Is Sony A7 footage just known to be sluggish in Premeire?

Explorer ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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My machine can play anything buttery smooth from BRAW to AVI to ProRes to R3D but these relatively rinky dink video files off the A7iii play like I feel after losing the chili eating contest. 

Is this a known thing? If so, is there any way to improve it? 


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Contributor ,
Nov 04, 2021 Nov 04, 2021

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@BradyHall1 On the contrary, the footage the a7 III creates (H.264) is not rinky dink. H.264 is a very difficult edit to work with due to the more demanding decoding required. This is why these files are so space efficient. Lots of work to both encode and decode these compressed files.

 

ProRes files may be massive, but they are significantly easier to work with. It's a codec built for editing, with less demanding resource drain on your machine.

 

I can't speak to every raw format out there, but some raw codecs might even be optimized for editing as well, at least compared relative to H.264.

 

My suggestion is to create proxies for your H.264 footage. One of the editing-centric intermediary codecs like ProRes, DNx, or Cineform. Once you have some proxies in place: it's smooth sailing!

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Yeah, transcoding is always an option, but the entire reason to use Premiere is to never have to transcode becuase it (normally) takes anyting you throw at it and plays natively. That said, H.264 from any other source playes like butter in PP so something Sony is doing is making those files clunkier to edit with. It still feels a bit ridiculous that my m machine can play R3D 8k files or Blackmagic Q0 BRAW or Blackmagic ProRes 444 with zero stutter and a compressed H.264 from an A7iii plays like slop. That it's a decoding issue means nothing to me. 

I guess I'll just tussle with this Sony crap until either Sony or Adobe makes the files play smoother, but knowing how Adobe screws everything up 5 times before releasing a version that actually works I'm not holding my breath. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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That "heavy" media you're talking about as noted above is actually a ton easier for your computer than the A7S3 clips. That's just life in the real world.

 

That said, I'm running some A7s3 clips through several projects now, on a 24-core Ryzen with 2080Ti and 128GB of RAM, and it's playing back smoothly with even several extensive layers of Lumetri and Colorista and a couple other RedGiant effects applied.

 

The projects also include files from a RED Dragon in r3d and BRAW from a BMPCC4K, and a Mavic drone in typical drone H.264.

 

So ... it may depend also on the specific system involved.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I already said I get it. But I also reject settling for a "professional" software plaform that I pay a premium for that won't play basic ass files smoothly. We can reframe this post as less of a "can this work?" to "Adobe sucks" which is how 99% of thoughts about Adobe go. And Pro Tools while we're here. Industry standard giants have no incentive to make their products function properly because they already have the money. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I think I, as another user, would say there seems to be a direct conflict in your first two sentences.

 

But past that, if "Adobe sucks" is 99% of the opinion world-wide about say Premiere Pro, then PrPro would not be the vastly larger NLE in use out there, now, would it? There are other options out there, and for certain workflows, better ones. Certainly cheaper ones too.

 

As noted, on my desktop system the A7 files play beautifully. On yours, not so much. Been there, done that.

 

I work in PrPro and Resolve both. I tend to get slightly better playback on my desktop in Premiere than Resolve. My spendy Acer laptop with a 2080GPU doesn't even think about running Resolve, it gets real grumpy, so I just removed it. I wouldn't even try to use it there anyway. And I'm not yelling at BlackMagic because Resolve won't run for crud on my laptop, it's just Life.

 

And that rig needs proxies for H.264 media to work smoothly. Which my desktop doesn't. So if I'm working on the laptop, I'll use proxies for H.264, on the desktop, the originals.

 

As that's the way the machines work.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Sounds like you just are OK settling for what mega-huge software companies give us, which often is sloppy, broken, bloated products. Adobe (and Avid) are huge, industry-standard companies that know they have a built-in revenue stream from sectors that have to run their products in order to fucntion. That does not spur greatness or innovation. Just look at how Pro Tools remains the clunkiest, crappiest, most user-unfriendly industry standard platform in existence. The interface still works like it did in 1998 and they have no motivaiton to put time and money into revamping it to be more fucntional because "why would we?" 

