Stands for COmpression / DECompression.  Video can be very large for most computers, so various methods of squeezing and un-squeezing are used, all trying to keep the image as complete as possible, given the file size / streaming limitations.

The more color kept, the less banding or blotchiness in the image.

    8bit     256 shades of color                   12bit    4,096 shades of color

  10bit  1,024 shades of color                   14bit  16,384 shades of color

Video Codecs

ProRes - MXF  - Uncompressed - XDCam - DVCPro - H.264 Etc

Generally represented by RGB pixels.  Pixels are mostly non square - Standard Def and some HD formats, or square on 1080x1920 or 720x1280 Codecs.  Squeezing pixels also saves space.  The color space is usually a SMPTE standard, like 601 (standard def) or  709 (HD) that itself is limiting, but is the proper space for most television monitors.

Log Codecs

DPX - Arri Log C - Sony S Log

See this Log page.

Raw Codecs

RED Raw - Arri Raw - Phantom Cine - Cinema DNG - Sony Raw (coming soon)

Loosely defined as the actual sensor data, but more accurately as the way a camera will compress the data into a version of “Raw” codec.  The information is color light values, before put into a color space, which allows the white balance to be adjusted later.  They usually are in a bayer pattern, which has 2 Green pixels for every 1 Red and 1 Blue pixel.  This pattern is very effeciant for storage, but must be converted or “Debayered” to be displayed or edited unless using a very powerful computer.