Tip #588: What is ProRes?

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #588: What is ProRes?

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

ProRes is a good choice for capture, editing and master files.

The Apple ProRes logo.

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Apple ProRes codecs provide a combination of multistream, real-time editing performance, impressive image quality, and reduced storage rates. ProRes codecs take full advantage of multicore processing and feature fast, reduced-resolution decoding modes. All ProRes codecs support any frame size (including SD, HD, 2K, 4K, 5K, and larger) at full resolution. The data rates vary based on codec type, image content, frame size, and frame rate.

As a variable bit rate (VBR) codec technology, ProRes uses fewer bits on simple frames that would not benefit from encoding at a higher data rate. All ProRes codecs are frame-independent (or “intra-frame”) codecs, meaning that each frame is encoded and decoded independently of any other frame. This technique provides the greatest editing performance and flexibility.

A variety of cameras can now capture and record a wider gamut of
color values when working in log or raw formats. You can preserve a wider color gamut by recording with the ProRes LOG setting on certain cameras such as the ARRI ALEXA or transcoding from the RED® camera’s REDCODE® RAW format. This results in deeper colors and more detail, with richer red and green areas of the image.


Here’s an Apple White Paper that explains ProRes in more detail.

The table of file sizes, at the end, are invaluable in planning storage requirements.

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