Video Recording Formats

Choosing the right video recording format is critical for any project. This guide covers the gamut of popular formats available in today's DSLR and mirrorless cameras, helping you decide which is best for your needs.

Motion JPEG (M-JPEG)

Motion JPEG is a sequence of JPEG images, providing high-quality frame-by-frame video. It's ideal for editing where individual frames are critical but results in larger file sizes.


MPEG4, widely known as MP4, is a versatile format perfect for recording and streaming, offering a good balance between quality and file size, with broad compatibility across devices.

H.264 (AVC)

H.264 or AVC is favored for high-definition video recording, achieving high compression rates without sacrificing quality, making it suitable for everything from online streaming to professional broadcasting.

H.265 (HEVC)

H.265 or HEVC improves upon H.264's compression, halving file sizes while maintaining quality, making it excellent for 4K and 8K video, though requiring more processing power.


Canon's XF-AVC is designed for professional use, offering efficient compression and exceptional image quality, often used in broadcasting and high-end videography.


XAVC-S is Sony's format tailored for consumer cameras, balancing the compression efficiency of professional-grade XAVC with the consumer-friendly MP4 wrapper.


XAVC-HS takes advantage of H.265 compression, allowing for smaller file sizes in 4K video recording, thus extending the storage capabilities without compromising on detail.


XAVC-SI, or XAVC Intra, is an all-intra format that encodes each frame independently, optimal for professional editing due to its higher quality and easier access to individual frames.


Advanced Video Codec High Definition (AVCHD) combines the efficient compression of H.264 with a file structure optimized for high-definition video on AVCHD-compatible players and devices.

Finding the Right Fit

Choosing a video format involves weighing factors like quality, file size, and editing needs. For instance, H.264/AVC is great for its balance of quality and storage, while H.265/HEVC is better for high-resolution projects. If you need to edit extensively, consider M-JPEG or XAVC-SI for their frame-by-frame precision.

In conclusion, the optimal video format for your project aligns with your goals. Whether it's for a high-end production or everyday video recording, selecting the right format ensures your content meets your vision.