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Apple Launches New ProRes RAW Video Codec | DJI Drone Users Set To Benefit Greatly

By Justin Heyes on April 7th 2018

All images by Ryan Longnecker

Apple has introduced a new evolution of their ProRes video codec in ProRes RAW. It’s got a focus on higher dynamic range, HDR, all whilst having the benefits of the ProRes file sizes, and was introduced in tandem with the new Final Cut Pro X. Here’s a quick look at what it is:

ProRes RAW

ProRes RAW is a new format from Apple that offers the quality and workflow advantages of RAW with the stunning performance of ProRes. With ProRes RAW, editors can import, edit and grade pristine footage with RAW data from the camera sensor, providing ultimate flexibility when adjusting highlights and shadows — ideal for HDR workflows. And with performance optimized for macOS, editors can play full-quality 4K ProRes RAW files on MacBook Pro and iMac systems in real time without rendering. ProRes RAW files are even smaller than ProRes 4444 files, allowing editors to make better use of storage while providing an excellent format for archiving.

Final Cut Pro editors can work natively with ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ files created by Atomos recorders. The format will be available as a free update for owners of Atomos Sumo 19 and Shogun Inferno devices.

DJI will be amongst the brands to benefit from such an update.

From the lowliest Spark to the cinema-grade Zenmuse X7, DJI has established itself in the aerial photography market to the point where its name is almost synonymous with drones themselves. The pinnacle Zenmuse X7 has set a high bar with its 14 stops dynamic range, 6k DNG, 5.2k Apple ProRes capabilities. Alongside these features and world’s first Super35 digital camera designed for aerial cinematography, established DJI as a market leader. The best is about to get better with ProRes Raw.

[REVIEW: DJI Inspire 2 & Zenmuse X7 Review | A Pro Cinema Tool That Makes A Studio Out Of A Single User]

DJI Zenmuse X7 Firmware Upgrade

DJI is ready to release a firmware upgrade for the Zenmuse X7 that brings support for the new Apple ProRes RAW format along with a new recording mode, which enables 14-bit 23.976 fps, capturing less noise, smoother color transitions and tones while preserving significant detail in both shadows and highlights.

The new firmware will allow for a fast and lighter workflow. With more information and bit depth captured file sizes will increase as well, so the Zenmuse X7 has adapted to utilizing the exFAT file system, allowing a single recording can now be recorded up to 32GB.

We are thrilled that the Zenmuse X7 has become the first aerial camera to support Apple’s new ProRes RAW standard,” said Paul Pan, Senior Product Manager at DJI. “Paired with the workflow and imaging improvements announced today, the Zenmuse X7 camera and Inspire 2 drone continue to be an unmatched platform for the most demanding projects in aerial cinematography.”

Apple ProRes RAW

The Zenmuse X7 is already capable of capturing 6K CinemaDNG RAW or 5.2K Apple ProRes footage. The latest Apple codec will offer the significant workflow advantages of RAW combined with the performance of ProRes.

With ProRes RAW, editors can import, edit and grade pristine footage with RAW data from the camera sensor, providing ultimate flexibility when adjusting highlights and shadows, ideal for HDR workflows. ProRes RAW files are even smaller than ProRes 4444 files, allowing editors to make better use of storage while providing an excellent format for archiving.

Availability

The ProRes RAW support will arrive as one of two firmware updates DJI has planned. According to DJI, the first of the firmware updates will arrive later this month providing 14-bit CinemaDNG recording. Later next month. The company will bring support for Apple ProRes RAW, as well as the exFAT file system. Inspire 2 users who have the RAW activation package now have support for ProRes RAW as well, Allowing for native recording for the new format.

Users can download the firmware using either the DJI Go 4 app or the DJI Assistant 2. For more information on all the new updates, head over to DJI’s DJI’s website.

About

Justin Heyes wants to live in a world where we have near misses and absolute hits; great love and small disasters. Starting his career as a gaffer, he has done work for QVC and The Rachel Ray Show, but quickly fell in love with photography. When he’s not building arcade machines, you can find him at local flea markets or attending car shows.

Explore his photographic endeavors here.

Website: Justin Heyes
Instagram: @jheyesphoto

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