ProRes RAW vs Blackmagic RAW – Interview with Atomos CEO Jeromy Young

ProRes RAW was announced a year ago at NAB 2018. While this format is impressive, the actual camera and NLE support have been very slow. At NAB 2019, we got a chance to talk about the future of it with Atomos’ CEO Jeromy Young.

ProRes RAW

ProRes RAW vs. RAW

ProRes RAW is a new flavor of the popular ProRes codecs. This new ProRes format is a more manageable and editable type of RAW, just like other ProRes codecs. If you need high-quality footage that is a reasonable size, while maintaining some flexibility in post, this recording format can be a solid option.

Atomos was the first company to support ProRes RAW recording. A year later, implementation into cameras has been very slow, and no camera or company supports internal recording excepts DJI’s Zenmuse X7. Some cameras like the Nikon Z6/Z7 supports external PR RAW recording, as well as the Panasonic EVA1.

In terms of software support, Final Cut Pro was the only NLE to support it at launch. Nowadays, a few other software companies support it, including Filmlight’s Baselight, Assimilate’s SCRATCH, Grass Valley’s Edius, and Colorfront’s Transkoder. But, Adobe software including Premiere Pro and After Effects still doesn’t support it. As Jeromy Young said, Adobe might handle it in the future. However, a major missing software is Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, probably because they developed Blackmagic RAW.

ProRes RAW vs. Blackmagic RAW

ProRes RAW “version 1.0” as Jeromy Young calls it, is the first step into a new ecosystem. Atomos is trying to push this new flavor of ProRes as hard as possible, and more and more cameras should support external recording in the future. However, the introduction of Blackmagic RAW could complicate things a bit for Atomos. Jeromy Young doesn’t call BM RAW a “competition,” and it looks like Atomos is not closed to support it in the future if customers want it, but they want to push ProRes RAW first.

Is DaVinci Resolve ever going to support ProRes RAW? I’m not sure. In the end, it does not mean both formats will not co-exist in the future as they are fundamentally different – BM RAW only supports Blackmagic cameras, while ProRes RAW can support nearly every camera. A good example is the addition of an external recording RAW option for RED cameras.

Did you already shoot in ProRes RAW? What do you think about its future? Let us know in the comments down below!

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