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November 18, 2014

by Larry Jordan

 

 

 

 

 

There are three different types of video media used by Final Cut Pro X:

  • Camera native
  • Optimized (ProRes 422)
  • Proxy (ProRes 422 Proxy)

Camera native media can use a wide variety of codecs, though only one codec is allowed per media file. Codecs include:

  • DV
  • HDV
  • AVCHD
  • H.264
  • ProRes

And those are just some of the more popular varieties of the hundreds of codecs that are currently in the market. So, which media format should you use? And how can you tell which one FCP X is using? Answering that question is the purpose of this article.

SOME QUICK DEFINITIONS

Camera Native Files. The file format shot by your camera and captured to a card, hard disk or tape for editing. These files have four key parameters:

  • Codec
  • Frame size
  • Frame rate
  • Scanning – Progressive or Interlaced

Of these four, the most important is the codec.

Codec. The mathematics used to convert light and sound into numbers the computer can store. Some codecs are optimized for small file sizes, others for image quality, still others for effects processing. Codecs are, generally, determined by the camera manufacturer and, essentially, determine file size, image quality, editing efficiency, color space and all the other elements that go into an image. It is impossible to overstate the importance of the video codec in video production and post.

NOTE: Codecs are also referred to as video formats, though that is a less precise term as “video formats” can also include elements outside the codec such as image size or frame rate.

Transcode. To convert media, either audio or video, from one format to another.

CHOOSE WHICH TO USE… (click here to continue reading)


(Click here for a larger PNG version of this image.)

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