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HEVC/H.265 - Why on some cameras like the R5 & A7SIII and not on others like C300MKIII?


ghostwind
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Need to upgrade to a 4K camera from my trusty C100MKII, and am a bit confused on codecs used and where things are headed. I understand HEVC/H.265 and how it's a better distribution codec as it has similar quality to H.264 but at lower bitrates (smaller files), but what I don't understand is why some cameras like the new R5 and A7SIII use it, while the C300MKIII for example does not. And what does the future hold? 

I ask because I will also need to upgrade my computer, and seems this H.265 is to be a pain to play back and edit on, requiring hardware decoding/acceleration, like the new Apple M1 chips have, the iPhones, iPads, etc., but none of the big name NVIDIA or AMD GPU cards have (at least not for 4:2:2 10bit H.265). What's the deal here?

Are cinema cameras like the C300MKIII designed with the assumption that the "more pro" user is not as concerned with storage, so the smaller files/bitstreams allowed by H.265 are not as important in a workflow as they may be to a "less pro" user using a DSLR/prosumer camera like the R5 (or A7SIII)? Otherwise why not have it? It's not like the C300MKIII and the R5 were released years apart.

I don't get it - I'm missing someting. Confused...

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, ghostwind said:

Need to upgrade to a 4K camera from my trusty C100MKII, and am a bit confused on codecs used and where things are headed. I understand HEVC/H.265 and how it's a better distribution codec as it has similar quality to H.264 but at lower bitrates (smaller files), but what I don't understand is why some cameras like the new R5 and A7SIII use it, while the C300MKIII for example does not. And what does the future hold? 

I ask because I will also need to upgrade my computer, and seems this H.265 is to be a pain to play back and edit on, requiring hardware decoding/acceleration, like the new Apple M1 chips have, the iPhones, iPads, etc., but none of the big name NVIDIA or AMD GPU cards have (at least not for 4:2:2 10bit H.265). What's the deal here?

Are cinema cameras like the C300MKIII designed with the assumption that the "more pro" user is not as concerned with storage, so the smaller files/bitstreams allowed by H.265 are not as important in a workflow as they may be to a "less pro" user using a DSLR/prosumer camera like the R5 (or A7SIII)? Otherwise why not have it? It's not like the C300MKIII and the R5 were released years apart.

I don't get it - I'm missing someting. Confused...

 

 

 

Well it would be a mistake to include h265 in a pro camera, that every editor has problems with. If they would include prores or any other pro codec on the R5(besides the cripple hammer overheating limit), the sales on the Canon cinema series would take a big hit. 

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2 hours ago, ghostwind said:

why some cameras like the new R5 and A7SIII use it, while the C300MKIII for example does not. And what does the future hold? 

I think you've understood the situation quite well. h265 is more efficient, but high bit rates in professional cameras can make up for it while using less efficient codecs. h264 is a safer codec to use if you want to minimize frustration. h265 support has improved a lot recently, and will probably improve a lot the next 1-2 years, but we might end up with a situation like ProRes vs h264, where people prefer ProRes even though it's less efficient because it's easier to work with. At higher bitrates h264 will perform good enough anyway, so why not make life easier for the editors?

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In many ways, it seems like the wrong time upgrade to a 4K camera now and a more powerful computer. Canon is moving to RF, and for sure in 2021 will have better RF C90/etc, and Apple is making a huge hit with their new processors that just came out. A month ago I was ready to get a loaded Mac Pro and the C300MKIII, but now I'm not so sure. I may rent for any projects that need the 4K until next summer perhaps. Those Apple chips I had doubts about, but they are ridiculous it seems. Hmm..

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9 hours ago, ghostwind said:

In many ways, it seems like the wrong time upgrade to a 4K camera now and a more powerful computer. Canon is moving to RF, and for sure in 2021 will have better RF C90/etc, and Apple is making a huge hit with their new processors that just came out. A month ago I was ready to get a loaded Mac Pro and the C300MKIII, but now I'm not so sure. I may rent for any projects that need the 4K until next summer perhaps. Those Apple chips I had doubts about, but they are ridiculous it seems. Hmm..

