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Top-quality DSLR Plugin 5DtoRGB Goes Version 1.5 for Both Mac and Windows

08.11.11 @ 1:19PM Tags : , ,

About a year ago I was one of the first to call attention to an HDSLR plugin in development named 5DtoRGB. 5DtoRGB was designed to suck the utmost quality out of HDSLR files by transcoding them in 10 bits without using the ubiquitous, problematic, gamma-shifting Quicktime engine. Now beta releases of version 1.5 of the plugin are available for both Mac and Windows. Chris Marino takes an excellent video look at the new version:

Extra credit to Chris for using one of the greatest soundtracks of all time, Curtis Mayfield’s Superfly. Since he’s using Adobe’s NLE, it’s also worth noting that Adobe is offering 50% off (yes, half) Premiere Pro and Production Premium CS5.5 for editors disenfranchised by Final Cut Pro X. More details here; Adobe’s offer is good until September 30th.

In case you’re not familiar with 5DtoRGB, here’s the original blurb:

5DtoRGB is an awesome tool that extracts every last drop of video quality from cameras that record to the AVC/H.264 video format. Cameras like the Canon EOS series of HDSLRs record video in this format with subsampled YCbCr color. Because of this compression, the video is at risk of massive quality loss during the post production pipeline. By using a very high quality conversion process, 5DtoRGB gets you as close as possible to the original data off the camera’s sensor while putting the brakes on any additional quality loss. In short, it’ll make your footage look just plain amazing!

Previously, I’d also run some tests of my own (rare, I know). Here’s an animated .GIF I exported, which switches between MPEG Streamclip and 5DtoRGB. 5DtoRGB is the smoother one (hint: keep an eye trained on the vertical post of the red bike frame):

Hit the link below to download Version 1.5 of the plugin, which takes advantage of your computer’s GPU as well as 64-bit processing. The original 5DtoRGB was slooooooow to render; hopefully the new version improves on that a good deal.

Link: Rarevision 5DtoRGB

[via Wide Open Camera]


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Description image 26 COMMENTS

  • Anyone know how 5DtoRGB compares to DNxHD via Adobe Media Encoder or to Cineform?

  • Koo,
    Looks like 5DtoRGB wins over MPEG Streamclip, but how do you find that 5DtoRGB stacks up against Magic Bullet’s Grinder?

  • What I don’t understand: why convert 5D footage at all? It’s already in a Quicktime format, and can be imported into pretty much any editor these days natively. I just don’t get all this Cineform / Avid / MPEG Streamclip business… What benefit is there?

  • I’ll keep an open mind about this and give it a try out when I get the time…But how can trans-coding/re-rendering improve on originally acquired material? How can it “improve” on the original 8 bit 4:2:0?

    Edius 6 on my i7 Sandybridge cuts though hi bit-rate AVCHD with ease…no need for proxies… or for smoke and mirrors.

  • yes, count me in too.
    i dont get it.

    i mean well as far as speed is concerned, while edius is indeed very fast, some editors need intermediate codecs to work smoothly and thats understandable.

    but how can you increase quality just by upsampling?that i dont get.

    if the workflow was to open an 8bit 4:2:0 video and denoise, deartifact and then add just a small amount of fine monochrome noise and then save as 10bit 4:2:2 then it would make sense(even though you dont have to do that and then reopen the file to edit it, you can do all this at the same time and just do a final export)

    or maybe its a final cut/apple mac thing that i dont understand.
    maybe in final cut when you open a 4:2:0 8bit file your project and everything you do in it is being calculated in 4:2:0 8bit and being kept there.
    like trying to assemble and ikea chair inside the box you purchased it : P

    i just dont get it.

    • You’re not improving on the original quality per se. But to edit and output, your machine is processing and converting the original files one way or another. 5DtoRGB attempts to offer a superior processing/conversion pipeline.

  • There is a 5DtoRGB Batch app out there that works well as was updated on 8/9 to work with the newest release. I’ve just finished using it and am happy with how it functions. AND it’s free :)
    Here’s the link:

    • Do you know if there’s an equivalent for Windows platforms? Seems this script is only availible for Mac OSX… Thanks!

  • To those asking what the point is; to some degree it’s of course down to personal taste. But FCP7, for instance, is much happier with intra-frame than inter-frame codecs. Premiere pro doesn’t really care too much, but for me the reason to transcode is After Effects. You will definitely see an improvement in performance, essentially regardless of the machine you run it on. And clearly, if you are transcoding, you want the best engine doing that so you don’t lose quality.

