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Shooting RAW or 10-bit 4:2:2 Compressed?

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  • Shooting RAW or 10-bit 4:2:2 Compressed?

    As everyone already knows, storing RAW footage requires a lot of disk space and even more for proxies and backups. At 5MB per frame, 10 hours of source footage for a feature film would require 4218.75 gigs. If you make a backup (which you should), that'll be another 4218.75 gigs of storage, and if you use proxies (let's say 1080p high-bitrate), add another 843.75 gigs for a grand total of 9281.25 gigs.

    If you shot directly to DNxHD or ProRes in film mode, you would have the 843.75 gigs of source footage and just its backup totaling only 1687.5 gigs. Since you don't need proxies, you can just start editing directly and even finalize from a $100 one terabyte external hard drive on a years old laptop. The backup can be stored on about 200 DVD-Rs (~$60) or 34 Blu-Ray discs (~$40). Not to mention, it'll save loads of time rendering.

    The question now is, is RAW worth it for low budget feature length material? For many (most?) it'll be a no-brainer. There are people coming from Red cameras who would laugh at these storage requirements, but for me, it's a lot of space and I'm still on the fence. I would love to have the full 2.5k 12-bit uncompressed image, but 10-bit 4:2:2 is better than I could have hoped for, and I don't have to change my current workflow aside from using DNxHD instead of Cineform.

    It may be too soon to say, but when I get the camera, I'm definitely going to try some tests between RAW and compressed to see if there's a big enough difference. 8-bit 4:2:0 to 10-bit 4:2:2 is a pretty big jump, but how big a jump is 10-bit 4:2:2 to 12-bit 4:4:4?
    aka Trucci on DVXuser

  • #2
    My question is: how do you get your feature down to just ten (10) hours of footage!?!?! O_o Between backups, we had six terabytes of backed-up footage, shooting 4.5K REDCODE at its highest setting.

    Anyway, IMO it's in the eye of the beholder. The cool thing is that you have an option, so if you don't see enough of a benefit to justify spending a hundreds extra in archival space, you can shoot DNxHD without having to get an external recorder, modifying the camera, so on and so forth. It's pretty sick.

    There are a lot of times when I just do NOT want to deal with transcoding REDCODE, and wish it would just shoot straight to ProRes.

    So, when you get it, decide with testing how you'll use it.

    I will say, if you are doing VFX, shoot 2.5K. That's not even a question IMO. I mean you can work with 10-bit 4:2:2 but you aren't forced to for that application, so why would you?

    SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
    Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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    • #3
      Kholi has a point, you can choose between the two, and that's the big thing here.
      Also need no notice, that if you simply want to grade a shot that has been shot to Prores422HQ to another shot, that is RAW, you will be able to.
      C300 review | http://carousel.hu/c300/

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      • #4
        Yeah, I forgot how easy it would be to switch formats between takes. It would just be a matter of changing a setting in the camera. I think my best bet would be to mainly shoot compressed and use RAW for the more demanding shots like green screening and wide contrasty landscapes.

        I forgot how good of a job REDCODE does with compression. At its max now, it's something like 336mbps which is about a third of the datarate of the BMC in RAW. I guess even for Red users the storage may be a hurdle.

        Also, my last feature ended up being 80 minutes with low paid actors who I was afraid to make do too many takes lol.
        aka Trucci on DVXuser

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        • #5
          My RAW work will be initially music videos .. I'll record both 1080 on a hyperdeck shuttle, and RAW in camera. Proxies made on set.

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          • #6
            I myself will be using ProRes or DNxHD 90% of the time. I have a high budget short in the works where storage is a non issue. For this project I will definitely be shooting RAW. This is the drawback with a RAW workflow, but for the right projects it makes sense. Just make sure you increase the storage budget, and with the low camera price it should be a lot easier to do.

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            • #7
              You're right about the calculations, Trucci. Storing REDCODE will be a bit easier than storing CinemaDNG, as in easier on the wallet.

              SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
              Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Kholi View Post
                My question is: how do you get your feature down to just ten (10) hours of footage!?!?!
                Shoot as if you're shooting film. Ten hours on a 90-minute feature is almost a 7:1 ratio. That gives you a master, a couple mediums, and two takes of each closeup, and then you STOP SHOOTING and MOVE ON.

