Atomos, DJI on Board from Day One with Recording Options for Canon, Panasonic, Sony and Zenmuse Cameras

In a big day for Final Cut Pro X, Apple announced ProRes Raw, a new recording format for the raw output of cameras including the Canon C300 Mark II and C500, the Panasonic AU-EVA1 and VariCam LT, and the Sony FS5 and FS7.

With free software updates to be available for download by existing users on April 9, Apple said, Final Cut Pro 10.4.1 will work natively with ProRes Raw and ProRes Raw HQ files recorded to Atomos Sumo 19 and Shogun Inferno recorders. ProRes Raw recording will also be available next month via DJI’s Inspire 2 drone and Zenmuse X7 Super 35mm camera system. It looks like those will be the only recording options for ProRes Raw for the foreseeable future.

Apple chart comparing ProRes data rates

An Apple-provided chart comparing ProRes data rates indicates both ProRes Raw formats yield smaller file sizes than ProRes 4444.
Source: Apple ProRes Raw White Paper

ProRes Raw HQ is the higher-quality of the two formats, generally requiring at a data rate that Apple estimates to be slightly below ProRes 4444. Meanwhile, ProRes Raw is expected to require data rates a little lower than ProRes 422 HQ, Apple said.

Atomos offered a few more details, noting that its devices can record ProRes Raw 2K at up to 240fps or 4K at up to 120fps, preserving up to 12-bit RGB color, depending on an individual camera’s specs. The maximum supported resolution will be 5.7K at 30fps with the Panasonic EVA1 via a May firmware release. When shooting ProRes Raw, Atomos noted, the Shogun Inferno’s 1,500-nit screen can be used to monitor HDR.

Atomos Shogun Inferno backed by Panasonic AU-EVA1

Raw video files are more computationally intensive to edit, since much of the image processing is pushed from the camera internals to the NLE. Apple said FCPX has a GPU-optimized demosaic algorithm to help meet the demands of real-time multistream video editing.

In Apple’s internal multicamera editing tests, an 18-core iMac Pro could support seven streams of DCI 4K 59.94p in ProRes Raw HQ, similar to the same system’s performance with ProRes 4444. The same 18-core iMac Pro could handle 11 streams of DCI 4K 59.94p in ProRes Raw, similar to its performance with ProRes 422 HQ. Performance can be dramatically enhanced by turning on a lower-resolution Better Performance setting for ProRes Raw in FCP, Apple said.

Apple described the performance characteristics of the new ProRes Raw formats in a whitepaper. Also detailed in the whitepaper are three different color workflows for ProRes Raw: FCP can apply a log function (Canon Log 2, Panasonic V-Log or Sony S-Log3) when footage is imported, then apply the correct built-in camera LUT; footage can be color-corrected without a camera LUT, then converted to the output color space via a custom LUT effect; or the raw files may be color-corrected directly without using LUTs.

But Wait, There’s More …

They will surely be somewhat lost amid all the hubbub surround the first raw ProRes formats, but Apple is also rolling out new closed-captioning tools in next week’s Final Cut Pro release, including a new captions inspector supporting properties including text, color, alignment, and location. FCPX will now support creating captions in multiple languages on the same timeline, and will maintain the captions when videos are uploaded to YouTube and Vimeo. Motion 5.4.1 is being updated with ProRes Raw support, and Compressor 4.4.1 is also getting enhanced captioning tools for viewing and adjusting captions included in a batch or iTunes Store package, Apple said.

The new Final Cut Pro will be available on April 9 as a free update for existing users, or as a $300 download for new users. The AtomOS 9 update enabling ProRes Raw for is a free upgrade for Shogun Inferno and Sumo 19 owners and will also be available April 9, Atomos said. DJI said a firmware update enabling ProRes Raw for users with a CinemaDNG license will be released late next month.

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