Alexa shooting Arri RAW Vs Pro Res

Many have been asking to view the Arri RAW / Pro Res comparisons.  I was really amazed at how little difference it made to the end result.  I was simultaneously recording both 4:4:4:4 LOGc and Arri RAW in the above edit.

The edit is the Pro Res cut, and the second one is the Arri RAW cut.  At this level I can’t pick a difference, and I’d be keen to hear if anyone out there can see anything different between them !

We screened these in the new cinemas at SAFC and I felt there was a very slight edge to the Arri RAW in terms of resolution but it was only after after a couple of viewings that I could really pick it.

The dynamic range was the same, and I guess in more difficult lighting conditions, the compression of Pro Res might be an extra complication, but given Acres will be shot day exterior and day interior, I’m not anticipating that will factor here.

As mentioned previously, we decided to not worry about shooting RAW.  Shooting Arri RAW in this case is a more expensive exercise because of the additional hire of the recorder, and the huge increase in the amount of data that has to be backed up each day.

As much as the *geek* in me was screaming that it shouldn’t be, I was OK with letting the slight hit in resolution slide, for the sake of getting a smaller package and it meant I could more easily afford the HAWK lens package as well.

Post path here was grade in Lustre @ 2kDPX, render to uncompressed QT, then transcode to h.264.

About johnbrawley

Director Of Photography striving to create compelling images
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13 Responses to Alexa shooting Arri RAW Vs Pro Res

  1. Eric says:

    ProRes 4:4:4:4 is very high level with very little compression. Since the RAW files are larger still, I think you did well to choose the Pro Res way.

  2. Rob Stiff says:

    This actual test was needed! Thank you! rob stiff

  3. What a strange test – Ive just found it linked from DVX user.
    It seems that you are no way exploring what looks the raw file can bring without falling apart ?

  4. Rob Stiff says:

    ARRI has recently updated their ARRIRAW de-bayering software for even better results!

  5. alanbstardmp says:

    RAW seems the simpler way

    • johnbrawley says:

      I disagree.

      ArriRAW requires an extra external recorder. There’s extra cost for that item PLUS the additional storage. It also has to be powered and further restricts what you can do with the camera in terms of rigging.

      As far as I’m concerned, there’s a small advantage in resolution and almost no advantage in terms of grading.

      jb

  6. Aaron Medick says:

    Hi John,
    What size was the screen you projected on to? Was it a screening room or a cinema? What size image did you project, 2K 1080p, etc? I have a project coming up and I’d like to shoot arri raw but an afraid it will be out of the budget. Thanks for any and all input.

    AM

  7. Pingback: Arri Alexa: Shooting in ProRes vs. Arri RAW | DIT Reviews

  8. Mike says:

    Curious what you think about how this test may vary with the new XT models. I wonder if the RAW has improved since this test. I am working on a feature with the XT with some remote locations and limited resources. We have some scenes that we want to really play with darkness and do not have a lot of lighting available. For those scenes I think we should shoot RAW no matter what. However, I feel we can get away with most of the script being shot on 2k Prores4444. The film will hit the festival circuit I am not sure if they have the money for a DCP but they have that in mind. If we go that route I am also curious if the RAW will really stand out there or it will not make a difference. If I find out they are going to end up sending Blu rays I will definitely try to shoot most of the film in Prores4444.

    • johnbrawley says:

      Hi Mike.

      I haven’t tried the XT but I imagine it would be similar to an external recorder anyway. RAW is RAW.

      I think the same as you. For “marginal” shots like low light, you’d see the benefit of RAW Mainly in having a higher bit depth image to work with. ProRes LOG is good, but the log curve means stuff that’s in the bottom end will have less “bits’ allocated so will be harder to colour correct later.

      Good luck !

      jb

  9. Danilo says:

    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get several emails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove me from that service?
    Thank you!

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