What's the Best Codec for Video Quality, Editing, Compression and Uploading?

There are so many codecs present in the market that it is difficult to decide which to use as a media professional. Know from this article to understand the best codecs in various fields of video processing and how to make the selection of the right codec.

How to choose the best codec options for the different activities you do with a video? A video codec that gives the best results for video quality may not be the right option for video compression or any other video related task. Let's first understand what is a video codec and then the best video codecs suited for different needs.

What is a Video Codec?

Before we can talk about the different codecs that are suitable for different video tasks, it is practically useful to know what exactly is a Video Codec. A video codec is a compression standard. Codec is a term that is created using two terms - Encoding and Decoding.
This will make it clear - a codec is software or hardware component that compresses a video file or decompresses a compressed digital file. The software that compresses a video or any other digital file is referred to as an Encoder and a software that decompresses a digital file is called a Decoder. If a Codec is designed keeping in view the needs of target media device and the user that will be consuming the video, it will work great in reducing the video size without reducing the video quality.

The Codec performs the task of compressing the frames. The compression opted for in a codec can either be intraframe or interframe. Interframe compression checks the redundancies between the frames. Intraframe compression on the other hand compresses each of the frames individually.
The most used video codecs can include H.264, HEVC, AV1, and VP8/VP9.

Best Codec for Video Quality

If you are looking for the best video quality in high definition performance, H.264 & MKV are the right codecs you can go with. However, the performance will largely be dependent on the source material and the target bitrate.
In case you are checking out the best options for your needs in best color, alpha channels, and frame accuracy, you can opt for any of the codec options among RAW codecs or Apple ProRes 4444XQ. However, those codecs can take a lot of space. If you are looking for a trade off between the best compression and quality, you can choose a H.265 codec for the best results.

Best Codec for Editing

Codecs with a higher bit rate can be a concern for your editing. That is perhaps what makes the MPEG codecs a great option for your need of efficient and effective editing.
An MPEG Codec is a collection of images in each frame. In fact, the MPEG video format comes with each frame which is an image in itself. Each of the frames will thus be a keyframe and editing them is easy and simple. In essence, MPEG is an excellent option if you are looking for the best codec for video editing.

Best Codec for Compression

The short answer to is question is that the best codecs for video compression are be Daala, VP9, or HEVC. When you compress your video, the best compression is the one that can reduce the size of the video without affecting the quality dearly.
However, it should be noticed that the quality of a video is perceived by the subjective means and thus can only be understood based on individual perception. It is usually dependent on the video data you may have. If your input is taken from a camera, it may be worthwhile to make use of the H.264 codec for the best possible compression.

Best Codec for Uploading and sharing

Once again, the H. 264 codec is considered to be one of the excellent options for the best sharing possibilities. YouTube considers the H.264 to be the best codec for the optimum results for uploading the content.
Using H.264 video codecs and aspect ratio are one of the best options if you plan to upload your video to any video streaming website like YouTube or Vimeo.

The complete list of codecs explained

Having discussed the best codecs for various needs, we thought of checking out the list of different codecs and analyse their features.

ProRes 422 and 444

This codec has been developed by Apple. It is an excellent option for working with .MOV files. The ProRes 422 and 444 codec can reduce the size of the video footage, but retains the quality to the best possible extent.
The codec may not be the right choice for your needs in sharing the content across social media services or elsewhere. Even the colors may not render properly.


The H.264/AVC is the best codec you can opt for if you tend to share your footage online quite frequently. Of course, you can use even a few more recent codecs that belong to this genre. H.265/HEVC is a good example from this context.
In any case, it is one of the best options for your needs in terms of standard bearer for the online video sharing.


This codec is good successor to the previous version, the H.264/AVC. It is one of the greatest ever options for live streaming your videos. It is one of the prominent options for your needs in 4K resolution material.
It is the successor to H.264 and while is 50% better in compression but requires more power for decompression. The codec may or may not work with your hardware. If you want to make it work on your computer, you will need an advanced hardware or a software like VLC Media Player which has a software based decoder.

Concluding Thoughts

Those were a few codecs that can prove to be wonderful options for different needs when handling your video files. Choose the codecs based on your individual requirements and get the best possible experience of uploading your files to your heart's content. We assume the comprehensive crash course on the best codecs can be something that can definitely be helpful in your needs.


No responses found. Be the first to comment...

  • Do not include your name, "with regards" etc in the comment. Write detailed comment, relevant to the topic.
  • No HTML formatting and links to other web sites are allowed.
  • This is a strictly moderated site. Absolutely no spam allowed.
  • Name: