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The new Blackmagic RAW Codec

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Today at IBC, BMD announce a new Blackmagic RAW codec. Available in a number of variations, depending on your needs for image quality over file size, it appears to overtake ProRes RAW, and will be usable in a number of NLEs thanks to their free SDK for developers. 

https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/nl/media/release/20180914-01

image.png.c770edb336e71b1a5635d85a934c4583.png

 

From @sanveer

It seems to address 2 Huge things:

1. The ProRes RAW that Apple was attempting to push across all RAW shooting cameras (which has issues, since it doesn't have any specific flavours and only has a Wrapper for the Proprietory RAW from different camera manufacturers). Blackmagic seems to even show the fundamental flaws with that approach ("Blackmagic RAW is much more than a simple RAW container format. Its intelligent design actually understands the camera and the sensor."). 

2. Not enough Compression Options in RAW. Most RAW compressions weren't actually pushing RAW closer to manageable territory (ProRes and H.264 size). This new RAW codec seems to address that (Blackmagic RAW 3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1).

The only question is would it succeed without being open source for other camera manufacturers or only NLE support is good enough. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

At around 22 minutes, Grant talks about shooting in Video Gamma, but the background 'sidecar' files have the metadata of Film Gamma. 

Does that basically mean with this new format you can shoot for a straight out of camera file, that has the flexibility of RAW should you need it later on?

That's absolutely amazing for TV and news work. Broadcast ready files that can go out straight off the cards, but can be archived and graded later. It's pretty much game changing in my field. That alone is a reason to go Blackmagic.

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I am most excited about the 1:12 RAW and managing things according to the processor. Could this actually be as small as the 400mbps 10-bit 4-2-2 on the GH5, and be even better for post work? Or even smaller than that? 

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This is amazing news, and from what Kholi has said about his test footage with the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K , 12:1 will be very usable...

Stuff you'll probably find exciting:

- Pixel Peepers will find a hard time locating differences between 3:1 and 12:1, tried breaking the compression at 12:1 and Constant Quality options with pretty intense scenes and was unable to. Believe it can be broken in post with heavy grades, but if you're planning that then just shoot 3:1 or 5:1. Genius.
- About an hour of footage shooting 8:1 or 12:1 to an 128GB card at 4.6K - no more raw complaints
- Just as much flexibility to beat on the image in post as Cinema DNG
- New update in camera has cleaned up my image in a massive way, FPN nearly vanished with a firmware update.
- New Noise Profile is very pleasing, never used NR before anyway, but profile is extremely awesome.
- Blackmagic cameras are all about motion, color, and defending the cameras on various forums. The new update has changed the motion in the camera to something even more buttery yet still cinematic. Check out how objects are rendered despite my horrible handheld shots. Motion Cadence nuts like myself will be pleased, detractors will say it's fake. Note: takes film grain beautifully.
- Raw controls in new Resolve for BRAW are awesome, very simple. Hard to mess up haha. Favorite little details: sidecar can be saved, export BRAW still, set black point

 

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14 minutes ago, ade towell said:

This is amazing news, and from what Kholi has said about his test footage with the Ursa Mini Pro 4.6K , 12:1 will be very usable...

Stuff you'll probably find exciting:

- Pixel Peepers will find a hard time locating differences between 3:1 and 12:1, tried breaking the compression at 12:1 and Constant Quality options with pretty intense scenes and was unable to. Believe it can be broken in post with heavy grades, but if you're planning that then just shoot 3:1 or 5:1. Genius.
- About an hour of footage shooting 8:1 or 12:1 to an 128GB card at 4.6K - no more raw complaints
- Just as much flexibility to beat on the image in post as Cinema DNG
- New update in camera has cleaned up my image in a massive way, FPN nearly vanished with a firmware update.
- New Noise Profile is very pleasing, never used NR before anyway, but profile is extremely awesome.
- Blackmagic cameras are all about motion, color, and defending the cameras on various forums. The new update has changed the motion in the camera to something even more buttery yet still cinematic. Check out how objects are rendered despite my horrible handheld shots. Motion Cadence nuts like myself will be pleased, detractors will say it's fake. Note: takes film grain beautifully.
- Raw controls in new Resolve for BRAW are awesome, very simple. Hard to mess up haha. Favorite little details: sidecar can be saved, export BRAW still, set black point

