Top Ten Video Compressor Codecs for 2010

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With so many options out there, moviemaking has never been easier! It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3—light the scene, roll camera, and then download the footage to your computer and transcode the acquisition compression type to an intermediate codec with a bit rate and depth suited for your processor architecture and personal preference. Don’t forget to de-interlace. How easy is that?!

10—H.261
(Hats off to the grandfather of inter-frame encoding. Of course, completely obsolete now.)

9—HDV
(The enfant terrible just won’t quit!)

8—DVCPRO-HD 720/60p
(Ok, ok, the red desaturation on re-compression is annoying, but hey, it’s otherwise a war horse)

7—RED R3D
(Use it with RED QT M proxy, and you’ve got a 4:4:4 one-two punch!)

6—XDCAM HD422
(Did I hear someone say nanoFlash?!)

5—Apple ProRes 422
(Hands down, king of the pack among DCT based, intra-frame only, intermediate codecs)

4—AJA KonaLH 1080i 29.97 8bit
(Just 1 of the 34 options in the “Easy Setup” menu)

3—Avid DVxHD 36 Mbit/s, 8 bit depth
(Packed macroblocks??? Avid, you’re blowing my mind!!!)

2—MPEG-4 AVC/H.264, Linear PCM
(Obviously)

1—10bit YUV 4:2:2 Cineform NeoHD 1080P*
(Perfect for when you’re looking for that quick and easy solution.)
*Only reliable when using Lacczos 3-lobe resampler

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