10 bit ProRes 4444 quality coming to DSLR’s via H.265 codec.

hevc-high-effeciency-video-coding

In case you didn’t know, the new H.265 codec is ushering in a new evolutionary era of high quality video codecs. It replaces the outgoing H.264 codec (we all know and love with warts) and it will be the new standard going forward. You should care about this because it is the next biggest thing to happen to our industry in the past 10 years. There is enough advancement in this codec that will make some massive changes to our recording and streaming technologies.  Essentially, H.265 will be able to deliver a huge leap in image quality at very low bit rates and small file sizes. To quantify this, a 590MB ProRes 444 file was converted to 5MB H.265 file with no discernible difference in quality. Currently, low bit rate recording equals terrible video quality that is plagued with compression artifacts, banding, and lack of tonality. With H.265 those hinderances should be a thing of the past. Here’s a few major points on what we can expect from H.265.

  • Streaming of native 4K material via youtube, Netflix, Apple TV and Vimeo. (no compression artifacts)
  • Smartphone 4K video recording with relatively tiny file sizes.
  • Recording of 10 bit 4:4:4 video easily achievable on common DSLRs.
  • Supports 10 and 12 bit colour profiles.

The only downside to this at the moment is H.256 requires more computational horsepower which means you need the hardware to support it. Hardware support is a small hurtle that won’t take too long to become ubiquitous. The take away here folks is nothing we don’t already know: Our recording tools are always getting cheaper, smaller, and now with H.265 codec; much, much better image quality with tiny, low-bit rate file sizes that equal high bit rate, 10 bit 444 material.

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