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Cineform as an Editing Codec?

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Hello, Everyone.

 

I am debating whether to jump into the Canon 5D Mark III Raw video capture world, but as I have been researching the topic and equipment further I am now considering using Cineform as an editing codec in Final Cut 7.

 

Up until now I have only work with ProRes, but I have read excellent things about Cineform, so I wanted to ask others what they feel about it as an editing codec.

 

Does cineform work well in Final Cut 7?

 

Does cineform require more computer performance in order to edit with?  More RAM?  RAID?  Or would a RAID setup be overkill?

 

Is there a version of cineform you really prefer to edit in?  Raw?  4444?  422?

 

Is there much visible difference between the various quality levels?

 

Does cineform grading integrate well from cineform studio into Final Cut?

 

 

These are some basic questions I have after having read about cineform a bit, so I would love to get some real world feedback on it from others.

 

Please don't hesitate to add any additional observations you might have from your experience.  Every bit of information is useful to me.

 

Thanks so much.  I look forward to your responses.

 

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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

Cineform 422 is essentially free with the free version of GoPro Studio.  The RAW and 444 versions cost about $300.  Magic Lantern RAW begins its journey as DNGs, or DNGs to TIFFs.  For maximum quality, you can work with the TIFFs in your NLE as an image sequence.  But I'm not a Mac expert.  Maybe you can't.

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Why would you want to use Cineform when you already have ProRes with FCP 7? People use Cineform on Windows because they don't have ProRes or on Macs because they need to inter work with Windows. There is no real difference between using ProRes & using Cineform as they ar both near lossless intermediate editing CODECs.

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Why would you want to use Cineform when you already have ProRes with FCP 7? People use Cineform on Windows because they don't have ProRes or on Macs because they need to inter work with Windows. There is no real difference between using ProRes & using Cineform as they ar both near lossless intermediate editing CODECs.

 

 

Well, Nigel, I am considering Cineform for the first time because of the fact that it does offer the possibility of a raw, uncompressed editing codec, which is not possible through ProRes.

 

After all, why go though all the money and hassle of shooting Canon Raw to then compress the file downwards anyway if, in fact, there is the ability not to.

 

By using Cineform in a raw format while editing, I could theoretically avoid having to make permanent color grading decisions until after the complete edit is done, thus allowing me greater flexibility creatively.  Whereas if I use ProRes I would be forced to make decisions of color balance,  highlight and shadow detail, etc... at the very beginning of the raw transcoding process, which would then be baked into the ProRes files, and therefore the film, for the rest of its life.

 

I was just hoping to get a little more info from users here on the Cineform codec, in general, as I have never used it.

 

 

How is it wot work with in FCP7?  Is it as smooth as ProRes?  Does it have any drawbacks?

 

What about editing in Cineform Raw?  Does it require more computing power for the uncompressed files?  More resources?  Ram? CPU?  And if so, how much?

 

Do people find Cineform Raw worth while, however?  Or is it overkill?  Too much storage space?  Too much hardware power to use effectively?

 

Is Cineform 444 or 422 just as good? and a fraction the size?

 

And if you are compressing to Cineform 444 or 422 should you just stay with ProRes at that point?

 

Or is Cineform Raw one of the best ways to go if you're going to bother shooting Raw footage in the first place?

 

 

So, if anyone has any further insights to my questions I would greatly appreciate the information.  Anything that will help me understand the full potential of shooting Canon Raw would be fantastic.

 

Thanks so much.

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Well, Nigel, I am considering Cineform for the first time because of the fact that it does offer the possibility of a raw, uncompressed editing codec, which is not possible through ProRes.

 

After all, why go though all the money and hassle of shooting Canon Raw to then compress the file downwards anyway if, in fact, there is the ability not to.

