… for Codecs & Media
Tip #1130: Not All Proxy Files are the Same
Proxies are smaller files than camera masters, but not all proxies are equal.
While working on my webinar this week on Multicam Editing in Adobe Premiere Pro I started looking into proxy files. By definition, a proxy file is a smaller file than the camera native file is is derived from. But not all proxy files are created equal.
- Final Cut Pro X, for example, defaults to ProRes Proxy for all proxy files.
- Premiere Pro provides the choice of H.264, ProRes or Cineform. (DNx is reserved for 360° VR video.)
H.264 provides the smallest files. Based on my tests, H.264 files are about 1/10 the size of ProRes Proxy, while ProRes Proxy is about 1/10 the size of ProRes 422. But, due to the GOP-compression that H.264 uses, these files are less efficient to edit; especially on slower systems.
- If you are looking for smooth playback and faster rendering, ProRes Proxy is a better choice.
- If you are looking for the smallest files, for example, to transfer over the web for another editor to work on, H.264 is a better choice. Just remember that H.264 will require a newer computer with a fast CPU to edit effectively.
The webinar has more details on all of these.