10 bit video for occasional videographers? What's your workflow?

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samcd Junior Member • Posts: 35
10 bit video for occasional videographers? What's your workflow?

I just got an A7IV that I use mostly for family and travel photography. However, on 5-10 occasions per year (birthdays, holidays, family vacations, etc) I'll record and edit a short video summarizing the event. I care about how these videos look, but of course I know I'm not making cinema (for example, I'm too lazy to mess around with a variable ND to follow the 180 degree shutter rule). My new A7IV gives the option of recording 10 bit, and I need help deciding whether it's worth it.

What I'm considering:

  • I've been using the free version of DaVinci Resolve, but I'd need to upgrade to the full version ($295) to edit 10 bit video. This seems like a large expense for how little video I shoot.
  • My Intel Macbook struggles to smoothly play 10 bit 4:2:2 video, so I'd probably have to use proxies. This doesn't seem so bad (the A7IV can automatically record them), but lots of people seem to dislike using proxies.
  • Even if I'm delivering in 8 bit for now (I currently upload the videos privately to Youtube so family and friends can watch), it could be nice to go back and re-edit a highlight reel in HDR when more delivery systems can handle it.
  • Dynamic range is important to me, and while I don't think 10 bit would give me meaningfully more dynamic range in S-Cinetone (instead it would give me more gradations between the brightest and darkest tones), 10 bit would enable me to use S-Log3 and get more dynamic range that way. But then I'd have to learn to grade, and I'm happy with S-Cinetone SOOC.

Should I:

  • Bite the bullet, buy DaVinci Studio, and do everything in 10 bit (perhaps with proxies)?
  • Record in 10 bit for future proofing, but convert to 8 bit (with ffmpeg, HandBrake, or Catalyst Browse) for editing right now?
  • Stick with 8 bit?
  • Do something else?
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