Adobe isn't much different. I have a cellular fear of updating any Adobe product because half the time it completely breaks something or removes functionality I use daily. My body is still quivering from that stupid Dolby audio rug-pull a few years ago. And remember how they only took 10 years to get ProRes to play natively? Yes that was partly on Apple, which is another apathetic company. 

Either way, looking down your nose at people with legitimate gripes about a behemoth, glacial company that has no interest in making their products as good as they could be isn't terribly welcome. "That's just how it is" is never the opening line from a story of great innovation. 

Oh and just FYI, I just tried playing one of the A7iii clips in Resolve: smooth as a greased kitten. So yeah, this is an Adobe thing not a "my machine" thing. I look forward to the day when Resolve and all the effects capabilities are fully realized. I'll fully jump ship in a heartbeat because Blackmagic actually cares. 


 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Such an interesting take. And apportioning attitudes to others you've never met ... ah well, common enough these days. Normally wrong, of course ... but still common.

 

I'm not at all looking down on others who have problems with any of these apps. First, I'm the one who routinely posts here that these are all nothing more than tools. Fancy hammers. Use whichever tool works best for you. And move on with Life. Getting emotionally involved with an app ... I just don't get.

 

As I have often noted here, at times I've been on the short end of an update, meaning I needed to stay in a previous version for months. Yea, been there, done that, kept working in the old one while testing different updates to the new one until it finally worked on my machine. And yea, most users were getting along fine in that version of PrPro even though I wasn't.

 

I didn't conflate that I and some subset of users were hammered, to Adobe being sickos, or putting out crud. Just that a build had some issues with certain kit and media/workflows, which unfortunately happened to include me.

 

I've posted a few epic rants here about decisions by Adobe management I disagreed with. Such as killing SpeedGrade. Adobe is just another bunch of humans, for all that's good and stupid about humans ... that's all. Another bunch of humans. Some stuff will be good, some ... will not. That's Life.

 

As a user of Resolve, and someone that teaches Resolve users how to color in PrPro when they have to, I've got a ton of experience in and hear about Resolve daily. BM just released 17.4, a major update, enough so as to be a new version. And yea, I participate in the BM forums also.

 

Let's see ... 17.4 works for the majority of Resolve users, but for a significant group, it totally broke their workflows. And in between of course, are some users that can work but are irritated about a number of things. BM rushed out a patch, which one top-end colorist noted on the BM forum was actually worse on his gear than the 17.4 "original" drop.

 

There are things all over the app broken for some users. But again, most are doing ok.

 

Which is totally like ... PrPro major updates. Most do ok, some of us are irritated but working, and some are hammered. Yea, Life.

 

But I do appreciate a couple things about the Adobe side of the aisle.

 

First, I can keep multiple major versions of Adobe apps installed. So I can keep working in a current usable version and test working in the new version without interrupting my workload at all. On my main desktop.

 

You can't do that with Resolve, of course. So you need to do like most of my colorist acquaintances do: load Resolve updates on a secondary machine, and test until proven stable for your media/workflow. Or ... like I'm doing at the moment, waiting to update until the colorists I'm working with say the water is safe now.

 

Second ... Adobe allows the user to make your own workspaces, and vendors to hop in and add functionality in ways that are totally locked out in Resolve. I prefer my workspaces, which I can't create in Resolve at all. No user customization allowed over there.

 

And that includes gear. Such as my Tangent Elements panel, which in Adobe apps is mappable by me to about anything I can think of. I've got that running not only color but track mixing audio functions such as pans and volumes. I'm using it in graphics ... mogrts ... to size/rotate and place things. All sorts of other things that I can set and map to the panel.

 

In Resolve, that panel is half-blank at any one time as BM locks it down and does not allow either Tangent or a user any control of a panel in their app, as of course ... the BM model is to give cheap software to get you to buy their hardware. Different business model, equally as valid as Adobe's subscription model.

 

Hey, I love my BMPCC4K camera. But I'm not interested in spending a thou or more on a panel I can ONLY use in Resolve. Ain't happening.

 

Different strokes for different folks, of course. A good friend loves to edit in Resolve. The UI there drives me nuts. It's all good, he edits in Resolve, I work in Premiere except for when I need to be in Resolve.

 

Again, these things are simply tools. Fancy hammers. That's all.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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All those words just to say "I'm not bothered by the thing you are bothehred by."

