Video Transcoding: FCP vs. 5DtoRGB
5DtoRGB vs. FCP Test w/ GH2 Driftwood Hack from Joshua B. Pribanic on Vimeo.
I always thought my shots looked darker than the originals when editing in FCP, now I know there’s an alternative. I’m not sure if Quicktime is darkening shadows when transferring footage, but it’s clear that 5DtoRGB transcoding can offer more in post than anything Apple is giving us.
Imagine if you’re painting a watercolor and you apply a darker green to a spot… well that’s it, and you can’t really get back what was underneath that color. You can try to lighten it up and throw a bunch of wash around, but having an original light flatter color to start with will give you better results as you paint the canvas from light to dark. It’s the same for editing in post.
The flatter gamma spectrum we’re getting with 5DtoRGB is going to give us more options when color correcting the shot, and it certainly seems to give us more to play with in detail from the shadows. The highlights are also benefiting in my opinion.
What’s the drawback? Well, the free version of the app is a slow workflow, only allowing you to transcode one clip at a time, while also not allowing cuts to in and out points like in FCP. There’s a $50 version of the app that lets you batch edit, but I’m not sure if it also allows you to mark your clips in any special way.
What I’m seeing is different:
In the video, I noticed the shadows in the rocks were more open for detail with the 5DtoRGB shots, and FCP seemed to really darken these areas so much so that you’d have a hard time bringing them back in post without jeopardizing the rest of your footage. Take a look at the shot with the tope measure and compare the bigger rock on the left-hand side. For the face shots, it was nice to see more of the person’s eyes from the 5DtoRGB, even if the FCP log and transfer clip looks like it has more color.
Being a fan of whoever color edits for Wes Anderson, 5DtoRGB is what I’ve been looking for, i.e. something closer to a Technicolor Cinestyle profile (technicolor.com/en/hi/theatrical/visual-post-production/digital-printer-lights/cinestyle).
Thanks to Andrew Reid for pointing out 5DtoRGB: eoshd.com/content/8076/how-mac-osx-still-screws-your-gh2-fs100-nex-footage-a-must-read
*The video is all production shots for Triple Divide: the story of Public Herald’s investigations into some of the “worst-case scenarios” regarding public health & safety, regulations, human rights, and environmental impacts due to shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania. You can stay updated on where we are with the film by following us on:
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