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Old December 3rd, 2007, 10:13 AM   #1
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What Compression Lossless Video Codec do you use?

Hello,

I'm having more trouble as projects keep coming and growing and space is becoming an issue.

Even though I'm using lossless compression I dont seem to get more ratios as I would like. Can you recommend lossless video codecs that give good ratios and of course good quality and can be used in Premiere seamlessly?

Other thing is that we dont back-up to tape (everything is on hard-drives or raw footage on tapes, we dont like the option of dvd yet), is it worth it to back-up to tape? We could only back-up to tape using our XL1s, does this bring enough quality for back-ups or there's a better solution for buying hardware??

Thanks
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Old December 3rd, 2007, 09:50 PM   #2
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Cineform is visually lossless, and accellerates premiere at that. It's well worth the money!

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Old December 4th, 2007, 03:37 AM   #3
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Hello,

I hear a lot about Cineform and I know is visually lossless, but what about compression? Does it gives good ratios?

Thanks.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 07:24 AM   #4
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Jose, you need to be more specific - what video are we talking about? Is it DV or HDV? The Canon XL1S is DV only, so Cineform is of no use to you as it is for HD.

And what is your purpose with this codec? The DV codec is as good as it can get as far as quality to size ratio - anything lower will degrade your video quality. Backing up to tape is an option that will not reduce quality, but in my opinion it's not worth, hard drive prices are so low now, it all comes out at the same price - a 500GB hard drive (external) is around $100 and can hold 40 tapes (40x12.5=500) so it's 2.5 dollars per tape - just about same as tape price.

Now, if you work with uncompressed video (multi layer special effects come to mind) then it's a different story - so come back with more detail please.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #5
 
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Old December 4th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ervin Farkas View Post
Jose, you need to be more specific - what video are we talking about? Is it DV or HDV? The Canon XL1S is DV only, so Cineform is of no use to you as it is for HD.

And what is your purpose with this codec? The DV codec is as good as it can get as far as quality to size ratio - anything lower will degrade your video quality.
DV is NOT as good as it gets in SD, and it has a poor quality to file size ratio. What it has going for it is compatibilty, and native transfer for DV devices. A DV file includes all data captured by a DV camcorder, but if you are willing to lose say about 10% more quality, the filesize can be reduced 5 to 10 times for longterm storage.

If you need maximum quality and your footage is natively in DV already, DV will beat any "lossless" compression format.
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Old December 4th, 2007, 11:57 PM   #7
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Cineform will certainly support SD as well as HD frame sizes, if you needed a high-quality intermediate codec for SD material.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 07:31 AM   #8
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I also wondered a lot about codecs - who doesn't want to save space and keep quality, aye. I tried out many loseless codecs out of which MSU is best, but I shall only use it as an intermediate step when doing slow motion video parts... In all other cases I'll use Xvid!

Xvid is free and an excellent codec. If you use two-step encoding you can compress DV video files a lot with just barely notable degradation in visual quality (with chosing best quality in Xvid with least possible compression). Actually, in my opinion visual quality with Xvid codec even improves because it removes the most visible unnecessary noise which DV codec keeps, while retaining the sharpness, colors and all visual data which is important!
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Old December 5th, 2007, 08:17 AM   #9
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Hello people,

Let me give you more details:

1. Yes now we use dv from Canon XL1s. We want to shrink our spaces values and mantain quality as much as we can and bee able to use the compression files for editing (thats why the have to be lossless if possible).

2. Will make the jump to HD (starting fresh as its going to be our first HD camara and new workflows that we have to learn) very soon and of course the worries start to grow.

So the this is knowing what you people are using out there (thanks for the answers given until now) and your back up strategies.

Thanks in advance.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 08:28 AM   #10
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I would just stick to DV. Storage gets cheaper exponentially so you will regret using a proprietary codec in the long run.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 09:16 AM   #11
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Hello again,

For now will be using dv but we have to make the change to HD and will be using HD and better to know the tools and options from now on.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 10:08 AM   #12
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HDV has the same file size as DV and you can keep it in the native format for simple editing. If you need complex editing done fast, then you basically have one option only: Cineform.

But your file sizes will not decrease... they will increase.
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Old December 5th, 2007, 10:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyan Dob View Post
I also wondered a lot about codecs - who doesn't want to save space and keep quality, aye. I tried out many loseless codecs out of which MSU is best, but I shall only use it as an intermediate step when doing slow motion video parts... In all other cases I'll use Xvid!

Xvid is free and an excellent codec. If you use two-step encoding you can compress DV video files a lot with just barely notable degradation in visual quality (with chosing best quality in Xvid with least possible compression). Actually, in my opinion visual quality with Xvid codec even improves because it removes the most visible unnecessary noise which DV codec keeps, while retaining the sharpness, colors and all visual data which is important!
True, both xvid and divx are very good codecs for storing video, they have a fantastic quality at the given file size. But let's not forget that what's lost once it's lost forever, these are VISUALLY close to lossless - when you need to go back and edit a file stored as divx/xvid, you get the quality hit, plus you will have a hard time working with these files in Premiere.

I stand by my opinion: if you want lossless standard definition video, keep it DV/AVI! It's your best option for both quality and ease of editing. HDV is a more complicated issue, but again, there is no excuse for not keeping a copy of the original MPEG file either on tape or hard drive, to be able to go back to the original any time you need it. Besides, it's not recommended to re-use tapes anyway, so just keep those tapes!
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