External recorder uncompressed vs prores? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > External Recording Various Topics


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 31st, 2011, 10:27 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Nashville TN
Posts: 480
External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Hi all,

I'm in the market for an external recorder. Based on many things, I've narrowed my choices down. My main decision now is choosing between one that records uncompressed video vs one that records in prores format. I use a Mac as my editing platform, so the prores isn't an issue. I'm wanting a recorder for greenscreen work, and filming VFX plates. This is for my own use (at present time), and not for commercial ventures.

I guess what I'm trying to get opinions on is, would uncompressed be better vs prores, for the types of things I'm interested in doing? Or is it not as big an issue as I'm thinking it is?

I understand uncompressed takes up a lot more disk space. And I'd probably need a raid system for working with. I have an 8 core Mac pro, and ran black magic designs disk speed utility, and it told me my drives were slow.

Just wanted to get some opinions on uncompressed vs prores.

Thanks for the time,
Jeff
Jeff Troiano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 31st, 2011, 11:15 AM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Efland NC, USA
Posts: 2,315
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

The real question here is not which one is better but which one is RIGHT for your projects and workflow (and your hardware limitations).

If you have performance concerns with your storage then uncompressed isn't a good workflow. You will need to upgrade your storage to handle the bandwidth requirements OR you can compress on injest. Personally I think if you are always going to do that then why not do the compression in the recorder and save the time when injesting.

Green screen keyers have gotten really good at pulling a usable key with less than perfect chroma info. They have had to because DV with its 4.1.1 colorspace made it challenging. So with that in mind if you record 4.2.2 you can be confident you will get usable keys.

I would recommend going compressed 4.2.2 using the codec that works best for your edit system.
__________________
http://www.LandYachtMedia.com
Chris Medico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 1st, 2012, 04:42 AM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Don't under estimate the system and storage requirements of uncompressed HD video. 422 24P needs approx 700GB per hour and that storage needs to be extremely fast. Remember that for a safe workflow you will want to make at the very minimum a backup copy of your material so you can double the storage requirements.

In terms of image quality then uncompressed is obviously the best, but it will depend on the camera you are using. There is little point in investing large sums of money on storage media and a system to handle uncompressed if the camera you are using is outputting a sub standard image. Recording uncompressed won't make a sub standard camera into a better camera. It might improve the quality of the recordings, but frankly if the camera is not top of the range, you may as well use a good compressed recorder as you won't see much of a difference and you'll save yourself a lot of aggro and expense.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2012, 10:58 AM   #4
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Singapore
Posts: 38
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

I have a Canon XF300 and recently did a 'budget' green screen shoot & edit - i.e. I didn't have the budget to shoot in ideal circumstances and thus lighting on my screen wasn't as flat as I'd like. I just recorded locally on the camera at 4:2:2/50mbps and have to say that I was REAL surprised by how easy it was to key. I didn't have an easy subject - a presenter wearing a sequined hat and bright jacket, being quite animated - dancing etc, so I shot at about 100/sec... but still had image blur... However the key was very good going thru Final Cut.
I also shot a corporate on F3 with NanoFlash - shooting at around 160mbps, and client was very happy...
So, in my experience, provided you aren't doing complex compositing, then I would avoid uncompressed at all costs. Ideally I'd keep compression between 100-160mbps to be safe, but as mentioned, if on a budget I am confident that 50mbps will work...
Hope that helps.

Chris
__________________
Chris D
www.chrisd.tv
Chris Dickinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2012, 02:09 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Milwaukee WI
Posts: 626
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Hi Jeff,

As discussed, Uncompressed HD video creates a LOT of overhead, not just in storage needs, but editing/playback performance as well. I've shot great keys even with HDV, so I'd say you will be safe with a 10-bit ProRes codec recording 4:2:2 color such as the Atomos Ninja or Samurai devices.

