ProRes Raw and Atomos Inferno and Sumo – BIG deal for the FS5 and FS7!!

proresraw-logo ProRes Raw and Atomos Inferno and Sumo - BIG deal for the FS5 and FS7!!Over the last few days there have been various rumours and posts coming from Apple about how they intend to get back to providing decent support for professional users of their computers. Apple have openly admitted that the Trash Can Mac Pro has thermal problems and as a result has become a dead end design, which is why there haven’t been any big updates to the flagship workstation from Apple. Apple have hinted that new workstations are on the way, although it would seem that we won’t see these until next year perhaps.
Another announcement came out today, a new version of FCP-X is to be released which includes support for a new ProRes codec called ProRes Raw. This is BIG!


Raw recordings can be made from certain cameras that have bayer sensors such as the Sony FS5 and FS7. Recording the raw data from the sensor maximises your post production flexibility and normally offers the best possible image quality from the camera. Currently if you record 4K raw with these cameras using an Atomos Shogun or similar the bit rate will be close to 3Gb/s at 24p. These are huge files and the cDNG format used to record them is difficult and clunky to work with.  As a result most users take the raw output from the camera and transform it to S-Log2 or S-Log3 and record it as 10 bit ProRes on the external recorder. This is a bit of a shame as going from 12 bit linear raw to 10 bit S-log means you are not getting the full benefit of the raw output.

Enter ProRes Raw:  ProRes Raw will allow users to record the cameras raw output at a much reduced bit rate with no significant of quality. There are two versions, ProRes Raw and ProRes Raw HQ. The HQ bit rate is around 1Gb/s at 24fps. This is not significantly bigger than the ProRes HQ (880Mb/s) that most users are using now to record the raw, yet the full benefit of 12 bit linear will be retained. A 1TB SSD will hold around an hour of ProRes Raw, compare that to uncompressed raw where you only get around 20 mins and you can see that this is a big step forwards for users of the FS5 in particular.

ProRes Raw (the non HQ version) is even smaller! The files are smaller than typical ProRes HQ files. This is possible because recording raw is inherently more efficient than recording component video.

It is claimed by Apple that ProRes Raw will play back in real time on MacBook Pro’s and iMacs without any additional rendering or external graphics cards, so it obviously isn’t terribly processor intensive. This is excellent news! Within FCP-X the playback resolution can be decreased to bring improved playback performance in less powerful systems or mutistream playback.

It looks like you will be able to record from a 4K DCI  from an FS5 or FS7 at up to 60fps continuously. This breaks through the previous limits for the Shogun of 30fps. The FS7 will be able to record 2K raw at up to 240fps and the FS5 will be able to record 4K raw at 100 and 120fps for 4 seconds. Other raw cameras are also supported by the Atomos recorders at differing frame sizes and frame rates.

At the moment the only recorders listed as supporting ProRes Raw are the Atomos Shogun Inferno and the Sumo19 and it looks like it will be a free update. In addition the DJI Inspire 2 drone and Zenmuse X7 Super 35mm camera will also support ProRes Raw.

Whether you will be able to use ProRes Raw in other applications such as Resolve or Premiere is unclear at this time. I hope that you can (or at least will be able to in the near future).

SEE: Apple Press Release.

SEE: Apple ProRes Raw White Paper


300x250_xdcam_150dpi ProRes Raw and Atomos Inferno and Sumo - BIG deal for the FS5 and FS7!!



19 thoughts on “ProRes Raw and Atomos Inferno and Sumo – BIG deal for the FS5 and FS7!!”

  1. Just updated my apple yesterday and noted that in the update there is now official support for eGPU: a feature that you will likely want to use when editing and processing 4k and RAW. it allows a standard apple pro laptop with Thunderbolt 3 (40gb/s) connection to connect to an external GPU in a separate enclosure, making the laptop (or any other TB3 enabled apple computer) expand its GPU procession power.

    1. You have been able to run eGPU’s for a very long time now, but yes finally official support for AMD GPU’s has arrived. No official support for NVIDIA but it’s very easy to do anyway. I run a NVIDIA 1080 eGPU over thunderbolt 2 and the performance boost is amazing.

  2. Embracing the ProRes Raw just because of its lighter data rate, without knowing exactly how it affects the image quality pipeline, is simply foolish. We need more info and tests before jumping into the bandwagon….

    1. No appreciable change to image quality. It’s just compressing the raw data, so kind of like a zip file. It makes it smaller but doesn’t change what’s in there. It’s not completely lossless, but it is much less compressed than most conventional codecs and as a result there are no visible artefacts in the HQ mode.

  3. Hi Alister,

    I’m just wondering what picture profile and practices you recommend for shooting ProresRAW on the Shogun Inferno with the FS5. I’ve been shooting in PP7 Slog2/Sgamut so far as you recommended, but in the new version of Final Cut Pro X the RAW to Log conversion only has Slog3/Sgamut and Slog3/Sgamut.cine as options.

