Compare 50 Intermediate Codecs on One Page

We’ve pulled together a list of the most common intermediate codecs used in video postproduction, so that you can compare codecs against each other. Each manufacturer publishes their own specifications in different formats, but we’ve scoured the Internet and brought them all into a single page. If you want to compare ProRes vs DNxHD, ProRes vs Cineform, DNxHD vs. DPX, or any other combination, you’ve come to the right place. This table can help you choose the right codec for each project.

Make good use of the filtering and sorting functions! Try typing “10-bit” or “4:2:2 10-bit” into the box below:

Notes:

  • I chose to list 1080p and UHD since they are the most common image sizes, but all of these codecs can handle many other frame sizes as well.
  • I also threw in one flavor of h.264 for reference, though it is not a good choice for an intermediate codec!
  • For Variable Bitrate codecs, the numbers listed are averages, though the actual number may be slightly higher or lower, depending on the complexity of the project.

*ProRes can be created on a PC, but only using Scratch or Nuke (purchase necessary) or with unsupported (and sometimes buggy) reverse-engineered encoders. The rest of these codecs can be created on a Mac or a PC with any standard video software.

Is there another codec you wish I had included? Please let me know!

Want to write for the Frame.io Blog? Shoot me an email at blog at frame dot io.

  • Just a note, many applications can write Prores on Windows these days. Apple started licensing the codec to companies about 3-4 years ago. On top of Scratch you can also write them with Resolve (free) and Nuke (NC version can write up to 1080p, commercial unlimited resolution). Adobe shouldn’t be too far behind.

    • David

      Thanks for the note! I’ve made an update to the post about Nuke. Unfortunately, Nuke is still quite expensive, and so if you’re an editing-focused shop, then paying that much just for ProRes export is not ideal. Resolve can decode ProRes on Windows, but you still can’t export ProRes (at least with the free version).

      Even if you already own a copy of Scratch or Nuke, inserting them into an editing workflow can be cumbersome, so DNxHD or Cineform can still be a much more practical choice for many Windows editors.

      If Adobe gets on board with ProRes export on Windows, that would change the game for many people. I doubt that Avid ever will, though…

  • Mark Cyril Bautista

    Great resource! This would surely help many assistant editors out there. I’m thinking it would be good to add a way to filter out items, say, i don’t want to see any 8-bit codecs. Also I think it would be nice to 12-bit, 16-bit DPX, EXR, TIFF and TGA sequences.

  • chris b

    Really nice….. one thing about Nuke prores writing… it’s convenient, but it’s Slow…