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Mythbusting Apple’s ProRes 422 codec

Ah, summer. Time to sit around the campfire, making s'mores and talking about everyone's favorite new codec, ProRes 422, which was introduced with Final Cut Studio 2. Now that folks have had some time to bang on it a bit, we're getting a clearer picture of what this puppy can and can't do. Tim Wilson over at Creative Cow has taken the time to sift through their forums and collect the general consensus. He wants to clear up a lot of misconceptions about Apple's new trophy codec that compresses HD content down to SD bitrates with a negligible loss in visual quality. 老域名出售

Wilson is quick to point out (several times in fact) that many are failing to take in the context of the term "lightweight." Relative to uncompressed HD, ProRes 422 is certainly a big improvement, but uncompressed HD is a feat that requires specialized hardware for even the beefiest of machines. Even 10-bit uncompressed SD (to which ProRes is supposed to be comparable in terms of bitrate) is a challenge for pre-Intel machines, so if you want to make use of ProRes at HD resolutions, you still need the biggest, baddest Mac you can get your hands on. Another important note is the fact that you'll have to have FCP 6 installed to use it, which is unlikely to be a problem for most but seems like a silly limitation.

Don't let me give you the impression that it's all doom and gloom. Overall, the general consensus seems to be that ProRes 422 is going to be an excellent addition to the HD toolbox, and Wilson is positively glowing about the ability to use the "medium quality" feature to squeak out four times the performance with almost no loss in visual quality. If you work with 1080i/60 in FCP (or plan to in the near future), it's definitely worth your time to check out the article.

Now where did I put my pointy stick and marshmallows?


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