Thread: The best compromise file format?

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  1. #1 The best compromise file format? 
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Melbourne, Australia
    So I'm looking for advice on the best file size to shoot on to keep dynamic range while minimizing file size. Atm I just simply don't have the hd space, enough sd cards etc or a good way to dump footage on set. So unfortunately I have to compromise as anything I'm doing at the moment is for my own enjoyment and experience. While RAW or 3:1 is amazing, for the moment it's making me hesitant to create anything.

    I'm currently using a micro and want to know which codec would still shed a nice grade-able image to a degree without being so hungry?
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Hugovandijke's Avatar
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    May 2013
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    I'm sorry, but I don't agree file space is a good argument. Fast SD-cards and external hard drives have become SO cheap, it should never hold you back from shooting anything. A Sandisk 128GB SDXC EXTREME PRO is only 60 bucks! A 5TB external hard drive goes for 140 bucks. Storage is such a small investment, but the footage is so much better. Remember: you can never take it back, if you were to shoot projects in anything less than ProRes HQ. And I guarantee there will come a point where you'll kick yourself for not doing so.
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  3. #3  
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    Oct 2016
    If you are that strapped for space you should be fine with prores 422. It really depends on what you are shooting, lighting situation etc. SD cards for this camera are cheap. Sell an old phone or mp3 player or something. For what it's worth I recently worked on a pretty big NDA Fox show that was shooting on Alexas and prores was good enough for them. I don't remember if it was 4444 or HQ but unless you are shooting something where you need to really extract every last bit out of your sensor those should be fine. Just make sure you nail your white balance before you roll.

    Edit: the bitrate between the prores is not a huge amount. I never shoot lower than 422, and stick to either HQ or 3:1 most of the time. Doesn't take up much space and if you have a big enough project where you need more than say 128gb you should budget for storage.
    Last edited by GeranSimpson; 09-08-2017 at 03:49 AM.
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  4. #4  
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    Feb 2013
    When I carried out a casual test with my BMPCC, the most obvious hit in image quality came from Lite down to Proxy. I've shot lots of projects in 422 and there was plenty of room for basic grading. Someone else will know better than me, but I don't think that available DR changes much between the ProRes options.

    Especially if you're shooting for fun, I really wouldn't get hung-up on this stuff. Select 422 and find something interesting to film.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member DPStewart's Avatar
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    Feb 2015
    The Puget Sound
    In the name of all that is good and pure in Humanity....please don't shoot the Pocket or Micro in ProRes. Just use RAW and Odin will send his messengers of doom elsewhere.
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
    Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine
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  6. #6  
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2012
    I find Pro Res 422 a great compromise between quality and file size, very underrated feature. LT seems ok, and proxy absolutely sucks.
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