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Andrew Reid

New H.265 codec on test - ProRes 4444 quality for 1% of the file size

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H.265

CineMartin are the first company I know of to give us H.265 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Encoding) conversion with the just-announced CINEC v2.7. It supports up to 4K resolution and you can try it today.

In case you live at 12 Under Rock Drive, the H.265 standard is the biggest codec of the decade. It supersedes today's most common codec for encoding and internet delivery of video (H.264) and makes 4K recording to SD cards possible on DSLRs.

Read the full article here

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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

So I can expect to read plenty of "XX company didn't include h.265 and it's been this long, still using h.264 the industry is going nowhere video shooters are in peril!!" from next year, because I have a feeling that it will take a while for any consumer cameras to include it... since the majority of users think h.264 footage looks great, it's the pros and anyone doing half-serious editing/grading that want the change.
I was hoping from the initial news that this might just be a simple yet effective firmware update that can do this... agh, if only it were that easy, at least the 5D mark3 shoots RAW?

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Does this mean the 720p 8bit videos we have now are gonna be very tiny and will load instantly for people with crappy 3g internet connection?

That'd be great!

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Great article... this is extraordinary!! (yes apparently I do live under a rock)

 

I hope there isn't some catch like "current embedded processors require a heatsink the size of a watermelon to achieve realtime speeds."

 

I can see a real bandwidth glut occuring if video and photos eventually go HEVC... Cisco and Juniper shouldn't expect a lot of growth in edge router sales.

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"Cinemartin say in their tests a ProRes 4:4:4 video of 590MB was converted to H.265 HEVC with CINEC 2.7 to an output video of 4.9MB with little or no noticeable differences in image quality."

 

That's pretty a phenomenal rate of compression. 600MB to a 5MB file? Wow. Sounds like a game changer in all kinds of places.

 

I didn't think 4k or 8k could happen soon, because of limited bandwidth. 8k world, here we come. 

 

Even poor farmers with marginal internet access are going to be able to access a world of HQ video.

 

It's good to be in the world of video. 

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H.265 was designed to produce H.264 quality at 50% the bitrate. To really show H.265 improvements, compare the same footage to H.265 with a high-quality encoder such as x264.

 

As of July 2013, H.265 is not quite hitting the 50% less than H.264 target: http://www.extremetech.com/computing/162027-h-265-benchmarked-does-the-next-generation-video-codec-live-up-to-expectations

 

Embedded devices (cameras) aren't likely to use H.265 in the near term due to CPU complexity requirements. XAVC is the nicest balance of quality/filesize we'll have for a while.

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So I can expect to read plenty of "XX company didn't include h.265 and it's been this long, still using h.264 the industry is going nowhere video shooters are in peril!!" from next year, because I have a feeling that it will take a while for any consumer cameras to include it... since the majority of users think h.264 footage looks great, it's the pros and anyone doing half-serious editing/grading that want the change.

 

When you stepped out of the wrong side of bed this morning, did you also stand on a lego brick?

 

It doesn't so much matter if H.265 isn't destined for DSLRs immediately, I am sure Atomos will put it in an external recorder way before then and allow us to get very nice looking 4K from an HDMI and HD-SDI output on future cameras.

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So far the most complex encoder for an external recorder is Sony MPEG2 (LGOP high bitrate 422) in the Convergent Design Nanoflash, yes? The F55 can do 4K XAVC (2K for F5). So high bitrate XAVC should be possible with an external recorder today (hopefully with the CD 7Q at some point). H.265 takes 5-10x the compute complexity. If it can be parallelized and run (at least partially) on a GPU, perhaps something will be possible in the next few years (iPhone 5S has a powerful 64-bit processor and GPU today; an Android phone (Acer Liquid S2) supports 4K H.264).

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Is this something maybe Magic Lantern could bring to existing EOS devices? I know this is much heavier on the CPU, but I don't know how much of the in-camera processing power is used for video at this moment. I'm guessing we are pulling on the shortest straw here, especially using for example a rebel t3i/600d, but heck - who knows!

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Considering that a simple feature like anamorphic desqueezing can't be done at full fps on a 550D in ML I don't think that the CPU could handle the stress of h.265 encoding. The media encoder chip needs hardware codec support. Software encoder on a camera CPU will be very slow.

