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Chapter 16. Capturing Video > Understanding Capture

Understanding Capture

It’s not enough to have your video in a digital form; it also has to be in a format that’s practical to use for editing. As a digital file, every frame of standard (as opposed to high-definition) video consumes nearly 1 MB. Capturing and playing back approximately 30 frames per second (the standard frame rate) is impossible for most processors and drives; the data rate, or flow of information, is simply too high. Not to mention the storage capacity you’d need to hold such enormous files.

Some professionals do use equipment that can process digital video in a relatively pristine, or uncompressed, form. However, most users either don’t require or can’t afford this level of quality, and use equipment that compresses the video for use on the computer. Compression is one way to reduce the file size (and thereby the data rate) of the video, making it easier to store, process, and play back. Other audio and video settings, such as frame size and frame rate, also affect the data rate. Along with your final output goal, the equipment you use helps determine the video and audio settings you’ll choose for capturing video.


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