Overview of video codecs & file formats a hybrid shooter will encounter with a practical emphasis on editing & storage. Incl. ProRes on the Atomos Ninja V.
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Atomos Ninja V: http://geni.us/mMb23
Samsung 860 EVO 1TB SSD: http://geni.us/sS0U
Black Magic Pocket 4K: https://bhpho.to/2IUAdJk
Codec Spec Tables:
Table of Contents:
0:55 - What Is a Codec?
1:11 - Codec Intent Explained
1:46 - Video File Containers (MP4, MOV, etc.)
2:15 - Naming Conventions: H.264 vs AVC
2:46 - Sony's XAVC & XAVC-S
3:18 - What's the Difference between H.264 & XAVC?
3:34 - The MXF Container (Material Exchange Format)
3:55 - The "Level" of H.264
4:24 - The "Profile" of H.264
4:41 - Brief Explanation of Bit Depth and Chroma Subsampling
5:05 - H.264 for Acquisition, Post-Processing, & Delivery?
6:00 - The Shortcomings of H.264
6:28 - Some Notes on HEVC H.265
6:56 - All-I vs IPB LongGOP on Editing Performance
8:20 - The Limitations of All-Intra
9:17 - Intermediary Codecs: Apple ProRes vs Avid DNxHR
10:30 - The Purpose of Proxies: Should You Convert H.264 to Edit?
11:35 - Using ProRes & DNxHR as Acquisition Codecs
12:02 - Bitrate Comparison (LongGOP vs All-I vs ProRes vs DNxHR)
14:17 - Why the Black Magic Pocket Cinema 4K Is So Special
14:36 - Atomos Ninja V: The Best Solution for Hybrid Shooters
15:40 - SD Cards vs SSD Price/GB (SD Cards Are Too Expensive)
16:30 - Practical Conclusions: Picking the Right Codec
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#codecs #compression #atomos
Question: Im using the GH5 with the Ninja V and i usually record in DNxHR. According to Atomos and the meta data on the files, DNxHR HQ captures 8-bit and DNxHR HQX captures 10-bit. How is it possible that both HQ and HQX produce the same file size?
Oddly enough, though packed with info and technical terms, the way you deliver is very easy to understand, and I found myself able to keep up with you, which is strange for me since I've always had a hard time with the technical side of digital filmmaking. Keep it up!!!
Just finished a shoot with an Arri Amira as A-cam and Fuji XT3 as B-cam. Arri footage in ProRes422HQ and the Fuji XT-3 in 10-bit H265 (internal) with the Eterna picture style. Fuji footage was transcoded in FCPX to ProRes422 (no HQ option in FCPX). The footage matches nicely and the Fuji is a great B-cam for the Arri, but recording H265 internally is not really a viable option for longer shoots as I got the overheating icon a few times. It never shut down , so nothing lost, but for the next shoot I'm adding a Ninja V to the Fuji, to go directly to ProRes422 and save time afterwards as well.
Alexa XT+ Workflow:
ARRIRAW 4:3 Opengate (Codex Drive)
>> Intermediate: ProRes 4444 XQ
>> Proxy’s: ProRes 422 Proxy
>> Delivery: DCP 2k
This is my favorite example of saving 50% of space by transcoding to ProRes and still keeping the quality at a maximum. LightIron introduced me to this method and it is genius.
Greetings from a DIT, really enjoyed the repetition of all the abbreviations!
Hi Gerald! Question to which I can't find an answer to - Which Atomos ninja V codec would be best to record from the a7III, without any quality loss comparing to internal recording, but not blowing up file sizes like crazy? is 422 LT enough or should it be at least 422?
FCPX offers a choice of rendering a project in ProRes422LT, 422, 422HQ as well as ProRes4444, ProRes4444XQ and uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2. With footage recorded in 8-bit on SonyA7iii or in 10-bit on NinjaV is there a point in editing in 4444 codecs? And would it require a higher spec on the Mac? Would you say 422HQ is the "standard" editing option in this case?
Where have you been all my Youtube LIfe...? you are a wealth of valuable, technical information, presented with absolute clarity and precision that doesn't bore me to sleep...you are my Youtube hero of the month...maybe the year...!
I just came across the video today and it was darn useful. Great work Gerald. I have been your subscriber for a while but this video was just awesome and made me understand this dark world of codecs so easily. Keep it up
I just got the Ninja V and your video was incredibly helpful. I've got a lot of figuring out to do yet, but I'm a lot closer to understanding how it works and what to do with it after watching your video. Nice one Gerald!
