Differences in Adobe Premiere highlight handling, using the Black Magic codec

This one got me puzzled for a while, and I’m still not sure what EXACTLY is going on, but at least I know how to work around this problem and get better results.
A lot has bin said on boards and forums about the highlight handling of the Sony FS100 and FS700. After a lot of research, I stumbled over one thing, and that is the Black Magic video codec and how it is handled within Adobe’s Premiere Pro.

Clipping highlights almost drove me nuts, cause most of the time, I was 99% sure, they looked fine during recording.
Now I found out, that highlights get badly clipped in Premiere during scrubbing or playback, but as soon you let go the mouse, the preview picture seems to go in a “higher” mode and recover all the clipped highlights.

I always thought this is done for speed during preview.
But when I render the timeline out – no mater if using the BM presets or TIF, TGA, DNX uncompressed and whatnot – the highlights got clipped like during preview.
Even if everything is set to best quality.

There is only one codec that outputs the “recovered highlights” version of my material.
That is the BM HD 4:2:2 codec, but only if accessed under the AVI-Format menu.
The difference is day and night.

So instead of dialing in Format > Blackmagic

You dial in AVI > and than in the codec submenu Blackmagic

For the record:
Those files where captured in ProResHQ via a Atomos Samurai recorder.
If the internal AVCHD codec reacts the same way? I have to look into that, when I have some time on my hands.
Also if there are any other codecs or formats that preserve the highlights and why that is at all.

But for the moment, I hope this helps, to get your lost highlights back, when you run into similar material.

Frank

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5 thoughts on “Differences in Adobe Premiere highlight handling, using the Black Magic codec

  1. Are you sure the output player is not the problem?

    When combining code from different vendors, you could overexpose a macbeth colorchecker until its white almost clips in-camera, then go through workflow without processing, using each input and output format combination to isolate the bug.

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