 

By using Cineform in a raw format while editing, I could theoretically avoid having to make permanent color grading decisions until after the complete edit is done, thus allowing me greater flexibility creatively.  Whereas if I use ProRes I would be forced to make decisions of color balance,  highlight and shadow detail, etc... at the very beginning of the raw transcoding process, which would then be baked into the ProRes files, and therefore the film, for the rest of its life.

 

I was just hoping to get a little more info from users here on the Cineform codec, in general, as I have never used it.

 

 

How is it wot work with in FCP7?  Is it as smooth as ProRes?  Does it have any drawbacks?

 

What about editing in Cineform Raw?  Does it require more computing power for the uncompressed files?  More resources?  Ram? CPU?  And if so, how much?

 

Do people find Cineform Raw worth while, however?  Or is it overkill?  Too much storage space?  Too much hardware power to use effectively?

 

Is Cineform 444 or 422 just as good? and a fraction the size?

 

And if you are compressing to Cineform 444 or 422 should you just stay with ProRes at that point?

 

Or is Cineform Raw one of the best ways to go if you're going to bother shooting Raw footage in the first place?

 

 

So, if anyone has any further insights to my questions I would greatly appreciate the information.  Anything that will help me understand the full potential of shooting Canon Raw would be fantastic.

 

Thanks so much.

It works with FCP7 and edits smoother than ProRes depending on the settings you choose for raw. The only drawback is the compression, if you consider that a drawback. It requires much less computing power, it's an extremely resource efficient codec. Storage of raw is less storage than ProRes at a similar quality setting, because it's raw. 444 vs 422 depends on what you're trying to do with it. That's like trying to choose between ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 HQ. But I'd just stick to CF Raw as you can change the debayer settings and everything for even smoother editing, then change to better debayers when doing compositing and grading. Even when not shooting raw it's great for upsampling 4:2:0 footage. It performs a chroma upsampling similar to 5DtoRGB.

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It works with FCP7 and edits smoother than ProRes depending on the settings you choose for raw. The only drawback is the compression, if you consider that a drawback. It requires much less computing power, it's an extremely resource efficient codec. Storage of raw is less storage than ProRes at a similar quality setting, because it's raw. 444 vs 422 depends on what you're trying to do with it. That's like trying to choose between ProRes 4444 and ProRes 422 HQ. But I'd just stick to CF Raw as you can change the debayer settings and everything for even smoother editing, then change to better debayers when doing compositing and grading. Even when not shooting raw it's great for upsampling 4:2:0 footage. It performs a chroma upsampling similar to 5DtoRGB.

 

 

Thank you so much for your insightful response to my question.  I honestly thought I wouldn't get too much info almost two months after my original post.

 

Based on your comments, Cineform Raw seems like a very useful editing codec for Raw shooting.  I had basically given up on the idea of using it, but I will reconsider it now.

 

One major obstacle I had run into a couple of months ago came from GoPro themselves, when they told me that GoPro studio for Mac didn't have native support for raw transcoding.  

 

I will check in with them again now, but do you know if this support has been added for the mac platform?

 

Thanks so much, again, for you insightful response.  I have many more question about working with cineform, but I will wait for now before posting any more.

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I was also researching this before and one issue you might come to light is that the debayer algorithm from the camera raw to CF is weak, giving a worse image quality than going from raw to DNG. At the end of the day, you might not have a better IQ than what you hve now using prores. And if you are thinking of converting raw to dng, then you will run into one of your fears, namely incredible $$$ on hardware and storage. best if you try it out first by borrowing a 5d but u still have to spend 299 for the gopro premium. Becuase of this I have chosen the BMPCC instead.

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@mitdelay I'm not sure what you mean by weak debayer. It's very nice. Of course you don't have to use CineForm's debayer if you use Resolve to grade, but there's nothing inherently bad about the debayers. And DNG is raw and is not yet debayered, just like CineForm raw. It depends on what you use to debayer it with. Plus, I led the CineForm CTO to some more debayer algorithms to add and he said they could work with them. So I'd expect some new debayer options soon.

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