TL;DR : Pros & Cons

Straight to the point, here's a summary of our findings !
And if you want to test BRAW Studio after reading this article, you can transfer your existing project as explained here.

Why would you want to use our plugin BRAW Studio ?

  • Support : we're here to fix your issues and answer you by email
  • BRAW Studio PrPro Panel will allow you to access and modify your RAW Settings directly in a Lumetri-like dockable Panel ! It allows batch modifications to any number of selected .BRAW Sources with Presets or Sidecars, and lots of others features
  • You can trim your .BRAW files in our PrPro Panel to reduce its size and remove unused frames, all this 100% losslessly without re encoding and keeping the .BRAW format !
  • Custom A/B feature to quickly compare two different sets of RAW params
  • No Replace Clip bug, No Ctrl-Z bug, Source Settings Copy/Paste works fine
    (see at the bottom of this post for a full list of BMD bugs, BMD plugin cache issue seem to have been fixed in Blackmagic RAW 1.5.1 update)
  • Metadata available inside Premiere Pro (displayed both as Properties and Project Panel columns)
  • Adobe Production was studied for BRAW Studio and a button was created to overcome some color grading issue, see our article here : Blackmagic RAW and Productions Collaboration features in Premiere Pro
  • Reconnect Full Resolution button for proxies works with BRAW Studio
  • Collect Files and copy to new location in Project Manager works perfectly
  • Increased compatibility (it works with CC 2017 and all newer versions)
  • Correct timecode for NTSC framerates in Premiere, so you have the ability to export the timeline to DaVinci Resolve (you also have the Export FCP .XML feature in our panel) without issue
  • Premiere Pro Video Previews still linked after restart (Render In To Out and green line above timeline staying green)
Here is the list of all our Youtube tutorials about BRAW Studio features, watch them !

Why would you want to use Blackmagic Design's Blackmagic RAW plugin ?

Basically the only good feature of their plugin is that it is free. Some MacOS users had crashes with BRAW Studio and could avoid them by using BMD's plugin (But the reverse is also true, there are issues with Blackmagic plugin that can be avoided with BRAW Studio, so make your own tests !).
You can
switch from Blackmagic plugin to BRAW Studio
using our official feature here : How to convert your project to BRAW Studio ?. But you can't go the other way around because BMD plugin is too buggy.

Some Free features with BRAW Studio

With the BRAW Studio Panel, you have access to some free features which can be used with the Blackmagic Plugin as the plugin importer.
Here is a list of these free features :

After installing BRAW Studio, in order to disable the BRAW Studio importer (to use the Blackmagic Plugin importer), please change the BRAW Studio settings.Check this article to know how to do it !


Now we'll explain each point, as well as if you can use both plugins at the same time and how to install / uninstall each of them.

Differences in features

Source Settings Panel for Premiere Pro

BRAW Studio V2 introduced a new BRAW Studio Panel for Premiere Pro, check it out !

20 Global Presets

In Premiere Pro, there is a native feature to save and apply presets from any effect by right clicking on the effect name. This feature doesn't work with either the BMD plugin or with our BRAW Studio plugin. It will sometimes result in bad situations (when the ISO lists or LUTs available are different for example).
But from the 1.7.0 version of BRAW Studio onwards, there is a
BRAW Studio Presets feature directly available on the BRAW Settings tab
, with which you can save up to 20 presets and apply them quickly !
Basics presets

BRAW Metadata Tab in Panel and Columns in the Project Panel

When shooting with Blackmagic cameras, the users can set some useful metadata like Reel, Scene, Take, Good etc. This metadata is set inside the .BRAW file when it is saved.
For more information, check out our article : BRAW Metadata on Premiere Pro's Project Panel
metadata imageInCamera
Some of this metadata can be shown on the Premiere Pro Project Panel in list view with the BRAW Studio panel. So you can sort and organize your files in terms of the metadata. For example, you can organize files using the Reel number metadata, or separate the files which are tagged Good.
Note that this feature is free in BRAW Studio, and can be used with the Blackmagic Plugin ! More info in this article.
metadata shownInProject
Also, when right-clicking on a .BRAW clip, either on the Project Panel or on the timeline, and selecting Properties..., with our plugin, you have other information like BRAW compression and much more.
It seems these kinds of metadata are not visible in Premiere Pro with the BMD's plugin for now.
metadata otherProperties

