If you watch a lot of camera and tech channels, you may have noticed people recording in 10-bit and 12-bit video. It looks awesome, and you want your videos to look awesome too. You recently got the Sony a74, which can shoot 10 bit internally, but should you? In a previous video, you talked about whether or not using s-log over no picture profile is worth it. Although it was fun to play around with the footage, you found that for your workflow, it’s not necessary to shoot an s-log 3.
In today’s video, you want to discuss the difference between 8-bit and 10-bit video and whether or not it’s worth doing. One thing to keep in mind is that all of your editing is done on a laptop, and while it’s a pretty good one, you’ve noticed that whenever you upload footage to YouTube, it looks different on every screen. So, you decided to take three different scenarios, a talking headshot, some b-roll, and footage from outside, shoot it in 8-bit versus 10-bit, and see if the difference is worth doing.
When you watched the footage on your 65-inch Vizio LED TV, which is only 1080P, and on your OLED TV in 4k, you found that the 10-bit looked better, but not by much. The biggest difference you noticed with 8 and 10-bit videos was working on the files on your laptop. When you stacked those files with the 10-bit ones, you thought your laptop was going to catch on fire. Using the smaller 8-bit files on your laptop allows you to use more processing power for things like cool transitions and to add in cool effects. Ultimately, that stuff is more important than the slight edge of working with 10-bit videos, at least for YouTube stuff.
Mathematically, the difference between the number of colors in 10-bit versus 8-bit videos is huge. There are 1 billion colors in 10-bit videos versus 16.7 million colors in 8-bit videos, which is drastic. However, with the way that YouTube compression works, if your goal is like yours and you’re not shooting video for clients that you’re going to deliver on the side, you just don’t see the point in mastering 10-bit and s-log. You’d rather work on 8-bit no picture profile, learn the editing software, be a better editor, and make your videos more entertaining with cooler effects. You think that will help you reach your goals of growing your YouTube channel faster than editing an s-log and mastering 10-bit.
You’re still really glad you upgraded to the Sony a74, although you think it’s a bit of overkill. It will allow you a lot of room to grow and play around with, which you’re excited about. You’re trying to find that sweet spot between using and benefiting from all the full-frame goodness that this camera has to offer but doing it in a way that maximizes the quality for YouTube in a very efficient workflow state so that you can crank out content and focus on ideas, which is what you’re good at and like to do.
You wanted to put this blog post together in case you’re like you, wondering about this topic. The whole point of this blog is that we can learn together and figure this stuff out. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced content creator, there’s always something new to learn.