    Also, when shooting in lowlight, should i use Cine4 when recording Raw to the Shogun Inferno?

    Thank you for all your advice on shooting with FS5.

    Kind regards,
    Endre Alsaker-Nøstdahl

    1. Never use a non log profile with raw as doing so will reduce the dynamic range and put the cameras gain at the wrong level for best results. 12 bit linear Raw is rarely a good choice in underexposed situations, it works best with well lit scenes. You can set the camera to PP8 or 9 and Slog-3 and you should still get a correct end result, but there is no benefit to doing this over using the recommended S-Log2 PP7 profile.

      1. So there no difference if I set up S-Log2/S-Gamut or S-Log3/S-Gamut.cine in camera? I notice there no changes within raw output to recorder when you change gammas, but the change happens in color and gain. Even Cine4 looks the same, but gain and color gets affected a bit. When recording Raw to ProRes, Atomos applies S-Log2 gamma, but what gamma it applies in ProRes Raw recordings for the screening purposes?

  4. Full disclosure are you paid by Sony in any way to provide reviews. I feel that if this was an honest review you would have had to say that upfront.

    1. No, I am NOT normally paid by Sony to write reviews. I am paid by Sony to provide training, support events and prepare guides and technical documentation or videos, but I am not normally paid to write reviews. If a review has been paid for then that will be disclosed.

  5. So, just making sure. Do I still have to have the extension module on the Fs7ii to record Prores RAW?

    1. I want to follow up this question as well. I know that I’m 99% sure that you need the extension module but it would be great if you Alister could confirm, because you are the Sony master.

        1. Thanks for your quick reply Alister!

          Don’t you think that the FS5 with the RAW output upgrade plus an external recorder it’s a bit more superior camera and still more affordable than the FS7? even with the FS7+Extension unit + External Recorder it seems that it can get same results for less money.

          Comparing both on RAW / ProRes Raw recording I mean, we all know that using internal recording FS7 is the best between the two 🙂

          1. It depends on what your needs are.

            The FS7 has superior internal image processing. It can add LUT’s without needing a bulky external monitor, it records 10 bit Log (without it having to go through shadow restricted 12bit linear first) with a edit friendly I frame only codecs. It has the waveform exposure tools you need for log and raw. It has 4 internal audio channels. With the exception of cache recorded 240fps, it can do everything an FS5 can do and a LOT more. And it can do most of these things without any extra hardware hanging off it on wobbly arms and mounts.

            If all you want is 12 bit raw, then the FS5 with an Inferno is amazing bang for your bucks. If you want a very small, lightweight and compact camera then the FS5 is a great camera. But if you want versatile, broadcast ready HD and UHD, out of the box then the FS7 still rules the roost. This is borne out by the way the FS7 has become an industry standard camera specified by production companies all over the world. Meanwhile the FS5 remains a more niche camera, popular with high end enthusiasts and independent film makers, but not nearly so widely used by broadcasters and production companies.

  6. I get your point, I love my FS7 but I think the FS5 has been improved so much with its firmware updates and the latest 3rd parties hardware’s, while I feel that the FS7 has been left on a side. As well of the possibility of having RAW its much easier and smaller setup with an FS5, pairing it with the upcoming Atomos Ninja 5 it can be really convenient.

    Thank you Alister. By the way I’ve learn a lot from your articles, please keep doing such a great job!

  7. Hi Alister. I shoot my FS5M2 with the Atomos Inferno almost exclusively in ProRes Raw. On occasion, in low light, I switch picture profiles and shoot XAVC QFHD via HDMI to the Inferno. My question is (and I’ve looked long and hard for this answer) is there a way to turn off internal recording so that I can get an image on the FS5M2’S LCD display? I understand there is no way to send image via HDMI, record internally and see image on LCD therefore I simply want to ONLY record to SSD on Atomos. Thank you very much for your help Alister. I’ve watched many of your videos repeatedly. I appreciate what you do.

    1. Hi again Alister. I answered my own question — simply hit the record button on the Inferno instead of the record button on the camera. Just one more thing to remember. If there are other solutions I’d love to hear them. Thank you again.

  8. Hi Alister (and anyone else reading)

    I’m using an FS5 with an Atomos Sumo and Shogun Inferno and wondering if you’re having the same limitations with Custom Looks as I am.

    When using Sumo in switching mode, I am unable to Record or Output a Custom Look.

    When using Shogun Inferno, I am unable to Record or Output Custom Look when using outputting FS5 Raw. In QHD/UHD I am only able to Output Look. In 1080p I can both Record and Output look.

    Is there something I am missing?

    Thanks in advance.

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