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To be really excited about the benefits of H.265 you have to believe some engineer got out of bed one morning and figured out how to compress moving images better than the thousands of engineers before him.    Maybe I stepped on a Lego too.  Whatever trick there is will depend on parallel processing and that will mean chips and fancy software/firmware.  

 

As for Magic Lantern.  The firmware only "redirects" what the internal electronics are doing.  It doesn't do much computing.   Even if they got something to work, I wouldn't trust it for a second, that it would do it when I needed it ;)

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I think H.265 support is going to take time, probably 2 years in case of consumer cameras, external recorders and smartphones.

 

Magic Lantern support - a resounding NO I'm afraid. The hardware isn't capable of that kind of processing complexity and anyway you'd need a dedicated chip on the circuit board for it. It would be like trying to put Resolve 10 on a Commodore Amiga! At some point Canon will be able to buy a H.265 chip off the shelf cheaply and put it in a camera. Like in case of C300... almost all off the shelf components, apart from the sensor. Until this happens H.265 isn't something we'll see appear even in an official firmware update because it's not what you should be running on a general purpose CPU. Too much of an overhead even if the CPU is very fast.

 

I mean if your powerful desktop PC takes X number of minutes to encode H.265, work out how much slower the mobile processors are and there's your answer. It needs to encode at upwards of 24fps minimum.

 

GPGPU is coming to mobile and portable consumer electronics. Tegra chip from Nvidia already on the market. That will get us there quicker but I'd still say 1-2 years off yet. Be good when it does get here though. The internet sets to benefit most from it.

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The internet sets to benefit most from it.

 

Absolutely.  Always follow the money :)  Last night I was screwing around with encoding some video screen captures (using BB Flashback--highly recommended, has freeware version http://www.bbsoftware.co.uk/BBFlashBack_FreePlayer.aspx.)  The ProRes was pretty blurry.  The Xvid, set on the highest quality setting, looked like uncompressed!  For RAW video editing, ProRes would be better, but my experience shows what you're talking about--compression strategies make a huge difference.  You really have to know what you're doing.  I wish I knew more.  

 

Andrew, I'm pretty sure if you did a guide to compression strategies for video (that would also show what those Panny hacks give you and, and don't give you), you'd have a nice line at the check-out counter.

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as of right now h265 doesnt make much sense to use for professional work. you use codecs like this one and like h264 to get the best quality/size ratio. this makes sense for your final version you want to share with people. well, sharing something that almost nobody can play isnt really helping is it?

 

im really looking forward to x265 and when h265 enters the scene. but for now stick with h264 when sharing videos.

 

its not rocketscience. on a mac use handbrake with the quality option enabled. most people still use bitrate. why? you should only use bitrate if you directly want to control the size of your video file, but most often you dont care about the exacty size. you want it to look good. i hate people saying that they just use a bitrate of 4000 for 720p. it always looks good. fact is, for a concert video or a sporting event 4000 might be not enough for reasonsable quality. for a locked shot or timelapse 4000 might be overkill. its not that easy to determine. just go with the quality option if thats what you care about.

 

crf24 = youtube quality, crf22 = good quality, crf20 = very good quality, crf18 = to go all out.

 

i wouldnt recommend using lower crf values than 18. you cant see the difference. i have a eye for detail and most often can see a difference between 20 and 18. so using crf18 already gives you a nice safety bump, if you might wanna use the file to create other formats out of it.

 

on windows use staxrip. its one of the few reasons i still miss windows. its the best encoding software for h264 by a long shot. handbrake works well  but the interface is illogocally structured.

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Weird for you to make the under a rock comment since this is the first time you have ever mentioned it in an article on your site as far as I can remember.  But it's an interesting potential future development for sure.  I'm guessing this will more useful for content delivery than acquisition due to the high processing required.  And i'm actually hopping that SD and CF card speeds and capacity will increase quickly enough that it will render it pointless for high quality acquisition anyway.  

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It isn't designed as an acquisition format so much as a delivery one.

 

Like I said in the article, raw and ProRes will have a big advantage for heavy grading, keying, FX work in the same way it currently has an advantage over AVCHD and H.264 on DSLRs. It's just that H.265 will give us 10bit, small file sizes, 4K and lovely looking footage out of the box on consumer hardware. Given a few years.

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