NAB 2018 Live: Apple’s New Raw Video Standard

Tucked into a relatively modest update to Apple’s Final Cut Pro X comes a new video standard, part of the ProRes codec and one that—if the flurry of press releases promising support is any indication—will quickly become as important to the video workflow as ProRes itself.

A variety of manufacturers offer a raw video format, notably Blackmagic, Canon and DJI (with their Zenmuse X7 which we reviewed here.) Before the introduction of ProRes RAW, users shooting with a raw video format would need to transcode the video into ProRes before working in Final Cut Pro.

Interestingly, nearly a dozen cameras have been announced to work with the new raw format. Sony’s just-announced FS5 II camcorder will also support ProRes RAW, when working in combination with Atomos external readers, bringing the number (as of this writing) to nine devices that support ProRes Raw with the Atomos external recorders.

DJI has announced support for Apple’s format with an upcoming update to their Zenmuse, and Atomos will support Apple’s raw format, as will SmallHD. There’s no indication whether Canon will offer this with their cine cameras at this point. Since Blackmagic uses its own raw support in its cameras and in their Blackmagic Resolve video editing, it will be interesting to see how the company approaches Apple’s raw format.

According to Apple, the new ProRes Raw format results in a smaller file than ProRes 4444, and the files will play back directly on Macs running Final Cut Pro X without the need to transcode, and both ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ can be edited natively in Final Cut Pro X.

We’ll be testing out the new version of Final Cut Pro and the ProRes RAW format shortly, so look for our review. You can find out more information about Apple’s new raw support on their website.

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