    Besides, it is in fact possible to subjectively “increase” the quality of the footage with some smart processing. That is surely shown by the red bike frame image above? You can do various channel-dependent tricks to reduce the effects of the 4:2:0 subsampling. Note I said subjectively; clearly this is not adding any information which was lost in the original encoding.

    • Right. Premiere Pro CAN work with h.264 natively, but I find the performance (especially when shuttling back and forth) to be far superior with transcoded files. Oddly enough, I often use ProRes… Seems to me Adobe should settle on a good “visually lossless” codec of their own so users don’t have to go out and buy Cineform or rely on Apple’s Pro codecs.

  • That guy in the video sounds just like James Franco….

  • Here’s my test using 5DtoRGB with a short clip. I didn’t notice any improvement over the original video. Quite the opposite, the unconverted video was flatter and gave me better results in my blacks.

  • Any idea the differences in this and DNxHD?

  • I just tested the converted clip with after effects.
    Did convert some t2i footage to uncompresesd 10 bit 4:2:2 (v210) and imported both clips to after effects for compare.
    (unconverted and converted)

    A big differece was even by scrolling through the timeline!
    the converted clip was really fast but the unconverted one was extreme slow and my i7 920 starts like DDDDSCCCHHHHHHHH :-D

    Is this file format good as a colorgrading format? or is it just good for fast editing?

  • edit: need to say that the file was bumped up to 39 gigs from 1,5 gigs

    • That’s pretty big. I wouldn’t edit uncompressed unless you’ve got a serious need to do so — try ProRes or Cineform?

  • i have done various tests and i was not able to replicate anything like the red bike example.
    cineform, prores, DNxHD are called intermediate codecs.
    the files they produce are smaller size than uncompressed, slightly worse quality than uncompressed, bigger size than “delivery” codecs (like lets say x264) better quality than “delivery” codecs (that means less compression artifacts and things like that) and they also offer less complex and easier/fastter to decode compression than “delivery” codecs

    so you can edit and render your videos faster

    thats the only gain you have from transcoding to intermediate codecs.
    the fact that they offer better quality than “delivery” codecs doesnt mean that you can increase quality by transcoding videos to intermediate codecs.
    you have to process your videos to subjectively increase as luke said the perceptive quality of your videos and then save to an intermediate codec.(and there are workflows for that)

    intermediate codecs offer nothing to colorgrading just by themselves. some convertors may apply some filters to channels(like chroma blurring) but thats nothing one cannot apply by himself.
    intermediate codecs and/or convertors do not (and should not) denoise and dither videos or batch apply any other preset filters to videos.

    intermediate codecs also produce large files so they are not a good choice for footage storing.

  • I really don’t have any problems while editing. Videopreview is really fast. ( Premiere mercury engine is really nice)
    But After Effects is horrible slow if i make colorcorrection/grading with DSLR footage. (even before i add effects)
    Scrolling through the timeline is extrem jumpy and my cpu fan sounds like a starting jet.

    Is there a good recommendation in which codec i should convert my dslr footage for colorgrading (or entire post production)

    Need to say that I dont have the possibility to use ProRes because I’m a windows user

    • How much RAM do you have in your machine and what do you have the Project Settings color depth set to? If you’ve got less than 8 gigs, it’s going to be slow, especially if you’re set to 32bits per channel.

      • got i7 with 6 gb ram and for some projects i’m working with 8bit, for others 32bit. dont really feel a difference in performance… i’ll keep an eye on it… :-/

  • there is something more.
    if the software you use to edit videos can not use yuv colorspace and converts it to rgb to be able to work with it and converts it back to yuv when you want to export/encode it with a yuv codec, then you may have to check the quality of these conversions. if the perfomace of your software is poor, maybe you need to use something like 5dtorgb with an intermediate codec for input in your software and an intermediate codec or a frameserver for output from the software and then transcode with a better transcoder.

  • Sorry my English is not so good… I’m from Argentine.

    With this code you do the same (on PC):
    ffmpeg.exe -i MOIVE_IN.MOV -vf crop=1920:1080:0:0 OUT_SEQUENCE_%5d.tif

    I tested 5DtoRGB vs “my code” on a Lustre Workstation and the color shift is minimal. Very easy to color correct. The extra 10-bits of the DPX is not useful at all. The color compression still there!

    I tested the render velocity… and the command line is very FAST on a old PC against my iMac (i5)…