Thread: new to RAW forma and have some questions

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  1. #1 new to RAW forma and have some questions 
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    Hello,

    I currently shoot on Canon Xa25 cameras which shoot in the compressed format of AVCHD. I would really like to save my money to get a BlackMagic Camera that Shoots RAW 4k. I'm a total newb at this RAW format and have some questions.

    1. What is better to record in? RAW Uncompressed or Compressed Raw? Can I still bring out the detail in post productions with Compressed Raw just as well as if I shot in Uncompressed RAW?

    2. Is either RAW format the same thing as 2K, 4k etc or is that different?

    3. What about storage capacity? Can I shoot up to say 5 hours of a concert on one SDHC card using Uncompressed RAW or Compressed Raw, 4k etc or do i need a different storage system?

    4. Is the IRE levels the same? Like is the 75 percent skin tone or the black level still at 0 with a black magic camera?

    I think that's all the questions for now. If I think of More I will add.

    Thanks,

    Bryce
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    These are all super super basic questions that are much better answered by internet searches, where you can often find good explanatory videos. Probably on every topic you just asked about.
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  3. #3  
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    With raw CDNG files you are looking at massively larger amounts of data, even compressed. Uncompressed 2k raw data runs about 3.5MB PER FRAME. The 500GB SSD in my Digital Bolex stores about 90 minutes of footage. The BMC cameras record to SSD or Cfast cards. 4k uncompressed is 4 times that amount of data. Ursa mini specs show 513MB/sec for 4k uncompressed raw.
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  4. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by offbeatbryce View Post
    Hello,
    I currently shoot on Canon Xa25 cameras which shoot in the compressed format of AVCHD. I would really like to save my money to get a BlackMagic Camera that Shoots RAW 4k. I'm a total newb at this RAW format and have some questions.
    Welcome to the forum Bryce. I will directly answer your questions however as DPS said, this are basic questions that can be answered by searching the internet and you will want to do that for more specificity.

    1. What is better to record in? RAW Uncompressed or Compressed Raw? Can I still bring out the detail in post productions with Compressed Raw just as well as if I shot in Uncompressed RAW?
    IMO, this is a matter of your availability of storage. RAW means you are getting all the sensor data that you will have to process in Post. Both Uncompressed or Compressed RAW will give you the flexibility of bring out the details in Post. I don't believe there is any difference in the "RAW" data whether it is compressed or uncompressed however there are some technical subtleties such as you might just be able to process compressed Raw with post tools that can handle it. You can research this on the internet.

    2. Is either RAW format the same thing as 2K, 4k etc or is that different?
    No. RAW format just means you are getting all the data that the sensor reads. 2K and 4K has nothing to do with RAW other than the data that is encoded in it.

    3. What about storage capacity? Can I shoot up to say 5 hours of a concert on one SDHC card using Uncompressed RAW or Compressed Raw, 4k etc or do i need a different storage system?
    Not a chance. RAW (compressed or uncompressed) generates a lot of data. On a BMPCC, one 128Gb SD card can hold about 33 minutes of HD (1080p) compressed (CDNG) RAW data. A 128Gb CFast Card on the URSA can hold about 10 minutes of 4K 1:1 RAW or about 30 minutes of 3:1 RAW.

    4. Is the IRE levels the same? Like is the 75 percent skin tone or the black level still at 0 with a black magic camera?
    I will say yes but again, read up on the technical details that can be searched up on the internet.
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  5. #5  
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    I read up on details about my questions and I'm struggling to figure out what storage device is best if I go with 4k footage RAW uncompressed or compressed.
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  6. #6  
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    Some basic assumptions and math here to help you figure out the storage you'll need. A typical URSA 4K RAW 1:1 (uncompressed) will roughly use 128Gb for every 10 minutes of footage. On the same URSA 4K RAW 3:1 (compressed), the same 128Gb can hold about 30 minutes. Therefore, if you are thinking of shooting 5 hours worth of footage on an URSA at 4K* uncompressed with available 128Gb or 256Gb CFast cards, you will need 30 128Gb CFast cards or 15 256Gb CFast cards. At 3:1 compressed with available 128Gb or 256Gb cards, you'll need 10 128Gb cards or 5 256Gb cards. Obviously, you can also have fewer cards and offload your footage and reuse the cards.

    * Note: URSA Mini at 4.6K RAW will require more cards.

    You can also use something like an Atoch CBOX on the URSA which takes SSD storage and will let you write RAW. You can get 2 x 1TB extreme performance SSD and go that way. Performance will vary so you'll have to do some inquiries and test.

    I hope this helps you figure out what storage to go with.
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  7. #7  
    Take a look at some raw vs Prores tests on YouTube/vimeo. You might find out that Prores is a good enough Codec for your work. You will also find out that basically any Prores flavor is several times better than the avchd you are used to work in with.
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  8. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rotbart View Post
    Take a look at some raw vs Prores tests on YouTube/vimeo. You might find out that Prores is a good enough Codec for your work. You will also find out that basically any Prores flavor is several times better than the avchd you are used to work in with.
    But do you get the dynamic range with Prores you get with raw? Like say something is slightly underexposed or overexposed. Can you correct it as easily with pro res? My friend has the black magic pocket camera and he said he had a shoot where something was way over exposed and he shot raw so he could correct it.

    I understand it's not good to shoot overexposed but my friend had the overexposed camera as a second camera and he wasn't near it as it was stationary. He was filming a wedding and set the exposure but the sun changed over exposing the brides dress.
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  9. #9  
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    RAW will always be more flexible than ProRes. I've overexposed a lot thinking all was lost, but it was still recoverable. But at some point when the information is gone it's gone and nothing can bring it back.
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  10. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorBro View Post
    RAW will always be more flexible than ProRes. I've overexposed a lot thinking all was lost, but it was still recoverable. But at some point when the information is gone it's gone and nothing can bring it back.
    Then how do I determine what format I need for what shoot? Also I edit in a windows computer. Can I edit prores on windows? If so then I can't figure it out. Always gives me error in adobe premirre pro.
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