Or whether all those rushes would fit on that one hard drive?
How about whether your edit system would like that file type?
Or whether that specific codec is supported by that specific camera?
Grey Hour Media has produced an app that answers all those questions. Formats is an easy-to-use catalogue of commonly used codecs, cameras and editing software and how each of them work and line up against each other.
The Cameras library is a comprehensive list of commonly used & hired cameras, with information on all available in-camera codecs. Expanding on a camera system will provide you information such as compatible resolutions, framerates, bit rates, sampling and color space.
The Formats tab is a long list of popular (you guessed it) codecs & formats. The page has a simple color coding system highlighting whether a format is suitable for Acquisition, Intermedate or Delivery use (or any combination of the three).
Expanding on a format provides you information on how it gets on with the top NLE software packages (FCP 7 & 10, Premier Pro and Avid) as well as a long specification list including compatible resolution, framerates, bit depth, sampling, color space and audio channels.
The third tab is a very useful Calculator. Starting with either the format or camera and inputting your framerate duration and resolution will provide you with a filesize. This will be a fantastic tool for in-the-field calculations; working out whether you’ll have enough cards for a shoot, what compression ratio to set your RED to, or whether to pick ProRes LT over HQ.
With the abundance of camera formats now out there, it’s easy to get lost with which system can do what, with the Formats app this information is now at your fingertips. I can see this working great with kit you plan to hire and want the quick specs of, and working out how much hard drive space to allocate for certain projects.
The Formats app is currently available for iOS only, and can be purchased here.