Jeff Pulera
__________________
Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers
Jeff Pulera is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 2nd, 2012, 05:03 PM   #6
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Nashville TN
Posts: 480
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Thanks for all the replies. I tested out my Mac pro, and set up a RAID 0 between two of my internal drives. According to blackmagics speed test program, my RAID drive reads and writes fast enough for any 10 bit 4.2.2 video. My camera only outputs 8 bit 4.2.2 over HDMI. I have been trying to decide between the ninja and the hyperdeck shuttle. Cost wise their not too much different, once you factor in the cost of ssd's. I've been close to pulling the trigger on the hyperdeck, but since I don't have an immediate need for it, I've been holding off.
Jeff Troiano is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 04:02 AM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Bracknell, Berkshire, UK
Posts: 4,957
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Depending on what you shoot, hard drives in the Ninja may not be the best solution. I know Atomos say that they have found hard drives to be reliable and yes, if your on a tripod, don't bump or bash the unit or treat it harshly, then I would agree that a hard drive should be reliable. However, it only takes one small accident to bump, bash or drop the hard drive and you could loose everything on it. I would recommend that you use an SSD in the Ninja to avoid those issues.

Now, if you put an SSD in the Ninja and then compare the costs between that and a Hyperdeck you should look at the cost-per-minute to record on both. Even with the added expense of the SSD the Ninja works out cheaper. Also consider that if you have a 120GB SSD in the Hyperdeck, that's only going to last about 12 mins with 422, so you will realistically need more than one SSD, possibly 2 or 3, while a 120GB GD SSD in a Ninja will last an hour or more (depending on bit rate).

While a simple 2 or 3 drive raid array on a computer might be fast enough to record and playback uncompressed HD, you do need to consider how it will perform if you are doing anything where two stream are required, for example a simple dissolve between two clips or green screen work. Or how will your system behave when you are rendering, reading from the raid and then possibly writing back to it? In terms of processing power, this is not normally too much of an issue as when your working with uncompressed there is no compression processing, so the CPU load is often lower than working with compressed material, but your data bus and ram needs to be very fast in order to pass the large amounts of data required.
__________________
Alister Chapman, Film-Maker/Stormchaser http://www.xdcam-user.com/alisters-blog/ My XDCAM site and blog. http://www.hurricane-rig.com
Alister Chapman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 05:31 AM   #8
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 111
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

I have a Hyperdeck Shuttle and recently aquired a PIX 240. They both record excellent pictures. The Shuttle uses 10Gb / minute.
I have a PC so not sure if this applies to mac and I suspect not, but my system plays back the Shuttle's uncompressed qt files and mixes them in real time. That is, transitions etc. It also renders them very fast and in either uncompressed qt or any number of formats.
The system is Windows 7 64x, Quad core i7 950, 8Gb ram, 2 Seagate 1Tb SATAII(cheap, $50 each), Nvidea GTX 470, Adobe Premiere CS5.5 x64.
Premiere is stable and easy to use. Real time playback is excellent.
The Shuttle is 1/10th the price of the PIX and puts out uncompressed.
For blue / green screening it would be a good solution, though I haven't done this myself.
Paul Kapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 4th, 2012, 10:54 AM   #9
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kapp View Post
The Shuttle is 1/10th the price of the PIX and puts out uncompressed.
Just a clarification for people who don't own one, following along...not if you want to record anything with it.

With a drive that works and records more than 10 minutes, price gets into Atmos Samurai territory.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 5th, 2012, 06:53 AM   #10
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 111
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
Just a clarification for people who don't own one, following along...not if you want to record anything with it.

With a drive that works and records more than 10 minutes, price gets into Atmos Samurai territory.
< 1/5th the price, Shuttle($320)with 256Gb SSD($280) will record over 20mins uc full HD.
PIX 240($3050), with 120Gb drive($200) & caddy($100).
Still just over 1/3 a Samurai's cost($1600 without a drive).
And the Shuttle does Uncompressed.

