DJI has stated that their latest cinema camera, the DJI Ronin 4D, which is the company’s first foray into the realm of cinematography cameras, would no longer support Apple ProRes RAW, a feature that was touted as one of the product’s primary selling points when it was initially released.
DJI’s statement reads:
“At launch, the Ronin 4D will not offer internal compressed RAW (Apple ProRes RAW) recording, however a firmware upgrade later in 2022 will enable Apple ProRes 4444 XQ recording.”
“To reflect this change in specifications, the list price of the Ronin 4D 6K combo is being lowered to $6,800” and “Users who pre-ordered Ronin 4D at the original price should contact their dealers to receive a refund of the difference”
Because of its RAW recording capabilities, filmmakers who have already contributed $6,799 / £4,715 / AU$10,149 to this breakthrough 6K cinema camera have taken a hit. This isn’t the first time Apple ProRes RAW has been removed from a camera just before its official release. Kinefinity, a Chinese cinema camera manufacturer, announced that Apple ProRes RAW recording would be removed from all of its existing models and that the codec would be removed before the release of its Mavo Edge 8K cinema camera.
According to rumors, rivals and worldwide movie camera giant RED, or Red Digital Cinema as they are formally called, control the patent for compressed onboard RAW video recording in this case, and maybe the same for DJI.
We know that DJI’s Zenmuse x9 camera, which is used on the DJI Ronin 4D and professional cinematic drones, shoots ProRes RAW internally, but through its clever CineCore 3.0, which gets around the patent’s constraints. It should be noted, however, that this “patent bypass” does not resolve the issue with the new DJI Ronin 4D’s inability to record Apple ProRes.
DJI has thrown their hands up and announced a price drop, as well as confirming that Apple ProRes 4444 XQ will be available through a firmware update later in 2022, however it begs the question… Why do we have to wait until later in the year for a firmware upgrade that isn’t accessible on the day it is released?