Apple ProRes is a video compression format created by Apple, an intermediate codec specifically used in Final Cut Pro and other professional editing software such as Premiere Pro and Avid Media Composer for editing instead of video playback. As a high quality and high performance editing codec using multicore processors, Apple ProRes offers multistream and impressive output image quality as well as low complexity, which leads to excellent real-time editing performance. It supported frame size ranging from SD and HD to 4K and 2K at full resolution.
Apple ProRes offers the optimal editing flexibility because all codecs are frame-independent with the help of variable bitrate (VBR) technology. Apple ProRes is a 10 bit codec to deal with more color data. If your source video is shot at a 8 bit codec, you can convert the video files to Apple ProRes to make use of the 10 bit encoding in order to achieve the color correction in a trouble-free way.
Six Versions for Apple ProRes
Apple ProRes consists of six versions, that is, Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 4444 (XQ), Apple ProRes 422, Apple ProRes 422 (HQ), Apple ProRes 422 (LT), and Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy). These six types span a wide range of data rates, ranging from maximum compression rate to minimal compression rate, which makes it easy to edit any frame (SD, HD, 5K, 4K, 2K), 10-bit large video files.
Apple ProRes 4444
Apple ProRes 4444 is characteristic of full-resolution and high quality 4:4:4:4 image source that supports alpha channels. It is perfect codec to store and exchange motion graphics and composites because of its lossless nature.
Target date rate: about 330 Mbps for 4:4:4 source at 1920*1080, 29.97 fps
Apple ProRes 4444 (XQ)
Apple ProRes 4444 (XQ) provides the highest quality for 4:4:4:4 image sources involving alpha channels. As with Apple ProRes 4444, Apple ProRes 4444 (XQ) is the best codec to exchange motion graphics.
Target data rate: 500 Mbps for 4:4:4 sources at 1920*1080, 29.97 fps
Apple ProRes 422
Apple ProRes 422 is a high-quality compressed codec offering 66 percent of data rate. It provides higher quality than ProRes 422 LT. It features fast encoding and decoding with variable bitrate.
Target data rate: 147 Mbps at 1920*1080, 29.97 fps
See Article: How to convert MKV to Apple ProRes to work with Final Cut Pro X
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ)
Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) is a higher data rate type of Apple ProRes 422 that delivers the same high quality as ProRes 4444 but for 4:2:2 image source. It provides higher quality than ProRes 422.
Target data rate: about 220 Mbps at 1920*1080, 29.97 fps.
Apple ProRes 422 (LT)
This codec is more compressed than ProRes 422 involving 70 percent of data rate and 30 percent file size. It provides higher quality than ProRes 422 (Proxy)
Target data rate: 102 Mbps at 1920*1080, 29.97 fps
Apple ProRes 422 (Proxy)
ProRes 422 Proxy is more compressed than ProRes 422 LT with about 30 percent of data rate. It is designed to be used in high quality offline editing that needs low data rates but full-resolution video.
Target data rate: 45 Mbps at 1920*1080, 29.97 fps
Visit Our Tutorial: How Can You Convert AVCHD MTS to ProRes for FCPX Editing