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Professional-grade footage with uncompressed movie data

A format commonly used by videographers and media professionals, uncompressed movie data is the preferred way to capture accurate, crystal-clear and high-quality footage.

What is uncompressed movie data?

The term “uncompressed movie data” is derived from movie data that has not been altered by a device or software.

Uncompressed movie data retains pure video quality and fidelity as it has a high amount of bit depth, or the amount of information in a pixel such as colour.

High-end professional video cameras can produce uncompressed movies, whereas a majority of consumer range video cameras perform a compression to the videos that are recorded to make it much smaller in file size. The device’s software processes the movie stream by removing some of the information, hence sacrificing movie quality.

The amount of details captured in uncompressed videos is also based on the output resolution setting (4K UHD, Full HD, etc.) which has been set in the device.

Is uncompressed movie data the same as raw data?

Uncompressed movie data is made out of raw data. Raw data is simply data (zeroes and ones) that has not been processed and interpreted as a video by an image processor chip. This data is formed when light enters the image sensor.

However, the terms “uncompressed movie data” and “raw data” are not to be used interchangeably. Uncompressed movie data has parameters that are already set by the capture device, such as white balance and dynamic range, without a compression scheme applied.

How do I use uncompressed movie data to my advantage?

A variety of Nikon DSLR cameras are able to send uncompressed movie data through a HDMI cable to an external hard disk recorder, bypassing the camera’s internal image-processing system. The movie can then be further processed in third party editing applications.

It is easier to apply post production techniques to uncompressed movie data than if it were in a compressed form, giving you more flexibility in creating your video masterpiece. As the audio quality and amount of details are still retained even after the external recorder receives and processes the data, you will have more creative control over every element of the movie.

There are also several other distinct advantages of recording uncompressed movie data, such as:
1. The freedom to record for extended periods of time. Recording uncompressed movie data to an external recorder is not limited to a time span that is typical of DSLR cameras, but by the space available in the external recorder. The more space you have, the more you can record.
2. Real-time updates. Uncompressed movie data can be streamed ‘live’ at big-ticket events or functions.
3. Archiving your work in high quality. This format allows you to keep all that you’ve recorded exactly as it is.