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Not sure you actually read anything, but ah well. What you first noted you were bothered about ... A7s3 playback ... and which I thoroughly understand about if that's affecting you ... I dealt with. It can be simply an issue of your kit or methods. It will affect some users, but not others.

 

I offered information on the basis of the issue, and a different perspective. Which ... we all have our own, right? Just because something works on say my computer doesn't mean it will on yours. Pretty obvious, but it's something a lot of people tend to ... miss.

 

You didn't seem to like that response. Fair enough. But making statements about what I meant ... when I put enough words in to try to reduce such stuff ... is just odd.

 

Most of us "here" are here to figure out how to get from X through Y to Z as easy and safely as possible. Using these fancy complex hammers, and on very different combinations of kit, media, effects, and workflows. Different end-use needs.

 

And the user experience for anyone has to be different from everyone else's, as our particular combination of things is different. But by pasting together samples of how things work, from our different experiences, we can together get working processes outlined for both where such fancy tools work well, where they have things needing workarounds, and also importantly, where they fail and another route is needed.

 

And especially when the last option pops up, a rant is something to be expected. Not a plea for help, just ... to let out some angst. Understood.

 

But for everything else, trying to understand the underlying cause and get a working process forward is the normal process. That's what this forum is mainly used for.

 

There isn't a magic company in the trade. There isn't a magic app. There are only tools. Again, use what works for you. And expect that at some point, every app will fail you. Prepare for that. The best advice in computer use out there. And has been for many, many years.

 

Neil

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Explorer ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I wish there was a block funtion on this forum because I don't come here to read comments from people who just like to hear themselves talk. 

I stated crystal clearly that since there is seemingly no way to have Premiere run these clips smoothly that it was now just a lament. But here we are with tome after tome of "I say this all the time" and "you're too dumb to undertstand my words" and after typing that I know I'm in for "I didn't actually say that how dare u put wordz in my mOuTh."

There is no solution for this problem, as we both seemingly understand, so how about you go away? I am sure as hell going to. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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You posted about an issue with A7s3 media playback on your computer. You got very straight, realistic answers to that question. You didn't like the answers, and then went off into other things. That seems, from looking back at the discussion, is how this went.

 

I've also got a post on another thread where a user posted about problems with the limiter function available currently in PrPro. It ... doesn't, actually. And he's quite correct, and that is a major flaw for those working in broadcast. Under certain and rather typical circumstances, sub-blacks will be created by PrPro that the 'limiter' effect does not eliminate. And so your program may get rejected by a QC machine. Bad news.

 

Which is something I've been critical of for several years, and in that post, 'pinged' three different members of the development team to see if they'd respond. Two of whom I've met and discussed ... and argued at times with ... personally at NAB. I respect them even when I throroughly disagree with them.

 

So ... depending on the issue, you may find me not your cup of tea, or perhaps a useful ally. Hey, doesn't matter to me. These are tools.

 

Neil

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Hi Neil,

You want a tome? I've got one for ya! The History of H.264 and the road to 10 bit 8K 4:2:2 HEVC!

OK, I 86'd that novel. Think we have lost the OP, but just know, that the road to 10 bit 4:2:2 HEVC is finally arriving on the scene and I'm happy to see it happen. Just have to ask for a wee bit more patience. It's going to solve a lot of peoples' problems, especially those who were like me, trying to edit compressed Long GOP video on a laptop that one day natively. 


I hope Brady will try the Beta where we should see a bug fix for this shortly. We have a workaround, playback at Full or change the Program Monitor to High Quality in the Settings/Wrench menu.

Kevin

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Engaged ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Nicely said!

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Engaged ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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I mean, nicely said, Neil.

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Hi Brady,
I don't agree that "Adobe does not care." We do. Again, try the Beta in the next week or two to see if your issue has been addressed yet. Take care.

Thanks,
Kevin

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 05, 2021 Nov 05, 2021

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Hi Brady,

Sorry this issue has you frustrated. This sounds like one of our Known Issues. See here. The workaround is to try Full Res rather than half or set the Program Monitor to High Quality. Bug fix is coming soon. Can you verify if this works?

I hope that the next update will finally get you to the promised land, I just have to ask for a little more patience as we fix this bug. Sorry about the frustration.

 

Cheers,
Kevin

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