What's the main difference between the different Prores profiles?

theextremefilmmaker
theextremefilmmaker Website User Posts: 26 Just Starting Out

For the past year I've been trying to find the best editing codec that works for me. So far I've used DNxHR which so far has worked pretty well however the files sizes are quite big(yes I know they are supposed to be but still). Right now I'm encoding some files to NormanAVC and I'm going to try them out. The next codec on my list to try is ProRes. I checked the Apple website  and couldn't really tell the difference between the different profiles other than the bitrate. The footage I encode is anywhere from 10 mbps to 20 mbps. That is well below Prores proxy's 35 mbps. So I was wondering if the lower bitrate will have different performance than say Apple prores 422 which has a bitrate of 147 mbps or the different bitrates are simply to not loose data?

Comments

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Website User Posts: 4,063 Enthusiast

    "I checked the Apple website  and couldn't really tell the difference between the different profiles other than the bitrate."

    That's it. The bitrate. Prores is lossy. Higher bitrate has less loss all else being equal. The big thing is can you see the difference. That is something you need to test for yourself.

    All the normal Prores profiles uses 10-bit 4:2:2 chroma subsampling. The exception is Prores 444(4) which has no chroma subsampling and can (optionally) store an alpha channel and can be up to 12-bit. The proxy bitrate is likely to have noticeable visual artifacts. Source content depending of course.

    Cineform is basically the same as Prores. Most 10-bit 4:2:2 profiles and an 12-bit RGB(A) profile with no chroma subsampling.

    DNxHR is basically the same as Prores and Cineform. Various 4:2:2 profiles (some 8-bit some 10-bit) and some RGB profiles.

  • theextremefilmmaker
    theextremefilmmaker Website User Posts: 26 Just Starting Out

    @NormanPCN So basically I should pick the profile based on what the bitrate of my footage is?

  • NormanPCN
    NormanPCN Website User Posts: 4,063 Enthusiast
    edited March 2020

    @theextremefilmmaker

    No. You cannot compare one codecs bitrate to another codecs bitrate. "Equivalent" bitrates amongst codecs varies greatly. That said, the bitrates amongst the so called intermediate codecs is quite similar and comparable. In other words a ~140Mbps profile in DNx, Cineform or Prores are quite comparable. The problem comes when comparing something like AVC/H.264 to the intermediate codecs. AVC is the codec your camera is likely capturing. An "equivalent" bitrate in an intermediate codec (Prores/Cineform/Dnx) is usually 3-5x higher than typical AVC/H.264. HEVC/H.265 is even more compressed than AVC.

    The Prores "standard" profile is ~140Mbps for 1080p30 media. Less for 24fps and more for 60fps. The profile is called "standard" because it should handle any camera quality input. It should have enough quality for some renders and then re-import with no visual quality loss. It is rare to do such things. Cineform High is about the same bitrate as Prores standard and DNx standard. If Cineform is in the cards, then some of us on this forum suggest trying Cineform medium. Lower bitrate and thus smaller file and probably more than good enough. In Prores terms this would be Prores LT.

  • theextremefilmmaker
    theextremefilmmaker Website User Posts: 26 Just Starting Out

    @NormanPCN I meant pick between the Prores profiles

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