Blackmagic create a new codec: BM RAW

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Blackmagic’s big announcement for IBC is that they have invented a new codec, Blackmagic RAW. If you film in a RAW format you capture more colour and brightness information and you can do more with the picture in post production. Up to now Blackmagic have been using Cinema DNG, which is a great format but is saved as a series of still images, and takes up huge amounts of space so is a bit of a pain to manage.

BM RAW has the same type of image quality, but in a smaller file and as one file per clip (not 1,000s of stills per clip). It can also store more useful information (metadata) in the clip itself. This will make filming a RAW a lot more feasible.

The codec has two modes – constant quality and choosing the compression size (3:1, 5:1, 8:1 and 12:1). In his video explaining the codec BM boss, Grant Petty, was saying his beta testers said they could not see much difference between the 12:1 setting and higher ones, meaning you should get an amazingly good picture from a reasonable amount of space.

At NAB this year Apple announced Apple RAW, which is their version of the same thing. So what is the advantage of BM RAW?
This simple answer is that it is not made by Apple. Blackmagic have made this codec free and available to anyone, with an SDK that anyone can use. This means anyone can add support for BM RAW in their software or cameras. Apple only works with partners they decided upon and can frankly be a pain in the backside.

Blackmagic have also released version 15.1 of Resolve which supports BM RAW and have released an update for their Ursa Mini camera to film in the format. They also say they will add support for the format in the Pocket 4K camera.

You can read more here: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicursaminipro/blackmagicraw

There are also some sample clips you can download on this webpage.