Strictly speaking, Protune is not RAW, it is simply a mode that offers less compression and a neutral colour balance making it easier to colour grade the footage in post. However it is still compressed, recording of 4K RAW would require an SD card significantly faster than anything around at present.
Protune is full 10 bit 4:2:2 wrapped as 8 bit 4:2:0. It accomplishes this by impressing the data on a logarithmically "flat" 1.0 gamma, which accommodates far more bandwidth than traditional 2.2 video gamma, but looks like crap when played back in its native acquired state.
The "raw" (not "RAW") Protune files are all but useless out of the box. They must be unpacked to their full bit depth and chroma with the free GoPro software first.
In Vegas, they would then be edited in a 32 bit float environment.
I've said it before; since almost all delivery is still 8 bit 4:2:0, there is relatively little reason to jump through all those hoops, unless one is a pathological hobbyist, or one will be handing off 10 bit intermediates for high level grading in another suite.
There is plenty of relevant discussion farther down the same thread you referenced, including the link right at the end.
If you're shooting your GoPro for bigscreen cinema and Imax projection, Protune 4K source is something worth considering . . .
GoPro Protune format footage is one of the formats the Vegas stretches the color range. Since the Protune is sort of flat this doesn't necessarily look bad, but you will occasionally lose some extreme whites and blacks to clipping. Using Cineform avoids this problem altogether but the files are pretty huge. My solution is to use ProDad's excellent ProDRENALIN software to process the Protune video. This will stabilize, compensate for the fisheye distortion ad process the color all in one pass, and rewrite the video into an mp4 format where Vegas won't expand the color range.
I find both Mercali and ProTune give me an unpleasant "jello" effect round the edges of my Hero 3 black footage at 1440; so I usually leave the footage raw.*
Both the jello and the raw footage is improved by my normal cropping to what I guess is Cinemascope aspect ratio.
*most of my stuff benefits from a nice bit of shake anyway.
Has anyone else noticed Vegas's stretching of the levels in the same way it does with Nikon or Canon MOV clips? Usually it's not hard to deal with this since the Protune range is pretty flat, but occasionally you lose some detail in the highlights or shadows.
GoPro MP4 files are 0-255 on the timeline regardless of protune or not. They do not appear to be clipped in any way. From this I infer that GoPro is recording a "proper" 16-235 condensed range and the Vegas decoder expands that to 0-255. If GoPro recorded 0-255 there would be obvious clipping.
Files from Cineform Studio (AVI) come in 16-235 on the timeline.
Both correct, except that it is still stored 0-255, Nothing to do with Vegas decoder. Have already verified this by comparing several independent decoders.
The net bandwidth and bit depth storage capabilities of 1.0 gamma (raw Protune storage) over 2.2 gamma (universal delivery standard) is something we have not yet discussed together, Norman. Is that correct?
>GoPro MP4 files are 0-255 on the timeline regardless of protune or not. They do not appear to be clipped in any way. From this I infer that GoPro is recording a "proper" 16-235 condensed range and the Vegas decoder expands that to 0-255. If GoPro recorded 0-255 there would be obvious clipping.
That's what I thought too until I did some testing. Load the same GoPro mp4 files into an Adobe product and you'll see that it is 16-135. If by chance there is some content that would show up in an Adobe product below 16 or above 235, Vegas will clip it.
If anyone can I would love for you to test this. I am quite sure of this, but have only tested it on my own system.
Remember. Adobe products autolevel any B.T. 709 source to 16-235, not necessarily their native levels.
It's a great feature, but not necessarily an accurate representation.
Does the same in my PP and AE. Hope this helps.
I think musicvid's point about chasing quality makes sense--up to a point. Funny how we seem to leapfrog each other on this subject.
Still...if you've got the time, GoPro's sensor + ProTune is a delight to work with. There is a new edition out called the GP 3+ which is said to be even better. I still think if you could put decent glass in front of the Hero 3 sensor you'd have an elite HD imaging system. The 4K frame rates are very slow, but I think you can shoot at 30P at slightly beyond 1080.
