The importance of Bit rate, Mbps, and color sampling in video cameras.
If you’ve ever encoded videos you know how important bit rate can be. A low bit rate means choppy video that gets pixilated any time there is motion in the video. For some types of video a high bitrate would offer no advantage. If however there are leaves blowing in the wind or waves rippling across a lake, or a crowd of people hustling and bustling on a new York street, you must use a high bitrate or your video will be a blocky, pixilated mess. If your camera records at a bitrate of 25Mbps or less you will probably see pixilation in very busy scenes or when you pan.
Panasonic and Canon have recently released cameras that shoot at 50Mbps. That’s twice the rate used by most cameras.
Color sampling effects how much gradation you have in each color. A camera like Canon’s new XF300 offers 4:2:2 color sampling. That’s twice that of cameras using 4:2:0 sampling, which is most of the competition.
So we’ve established that a high Bit rate and Color sampling effect the quality of the image. If you’re shooting for broadcast, many stations have Bit rate and color sampling requirements. If your camera doesn’t meet these standards they won’t buy your project.
Consider space requirements:
High bit rates take up more space on your recording media which means less recording time. A 32gig CF card may hold 2.5 hours of video at 25Mbps but half that at 50Mbps. The larger files will also fill up your hard drives faster. You may experience stuttering and slowness in your editing program if your computer isn’t a powerhouse. This also depends partly on the encoding of the cameras files.