Anil Royal Posted January 20, 2021 Share Posted January 20, 2021 I bought an Atomos Ninja external recorder after reading a good deal on the internet, and watching a ton of YouTube videos that tell why 10-bit color depth is superior to 8-bit, how it makes a huge difference during color grading, etc. In theory, 10-bit gives each pixel the ability to pick from over 1 billion shades of color; compared to 16 million shades offered by 8-bit. This allows for smoother color gradations, avoids banding, etc. I got that part. But what about in reality? Does it make a noticeable difference? I searched everywhere, for a side-by-side comparison of the same subject shot on 8-bit 4:2:0 internal vs 10-bit 4:2:2 external. I found none. Everybody explained why 10-bit is great, but offered no visual proof. At least nothing my eyes could spot. So I made these comparison tests myself, after getting the Atomos Ninja. Same test subject. Filmed using EOS-R. Three clips: 8-bit 4:2:0 internal H.264; 8-bit 4:2:2 ProRes external; 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes external. All are 4K. All are CLOG. On the first look, there's one obvious difference. 8-bit 4:2:0 CLOG internal footage looked noticeably flatter than the external CLOG footage (both 8-bit and 10-bit). I don't know if that's a good thing or bad. I'd expect CLOG to be quite flat. Why is the external recorded footage less flat? Is the ProRes codec used by Atomos Ninja playing with the contrast levels before recording it? Internal 8-bit CLOG recording, when viewed through waveform monitor, showed more room for brightness and darkness adjustments before clipping - compared to the external recordings! Isn't it supposed to be the other way!?! Other than that difference in flatness, I can't find anything else. 10-bit or 8-bit, both externally recorded clips didn't give me any additional leg room while color grading - compared to the 8-bit internal clip. What more, 8-bit and 10-bit external recordings looked exactly the same untouched, as well as after applying the same grades. No matter how hard I tried to look (zooming in, for instance), I can't find a difference. It may have to do with ProRes encoding everything as 10-bit 4:2:2 irrespective of the source bit depth. It is said that extreme color grading breaks apart 8-bit while 10-bit holds pretty good. This argument is backed by a strong theory. But if I can't see how much more better 10-bit is than 8-bit, what's the point with these external recorders? Is Atomos Nijna merely an overpriced monitor? (It does a good a job of that, for sure). And, assuming 10-bit makes color graded videos have less artifacts, what happens when the edited video is exported using an 8-bit codec, and viewed on an 8-bit monitor? There may be rare cases where 10-bit is useful. But for most scenarios, I started to believe 10-bit isn't any better than 8-bit. What am I missing? I'd be glad if somebody could prove me wrong and confirm that 10-bit is worth it. tupp, plucas, noone and 1 other 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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