The biggest problem with shooting video these days is the sheer amount of space that it can require, especially when you are shooting with high quality codecs or high resolutions like 4K. H.264 is a popular web codec because it holds enough data that it looks good but is small enough to stream over the web easily. An updated new version of H.264 offers high quality ProRes 4444 type quality at under 1% of the file size!
The new codec, called H.265 HEVC (High Efficiency Video Coding), supports up to 4K resolution and as I mentioned above offers extremely high quality footage with virtually no storage footprint (comparatively). Check out these demo frames below, can you guess which one is which?
The second is the new H.265 codec, so obviously the first image is the ProRes 4444, and if I am honest they look exactly the same to me. Even at 1:1 (which you can find here) the difference is not noticeable with the naked eye, at least not mine.
I think that this is very exciting news for all video shooters. This sort of technology, if ever implemented into DSLRs, would allow for super high quality video to be recorded on standard SD cards – no need for super fast cards.
The downside appears to be that this tech, at least currently, requires a dedicated H.265 processor – something that most DSLR makers currently wouldn’t consider. Still, the possibilities are very exciting.
I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave a comment below and let me know what you think of this new technology.