What is Apple ProRes? The iPhone 13’s rumored video format explained

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Apple ProRes is simply a video format. Your archetypal presumption mightiness beryllium that ProRes is each astir retaining the maximum magnitude of item and dynamic scope successful footage – it does that, but its astir notable intent is thing else.

Like Apple ProRaw, this is simply a format made for editing. Video editors mightiness person captured clips to ProRes (or its rival Avid DNxHD) erstwhile importing them into a programme similar Apple Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere Pro oregon BlackMagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve. Alternatively, you tin grounds consecutive to ProRes with galore cameras, utilizing an outboard recorder.

But wherefore usage ProRes? One crushed is that it’s overmuch easier connected your computer’s CPU, resulting successful a acold smoother editing process than you’d spot utilizing the H.264 oregon H.265 formats your camera astir apt captures natively.

What’s absorbing astir ProRes is that Apple is rumored to beryllium bringing the format to its incoming iPhone 13 series, oregon possibly conscionable its iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Here’s what that means and wherefore it could beryllium a large deal.

What is Apple ProRes?
Apple introduced ProRes successful 2007, arsenic portion of its Final Cut Pro 6 editing software. The merchantability backmost past was it “produces stunning HD prime astatine SD record sizes”.

This tells america 1 of its cardinal characteristics. ProRes is simply a compressed format, but 1 that aims to beryllium “visually lossless”.

ProRes is not a singular thing, though. It’s a household of six prime standards, from the space-saving ‘ProRes 422 Proxy’ close up to the ultra-high-quality ‘ProRes 4444 XQ’.

Which of these six formats you’ll privation to usage depends connected your priorities of representation prime versus record size/portability. However, if you usage hardware that tin grounds ProRes natively, you’re going to beryllium constricted to what it supports, too. An Atomos Ninja V outer recorder, for example, supports ProRes 422 LT, 422 and 422 HQ, for example.
Below is simply a array of the six ProRes standards, for the curious, on with however overmuch abstraction they prevention versus an uncompressed file. We utilized figures from Apple’s ProRes achromatic paper, published successful 2020, based connected signaling astatine 1080p resolution, 29.97fps.

What’s the quality betwixt 4:4:4 and 4:2:2? They are antithetic ways to encode color. 4:2:2 ProRes simplifies colour information, but is inactive 10-bit, offering capable fidelity to debar evident color-banding successful astir cases. And arsenic you tin spot from these figures, adjacent the highest-quality ProRes files are inactive acold smaller than uncompressed ones.

Apple ProRes formats
Subsampling Format Bit-rate
4:2:2 Uncompressed 4:2:2 video 1,326Mbps
4:2:2 Apple ProRes 422 HQ 220Mbps
4:2:2 Apple ProRes 422 147Mbps
4:2:2 Apple ProRes 422 LT 102Mbps
4:2:2 Apple ProRes 422 Proxy 45Mbps
4:4:4 Uncompressed 4:4:4 video 2237Mbps
4:4:4 Apple ProRes 4444 XQ 500Mbps
4:4:4 Apple ProRes 4444 330Mbps

Why wouldn’t you conscionable usage ProRes each the time? An H.264 oregon H.265-encoded clip is inactive going to beryllium overmuch smaller, arsenic those formats are designed to supply decent representation prime astatine debased bit-rates. And it is precisely this benignant of encoding that makes them a spot of a pain, and processor drain, to enactment with successful an editing suite. If you person an older laptop it whitethorn not adjacent beryllium capable to grip 4K H.265 playback smoothly.

You’d usage ProRes successful the editing/production portion of the process, earlier converting the last clip into thing radical tin play connected their phones, oregon connected their TV via a USB instrumentality – astir apt an H.264 oregon H.265-encoded file. That said, YouTube does really enactment ProRes 422.

Content creators tin upload a ProRes record straight to YouTube, though it’s going to extremity up successful the H.264 format erstwhile it has been done the platform’s compression wringer anyway.

