April 12, 2015 at 11:13PM


How & WHY to convert Canon 70D MOV to PRORES???

Hello forum members,

I am quite new to all this and recently someone told me to convert the Canon 70D MOV video file into PRORES for added edge and honestly I don't understand what he meant.

So how we change file format without having any quality loss and most importantly WHY? what are the benefits of such conversion?

I know in 4K RAW we got some amazing freedom for coloring but what we will get from such conversion?

I am learning to use Adobe Premier Pro now days.



There are three types of video CODECS...

- Camera acquisition CODECS : these are the ones that your camera records with and are usually very compressed ( h.264 or Mpeg-4 ) unless your camera can record in ProRes or RAW.

- Editing CODECS : these are lossless low-compression CODECS, designed to preserve as much detail as possible. ( Apple ProRes, AVID DNxHD, Cineform ) They are the best editing CODECS because they will maintain maximum image and color detail while you edit your shots, but the files are HUGE.

- Delivery CODECS : These are what you deliver your finished video to your clients. This is usually h.264 in an AVI or MOV or MPEG-4 file container. These are highly compressed and are designed for smooth playback, but you do not want to edit using this format because too much information is thrown away in the compression process.

You can download the free version of the AVID DNxHD CODECS and use them for your editing files, or if you are working on a Mac you can simply import your camera files to transcode them to ProRes. I use the Cineform CODEC, but I am not sure if the free Cineform CODEC that comes with the GoPro Studio software works with other editors. I edit with Sony Vegas, which has no problem using the Cineform CODEC. ( there are also paid versions of the Cineform CODEC that start at $300 )

April 14, 2015 at 2:09AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

To just convert them from MOV. to ProRes wont really help out with anything though, will it?

If you where to shoot RAW with your camera it would be a greater idea, since you then would do a main color correction on your material and then export it as ProRes (or something else) for editing.

April 14, 2015 at 5:42AM

Viktor Ragnemar

You cannot improve image quality through compression. It doesn't matter what the codec is. The best you can do is preserve the quality of the original footage... this is called lossless compression.

ProRes is, by design, lossy and not lossless. Converting to ProRes will result in some loss of quality, technically speaking. Now, in reality, will the loss in it be visible with ProRes? Probably not, because what is coming out of your 70D is already highly compressed footage.

In my experience, the main benefit of converting to something like ProRes, Cineform, or DNxHD (all are great editing codecs) is that it can be a lot easier to playback in your NLE (Premiere Pro). I know it sounds weird, given the bigger file sizes, but the way that H.264 (your camera's codec, inside of those .mov files) is compressed in a way that can be really tough to playback for an NLE.

A noticeable place for this is switching playback direction. If you have an H.264 file and play forward, then suddenly switch to playing backward, Premiere has to pause for a moment. With a ProRes, Cineform, or DNxHD files, it's instantaneous.

In addition, even though this is just anecdotal, Premiere seems to be a lot more stable when dealing with an editing codec instead of H.264. Can't give you a technical reason why, it's just something I have personally experienced.

This has limits. If you encode everything to ProRes 4444 or 422 (HQ), it'll just be too high quality to playback on a weaker computer.... but that's due to different things.

As far as how to convert it to ProRes, there are a lot of options if you're on an Apple computer, including using Premiere itself, or Adobe Media Encoder (which you should have with Premiere).

If you're on Windows, there are ways to encode to ProRes, but I'd recommend trying another codec like GoPro Cineform or DNxHD to edit with, then export to H.264 for delivery.

April 14, 2015 at 6:42AM, Edited April 14, 6:42AM

David S.

I'm an enthusiastic amateur, working in Vegas - I've always had problems reversing footage. Tried your advice, just done a quick test and it works so much better - so many thanks!

Jon Mills

April 14, 2015 at 8:37AM, Edited April 14, 8:37AM

On a slightly related note, with Canon's 5d Mark III uncompressed hdmi video out, you get a YCbCr 4:2:2 8-bit video. Blackmagic Designs new video assist montor records in ProRes at 10-bit 4:2:2. This might be a noob question, but what happens to the bit depth if an 8-bit output is recorded in 10-bit? I just wondered as I am considering utilizing that option. Thanks!

April 15, 2015 at 8:17AM

Joseph Arant

10 bit has 2^10, i.e. 1024 possible values, while 8 bit has only 2^8, 256 possibilities. The 8-bit output is upsampled, but most likely you would use only 256 values among the 1024 possibilities (unless the algorithm is really smart, and introduces random values to diminish striping). Nevertheless, the quality will improve in the above case, because the prores 422 is a less compressed codec than the h.264 used in the 5dm3.

April 15, 2015 at 11:35AM

Almosh Taltosh

If you shot your 70D with All-I compression, there's no need to convert do DNxHD or ProRes 'couse with All-I the h264 "losses" the Long-GOP factor (intraframe compression, that causes problems for the NLE). But, if you shot in IPB, it's wise to convert, turning it into ProRes/DNxHD, making the .mov "lose" the Long-GOP factor.
If you want in-depth knowledge, that this video out: https://vimeo.com/104554788

April 15, 2015 at 1:00PM

Daniel Gomes
wnb director

i Shoot in Canon 60D and very evidently it gives me an H.264 or MOV format. Now if I convert this to Prores 422 or Prores 444 then in which sequence settings and with what specific resolutions do I set up my sequence and timeline? I work in Adobe Premiere Pro.

February 14, 2017 at 6:40AM

Himadri Shikhar Ghatak
Independent Film Maker/ Editor

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