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ProRes Film vs Video

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David Mathis
ProRes Film vs Video
on Apr 16, 2016 at 12:25:10 am

I do realize this is probably an idiot question so apologies in advance. Seeing that Cinema DNG files are not supported natuvely in FCP X at the moment I am considering a ProRes workflow shooting in the film mode.


1. Metdata shows up in Final Cut to save time
2. Working in a format that does not require transcoding
3. Roundtripping is time consuming at best though not difficult

So now on to quick questions:

If recording in film will I need to apply a LUT?
What quality will I give up by not shooting in Cinema DNG format?

Thanks in advance!

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erik cantu
Re: ProRes Film vs Video
on Apr 16, 2016 at 4:08:02 am

Shooting in the film mode will deliver unsuitable footage and color correction is needed. Wether you want to create your own look or use a LUT is up to you.
Shooting RAW does give you to full dynamic range of the camera, the larger 2.5k image that give your room for reframing and I've never shot anything in prores that looks as good wait would if I shot it RAW.

I do use it mostly for prores shooting as it is just fine for most of my work and I need the time savings or an edit ready format, but I love when the need arises for RAW and I can shoot that way.

Erik Cantu
Video Producer
RadioU TV & Animal Basement
14 years experience as a fulltime broadcast shooter, editor & broadcast designer.

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Craig Seeman
Re: ProRes Film vs Video
on Apr 21, 2016 at 5:39:48 am

I shoot with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera quit a bit. I avoid cDNG for the most part. I can see it's value in broadcast or film work where you may have to push things very hard. You can push things very hard with ProRes though so unless you're doing extreme grading or FX work, ProRes works fine

Key things to know is that shooting ProRes "burns in" the white balance and ISO setting which would only be meta data in cDNG. I haven't that a disadvantage though since I get it close to where I want it when I shoot and post adjustments aren't an issue.

[David Mathis] "If recording in film will I need to apply a LUT?"

I find I do better without that. It depends on why you're applying the LUT. If it's just for rough editing and you'll later toss or tweak, that could work.

Keep in mind LUTs are not always the panacea they seem to be. If you tend to Expose To The Right or otherwise shot to preserve highlights, blacks, you have to first adjust exposure before applying the LUT. For me, if I have to do that, I then simply to a quick grade and apply it across similar clips in a scene. I use Color Finale. Usually I fix exposure with the "wheels" then add curves and I get my base grade. Of course if you want the look of a specific LUT I can see adding that after adjusting exposure so you have a quick "look" to show a client.

[David Mathis] "What quality will I give up by not shooting in Cinema DNG format? "

Not much. ProRes HQ should be fine even for broadcast work. Again no locked white balance or ISO with cDNG and you can push the grade a bit more extreme if you have to.

A few years back I asked ProApps product manager Steve Bayes if Apple would support cDNG wrapped in .mov in FCPX. He basically responded there's really no need. You're just not going to see the difference even in broadcast work.

Keep in mind Apple has since come out with ProRes 4444 XQ which is 12 bit, like cDNG rather than 10 bit which are the other flavors of ProRes. The Ursa and Ursa Mini can shoot XQ from what I understand although I haven't used those codecs first hand.

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Keith Stark
Re: ProRes Film vs Video
on Jun 3, 2016 at 6:44:06 pm

boys shoot prores, men shoot RAW......

I mostly shoot raw, you get about another stop of range from it plus the extra resolution. You can always convert to cineform with Resolve and keep the native 2400 X 1350 resolution. then you can dump the source footage id you like, I never have.

the best way to use the BMCC / pocket ( for best quality ) shoot raw, process with Resolve, edit with proxys then round trip.
there are many other benefits to using Resolve, like GPU noise reduction.

if you want to use a prores/dnx workflow, then shoot log, then you can apply something like the Captain hook LUT with Lamtri. The video mode produces wonky colors, no one uses it.

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