Tip #474: DNxHR vs. ProRes

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #474: DNxHR vs. ProRes

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These two codecs are directly comparable, but not the same.

Topic $TipTopic LowePost summarized the differences between Avid’s DNx and Apple’s ProRes codecs. Here’s the link. This is an excerpt.

The Avid DNxHR and Apple Prores codec families are designed to meet the needs of modern, streamlined post-production workflows.

Both the DNxHR and ProRes families offer a variety of codecs for different compressions, data rates and file sizes. Some with just enough image information needed for editing, others for high-quality color grading and finishing, and lossless ones for mastering and archiving.

Codec facts

  • DNxHR 444, ProRes 4444 and ProRes 4444 QC are the only codecs with embedded alpha channels.
  • DNxHR 444 and ProRes 4444 XQ are the only codecs that fully preserve the details needed in HDR- (high-dynamic-range) imagery.
  • Both codec families are resolution independent, but bitrate will vary depending on if you output a proxy file or a higher resolution file.
  • Both codec families can be wrapped inside MXF or MOV containers.

An important difference, however, is that some of the major editing and finishing systems available lacks support for ProRes encoding for Windows. This means Windows users can read a ProRes encoded file, but in some cases cannot export one. For this reason, many post-production facilites have abandoned ProRes and implemented a full DNxHR workflow.

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2 replies
  1. Jacob Hodgman
    Jacob Hodgman says:

    ProRes 4444 ‘QC’… a typo?
    Also, the bit about ProRes not being supported on Windows seems to have been superseded according to TIp #483.


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