Z 50 4K Video: ProRes HQ 422 vs Internal AVC 420

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Markr041 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,598
Z 50 4K Video: ProRes HQ 422 vs Internal AVC 420

No, the Z 50 does not provide RAW video via its HDMI port, but it does provide a clean 4K stream. In fact, you can record from the HDMI of the Z 50 uncompressed 422 8bit video. And you can externally record the HDMI stream simultaneously while recording internally on the sd card.

By recording externally you can choose a codec with a very high bitrate and take advantage of 422 color sampling (likely 422 as almost all cameras with clean HDMI output are 422, 8bit only or 10bit).

Internally, you get bitrates of about 125 Mbps and 420. Externally using ProRes 422 HQ you record at 800 Mbps! So, if you are worried that 125 Mbps (up to 144 Mbps) is too little for 4K at 30 fps, then you can bypass internal compression entirely.

So, is there any gain? Because I have a Ninja V I can compare, and I did shooting 4K video both internally and with the Ninja V externally, the latter using ProRes 422HQ..

What did I learn?

1. The HDMI output incorporates the settings of the Picture Function you choose (consistent with those adjustments taking place before compression, not after). That's good.

2. I could not see any difference between the internal and the external clips.

Here are two frame grabs from the graded video - the "grading" is identical for the internal and ProRes clips. They were shot using BeatLog II and they have a wide dynamic range and lots of detail.

I can upload the complete video to YouTube if anyone wants (there are four scenes), but I am pretty sure you won't learn anything.

Nikon DX 10-20 VR lens.

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