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Are you shooting in LOG color and using DJI transcoder tool?

Discussion in 'Photos and Videos' started by stevet, Apr 14, 2015.

  1. stevet

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    I spent the last few days playing around with various settings on my inspire while doing a shoot recently and I thought I would share some information about using LOG and then converting to Apple ProRes for POST editing. I have some before and after shots and also a tiny bit of explanation. Granted Im no wizard but thought I would share and see what sort of feedback others have.

    http://ibareitall.com/inspire-1-log-format-and-transoder-tool/
     
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  2. gruvpix

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    Interesting... I mean to me what is the point of transcoding a raw file and getting a larger output, it's not like you will add anything that wasn't there... That said the transcoded file definitely looks better, almost like it put a basic LUT on the footage... I will try this with some of my raw shots though and see.
    Thanks!
     
  3. stevet

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    Btw I added a small update to the blog at the bottom that might answer a few more questions about why to transcode or why not to depending on your situation.
     
  4. gruvpix

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    Right, but my question is still the same. When you all you get from the camera is a 60 mbps mp4 or mov file, what is the point of transcoding it to prores at 475 mbps... I mean the shot is the shot, you're not going to be able to actually improve upon it by transcoding to prores and adding an extra gig or two of data. Like if I took some iPhone footage with my iPhone 5 at 1080p, it's not like converting it to prores is going to make it bluray quality...
    Or so i would think.
     
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  5. stevet

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    For example, H.264 does play well with FCP. Another advantage is ProRes is better codec to color grade in. It’s a much bigger container, meaning it has more headroom when you’re pushing colors around. As result, you might get slightly better result, especially if you’re doing heavy grading. If none of the above apply to your workflow, it would be a waste of time and HD space to transcode to ProRes. Why does it use ProRes? It’s an industry standard format. If you ever work with other editors and need to provide RAW files, they might ask for them in ProRes format.
     
  6. gruvpix

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    Right I understand what it is and why shoot in it. We do professional video production and as such shoot primarily in DNXHD for ultimate latitude and compatibility with Avid MC.
    I guess I will pose it with this analogy. Let's say you have logo you want to use in print, but the file supplied to you was only 150x150 pixels and you need to put it on a banner that's 1500x1500. You can rescale it to 1500x1500 and get a file that is a hundred times bigger (in physical size and memory), but ultimately you are not able to add in data that wasn't there in the first place, so it will obviously look pixelated...
    So what is it about the transcoding process that makes it better to grade? I agree prores plays nicer with most NLEs than the dumb H264's from the camera, but adding 415 mbps of bitrate for purposes of making the shot better or more flexible to grade is akin to blowing up a low res logo and expecting it to be sharp, logically speaking.

    The post by marty.backshore in the thread you referred to hits the nail on the head. It is stupid of DJI to provide a 'transcoder' to essentially artificially increase 'quality' and 'latitude' when all it really does is take up time and memory. But hey guys, we're working with prores now, isn't that fancy!

    Sorry I don't mean to be a dick I just think it's a dumb marketing ploy by DJI. They don't have the in-camera processing ability to spit out even 150 mbps to the microSD, so they try and make it appear more 'pro' by enabling you to transcode to prores which is natively a high bitrate codec.
     
  7. stevet

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    Your not being a dick your asking the right questions, unfortunately I do not have those answers for you, I have reached out to DJI and the people who created the tool to provide more info.

    I did find some other posts here is something that might help explain it, and yes, taking a compressed file and bloating it out might not seem realistic but it has its uses from what everyone is pointing out, now if its needed in todays age of higher processing computers and ability to edit h.264 is a question you need to decide for yourself.. but I suggest maybe reading this or just googling for "why convert h.264 to apple prores 422" to satisfy your own curiosities.
     
  8. The Editor

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    +1

    I always said from day one..... 4k at 60mbps was doomed!

    DJI know an awful lot about multirotor platforms and technology.

    They know absolutely nothing about camera platforms and unfortunately it shows.
     
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  9. gruvpix

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    Word. Same issue with GoPro Hero4 when it came out. After some digging it was found that they used the same bitrate for 4k30 as was used in the Hero3+ for 1080p30. Can't find that article for the life of me but all it does is highlight that they chose to market the camera ultimately to hobbyists and 'prosumers' who are going to get a boner over 4k because it's the future... Why go crazy trying to get 4k in such a small camera when I would think 90% of pro users would prefer 1080p at a higher bitrate to minimize the myriad artifacts present in the raw footage, and actually get something that is usable for high level professional productions. Don't want to cannibalize their higher end systems I suppose... But still, we all know the technology exists.
    Inspire footage: It's just a 3 dressed up as a 9.
     
  10. stevet

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    I would also keep in mind the bitrate you can save to the SD cards. Granted their are some that do 90MB/sec which is getting better and better. I do think we will see updated cameras in the future (maybe in the fall) that might update the bitrate, processing power for this and the codecs used if they are listening to any of us :)
     
  11. gruvpix

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    Yea exactly, we are limited by the microSD as well. But it would be nice to at least have the option to select a higher bit rate for faster cards. The world would be up in arms if DJI released a proprietary memory card a la Sony XQD, but I wouldn't be opposed to this if it allowed for the capture of higher bitrate footage.
     
  12. The Editor

    The Editor Moderator
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    Or a Sony 1TB AXS card.....Oh no, wait a minute.... that would cost more than the Inspire :p:p:p
     
    #12 The Editor, Apr 15, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
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  13. InterMurph

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    There was a thread on this a few weeks ago. Here is a video I did that compares the transcoding tool with a few adjustments in Adobe Premiere Pro:



    The description of the video has a lot of technical info in it as well. And as a bonus, the video demonstrates the tilted-horizon problem that plagues me to this day.

    In short: the transcoding tool produces enormous files with no improvement in video quality. It can be replaced with a few minor contrast and saturation adjustments in the Fast Color Correction tool in Premiere.
     
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  14. tuxevil

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    that video is amazing, clear any doubt i had
    im doing color correction in premier pro cc 2014 as he says, but adding full saturation (200), just a personal taste
     
  15. InterMurph

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  16. gruvpix

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  17. InspiredOne

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  18. AlexanderAF

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    Would you recommend filming in LOG and importing directly into FCP X? Or is it better to film in LOG, use the transcoding tool, then import into FCP X?
     
  19. gruvpix

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    Skip the transcoder.
     
  20. Baldrick

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    Not so fast. Two things to consider before skipping the transcoder.

    Firstly even though the ProRes files that result from transcoding the Inspire H.264.mov camera originals are considerably larger for no gain in picture quality they are a lot less processor intensive in FCP NLE edit systems. Once you start doing more than a mere assembly edit (colour grades, unsharp masks, resizing/enlarging, graphics & motion effects etc) your processor will cry "enough!". Its a lot easier & cheaper to add external drives to boost storage capacity than upgrade processors.

    Secondly as soon as your timeline contains footage from multiple sources (I've just completed a project with Inspire, Sony FS7 & Canon 5Dmk2 footage) or you are shooting footage with the Inspire for others to edit into their projects you will need to settle onto transcoding the various sources into a common format to proceed. ProRes is primarily an editing format, not an acquisition format although that is changing.
     
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