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Blackmagic RAW and ProRes RAW, In contrast

An attention-grabbing video made by an NYC-based filmmaker Sherif Mokbel from the Youtube channel The DP Journey compares Blackmagic RAW and ProRes RAW video codecs when it comes to metadata-based white steadiness, noise and particulars, and extra facets.

Each Blackmagic RAW and ProRes RAW have gotten more and more standard and it’s attention-grabbing to see them in contrast face to face. The filmmaker Sherif Mokbel from The DP Journey Youtube channel made an attention-grabbing comparability video. Earlier than having a look at it, nonetheless, I wish to briefly supply an introduction to the totally different video codecs as some primary data.

Please needless to say for the aim of this text I cannot dive too deep into the technical facet of video codecs.

The fundamentals: totally different video codecs

When taking pictures video, other than selecting the specified decision and framerate, filmmakers additionally want to decide on the codec the video can be recorded in. This may have an effect on the scale of the file in addition to its flexibility in post-production, most of all shade grading. Typically, there are interframe (solely a part of every body is altering, the remaining is calculated) or intraframe (each body incorporates all of the pixels) compressed codecs, after which uncooked codecs (compressed or uncompressed).

Most shopper cameras (together with drones, smartphones, and motion cameras) often nonetheless have some taste of LongGOP (for “group of images”, or interframe) compressed H.264 or H.265 8-bit 4:2:0 codec, however 10-bit 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 codecs are additionally being launched in increasingly more fashions. These supply higher flexibility for shade grading by together with extra shade data they usually can often higher make the most of the advantages of flat (Log) shade profiles in getting extra dynamic vary out of every clip.

Relating to RAW video, one instance of the uncompressed taste is Adobe’s CinemaDNG (which additionally, by the best way, presents barely compressed variations). The format presents very excessive flexibility for grading as every body is mainly a uncooked picture by itself. One draw back of this format is that you simply want large storage to work with initiatives shot in CinemaDNG. Particularly the uncompressed taste takes up A LOT of house and is nearly not possible to deal with in real-life taking pictures situations.

Compressed RAW video state of affairs

Lastly, compressed uncooked codecs supply the perfect of each worlds. They purpose to mix excessive flexibility for shade grading with cheap file sizes. At present, there are extra codecs on the market – one in every of them is RED’s R3D REDCODE RAW codec which is, clearly, solely accessible in RED cameras. This explicit codec is vital for understanding the present state of affairs with the provision of compressed uncooked codecs.

Very briefly mentioned, when introducing their new compressed RAW codec in 2007 together with the RED ONE digital camera, the corporate patented the know-how – in reality, they patented compressed RAW recording inside a digital camera basically. One of many outcomes of this patent is that each digital camera firm that desires to incorporate a compressed uncooked format in its merchandise has to first ask RED for permission which, if granted, brings sure prices (let’s name it a license price) with it. Due to this fact, some digital camera firms prevented together with compressed uncooked codecs of their merchandise altogether (or removed it from their cameras after they were released).

BRAW versus ProRes RAW Comparability. Supply: The DP Journey

There are two codecs specifically which can be getting more and more standard these days – ProRes RAW and Blackmagic RAW (additional known as BRAW). The primary one is Apple’s new format launched in 2018 which builds on older ProRes codecs however offers a non-debayered picture with metadata for extra flexibility within the post-production. Principally, the one firm that presently makes merchandise that may document ProRes RAW is Atomos, that means you may solely document it externally utilizing a few of their recorders. They’ve been together with the format of their recorders for a couple of years already and increasingly more cameras can output RAW sign to the Atomos Ninja V or Atomos Shogun and subsequently document externally in ProRes RAW. ProRes RAW is, by definition, an actual compressed uncooked codec. Atomos can embrace ProRes RAW in its merchandise as a result of they apparently made an settlement with RED, however particulars usually are not identified to the general public.

The latter format, BRAW, was created by Blackmagic Design to be used of their cameras and recorders. It’s, in reality, not an actual compressed uncooked codec, because it has been partially debayered within the digital camera (or recorder). It nonetheless, nonetheless, contains all of the helpful metadata for altering ISO, white steadiness, and extra later in submit manufacturing.

BRAW Versus ProRes RAW comparability

Each codecs have been getting actually standard currently as they provide higher flexibility than conventional compressed video codecs, and they’re included in inexpensive cameras and recorders (when in comparison with most RED or ARRI cameras for instance). Sherif Mokbel is a filmmaker and photographer based mostly in New York who runs an attention-grabbing Youtube channel known as The DP Journey. In one in every of his latest movies, he determined to match each BRAW and ProRes RAW codecs together with his Panasonic LUMIX S1H digital camera (check our Lab Test here). On a facet be aware, there are presently not many cameras that assist each codecs – Panasonic S1H, EVA1, SIGMA fp, and choose Nikon Z fashions are the one ones so far as I do know.

Sherif’s video may be very effectively made in my view and it presents a pleasant rationalization of each codecs and plenty of technical details about the comparability. It’s divided into the next chapters so it’s simple to navigate and skip between the totally different components:

  • Intro
  • Hyperlinks to look at
  • BRAW Necessities on S1H
  • Document Presets
  • White Steadiness Management
  • WB management BRAW Vs Inner
  • WB ProRes RAW Vs BRAW
  • Noise and Particulars
  • Noise Checks
  • Partially Debayered
  • DP ideas
  • BRAW Vs ProRes RAW Abstract

Metadata-based white steadiness

BRAW versus ProRes RAW Comparability. Supply: The DP Journey

On high of evaluating BRAW and ProRes RAW from the Panasonic S1H, Sherif additionally in contrast BRAW from the S1H (and Video Help 12G) with the BRAW from Blackmagic cameras. There are some variations, for instance, the metadata-based white steadiness doesn’t work correctly on the S1H-VA combo, but it surely does work on Blackmagic cameras in BRAW. It’s subsequently not that simple to repair the incorrect white steadiness on the S1H in BRAW, but it surely si nonetheless simpler to do than with the inner compressed codec. ProRes RAW works effectively on this regard.

BRAW versus ProRes RAW Comparability. Supply: The DP Journey

Noise and particulars

Sherif additionally “deep-dives” into how every format preserves particulars within the noise in picture. Once more, ProRes RAW gained over the Blackmagic RAW as it’s noisier, but it surely preserves extra particulars within the noise. There is no such thing as a noise discount in any respect within the case of ProRes RAW. With BRAW, as there may be some debayering course of happening within the digital camera/recorder, it additionally removes a part of the noise together with some high-quality particulars within the picture. On the whole, taking a noisier picture and eradicating the noise within the post-production utilizing for instance Neat Video plugin, produces higher outcomes.

BRAW versus ProRes RAW Comparability. Supply: The DP Journey


Merely put, Sherif’s comparability proves that ProRes RAW is the extra superior of those two codecs relating to preserving the picture high quality. One in every of its best points, nonetheless, is that it’s not supported in the most well-liked shade grading software program – DaVinci Resolve. Blackmagic RAW, however, presents higher outcomes than the inner compressed codec whereas working very effectively in Resolve. In the long run, it comes all the way down to which software program you utilize for post-production.

BRAW versus ProRes RAW Comparability. Supply: The DP Journey

Do you utilize ProRes RAW, Blackmagic RAW or each codecs to your work? What do you assume abotu the comparability video? Tell us within the feedback part beneath the article.

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