Why Apple ProRes RAW Is A Huge Deal + How It Will Effect The Post-Production Landscape

By Noam Kroll

As some of you may have already heard, a few days ago Apple announced ProRes RAW – the next evolution in their ProRes codec lineup. For years ProRes has been the industry standard acquisition and editing format, followed by Avid’s DNxHD.

A decade or so ago when ProRes first hit the scene, it was big news. Post-houses that were used to working with cumbersome Uncompressed HD files were now able to work with a format that was visually identical, but offered smaller file sizes and far more efficient editing. And of course, the codec eventually made it’s way onto countless cameras, software platforms, and external recorders.

Things have changed over the years though, and RAW recording – which was once a luxury reserved only for the highest end productions – is now common even on prosumer level gear. Cameras like the Blackmagic Pocket or Canon C200 have put RAW in the hands of the lower budget/indie filmmaker, which has been incredible, but also has created workflow challenges for many filmmakers and editors.

RAW poses many of the same issues that Uncompressed HD did all those years ago – namely huge files and clunky post-production workflows.

This is where Apple ProRes RAW comes in.

The basic idea behind the format is to allow filmmakers to maintain small file sizes without having to sacrifice the ability to color grade using RAW. This is truly a win-win, as many filmmakers have reverted back to shooting compressed formats on many projects, as RAW can often be overkill for smaller jobs. But ProRes RAW will allow filmmakers to keep their workflow exactly the same as if they were shooting compressed, but will open the door for true RAW functionality, like white balance and ISO adjustments.

When you look at the graph below, which shows relative file sizes next to Uncompressed 12-bit → continue…

From:: Noam Kroll

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