ProRes RAW HQ vs. ProRes 4444

With the new M1 Macs, transcoding to ProRes 4444 from ProRes RAW is blazing fast in Compressor and it’s visually lossless to boot.

8 thoughts on “ProRes RAW HQ vs. ProRes 4444

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  1. Enjoying reading your site, keep going 🙂

    I’ve started using RAW lately with my Sony A1. I’d be interested to see your advice on NR settings in Resolve for handling RAW as it seems an essential stage.

    On a different point I’ve seen you use S-Gamut and S-Gammt3cine for RAW – which do you prefer and have you compared how these map on the vectorscope ultimately for accuracy?

    1. Thanks, Den. My advice is to use as little NR as possible. Be wary of YouTubers who say to enlarge the image 999%, then obliterate noise with NR followed by adding a wallop of sharpening. Use NR sparingly. The highlight tool in A/B mode in the viewer of DaVinci Resolve can reveal whether important detail is being affected. If you’re a Final Cut Pro user, start off with NR on low, no sharpening and evaluate the uploaded YT picture standing a couple of picture heights away from a 55” TV. In HDR, noise in the shadows will be masked by any strong highlights, so cover them with one hand in front of your face as you inspect the near blacks. Here’s a video I made comparing the different NR/sharpening options in FCP:

      S-Gamut3cine is overwhelmingly the choice of most filmmakers but I’ve never managed to get it to work properly so I use S-Gamut3. In either case, I’d recommend shooting an X-Rite Colorchecker and using Hue vs Hue and the vectorscope to correct the colors. Sony cameras nail the rec.709 color space, not so much when it comes to HDR WCG.

  2. Hi, what settings do you use in compressor to transcode from prores raw to prores 4444?

    My prores raw footage is shot on Sonyfx30/NinjaV. In compressor I make the log conversion (S-log3/S-gamut3) without any camera lut applied when transcoding to prores 4444.

    When I bring in the footage to Resolve and do the color space transform to rec709/gamma 2.4 it doesn’t look correct.

    I think the reason may be that compressor prompts you to choose a color space setting, default is rec2020 PQ.

    I don’t know what to do. Any help would be much appreciated!

    1. Thanks, but does that mean that you bake in the camera lut when you transcode from prores raw to prores 4444? Or am I interpreting that wrong?

      1. Sorry, I just saw your comment. It’s not so much about baking anything in as it is about good color management, which means taking us from what the camera saw at the moment of capture to what our display is capable of reproducing to prepare the image for grading. I’m adding the proper LUT to the footage in Apple Compressor, just as I do when applying a REDWideGamutRGB/Log3G10 to Rec.2020 ST2084 LUT when working with RedCode RAW. Baking in implies doing something irreversible and detrimental to the source footage.

  3. Thanks again for your answer. I don’t use technical luts. If I want to transform the footage from one color space to another one I use color space transforms.

    Seems like I just wasted $60 to buy compressor if I can’t adopt it to my workflow.

    Regardless, thanks jonpais for all this information.

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