09 Dec 2012

Sony explains its new 4K codec: XAVC

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XAVC - Sony's own explanation XAVC - Sony's own explanation Sony/RedShark

Do we need yet another H.264 - based codec? Sony thinks that we do, and explains why

Sony's XAVC codec is designed to reduce 4K video to manageable proportions. Announced at the same time as Sony's new F5 and F55 cameras, it forms part of an ecosystem that allows camera operators and post production specialists to choose the best workflow for the task in hand - from low-bitrate and highly compressed (but still distinctly 4K), all the way to raw, uncompressed.

Reactions to this new format have been mixed, with some expressing surprise that yet another H.264-based format is needed, while others have praised Sony for creating such a versatile environment for high-end creativity.

The facts

But in order to arrive at a valid opinion, it's essential to understand the facts. And here, at last, is Sony's own detailed explanation of this new codec. It's a rather technical read, but it does show very clearly where 4K, the F5 and F55, and XAVC sit in the video production landscape.

David Shapton

David is the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications. He's been a professional columnist and author since 1998, when he started writing for the European Music Technology magazine Sound on Sound. David has worked with professional digital audio and video for the last 25 years.

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