Hi Gerald! I love your content and I wanted to ask you for a small favor. I'm between buying a Black Magic Pocket and a Sony A7III but haven't decided yet. The fact is that I do not feel confurtable with the 4:3 sensor, but the BMPCC has way better image processing than the A7, so, in your opinnion, which one is the best of these cameras?
@Gerald Undone I'm looking for a camera that can give me both really good quality and also portable. I'm saving money for a C200 too but it's a mid range goal. Meanwhile I want to upgrade from my 80D which is very cool for photography and some small video stuff but it's not quite a great camera.
I have a question, I shoot with sony and the bitrate for 4k 24fps is 100mbps if I shoot internally. So, what if I use external recorder like mentioned and shoot in ProRes 422 HQ? Is it also going to increase the bitrate and surpass the internal recording bitrate?
Still working with QNAP to get the TVS-472XT working thru the Thunderbolt 3 - got four 1TB SSDs in a RAID 5 for optimum performance (FCPX on 2018 MacBook Pro) and I got two 1TBs to swap out for my Ninja V - in theory it should all work...
Lots of good information. Thank you. But GEEZ Dude, take a breath. I would rather watch a 30 minute video that was easier for my brain to absorb than an 18 minute video where you spit info at me so fast that I can barely catch it all, and I was already familiar with all the concepts. Plus you get more watch time that way too.
Fantastic, intense with maximum information density. Amateur here and saw Proxies in Corel VS X9 had NOOOO idea on the what or why - this could open a new world of speed. Keep making quality content that doesn't squander time on fluff (except at the end) but that is ok because I've made highly technical how to videos and it is hard even with off camera voice overs of stills or slow mo to say everything correctly. 5 stars and big thanks. You also elicit meaningful thoughts in the comments vs the all to common hate-speak and techno babelists.
Great video! Thank you. Im waiting for my Ninja Inferno (not Ninja V). SSD 860 EVO is not from the list of compatible drives for your Atomos. And you say it works good. How do you think can it work with my Ninja Inferno? I dont want to buy expensive PRO only because its not included to the compatibility list )) I will be waiting for your reply. Thank you for this very informative video )
I think the EVO will work very well. It's an excellent drive. That list isn't a list of the only drives that work, but rather the only one's they've tested and can say for certain do work. But I've had no issues with the EVO after months of everyday use on the Ninja V.
How would you characterize the EOS R that shoots 4k 8-bit at 400 MB/S internally vs something like the Sony a7 iii which shoots 4k 8-bit at 100 MB/S internally. Even at 8-bit does the higher bitrate of EOS R translate to any better image quality or benefits in editing?
So you’re probably not responding to this anymore... but just on the off chance... what is your preferred recording codec for the gh5? I rented one recently for a personal project and was unprepared for the challenges of dealing with those files editing.
Really very valuable stuff here! Thanks so much for sharing this, bookmarked as I'm sure I'll be returning to this as a valuable reference resource. I now finally understand why the All-I shot on my Fuji XT-3 is virtually uneditable on my spinning HDD (ditching that tomorrow)! Also I feel a lot better about buying a Ninja V yesterday now - I'd been on the fence looking at high capacity SD cards and the alternative monitor-only screens. Great channel, keep it up Gerald!
@Gerald Undone Thanks yes - it was very helpful and did cover a lot. Some questions remain - like when is it best deployed vs LOG and I need to properly research the BT.2020 workflow in Resolve, but I'm off to a solid start thanks to you sharing your knowledge. Cheers!
@Gerald Undone I know how much work goes into making these and it's much appreciated! If I may put in a request for a future video, I'd love to hear your thoughts on Hybrid Log Gamma. I shoot Fuji XT3 which has this feature and I know it's coming to many cameras. However I'm unfamiliar with where it's best applied, the rec.2020 workflow, whether a 10-bit monitor is an essential part of the chain, what can currently output HLG etc and where I might choose it over shooting LOG. Colourist work is a big part of my job now and I'm fascinated by this, only it's tough finding real-world breakdowns on what its strengths are and how to deploy it! Wonderful stuff here, I'm off to watch more, cheers! ** Update, just found a video you posted on this subject!! Off to watch that! Cheers :)
I use different things. I use the battery eliminator that came with it when I'm able to use mains power, other times I'll use NP-F batteries. And I have it incorporated into some rigs running on a v-mount battery. Here's a recent video I did on that: https://youtu.be/J10HUmeMV6A
Thank you for Your informative and very usefull videos. I learned a lot from this one as usual. I will be looking into an external recorder and a cage for my GH4 to get 10 bit 422. I have a 256GB class 3 SD card that cost me an arm and a leg to purchase. A shogun and a 1TB SSD does not look that expensive anymore considering the improved quality and the external monitor benefits. Keep up the great work Gerald :)
Brilliant, I'm a photographer that is relatively new to video. Again great pace with your delivery, I understood every word. I happen to be using many of these efficient settings by chance, I just know why now.