 

Wow. I am super excited about it. I also noticed, Petty suggesting, very delicately, that it is way better than codes with confusing names, where compression is disguised as names, and heavier compressions have issues (ahem, ProRes). I can see this TOTALLY replaying ProRes (I knew ProRes was overrated and also that it needed to go, because Apple grossly abuses it's market reach muscle). Also, if Davinci could challenge the market leaders like Premier, Avid and others, they it has the capabilities to challenge Apple.

I wish it could be used on DSLRs/ Mirrorless where one believed ProRes would add to the quality of the video, but adding this would be way better.

Apple also refused to allow ProRes on the ZCam E2, as I am guessing it does to many smaller manufacturers, for all sorts of absurd reasons. 

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RED just lost a huge advantage with this release. One of the best things they had going was the many flavors of RAW on their cameras.

I hope Blackmagic does not make it difficult for Adobe to implement support for it, as that is the one thing that could hold this great feature back. 

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Great to have the option.

I hope it finds it way onto a small USB C Blackmagic ext. recorder as well.

And is it going to be just an URSA thing or will the Pocket 4K be capable?

Seems it needs dedicated hardware inside the camera and hardware acceleration on the edit side as well. It will be interesting to see how computationally heavy it is to edit vs other formats.

Nice move Blackmagic.

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18 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

And is it going to be just an URSA thing or will the Pocket 4K be capable?

It will come to the Pocket 4K in a few months.

26 minutes ago, Geoff CB said:

I hope Blackmagic does not make it difficult for Adobe to implement support for it

They've already released the sDK, it's now up to Adobe and others to build it into their software. I doubt it'll take very long for them to pick it up.

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22 minutes ago, Andrew Reid said:

Great to have the option.

I hope it finds it way onto a small USB C Blackmagic ext. recorder as well.

And is it going to be just an URSA thing or will the Pocket 4K be capable?

Seems it needs dedicated hardware inside the camera and hardware acceleration on the edit side as well. It will be interesting to see how computationally heavy it is to edit vs other formats.

Nice move Blackmagic.

Petty said it will make it to the BMPCC4K too soon (and I think other Blackmagic cameras too).

I hope, they keep it ad open as possible (like the Magic Lantern Hacks) so that the whole ProRes red tapism ends, and we see it on a LOT more devices. 

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5 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

Haha, so BM made the C.Fast and USB-c recording feature obsolete before their camera even made it to market. 

Also their eGPU isn't needed to use the footage at all.

Actually one of the Blackmagic guys told me that the feature set on the BMPCC4K were also limited based on the processor. If this new RAW is actually easier and lighter on the processor and pipeline, it could easily help make everything even better than it already is. Like you @Anaconda_ mentioned the CFast and USB-C thing above, users may actually be able to use the SDXC UHS-ii card for recording ATLEAST some flavours of RAW without any hiccups.  

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As it's more processing, moving the de-bayer onto the camera hardware, I wonder how that will effect battery life. Will it take more resources than using ProRes? Certainly more than cDNG.

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23 minutes ago, Anaconda_ said:

As it's more processing, moving the de-bayer onto the camera hardware, I wonder how that will effect battery life. Will it take more resources than using ProRes? Certainly more than cDNG.

Good point, may be quite processor intensive on the camera side.

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51 minutes ago, Danyyyel said:

WOW if you can shoot 4k for 1 hour that would be revolutionary. I hope someone or blackmagic gives us the bitrate.

How would this be revolutionary? My C200 can shoot 4K raw for more than an hour? Or can BMD cameras not do this?

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2 hours ago, sanveer said:

Apple also refused to allow ProRes on the ZCam E2, as I am guessing it does to many smaller manufacturers, for all sorts of absurd reasons. 


Waaaaiiiiit......   what??? Where did you read that? This is sad news. 

1 hour ago, sanveer said:

Petty said it will make it to the BMPCC4K too soon (and I think other Blackmagic cameras too).

Hopefully the original BMPCC!

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