Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Cameras and color bit depth

This is really just a long winded introduction serving as a link to an article on color bit depth and Premiere Pro.  The Sony XDCAM EX-3 cameras we use in our 3D rig are capable of generating 10-bit 4:2:2 color out the HD-SDI tap.  If, however, you're using the onboard SxS cards for recording you get 8-bit 4:2:0 color.  It seems that more and more cameras in the pro-sumer range are now offering 10-bit 4:2:2 recording to onboard media, so folks are going to run into this more and more.

Most people have 8-bit monitors and displays at their disposal, so even viewing their 10-bit content is problematic.  We want to be 10-bit (and 12-bit) aware since most digital cinema projectors are 10-bit capable.  If you've been to a d-cinema screening, you've seen 10-bit color.  Interestingly enough, the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) format supports up to 12-bit color, so it's a little future-proof at the moment.

Now, on to the article about 10-bit color in Adobe Premiere Pro.

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