Timecode Issue

The NTSC .BRAW files (framerate 23.976 / 29.97) have a timecode problem in Premiere Pro due to an Adobe bug,
with both our BRAW Studio plugin AND in BMD's plugin
.
No big deal... except if you want to export your timeline in FCP XML and import it back to DaVinci Resolve (for color grading for example) : there will be an error when importing.
Check our article about the wrong timecode for more details about how to deal with this problem with BRAW Studio.
Exporting the correct FCP XML directly will need a registered BRAW Studio license, but
correcting the timecodes in Premiere Pro is free
and this function can be used along with the Blackmagic Plugin. (Take care of the Timecode Shift Issue !)
officialPlugInDiff setTimecodePPro
Update : Adobe has fixed their timecode issue from Premiere Pro version 14.3 !

Sidecar

There are minor differences with how both plugins handle sidecars. The Blackmagic RAW plugin hides away the fact that Revert to Metadata is actually loading the .sidecar file's content (if it's available) AND updating Decode Using Camera Metadata, whereas, with BRAW Studio, it is clear that Load Sidecar loads the .sidecar values into the GUI Custom RAW Values, and Decode using Camera Metadata stays the same once the .BRAW has been imported.

Reconnect Full Resolution

BRAW Studio lets you reconnect full resolution media when you are attaching proxies to .BRAW in Premiere Pro, while the Blackmagic plugin doesn't let you do this.
WARNING : For this, you should make sure you don't have Blackmagic RAW Adobe plugins installed, because they will conflict with BRAW Studio and prevent you from reconnecting your .BRAW media.

Project Manager : Collect Files and copy to new location

BRAW Studio lets you choose Collect Files and Copy to New Location in Premiere Pro's Project Manager, while Blackmagic plugin has a bug. Topic discussed, with screenshots, here and here.

Performances and Bugs

BMD's plugin speed was better than BRAW Studio for a few months. Since BRAW Studio version 2.0.1, this has been corrected. Sometimes BRAW Studio is even faster, because we also offer a hybrid CPU-CUDA (nVidia) decoding technique on Windows, please test it !
Also, when importing hundreds of .BRAW Sources, we noticed that BRAW Studio was faster than Blackmagic's plugin.

Known Bugs of Blackmagic Design's Blackmagic RAW plugin

We experienced a lot of image caches issues with BMD plugin version 1.5. Cache issues basically mean that what you see on the screen is not the real content of the .BRAW color grade with the RAW params you selected. Note : this has been fixed with BMD Blackmagic RAW 1.5.1 update, so don't forget to update!
Some users also report Source Settings controls freezing forever. We also experienced a (rare) crash on Windows.
Trying to copy / paste the plugin from one braw clip to another works well, but if the ISO Lists are not the same (which can be the case even with files from the same camera, due to the Dual ISO system), it could result in bad situations, like corrupted source settings.
Using Undo (Ctrl/Cmd + Z) is also a problem : the value you see in the GUI returns back to its previous value, but the image will stay the same; and it's not a problem with the cache. If you generate a new image, the value used will be the one before you made the undo ! The only solution to get the correct value back is to change this value again.
Also, using Premiere Pro's Replace Clip feature might lead to corrupted projects with the Blackmagic RAW plugin, but not with BRAW Studio.
If you want to know more about Blackmagic Raw BMD plugin issues, here are some users posts on the official Blackmagic forums :

Known Bugs of BRAW Studio

We already know that some MacOS users experienced crashes with BRAW Studio, but most have our plugin running just fine. We have not found the origin of these crashes, for now we are still investigating.

Should I install Blackmagic RAW ?

Yes of course ! Because it will also install the Blackmagic RAW Player and the Explorer / Finder thumbnail previewer, which are awesome tools for your daily workflow. But you should uninstall the Adobe plugins that are installed along with them if you want to use BRAW Studio.
We have a checkbox in our installer to directly install only the Player and the thumbnails and delete the Adobe plugins !

Compatibility between the two plugins ?

Now that you understand how each plugin works, don't forget to read our other article about their compatibility, especially if you have created a project with one plugin and want to switch to the other !
Please note that some features of BRAW Studio for Adobe CC V2 are available for Blackmagic RAW Adobe plugins users, such as metadata import, timecode fix, timecode shift fix and export .XML !


That's all for now. Don't forget to follow us on Facebook or to subscribe to our newsletter, at the bottom of this page, to be sure to not miss any news ! You can also contact us if you have any trouble.

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