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Why the Sony RX10 IV Digital Camera may change the video production industry

Most professional video producers I know would never choose a camera that has only one choice of lens (with the exception being some ENG and action cameras). So you might ask why the Sony RX10 IV Digital Camera may change the video production industry?

History:

Most laptops and even more desktops can’t edit super high quality 4k video footage and apply all your color corrections and potentially layering of video files without lagging back either in skimming through the timeline or full screen previews. Now you can shoot and render 4k but edit something smaller (hopefully 720p or 1080p even? Hopefully you can pick it depending on your editing workstation).

The issue is that it’s simply a TON of data that’s highly compressed and requires a TON of horsepower to work with.

Let’s keep this in perspective:

Have you ever tried sending a 150GB folder to someone?

  1. For starters, you can’t exactly email a project that big. Let’s say you try to send video clips individually – you’ll still have issues when you’ve got a file that alone is 15GB. Most “file sharing” services won’t let you upload files over a certain limit – often 2GB or if they’re generous 10GB. They think you’re sharing music or programs or who knows what – they just don’t let you share “giant” files easily.
  2. Internet connections to share those giant files may take days or even weeks to upload depending on your internet connection. If you’re at a coffee shop good luck! They’ll stop you before you finish.
  3. Let’s say you’ve given up on transfering that footage via the web and just want to use a USB thumb drives, good luck here as well. Most USB thumb drives are 128gb. Your project is too big. You need a hard drive.

 

What does it mean to edit proxies for 4k?

Proxies are basically just duplicate copies of your original footage but in a lower quality format. The idea is you take the amazing 4k video files and you save a low quality 720p file along with the original footage.

Given most computers these days can edit standard definition video with ease and even 720p HD footage without dying, when someone suggests you edit proxies for 4k they simply mean creating these small quality copies and editing those small files.

The beauty of proxies is that you can use almost any solid laptop and not have glitchy playback that stutters or causes your computer to crash. People often ask how to edit 4k video files on a laptop and this is the answer.

Make all of your edits using the small (barely) HD files and the magic comes at the end.

How to render 4k video from proxies?

The magic comes at the end of the proxy workflow when you’ve made all of your edits and are ready to finalize your finished video. This is the difference between editing 4k footage and 4k proxy footage.

Here’s how to render 4k video from proxies:

  1. Relabel the folder that your raw files were in
  2. Premiere Pro CC / CS6 / CS5 will say they’ve “lost” the footage. You’ll need to “locate” the missing files
  3. Point the “locate” folder to your raw 4k full resolution video files
  4. Re-open the project.
  5. You may need to select all of the clips and select “scale to size” as the large files may look giant in your project (may look zoomed in)
  6. When you go to render the video it will work with the 4k video files and look beautiful

Back to the Sony RX10 IV.

Why will the Sony RX10 IV Digital Camera may change the video production industry?

Because the process of creating proxies can be a pain in the rear! Depending on your workflow and size of the project, it could take 8 hours or like a recent project I did 12 hours to render proxies! That means I had a laptop just working on footage overnight to be able to edit the files the next day.

It means that you’ll be able to shoot footage and edit it on an affordable laptop (Mac or PC) and upload it within minutes rather than a day.

If you’ve ever wanted to VLOG like Casey Neistat – you probably get bogged down trying to edit your footage in a laggy way. This allows you to work instantly off your proxies and just render out the 4k footage.

What is the Biggest Impact from the Sony RX10 IV Digital Camera on the video production industry?

The biggest impact is not that the RX10 has this feature but that the feature is now an option. Since it’s an option, Sony is going to boast about it to consumers and other manufacturers like Panasonic, Canon, Nikon, etc will have to react.

This feature would be amazing on the A7s Mark III when it comes out or on the Panasonic GH5 for wedding videographers who want to make same day edits – or event video producers who want to produce an corporate event teaser video for their guests live before their final keynote of the day. There’s literally a TON of ways I can envision this impacting things.

Is it enough?

2 more tweaks to make it perfect:

  1. Send proxies to the second card slot so you can leave your raw files in your camera all day but pop the proxies in and out of the camera for the second slot. This keeps your raw files safe in the camera all day.
  2. This is a bigger (technical challenge) “reverse proxy” – in other words – use the camera to create proxies of footage already on the card. If you didnt’ create proxies and wanted to – you could just select the clips or select all files on camera and have it generate proxies using the camera. Either you forgot to create proxies when you were shooting or you changed your mind and wanted 1080p proxies originally but now you want VGA / Standard Definition proxies.