Appologies if this has been posted before, but I've been struggling to find clear answers. Looking for some help with best practices for exporting cuts and footage.
I'm shooting 4k (usually edited/exported in 1080) CLOG2 from a Canon C70. I do a basic color grade in the edit, and when I go to export in h.264 I notice significant loss in color and image quality. The color differences if the most noticable difference, it's pretty glaringly different from what I see in my source monitor in Premiere. My export settings are h.264 Match Source - Adaptive High Bitrate. I've tried exporting in Apple ProRes MXF OP1a and the export is MUCH higher quality - no noticable change in color.
So I guess my question is, is there any way to export h.264 and not have such a loss in color and quality? or are there any other codecs/export settings I should use instead of h.264? I'm usually exporting either for Vimeo or web/mobile, but often export graded footage to pass off to clients or friends. I like the small file sizes of h.264 files, and don't want to send off huge ProRes MXF files to clients or friends who don't have the ability to edit those files.
ProRes is a post production format meant ot retain high quality and withstand multiple transcodings without visual loss. It's not something for video players or for use outside of post production. You might ProRes as a final deliverable if it's an archival copy or master, or if you're exporting a stringout or some kind of edit that's going to be brought into post production software somewhere else to have work continued on it.
H264/5 is a delivery codec, so yes you get the small file sizes since you're getting rid of a lot of the data. But you still need to maintain enough data so that it looks close enough to the original. There's not a one-size-fits-all setting or preset for H264. What export settings are you using? The bitrate is going to be one of the main things that controls the quality versus file size of your encoding, and you need to choose a bitrate appropriate for the resolution, framerate, and content of your video. Feel free to describe the settings you use, specifically, or even attach a photo of your export settings. The summary area in particular is helpful to see a bigger picture.