APPLE FINAL CUT PRO: Apple Final Cut Pro X FCPX Debates FCP Legacy FCP Tutorials

Re: Will I lose resolution or camera information

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Sam Lee
Re: Will I lose resolution or camera information
on Aug 17, 2019 at 7:29:57 pm
Last Edited By Sam Lee on Aug 17, 2019 at 7:31:31 pm

The only time you truly preserve the cam original is when you concatenate a file. But whenever you re-export that to a different codec or same codec, it would have to go to another cycle of transcoding and you'll not the same bit for bit data of the footage. The lost is small but for those who insists on the highest quality, there is a small degradation every time the footage is transcoded.

I'm reluctant to Optimimze media in FCP X because it transcodes everything to Pro Res codec. I mostly shoot in native AVC Ultra 4K 12-bit on the Varicam series cam and use the Ultra 4K codec for lower disk space consumption vs Pro Res 4444 that can be recorded directly to the Express P2 media if selected. Even though 16 Tb and soon 18-20 Tb hdds will be out, the data and storage costs saving are quite substantial for camera native formats vs Pro Res.

I'd always preserve the original cam footage at all costs. It preserves full metadata values including TC, cam info, shutter speed, ND filter settings, lens info, GPS data, audio tracks layout, shot marks, text memo, etc... When you re-export to another codec, I don't think all of those rich metadata will get transferred. In fact, only the new codec metadata showing the current bitrate, depth is shown. All others cam metadata are completely lost. The H.264 codec is quite compressed already and file size is reasonably small. I don't see any added benefits by trying to perform a lossy trim the raw cam media further. The time spent on saving a few hundred gigs may far outweighs the costs of storage media that's keep increasing in size and decreasing in cost per Mb.

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