When Nikon announced its forthcoming Z9 camera, it confirmed it would be able to shoot 8K Raw video at up to 60 frames per second (fps) with a firmware set to be released in 2022. At the time, Nikon didn’t specify how it had achieved this, but we now know it’s being done with the help of TicoRAW, a compression technology from intoPIX that Nikon is licensing for its Nikon Z9 camera system.

In a press release, published today, intoPIX says Nikon selected its TicoRAW technology for use in its Z9 camera system to achieve 8K Raw recording at up to 60 fps. According to intoPIX, TicoRAW captures the full quality of the sensor data while reducing the bandwidth and storage needs through its patented compression technology. Tico stands for ‘Tiny Codec’ and is named as such because it uses minimal resources and doesn’t require any external DRAM.

TicoRAW works with color filter array (CFA) Raw data captured on 8-, 10-, 12- or 16-bit Bayer sensors up to 200 megapixels. intoPIX says its patented compression technology is ‘mathematically lossless and visually lossless down to 1 bit per pixel,’ depending on the compression rate used for its line-based processing. The latency of TicoRAW is just as low as just 0.1 millisecond.

A chart showing the amount of 12-bit 60 fps video you can expect to be able to record at 1080p, 4K and 8K resolutions using different versions of its TicoRAW compression technology.

Based on charts provided by intoPIX, TicoRAW can capture up to 11 minutes of 8K (7680 x 4320 pixel) mathematically lossless video and up to 54 minutes of visually lossless video on a 1TB solid state drive (SSD) when shooting with 12-bit video at 60 fps.

Although the press release only refers to video, the Z9 is the first Nikon camera to offer two new ‘High Efficiency’ Raw compression options, so it’s possible intoPIX’s TicoRAW technology also underpins these. We have contacted both intoPIX and Nikon for clarification on this matter andhave inquired with intoPIX as to whether the partnership is exclusive to the Nikon Z9 or whether Nikon licensed it for future camera systems as well.

Press release:

intoPIX TicoRAW Technology Added with High-Efficiency RAW Recording of Nikon Z 9 Flagship Mirrorless Camera

A smart strategic move that will allow camera professionals to benefit from higher resolution with still & movie RAW format, while significantly reducing storage

Nikon made the bold strategic move to select the intoPIX TicoRAW technology: leapfrogging existing camera limitations to meet all advanced and upcoming requirements of imaging professionals, whether in live sports, film, wildlife documentaries or other challenging environments. Thanks to this addition, the new Z 9 camera offers High-Efficiency RAW recording up to 8K and 60fps (available through the 2022 firmware update), preserving all the benefits of the RAW format, while ensuring very low power processing and very fast transfer speed.

With TicoRAW, the full quality of the captured sensor data is preserved while reducing the bandwidth and the storage needs. It can be used for both Still pictures and RAW movies. This patented technology offers high image quality, and the capability to manage very high resolutions, high frame rates and high dynamic range workflows. TicoRAW is the world’s first RAW codec that can offer compression efficiency with such low complexity. It also has the advantage of retaining this very fast format for editing, regardless of resolution and/or frame rates used.

intoPIX is really proud to work with Nikon. Together we share the same ideals and passion: offer ever more beautiful images and videos, at anytime, anywhere in the world. Experience image-making like never before.” explained Gael Rouvroy, CEO at intoPIX.

With this latest revolution, intoPIX and Nikon invite all camera enthusiasts to enter this fantastic world of limitless imaging.

The two companies welcome everybody to contact their respective teams to sample the intoPIX TicoRAW technology solutions and the new Nikon cameras.