10-BIT OPTIONS APLENTY!
There are actually a massive range of HD and 4K options, in 10-bit and 8-bit, 4:2:2 and 4:2:0, with frame rates up to 120p in 4K and 240p in HD. S&Qmode, for the fastest and slowest frame rates, doesn’t record audio. There is also a choice of XAVC settings in both 4K and HD. For HD, the options are the standard Sony XAVC S or a higher-quality All-Intra version. Both are in H.264. In 4K, you have the standard XAVC S and All-Intra H.264 codecs, too. But there is an XAVC HSmode, which is H.265. This saves space on your memory cards, but is more intensive on your computer when editing. We found the settings we used most were the standard XAVC-S,
switching to XAVX S-I All-Intra when there was a lot of detail movement in the footage, such as leaves in trees swaying in the wind. When it comes to editing 4K/120fps files in 4:2:2 10-bit, again, there is a big strain on your computer. Using a decent, modern Mac with Final Cut Pro X, we still had to convert files to proxies and edit those as trying to edit full- resolution footage was impossible. This means you either set proxies in the camera or set your NLE to transcode into themwhen ingesting the footage. And while most filmmakers automatically go for 4:2:2 10-bit for optimumquality when possible, it can still be a pain to edit. Using 4:2:0 10-bit means it’s not only faster to
edit, but there is no obvious drop in the quality. If you shoot in HD, the footage at all frame rates up to 60p is excellent if you stick to the All- Intra settings, especially. There’s obviously the anomaly of the 120p in HD as already mentioned, and the 240fps is still good, especially in the highest bit rates.
ABOVE We found the XAVC S format in 4K to be a great compromise and used it most often
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