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Understanding Compression’s Role in Camera Development

RedShark News’ David Shapton writes about understanding compression and what it means for camera development.

He writes, “Compression is, of course, one of the biggest factors in determining the architecture of a camera. All footage that comes from a sensor’s electronics is uncompressed. It’s largely what’s available from the real-time uncompressed outputs on cameras, such as SDI and HDMI. But to record this high volume data stream internally means compromises. For cheaper cameras, it means using slower, less expensive storage. For this reason (and to get reasonable recording times), it’s normal to use pretty heavy compression, sometimes surprisingly severe. It’s not unusual to compress video by a factor of thirty or even fifty even in professional cameras. That means that when you play it back, you’re watching a picture that’s recreated using only a thirtieth of the original data.”