What Is the Best Image Quality Setting for Canon Video?

When it comes to shooting videos with your Canon camera, one of the most important considerations is image quality. While there are a number of factors that can impact the final quality of your footage, choosing the right image quality setting is one of the most critical.

What Are Image Quality Settings?

Image quality settings are essentially different levels of compression that your camera applies to each video file. The higher the compression level, the smaller the file size – but also the lower the overall quality. Conversely, lower compression levels will result in larger file sizes but higher overall video quality.

So what is the best image quality setting for Canon video?

The answer to this question will depend on a number of factors, including what you plan to do with your footage and how much storage space you have available. That being said, there are a few general guidelines that can help you make an informed decision.

For Professional Filmmakers:

If you’re a professional filmmaker or videographer who needs maximum image quality for high-end productions, then shooting in raw format is likely your best bet. Raw footage captures all of the data from your camera’s sensor without any lossy compression, giving you unparalleled control over color grading and other post-processing tasks.

However, shooting in raw format does come with some downsides. For one thing, raw files are much larger than compressed formats like H.264 or MP4 – meaning you’ll need plenty of storage space to store and work with your footage.

For Casual Filmmakers:

If you’re a more casual filmmaker who isn’t concerned with squeezing every last drop of quality out of their footage, then shooting in one of Canon’s H.264 or MP4 formats is likely sufficient.

Within these formats, there are typically several different options for image quality settings. In general, we recommend choosing either 1080p or 4K resolution, depending on your camera’s capabilities and the intended use of your footage.

Within those resolutions, you’ll typically have options for different levels of compression. Opting for higher quality settings will result in larger file sizes but better overall image quality, while lower quality settings will produce smaller files that are easier to work with but may not look as good.

It’s worth noting that different Canon cameras will have different options and features when it comes to image quality settings. Make sure to consult your camera manual or do some research online to determine the best settings for your specific model.


In conclusion, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of what the best image quality setting is for Canon video. However, by considering your needs as a filmmaker and understanding the trade-offs between different compression levels, you can make an informed decision that strikes the right balance between image quality and practicality.