In any case: it's a helmet cam. Clearly the best helmet cam, and if you want a helmet cam, get it without hesitation. If you want it to be more than a helmet cam, esp say a 4K red camera, you're probably not going to be happy. :)
>Remember. Adobe products autolevel any B.T. 709 source to 16-235, not necessarily their native levels.
You can also see this difference in various media players. VLC plays the levels back the same way Vegas does. WMP plays them like Adobe. In any case, the way Adobe does it lets you recover some whites and blacks that Vegas clips. If it wasn't for this occasional clipping, I wouldn't care.
Canon, Nikon and Panasonic MOV clips all show levels predominantly between 16-235 in Adobe products but with occasional blacks below 16 and whites above 235. The same video in Vegas will be predominantly between 0-255 in Vegas, but any blacks that would have been below 16 or above 235 in an Adobe product will now be clipped and unrecoverable in Vegas.
My primary current camera is a Panasonic GH3, and if I shoot a combination of AVCHD and MOV format video and import it into an Adobe product, they will look identical, which is to say primarily in the 16 - 235 range with an occasional black below 16 or white above 235. If I import the mix of AVCHD and MOV GH3 footage into Sony Vegas, the MOV footage will be primarily in the 0 - 255 range while the AVCHD footage will primarily be in the 16-235 range. With the MOV footage in Vegas, any of the occasion blacks that would have been below 16 or whites that would have been above 235 in an Adobe product will now be unrecoverable in Vegas. If I put a cRGB to sRGB correction on the MOV footage in Vegas it will match the range of the AVCHD footage and both will now look like they did when I first imported them into an Adobe product.
If I convert my Nikon, GoPro or Panasonic MOV footage to Cineform and import it into an Adobe product, it will be in the same 16 - 235 range that the native format footage was in.
If I import Nikon, GoPro or Panasonic MOV footage converted MOV footage to Cineform then import it into Vegas, the Cineform version will be in the 16 -235 range while the native version will be in the 0 - 255 range.
If instead of converting to Cineform, I stabilize my Nikon, GoPro or Panasonic MOV with Mercalli SAL 3.0, the footage which is now rewritten into an MP4 container will import into an Adobe product in the same 16 - 235 range as the native or Cineform version. It is only in Vegas that there will be a difference. The stabilized footage will import into Vegas at levels between 16-235 just like the Cineform converted version, but unlike the 0-255 range that it will be in if I import it native into Vegas.
What all this tells me is that Vegas is stretching the range of native Canon, Nikon or Panasonic MOV and GoPro MP4 footage in the same manner that would occur if you put a sRGB to cRGB filter on it. Occasionally this means that some extreme blacks or whites are going to be clipped.
I have done oodles of experiments confirming this. I'm not bashing Vegas. I love editing with Vegas enough to jump through whatever hoops it makes me jump through. In my case the solution is quite simple. I use the AVCHD mode on my GH3 and run any GoPro footage through ProDAD ProDRENALIN before importing it into Vegas.
This can be quite a severe problem with Canon or Nikon DSLR cameras though. You are going to loose some black and white peaks unless you convert to something like Cineform before importing it into Vegas.
If you are using GoPro footage with Vegas, I would recommend either converting to Cineform or processing with ProDRENALIN which converts into it's own mp4 format that doesn't have this problem. Otherwise you are going to lose some black and white peaks.
"Yes, I do have NVIDIA graphics card and drivers. Why is this important in this context?"
Depending on the driver version and internal settings, Nvidia can behave quite differently on different players than on almost any non-Nvidia system, even with identical decoders. It's one of the wrinkles that make ffmpeg (VLC), directshow (WMP), and Vegas work completely contrary to accepted logic in some cases. Sorry I don't have an up-to-date card to test and give you more specifics.