ProRes Raw and Blackmagic Raw Expand Platforms, (But Not With Each Other)

The two competing "open" raw video formats are now supported by all the major players... except each other.

This week fans of raw video who want to work with "open" formats (not locked down to a single camera manufacturer) got great news.  ProRes Raw, previously only supported by Final Cut X, will now be available natively in Premiere and Media Composer.  Blackmagic Raw, previously only supported by Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve, will now be supported in Media Composer and Premiere via a plug-in. 

Make no mistake: this is a huge win for users of either format, who are now free to capture to the format that they feel gives them the best results regardless of what editing platform they are working with.

The biggest missing piece here, of course, is that you still can't cut Blackmagic Raw natively in Final Cut X, and you can't cut ProRes Raw in Resolve.  While there is some argument to be made that if you are a Blackmagic Camera owner (currently the only folks who can shoot .braw files, though it's an open format and other cameras and recorders might add it in the future), you are likely to want to cut in Resolve so there is no need to support it in FC-X, the reverse isn't true. 

Many filmmakers would love to shoot ProRes Raw and edit, or at least color, in Resolve.  In terms of NLE there are compelling arguments for all the four major platforms, but in terms of raw color grading power for the price, Resolve blows the other 4 NLEs out of the water.  So we're still waiting for the ability to bring a ProRes Raw file right into Resolve.  Considering how closely Apple and Blackmagic have worked together (on projects like the eGPU), we're going to go out on a limb and say this isn't deliberate, but likely just a sign of how much the Resolve team has on their plate to implement. They are rolling out a ton of new features, and that takes bandwidth, and ProRes Raw is likely lower on their priority list.

The sneakiest bit of all this news is that Apple will now include full 64-bit decoders for Avid DNx files in the pro video formats that Mac users install.  If you are a Mac user you've likely noticed that Quicktime-X doesn't play well with DNx, and while there are a ton of workarounds (and VLC, of course, plays well with everything), it'll also be nice to finally have native support for those formats built-in.

Head over to the Blackmagic Support page to download Blackmagic Raw 1.5, which includes the plugins for Premiere and Media Composer. For ProRes raw, it should be included the next time you upgrade your Avid or Premiere.     

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The BRAW is not an open format - its exactly the contrary - as BlackMagic is purposedly not allowing anybody else to create BRAW files. Its on par with RedCode or Canon RAW Lite, where you are also not allowed to create content, only to read it, using the vendor specific SDK that comes with no source code, only as a binary library which does god knows what except the decoding of the video data.

September 17, 2019 at 8:35AM

Daniel Rozsnyo
Camera developer

No mention of support for either in Edius or Aurora ?
Edius is still the fastest NLE out there, and it's broadcast centric colour tools were the only thing able to rival Resolves for a long time.

September 19, 2019 at 5:38PM

Stewart Fairweather