Seriously Gezza, you are the man, how do you produce so many words (that actually make sense) as fast as you do? I am still not convinced that you are not some sort of hybrid human. I have been shooting digital video for 13 years and have just learnt more in the last 18 minutes about codecs and compression than I have by reading a mountain of guff from all sorts of sources. I would have happily paid you for all this info. Keep them coming bro you level of detail is astonishing!!
@Gerald Undone HI Gerald, i wonder if you could help me with another query? I have just got the Sony A7lll and a Ninja V, but i cannot seem to get the combo quite right. For most projects i would just like to shoot 1080p at 25FPS, (we are in the UK) but in can only seem to get the A7 to output 60p or the Ninja to record 4K 25FPS Any clues?
I know this is gonna be a dumb question (I didn't take this class at college, I never hung out with cones) but if you use a dslr and run it through a ninja, it'll make it record in 4.2.2? So you can capture more info from a consumer camera?
😂😂😂 "Dislike button twice" I'm stealing that line hahaha
OMG, no longer will I need to spend hours reading websites with very difficult to understand and very incomplete information about important tech stuff because I found you! THANK YOU!!! You are amazing! And extra extra extra points and thanks for taking the time to put in the captions and diagrams. I don't know if they're a pain for you to add in (I've done similar), but they MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE! THANK YOU!
Looking forward to Your Videos as much as this game changing upgrade (from a guy who gave up the dream in the 70s when I realized I could not afford to shoot 16mm and get anything close to whet we can do now!)
Like you my brain is not impeded in its speed. You do a great job of pacing ... considering you're holding back from your RT speed...I understand. : ). Great content, well organized. There are only a couple other video tech people making videos as thorough and concise as these. Well done! ... I mean well UNdone. CIAO
@Gerald Undone Thanks Gerald. Reading around this seems to be a common complaint. Sony's cameras suffer the same issue with external monitors. 150ms would be too long for some of my work - but at least I could use it for exposure related purposes and fixed positions.
I think it's because you're seeing both images juxtaposed. When you're shooting you're concentrating on the work and it doesn't "feel" like it's that delayed.
I tried to do a bit of a test on it. Nothing scientific, but it seemed to be around 150ms. It seems to vary based on camera though. The GH5 might be a worse offender. That's the one I tested at around 150ms.
@Gerald Undone hmmm, how could it be exaggerated in the video? It's literally capturing the image on the external monitor. I'm tempted to purchase an external monitor, but I film skateboarding - even 250ms of latency could cause me to miss a change of direction. Great video by the way. Your channel is a goldmine.
what do you believe is the ideal DNxHR codec to convert my GH5 footage that was shot using the entire sensor (5k anamorphic) and 4k60p, those are the 2 that i shoot in the most. occasionally i shot in 10bit 200mbs 4k. But i never use all intra. What should i encode to for editing in resolve. I dont want the codec to be overkill and huge but i dont wish to loose any quality. Would DNxHR sq or lb be acceptable? right now i use prores HQ and SQ on a win 10 PC i would like to give DNxHR a go and see if it performs better during the edit.
@Gerald Undone So i did do a little encoding test with ffmpeg and i noticed one thing that leads me to believe i may have done something wrong or DNxHR SQ really is 6x bigger file size than ProRes SQ... Yup i rendered a clip in ProRes SQ that came out to 1gb and the same clip rendered out to 6gb as DNxHR SQ. My PC struggled with the DNxHR SQ clip but played the prores clip with ease. Is this normal?
My current workflow is GH5 + Shogun Inferno ProRes HQ acquisition, SOMETIMES a ProRes Proxy intermediary, and finally a ProResHQ in case I need to re-export and a H.264 for web distribution.
I feel like camera companies now realize the potential for external recorders, so they need to figure out a good internal proxy codec so I don’t have to create them after the fact
Sounds good. Well researched. Tightly edited. But I can't stand to watch it. The motormouth editing with the jump cuts makes it too stressful to watch. Remember: Our brains evolved in air-breathing mammals. The time needed to inhale is time our brains need to process the information you are speaking. Without regular pauses your thoughts become a streaming word-salad that, admittedly, sounds impressive. But the content becomes a streaming word salad. Watching or listening to a machine talking is not how I learn. Relax. Plan your content, and speak with pauses and inflection for emphasis. That will give us time to consider your thoughts, and the planning will actually make your video shorter and more useful...even with the pauses. Thanks. Sorry I couldn't watch more of it.