Last edited by Paul Kapp; January 5th, 2012 at 07:28 AM.
Paul Kapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 01:32 AM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kapp View Post
< 1/5th the price, Shuttle($320)with 256Gb SSD($280) will record over 20mins uc full HD.
PIX 240($3050), with 120Gb drive($200) & caddy($100).
Still just over 1/3 a Samurai's cost($1600 without a drive).
And the Shuttle does Uncompressed.
Right. But who can do a job with 20 minutes? An hour of media would be triple that, $840, but I can't even find that drive for $280, I can only find it for $400 That's $1200 for an hour. I can't go to any job with less than 2 hours of media ready to go. I know that figure varies from person to person, but would ANYBODY have gone to a job with less than 1 hour of tape in their bag? Anything less than 2 hours of media ready to go is not tenable for any pro I know. Most have much more than that.

There's backside too, drive space + backups for post. Anything is doable, the budget just has to be there.

The only time it might be cheaper is if you are a hobbyist (20 minutes is enough) and/or the job requirements are very light. This is just like the Scarlet. The Scarlet is NOT a $10,000 camera. It's $20K, at best.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 01:43 AM   #12
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 2,100
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kapp View Post
I have a PC so not sure if this applies to mac and I suspect not, but my system plays back the Shuttle's uncompressed qt files and mixes them in real time. That is, transitions etc. It also renders them very fast and in either uncompressed qt or any number of formats.
Macs can handle this fine, been doing it on my own MacPro since 2007. Thunderbolt RAID on my Macbook 17 does 3 streams of uncompressed 1080p when empty, 2 when almost full.
__________________
My Work: nateweaver.net
Nate Weaver is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 08:15 AM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 111
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate Weaver View Post
Right. But who can do a job with 20 minutes? An hour of media would be triple that, $840, but I can't even find that drive for $280, I can only find it for $400 That's $1200 for an hour. I can't go to any job with less than 2 hours of media ready to go. I know that figure varies from person to person, but would ANYBODY have gone to a job with less than 1 hour of tape in their bag? Anything less than 2 hours of media ready to go is not tenable for any pro I know. Most have much more than that.

There's backside too, drive space + backups for post. Anything is doable, the budget just has to be there.

The only time it might be cheaper is if you are a hobbyist (20 minutes is enough) and/or the job requirements are very light. This is just like the Scarlet. The Scarlet is NOT a $10,000 camera. It's $20K, at best.
Follow this ilnk for $280 drives:
Sorry, my bad.
I AM a hobbiest, but professionally trained and not all professionals shoot 2 hrs a day, depending on what you're shooting huh? In drama that would be a 60:1 ratio of footage to program.
Not very professional.
If green screening or needing uncompressed, the Shuttle is a nice bit of kit.
If shooting events, do you really need prores?
If shooting more than 20 minutes and needing quality, the PIX is ideal, which is why I bought it, that and it records in DNxHD.

Last edited by Paul Kapp; January 7th, 2012 at 10:39 AM. Reason: My SSD price info was wrong, removed link
Paul Kapp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 08:33 AM   #14
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Efland NC, USA
Posts: 2,315
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Paul,

There may be some differences in the website depending on where you are located. I can't find that drive using your link for less than $464.60 (USD).

Not being argumentative, only reporting that the website doesn't offer the same info here in the USA.
__________________
http://www.LandYachtMedia.com
Chris Medico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 7th, 2012, 10:22 AM   #15
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 111
Re: External recorder uncompressed vs prores?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Medico View Post
Paul,

There may be some differences in the website depending on where you are located. I can't find that drive using your link for less than $464.60 (USD).

Not being argumentative, only reporting that the website doesn't offer the same info here in the USA.
I stand corrected Chris and Nate.
The drive I had linked is obsolete and the one I was thinking of, a Corsair P3 256 is available for approx $400($399 at Newegg).
Paul Kapp is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > External Video Recording Solutions > External Recording Various Topics

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:19 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network