The Blackmagic RAW Update: RAW footage a step ahead
Blackmagic Design recently launched their latest RAW update for cameras such as the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and the Pocket cinema camera 4K. This software update is huge for those who are working in RAW footage and need the most out of their shots.
Blackmagic added RAW footage support to their cameras. This is their next-gen codec that possesses the power and quality of RAW with another level of functionality and user-friendly experience. All while reducing file sizes and the need for intensive hardware to process the footage. Blackmagic RAW has superior quality to other video formats being used today. Giving you lossless images which produce an incredibly high-resolution video with high frame rates and higher dynamic range.
The New Demosaic
The new advanced demosaic is the heart of this new format. While other formats require that all processing be done on the computer. On the Blackmagic RAW update, a part of the processing is done on the camera itself so it can be accelerated. These partially demosaiced images along with any of its unique characteristics are encoded and saved on to the RAW file. So you can get more control over features like ISO, white balance, contrast, exposure, and saturation when working on your desktop. These partially accelerated de mosaic files allow for smoother and efficient compression. This means that your computer has significantly less work to do. The result is that your workflow is faster and uses the files while also retaining the important sensor data you need to unlock the RAWs full potential.
Generation 4 color science:
Blackmagic RAW makes use of the new Blackmagic Design generation 4 color science. Which reproduces extremely lifelike and accurate colors. And brings out the most natural skin tones which you can only find on some of the more expensive competition. While the traditional RAW footage makes use of LUTs. The Blackmagic RAW makes use of the metadata to ensure that the footage is left unaltered while giving it the touch the cinematographer intends.
The free SDK lets any third party software applications use the metadata along with the color science for precise image rendering.
Two encoding methods:
Blackmagic RAW has brought flexibility to the table with constant bitrate and constant quality encoding options. This gives you the choice of prioritizing either the image quality or the file-size so you can better handle your production.
Constant bitrate enables you to keep the bitrate set to a maximum. This option is very similar to other codecs that can be set to never go beyond a certain bitrate. Blackmagic RAW has 4 constant bitrates 3:1, 5:1, 8:1, and 12:1. The ratios are based on the unprocessed file size of a single frame. Which makes it easier to understand how much compression is being done. Constant bitrate variations give you the best possible image with predictable file size.
Constant quality as the name suggests means preserving the image quality by having no upper data limit. So more complicated frames with being encoded with a higher data rate in order to preserve the details and keep the image quality on top. Blackmagic RAW Q0 yields the highest quality possible. While the Blackmagic RAW Q5 uses a more moderate yet efficient encoding with smaller file sizes
Faster RAW performance:
Blackmagic RAW is designed to speed up your post production. Having optimization for AVX, AVX2 and SSE4.1 enabled processors, it is multi-threaded and can work across multiple CPU cores. On the other hand, Blackmagic RAW is GPU accelerated and works with CUDA, Apple Metal, and OpenCL. The clips are stored as single files and not as image sequences. This makes it easier to manage file transfers compared to other RAW formats.