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                • #9
                  I think I'll mixing it up, even on the same shoot, when raw is needed, go with it, when it's not, prores it is.
                  I bet prores will be JUST fine for 95% of what I do. Hell, just look at what can be done with a JPG frame grab from a prototype cam!

                  One thing will help with storage is a RAID 5 setup. You get 80% of the total disk space and if any one drive goes down, it can rebuild from the others, plus it's faster than any HD by itself.
                  This is for the 1st backup. The second off-site backup will take some more drives... Bluray seems a good option, but tedious.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Barry Green View Post
                    Shoot as if you're shooting film. Ten hours on a 90-minute feature is almost a 7:1 ratio. That gives you a master, a couple mediums, and two takes of each closeup, and then you STOP SHOOTING and MOVE ON.
                    Tell that to Apatow. xD

                    I personally could NOT see doing comedy like that. Even shooting multicam. But, straight drama then yeah, makes sense.

                    SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
                    Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Kholi View Post
                      Tell that to Apatow. xD
                      Oh, sorry -- didn't realize you had his budget?


                      I personally could NOT see doing comedy like that. Even shooting multicam.
                      Well, yeah, but then that comes back to -- should you be trying to do it at all, if you can't afford to do it right?

                      Pick a project where you can succeed. If your storage space and shooting time restrictions are going to limit you to 7:1, then don't try doing a Judd Apatow comedy. Do something that can be done within your particular set of restrictions.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Barry Green View Post
                        Oh, sorry -- didn't realize you had his budget?
                        In my imagination I do! xD But not really.
                        Well, yeah, but then that comes back to -- should you be trying to do it at all, if you can't afford to do it right?

                        Pick a project where you can succeed. If your storage space and shooting time restrictions are going to limit you to 7:1, then don't try doing a Judd Apatow comedy. Do something that can be done within your particular set of restrictions.
                        Re... strict.. shuns.

                        What mean this!?

                        (Barry has sound advice, I'm just hard of hearing aka overly ambitious.)

                        This is actually a pretty good example, though, of choosing what's best for a project, and not choosing what's best for your ego. If you WERE shooting comedy and you DID have two of these cameras, knowing that you are DEFINITELY going to shoot a ton of coverage... you would be kind of silly to limit yourself to thirty (30) minutes of mag time when you can get damned-near (edit) three or more on the same mag without too much of a hit to IQ.

                        And, since when does well-done comedy really need to look like The Hobbit?

                        So, for Trucci, there you go, a perfectly illustrated example of using what fits and how the camera's giving you options for the next project, where the 12-bit RAW would really come in handy. I think this is another strong selling point of the camera... the option of the best it has to offer or something close to it that's more economical, without adding anymore expense to the basic setup.

                        SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
                        Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mintcheerios View Post
                          As everyone already knows, storing RAW footage requires a lot of disk space and even more for proxies and backups. At 5MB per frame, 10 hours of source footage for a feature film would require 4218.75 gigs. If you make a backup (which you should), that'll be another 4218.75 gigs of storage, and if you use proxies (let's say 1080p high-bitrate), add another 843.75 gigs for a grand total of 9281.25 gigs.
                          Crap, Trucci, I also forgot that we shot two RED MX's for a number of those days. So, your calculation isn't as far off as I initially thought for a feature, sir.

                          Sorry about that.

                          SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
                          Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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                          • #14
                            Price per terabyte is pretty damn good now, and it should only get better.

                            But there is value in (say in a feature) having rehearsed actors, nailing it in two takes, and moving on.

                            The theme of this year has been very much like that for me and a feature we're working on. We have everything - Free Red EPIC, raw, cinema lenses. Getting an actor to sequester themselves and perfectly prepare their role - is now the most difficult part of the equation. In a city with a high cost of living, everyone has to work 24/7. Time to prepare is the thing you have to buy and fight for.
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                            • #15
                              Since it's off topic, I won't keep it going, but man... I wish stuff like this was discussed more.

                              SKYPE (best way to talk to me): Camera_Kholi | twitter
                              Avery and Pete: Superseeds Feature Film Trailer

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