my workflow. audio in zoom h5n then adjusted line out to in canon g30. From g30 out to 4k hdcp 2.2 splitter to feelworld 1200:1 contrast monitor and other hdmi split to computer black magic 4k mini for capture of ffmpeg pro res HQ 10bit to 2 500g ssds raid 0 using virtual dub(compatible in WINDOWS with Blackmagic 4k mini) to straxrip to change container from .avi to .mov. Import into davanci resolve 15 studio for editing. The capture file never gets reencoded thru the whole process. Export davanci to prores 422 hq at 4k. The 4k prores encoded in straxrip to YouTube at 45mbit/sec 4k even though its 1080p which results in a wonderful less compressed video for you guys. I made videos how to do this and offer my modified software for windows users if you want to save 1000 bucks on atomos IN STUDIO recorders. I like the ninja V monitor but my 760 feelworld monitor supports 450 cd/m² Brightness so its peeking 1/2 HDR but way more than SDR. This gives me zebras, focus peaking, false color, and vector scope. Also I never have to PUT MY GRUBBY FINGERS ON MY MONITOR, Everything is on buttons below, LOL. I use false color then use xrite to calibrate colors in davanci resolve and grey target for white balance. I then use false color plugin to adjust my lift, gamma. and offset. Then apply denoise(studio version only) as a prores hdmi has pixels in the signal. H264 in camera the denoise is added before recording to the 2 card slots. 3 yn 300III lights in soft boxes. No FAN NOISE. Im wondering about atomos ninja V as it has a fan. This setup also supports HDR capture and the making of REC2020 triggering of HDR TVS. I edit on a sony HDR 65 inch TV. Pc is i8700k with ROG Max hero board and amd 470RX HDR card. More than enough power to edit and scrub footage in davanci resolve studio. My HDR tv is calibrated with color test bars to my camcorder test bars as well as my feelworld monitor. The signal matches your standard color for broadcast on cable. I wanted my picture to match what you see on tv across my entire setup. I do own a spider calibration tool with a sensor that goes on the screens if I want but color bars can be used as well in your camera can send them out. My camcorder supports 2 types plus a clean hdmi out. The camcorder exactly like the profession XAmodels. Im going to buy a HDMI to SDI soon from black magic and run SDI cables in my walls to my pc in living room into the black magic 4k mini SDI in and then my studio will be complete. My splitter can remove hdcp 2.2 and capture any HDR signal via 4k bluray or Netflix but I do not condone this but have the hardware to do it with ease.
Liked, Subscribed, and best of all was that you answered all of my questions - literally - all of them. I'll mention you in my academy awards acceptance speech one day. "I'd like to thank the Academy for this wonderful award but I'd like to tell you about the first I got 'undone' as a videographer".
About to invest in a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema 4K. I currently have two 1TB external SSD drives (Samsung and Sandisk). I plan to shoot in 4K at 24fps in Prores HQ. I'm shooting a pilot (about 30-40 minutes, all said and done) over a six day shoot. I'll edit with Final Cut Pro. How much more memory would I need to invest in in order to make this happen without hiccups?
recording with my a7iii on the ninja v seems to give me massive files that don't have much better quality. Can anyone tell me how i can record on the ninja v to make reasonable file sizes? trying to avoid proxies and stay consistent with 2 other A7Rii's that are on the same shoot, which are without external recorders.
@Gerald Undone thanks for the response! wish I knew this before buying... I can not seem to find the audio in pp either, are they hidden somewhere in the mov files? Was hoping the ninja V would make my workflow easier, everyone raves about it. absolutely love using it for exposure and playback however the files and codecs make it cumbersome. your vids are amazing Btw, thank you thank you!
The files will be bigger than on the a7 III, you can change the type of codec you are using however to save space. For instance when using ProRes, you'll have the option of "LT" which will make smaller files.
Amazing content. Thank you so much for all your hard work on these videos.
To summarize for the Sony A7III, the two main advantages of purchasing the Atomos Ninja V are being able to get 8-bit 4.2.2, and a higher quality codex, such as DNxHR for PC into Premiere Pro, which is less compressed and easier to edit? Am I even close?
Bonus: you definitely earned a subscriber!
Hi Gerald, really interesting video for me as I'm pretty new to all this and don't really understand it all just yet. II just purchased the ninja v to go with my a7iii. Apologies if I have missed the question but I bought the Samsung 860 pro 500gb for £126, then notice the 860 evo 1TB fro only £139. Do I really need the pro? or will the evo be just fine like you have in your vid? .
Having a good relationship with others.
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