Who uses Apple ProRes?
Anyone who edits video successful 1 of the manufacture modular suites, similar Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro oregon DaVinci Resolve, has astir apt considered utilizing ProRes astatine the precise least.

It’s a practical, high-quality format to usage erstwhile moving connected a video project. If you person a camera that tin sprout uncompressed earthy video, you mightiness deliberation you privation to usage that. However, if you’re dealing with high-resolution seizure and immoderate existent length, it’ll chew done SSD abstraction astatine an intimidating rate.

Using the 10-bit ProRes is simply a bully thought adjacent if your camera lone shoots 8-bit video too. First, your machine volition grip it amended than the files your camera spits retired – and adjacent if the archetypal footage lone has 8-bit color, edits you marque tin beryllium processed astatine a higher colour fidelity. That means smoother gradients, and little evident colour banding.

Why would ProRes connected iPhones beryllium a large deal?
If Apple does so connection ProRes enactment connected the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, arsenic the rumors suggest, it would marque this video format much mainstream than it has ever been.


ProRes whitethorn beryllium communal parlance among radical who marque videos each the time, but getting your caput astir this worldly tin beryllium tricky for idiosyncratic who has a telephone and wants to commencement making funny, well-produced societal media videos, for example.

You don’t request costly video editing bundle to usage ProRes, either. iMovie has supported it since 2014 – arsenic agelong arsenic it’s not successful an MXF (Material Exchange Format) container, anyway. That’s the record hold you’ll spot astatine the extremity of the record name. ProRes video besides comes successful the much acquainted ‘MOV’ format.
Apple wouldn’t truly beryllium doing thing technologically groundbreaking here. You tin usage tools to transcode the iPhone 12’s MOV (H.264) and HEVC (H.265) into ProRe.s But by removing steps successful the process, Apple would marque it overmuch easier for newcomers to follow these champion practices from time one. Removing an other compression measurement besides avoids imaginable representation degradation – it’s similar signaling a transcript of a copy.

Adoption of ProRes would besides beryllium a motion of Apple’s assurance successful the iPhone’s video output. While its phones’ video prime isn’t rather arsenic competitory arsenic stills – the request to crank retired 30 oregon 60 frames per 2nd restricts however overmuch computational enactment tin beryllium done to mitigate the limitations of tiny sensor size – iPhones bash inactive connection best-in-class video.

What astir Apple ProRes Raw?
We can’t speech astir ProRes without besides mentioning the step-up format, ProRes Raw. This was introduced successful 2018, and provides ProRes-style compression for earthy video capture. It’s the aforesaid concept: smaller files, comparatively debased CPU/GPU strain, and successful this case, greater easiness of usage than the alternate format Cinema DNG. There are others too, but these are made by camera manufacturers, to service their ain cameras.

ProRes Raw is the benignant of format you mightiness usage with a high-end mirrorless camera made for video, oregon a dedicated video camera, alongside an outboard recorder. Several Atomos recorders enactment ProRes Raw, including the Ninja V. DJI’s Zenmuse X7 drone camera tin grounds successful ProRes Raw natively, too. And the resulting record sizes are really comparable with the higher prime bands of “non raw” ProRes.
You don’t person to usage Final Cut Pro to enactment with ProRes Raw either, arsenic Adobe Premiere Pro supports it. However, DaVinci Resolve does not, astatine the clip of writing.

The crushed is beauteous evident erstwhile you recognize DaVinci Resolve is made by Blackmagic Design, which created its ain compressed earthy video format, Blackmagic Raw. That’s a license-free standard, dissimilar ProRes Raw. But from our perspective, arsenic camera users whose choices are directed by the cameras we extremity up buying, this small warfare isn’t successful our interest.

DaVinci Resolve does enactment each versions of non-Raw ProRes, however. Blackmagic whitethorn take to enactment ProRes Raw erstwhile request from the users of this $299 suite outweigh its tendency to beforehand its ain compressed earthy format.

source: https://www.techradar.com/news/what-is-apple-prores

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