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Which codec to select on the Sony PXW-FS7

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Which codec to select on the Sony PXW-FS7

The FS7 can only shoot RAW through an external recorder. Internally it can record XAVC-I, XAVC-L and MPEG HD 422.

 XAVC-I is the main option. The 'I' stands for intra-frame, which means every frame is fully recorded. Giving you better quality and less compression artefacts.  Files are recorded at 10-bit 4:2:2 Giving you the maximum quality when recording internally on the FS7.

 XAVC-L is a more compressed version of XAVC-I. Instead of recording each frame, it only records the elements that are changing within the frame, saving space and making your files smaller. Because of the smaller data rates, it can also be recorded to cheaper recording media. But with its heavier compression, you'll also lose quality. You'll still get 10-bit 4:2:2 in HD, but at bigger resoLUTions you are limited to 10-bit 4:2:0.

 MPEG HD 422 is the smallest and oldest codec. With this broadcast approved codec the camera only shoots in HD (not 4K) at 8-bit 4:2:2 at normal frame rates (so no slow motion).

 When it comes to quality: the XAVC-I will give you the best this camera has to offer. But when you want safe space on your hard drive (and your footage does not need a lot of grading or post-production), MPEG HD 422 can become an option. On a 64Gb XQD card, you can record about 63.

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