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Old October 21st, 2009, 04:43 AM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2
Most edit friendly formats for CC, FX and general image manipulation?

My camera broke a year ago and I'm looking to replace it with a temporary cheaper camera while I save up for a better camera. The new temporary camera must have an edit friendly codec.

My now broken camera had the HDV format which gave me a pretty smooth workflow in editing. Now I do heavy color correcting and compositing on my projects so the captured image must be free of artifacts such as oversharpenning or other superficial artifacts introduced to the image in order to make the files sizes smaller for the mainstream market.

I'm also looking for an efficient and friendly terms of a codec that needs the least transcoding and re-encoding from start to its final destination (DVD, BD etc.) and avoid image degradation.
Another important issue is that it must be CPU efficient cause I don't want the computer struggling and impeding my workflow. I have been trying out the ProRes 422 transcoding but when I bring the transcoded ProRes422 to the PC/win side it won't work?

So, what is the most efficient codec/format out there that will give the least hassle whilst maintaining as much detail as possible?
Marcel Irigoyen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 21st, 2009, 05:52 AM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: North Conway, NH
Posts: 1,745
You're not the first one to wrestle with this issue. I actually think this is a common concern. Unfortunately there is no single answer.

The conclusion I have adopted is that there are three codec groups is a project's life cycle. The first is capture, then edit and finally output. I think this is a common approach as it's been stated on this list many times, often using different words than the ones I've used. But the overall meaning is the same.

HD changes the metric because of the sheer amount of data required in each frame. The technology today necessitates that cams use interframe codecs for capture at our price levels. This works for capture but falls down in editing. ProRes, Cineform and DNxHD are all options for intermediate editing formats. They and probably some others offer enough space so that you can push the footage around a lot before it starts looking funny. Delivery, is just that. You use a codec that reaches the desired market or device.

There's really only one way to suss out the best workflow for you and that is to do the homework. Your situation will have some unique elements that do not apply to many others in the market. For example, it appears that your projects cross from Mac to PC at some point. While that's not unique, it's not part of my workflow.

You need to look at your workflow from end to end, do the research, then use the tools that make the most sense for you.

You can call me Captain Obvious if you like and you'd be right, but I'm for the simplest and most logical path from here to there.
Tripp Woelfel is offline   Reply

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