Compare 50 Intermediate Codecs on One Page
In this article we’ll give you the ability to compare codecs. Fifty of them, in fact. And if that’s not enough, you’ll find a lot more detail in our mega-article on codecs: How to Choose the Right Codec for Every Project. Take a look at that if you haven’t seen it yet!
If you’re curious about how many codecs there are, check out the list on Wikipedia.
We’ve pulled together a list of the most common intermediate codecs used in video postproduction. So now you can compare codecs against each other. And we’re talking intermediate codecs, here, we’re not covering camera codecs.
Because companies publish their own specifications in different formats, it can be difficult to compare codecs directly. So we’ve scoured the Internet and brought them all into a single page. So, if you want to compare codecs like 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.
Most importantly, make sure that you check the filtering and sorting functions to compare codecs. Try typing “10-bit” or “4:2:2 10-bit” into the box below,
Things to note
Firstly, I’m listing 1080p and UHD since they are the most common image sizes. But all of these codecs can handle many other frame sizes as well.
Secondly, there’s also one flavor of h.264 for reference, though it is not a good choice for an intermediate codec!
And finally, for Variable Bitrate codecs, the numbers listed are averages. The actual number may be slightly higher or lower, depending on the complexity of the project.
(*) While you can create ProRes on a PC, you need to buy specialized tools. Or use unsupported and sometimes buggy reverse-engineered encoders. Other than that, you can create the rest of these codecs on a Mac or a PC with any standard video software. For a much deeper discussion of this topic, please see this article.
To sum up, did we miss anything? Maybe you can think of another codec you wish I had included? Please let me know!
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