For 14 years, EditReady has had your back when your NLE didn’t support your camera’s codec or container - transcoding your footage to an editable format, fast. And now, it’s ready for RAW.
Video cameras come in many forms. They differ for the same reason that a painter needs multiple paintbrushes: no single tool is perfect for everything. Digital cinema cameras, documentary, action sports shooters, and DSLRs could hardly be less alike. The same goes for the painter’s brushes: today, there are more video formats than ever. More resolutions, more codecs, more bit-depths, more sub-sampling, more frame rates. There’s a catch though: it’s also more stuff that's likely to be incompatible with other stuff — like your NLE.
Of course, it’s a good thing that in today’s world we have way more opportunities to make creative choices. But we also end up with a bag of mixed formats that NLEs are not quick to pick up on, or for strategic reasons might even never support.
As a filmmaker, you’ll quickly find yourself caught between a rock and a hard place — between a camera and an NLE. EditReady makes this unruly bunch of files play together nicely.
With solid-state drive technology giving a massive speed boost, writing uncompressed in-camera RAW has become feasible for many more vendors than just the upper echelon. That’s why we decided it was time for EditReady to enter new territory, with wide support for RAW camera footage. Here’s how that works.
You can't just "see" RAW files. To make sense of a RAW image, first, it needs debayering, decoding, and probably de-everything else-ing. How to do so exactly, depends on how the camera manufacturers have designed their RAW formats. There’s no single processing recipe to rule them all, and the same goes for the final step in the process: the Log profile.
Log is a favorite topic among DPs, for sure. Ask ten DPs about their preferred flavor of Log, and you’ll get ten different answers. But that’s because you’ve asked the wrong question. Which Log to use is an objective (no pun intended) choice, usually determined by the camera. Treating it as a creative choice can lead to problems downstream in post-production - likely somewhere very near the colourists' reference monitor.
To keep things predictable and in control, EditReady’s RAW implementation goes to great lengths to use the camera manufacturer's own RAW decoders, and decode video files using each specific cameras’ own Log format. That way, everything we do with RAW files is intended to give you an accurate, ready-to-edit media file, that reflects the original shooting intent. The aim is to make a high quality working derivative of the RAW file that is easy to edit while offering as much flexibility as we can carry across to a non-RAW format. We also choose sensible defaults for transcoding to HDR files.
So, which flavors are there? A whole bunch:
Brought to the market with a stellar hardware implementation by Atomos, Apple ProRes RAW is widely supported across a growing wide range of cameras and devices. Apple’s format makes the built-in flexibility of RAW much easier to manage. Natively supported in Final Cut Pro, you can now use EditReady for working with ProRes RAW in all other NLEs.
Blackmagic RAW was already included in previous versions of EditReady, but now supports the latest iteration and color science, used by URSA Mini Pro 12K digital film camera, the Pocket Cinema cameras and the URSA Broadcast camera. Blackmagic RAW is now natively supported in Premiere Pro and Media Composer but remains off the list of supported codecs in Final Cut Pro, so that’s where EditReady can help, by converting Blackmagic RAW into ProRes.
Now that REDCODE, or R3D as most refer to it, can utilize your GPU, it's much easier to work with on everyday computers. With R3D at the core of the RED ecosystem, fluent editing is essential for post-production work involving RED cameras. But even with a fast GPU, proxies make your life easier. To edit in R3D directly, you typically import your R3Ds into, say, Premiere Pro. Then you non-destructively add adjustments for white balance, exposure, and choose a LUT to work with (709, anyone?). Sometimes you just have to do this, but it’s a tangled workflow. You might conclude that it’s a lot easier to reach for EditReady and choose ProRes or another mezzanine codec as your go-to editing format.
EditReady now supports both the original frame-based ARRIRAW format, and the newer clip-based variety, which contains the same data but in an MXF wrapper. ARRIRAW files are very big. Creating smaller, more manageable files with EditReady is a huge advantage across the workflow.
And there’s ARRIRAW on steroids: Codex invented a way to shrink .arx image sequence files up to 40% without losing quality. With the specially built High Density Encoding copy engine available in our sister app Hedge, offloading HDE instead of ARRIRAW results in massive storage savings, and faster backups. As these files can’t be played back in real-time in NLEs, to make full use of this advantage, EditReady can transcode Codex HDE directly to any proxy format you require.
The final frontier, it seems. So many people have been asking us for Venice support in Foolcat over the years but licensing Sony’s RAW & X-OCN technology isn’t exactly cheap. We finally bit the bullet and are now busy implementing Sony’s Pro Video formats. We’ll add it as a minor update to this EditReady release soon.
All this raw goodness is available in the new EditReady, version 22.1.
Already have a license? If bought after Divergent Media joined Hedge in August 2021, the new EditReady is a free upgrade — check your inbox. All others, we've emailed you an upgrade coupon. (Didn't get an email? Just open your EditReady and you'll get a notification.)
Now that EditReady is part of Hedge, we can fully commit to keeping EditReady synced with each supported camera vendor's latest codec iteration and colour science. Besides Sony Venice & X-OCN support, next up are image sequences - something Foolcat will benefit from too, of course. Next, we’ll be looking at Canon, Panasonic, and Phantom.
With the release of EditReady 21.1, we've also implemented Hedge's licensing philosophy. From now on, each EditReady license is perpetual, and comes with a year of guaranteed updates and support. Upgrading an existing license is $39, and adding activations to increase the two activations that come with each license is also $39.
EditReady 22.1 is available for download today. The trial allows for transcoding up to 1 minute of each clip so test it with all your existing footage, for as long as you like.