Panasonic is to release an update giving 12-bit Raw video data output over HDMI for its Lumix S1H full-frame mirrorless camera on 25 May.
It has been developed in conjunction with Atomos, which will update its Ninja V HDR monitor-recorder at the same time to save the S1H output as Apple ProRes Raw files. The result is claimed to deliver “the highest quality video images ever seen from a mirrorless camera”.
The new firmware enables the output of full-frame 5.9K at rates up to 29.97p, plus Super35 C4K (4128x2176 with a 17:9 aspect ratio) at rates up to 59.94p. It can also record 3.5K anamorphic 4:3 at up to 50p. Both updates will be provided free.
Jeromy Young, CEO of Atomos, said: “We are excited about what the combination of the Ninja V and the Lumix S1H gives to our users, providing the choice to record 10-bit ProRes video for fast turnaround projects, or stunning full-frame 5.9K 12-bit ProRes Raw for more creative flexibility. It becomes an extraordinary workhorse – especially for delivering the best HDR possible.”
The unprocessed files are very clean, preserving maximum dynamic range, colour accuracy and every detail from the S1H. The resulting ProRes Raw files allow for greater creativity in post production with perfect skin tones and easily matched colours, ideal for both HDR and SDR (Rec.709) workflows.
Each frame recorded in ProRes Raw has metadata supplied by the S1H. Apple’s Final Cut Pro X and other NLEs will automatically recognise ProRes Raw files as coming from the S1H and set them up for editing and display in either SDR or HDR projects automatically. Additional information will also allow other software to perform extensive parameter adjustments
The Ninja V allows users to monitor the Raw signal on its daylight-viewable 5in 1000-nit brightness HDR screen. Set-up is simple when the camera is attached with colour settings applied automatically. Users can then view the Raw image accurately in HDR in a choice of HLG or PQ (HDR10) formats. The Ninja V offers touchscreen access to tools like waveforms, 1-1 magnification and focus peaking. It then records the ProRes Raw data onto a removable AtomX SSDmini or other SSD drive.
Apple ProRes Raw files are smaller than other Raw files – accelerating file transfer, media management and archiving. It is fully supported in Final Cut Pro X along with a collection of other applications, such as Assimilate Scratch, Colorfront, FilmLight Baselight and Grass Valley’s Edius. Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer are also set to support ProRes Raw in 2020.
One of the first films to use the new combination was a short, Blind Love, shot on S1H and Ninja V in 5.9K ProRes Raw by Polish director of photography Krzysztof Sieniawski. It was shot in one day using one camera in basic handheld and gimbal setups.
“I loved working with the S1H and Ninja; it really suits our style of fast-paced filmmaking,” said Sieniawski. “But it was the image quality that blew me away. I was super impressed by the colours and the latitude the 5.9K ProRes Raw files gave me in post. The image is clean even when shooting at high ISO in Raw, unlike other systems I have tried. I’m looking forward to using it on a feature-length production in the near future.”