I would wait for Apple to release their 16” MBP with apple silicon (M1X perhaps?) They will also probably offer more RAM, which I think is the biggest limiting factor with these new machines.

HEVC will replace H264, there is no doubt. As resolution from FF and MF cameras increase into 6K, 8K, and above the need for HEVC will increase.

But for people now, that need a machine to edit HEVC and 4K RAW then a $1000 Mac Mini is currently more powerful for that particular narrow application than a iMac Pro. Go figure.

It can already handle Scarlet 5K 8:1 REDCODE no problem. It will probably handle BRAW no problem.

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40 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

It's still a pain in the ass to edit for most people that use a lot of these lower end professional/cinema cameras, and h.264 is already in wide use at this level. There aren't really that many benefits to it, outside of smaller file size, is there? I also don't sense much of a demand right now. 

Smaller file sizes with same quality or same file size with better quality. I think where it would come in handy is say filming a interview scene in 8K, perhaps with two people sitting together, and then just punching into the faces when they talk. No need for two cameras, etc...

8K HEVC IPB would be very nice to have if you are recording to a $600 512MB CFExpress card.

It’s also great for throwing around rough cuts to be uploaded to Dropbox or whatever for review. A fast edit, export, feedback cycle.

There hasn’t been a demand for it because the hardware manufactures have been so lazy to implement proper acceleration. No one is going to demand it if they can’t buy hardware to work with it.

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2 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

Smaller file sizes with same quality or same file size with better quality. I think where it would come in handy is say filming a interview scene in 8K, perhaps with two people sitting together, and then just punching into the faces when they talk. No need for two cameras, etc...

8K HEVC IPB would be very nice to have if you are recording to a $600 512MB CFExpress card.

It’s also great for throwing around rough cuts to be uploaded to Dropbox or whatever for review. A fast edit, export, feedback cycle.

There hasn’t been a demand for it because the hardware manufactures have been so lazy to implement proper acceleration. No one is going to demand it if they can’t buy hardware to work with it.

I just feel like we're years away from it becoming viable for lower end users, and higher end users probably aren't going to use h.265 anyway over ProRes and compressed raw. To me the promise of h.265 is on the delivery end more than anything. 

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36 minutes ago, newfoundmass said:

I just feel like we're years away from it becoming viable for lower end users, and higher end users probably aren't going to use h.265 anyway over ProRes and compressed raw. To me the promise of h.265 is on the delivery end more than anything. 

Compressed RAW will always be the preferred workflow for higher-end because it’s RAW.

But until compressed RAW becomes available to the Sony and Canons and Panasonic’s of the world a whole lot of people will be shooting h265 when it becomes the preferred codec in new cinema and mirrorless cameras. R5, C70, FX6 and future models.

Just as H264 became a TV production standard so will HEVC and HDR. I think sooner rather than later. And with the push for increasing resolutions lossy compressed codecs will flourish as long as their is hardware to edit it.

H265 capture, edit, and delivery is here now for lower end Mac users out there. I would assume this will put pressure on PC hardware manufactures to match it. Which is a good thing.

And there is nothing wrong with 10-bit HEVC as far as flexibility. It’s just the hardware hasn’t been available to make it viable. Now it’s coming.

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7 minutes ago, Video Hummus said:

Compressed RAW will always be the preferred workflow for higher-end because it’s RAW.

But until compressed RAW becomes available to the Sony and Canons and Panasonic’s of the world a whole lot of people will be shooting h265 when it becomes the preferred codec in new cinema and mirrorless cameras. R5, C70, FX6 and future models.

Just as H264 became a TV production standard so will HEVC and HDR. I think sooner rather than later.

H265 capture, edit, and delivery is here now for lower end Mac users out there. I would assume this will put pressure on PC hardware manufactures to match it. Which is a good thing.

And there is nothing wrong with 10-bit HEVC as far as flexibility. It’s just the hardware hasn’t been available to make it viable. Now it’s coming.

We'll see, I guess. H.264 was adopted a lot faster however. BTW, the FX6 doesn't do H.265, only the A7S3. 

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