CFx cards, but they are slower than XQD. Perhaps more firmware fine tune will be necessary.

    I expect CFx prices to come down rapidly. I won’t be a pioneer to pay top $ for one to become a beta tester at this point.

    P.S. I dislike SD cards, but don’t be sad. :rolleyes:
  6. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

    Standards are just theoretical. A few years ago, Lexar XQD cards worked fine on Nikon cameras but not Sony camcorders. Only Sony XQD cards worked in both.

    Now that Nikon firmware is out, the CFx manufactures can tune their cards with Nikon cameras. I would imagine testing has been going on for a while.
  7. Wonder when the Z's will get the Animal-Eye AF?
  8. Charging for firmware updates? This seems like a PR error in the making.
  9. Yes, it it also reported that when the camera is turned on, there is a message that the shutter is closed and one needs to press shutter release button to open it. It seems there are some glitches with CFexpress card compatibility. One should probably wait until the dust settles and Nikon releases further FW updates to support more cards. This release seems rushed.

    Of course, Nikon do not claim that other CFexpress cards than Sony work yet. However, the Sony cards are not yet available, it seems. Hopefully the performance is better with the Sony CFexpress cards (at least matching XQD performance) and Nikon can sort out the compatibility with Sandisk quickly.
  10. It has been speculated that Nikon have to pay license fees for the raw video format they are using. Since most users are not likely to use external recorders for video, it makes sense not to charge everyone for a feature that relatively few people will use. If you plan on using this feature, you have to pay for the upgrade (unless you already have paid for the filmmaker's kit which includes free update to raw video).
  11. I am sure eventually but think about how different different species are and how difficult it would be to detect every species' eyes reliably. I am sure cat and dog lovers will happily use animal AF (in cameras made by a certain competitor) but when the number of species gets larger things could be much more difficult.
  12. Ok, that makes sense. If there’s a license fee, better to not charge everybody since this seems pretty specialized.
  13. So, I upgraded my z7 with the new firmware this morning. When the compatible CFE card becomes available, what differences (if any) can I expect compared to the XQD card?
  14. I personally want the Owl update.....:)
    bgelfand and yardkat like this.
  15. Supposed to be faster but who knows. As far as I am concerned the current XQDs are more than fast enough for my purposes; and the new crop of CFE are confusing at best. So there's no need for the big rush to be a guinea pig.
  16. I was at the Nikon service center this afternoon, and did the 200 euro enabling of prores raw. To me it seems that a kind of software certificate is installed in the camera, and Nikon has to pay a license fee for this. After upgrading the firmware of the Atomos Ninja V to version 10.2 i can create movie material in Prores Raw now. I will experiment with it in the coming days ... i suggest to interested people to careful follow the instructions provided by Nikon in a special publication on this subject. It does work well.... i will test in coming days with the Techart adapter with Sony FE lenses also
  17. This is not yet known as I haven't seen any user reports of Sony CFexpress cards (which are the only ones Nikon mention as having been tested and certified to work with the Z6/Z7 new firmware) as these seem to be a product that hasn't yet reached the US or EU markets. I hope Nikon soon issues another firmware update to support Sandisk CFexpress as these are available for purchase and it's a well-known brand that many people are likely to purchase.

    Anything is possible really, it could be faster, slower or roughly the same speed as XQD. Theoretically CFexpress cards can be written to at several times the maximum speed of XQD cards, but it's not clear what the performance will be with existing cameras. At the present time I would stick to XQD cards in current Nikons until the dust settles with fully tested CFexpress cards available and bugs worked out.

    I agree with Mary that XQD cards are fast enough
  18. So if your camera needs replacing for some reason, or is reset to factory specs by Nikon for some reason, this license you paid for to give you the right to use this RAW fuction is gone ?
    Also it will work only on one camera then, i guess?
    Or did you get a registration code which allows you to update any Z-series camera?
  19. They have registered my serial nr, so i assume for one camera only ...don’t know what will happen in case of tech problems. In principle it is a license i purchased.
  20. And how about they never have an update?

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