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Apple brings ProRes RAW support to Windows video editors

Creative Cloud users on Windows no longer need to transcode footage before editing.
Marc DeAngelis
M. DeAngelis|03.30.20

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Artal85 via Getty Images
Artal85 via Getty Images

Thanks to a combination of more affordable cinema cameras and increasingly powerful software, professional video producers are able to net some impressive results. One major part of the equation for achieving high-quality footage is shooting in a RAW codec, which creates lossless files that are suitable for color correction and other enhancements. Apple's ProRes RAW codec isn't a very popular choice among shooters, but that may change now that the format isn't exclusive to Apple's computers. The company released beta software that lets Windows editors work with ProRes RAW files in Adobe's Premiere Pro, After Effects and Media Encoder. This means they won't have to devote time or computing power to transcoding the files -- they can simply load them into their editing suite and get to work.

Transcoding media -- especially big files like those that use RAW codecs -- can take a lot of time and resources. When a videographer shoots in one format, but the editor has to convert the footage to another, the workflow screeches to a halt. Apple's new software will hopefully provide a fast track for teams that use both Macs and PCs. That said, pros -- who work on short deadlines and are thus rather cautious about changing their workflows -- may shy away from using it until it's proven to be reliable.

Cinema cameras and typically provide several RAW codec options, including first-party options. For example, Canon cameras like the C-300 Mark II support the company's own RAW formats. However, very few cameras currently support ProRes RAW. Some external recorders -- which grab a signal via the host camera's HDMI output -- are capable of capturing ProRes RAW footage, though. These files are then sent to a color corrector or editor for refinements and assembly.

ProRes RAW was off to a rough start when it launched a few years ago. It wasn't supported by many cameras, capture devices or editing suites. However, that seems to be changing slowly. By bringing Creative Cloud editors who use PCs into the fold, adoption could increase -- though more and more pro editors are moving from Premiere Pro to Blackmagic's DaVinci Resolve.

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