In digital video, there are all these different kinds of files: m4v, mov, mkv, mts, mp4, mpeg, and a host of others, and I can't seem to find a clear answer as to what each is good for.
(By contrast, when you're taking still pictures, you have two choices: JPG or RAW; with JPG, you basically know what the file contains, and with RAW, it's going to vary by camera manufacturer. I know it's a little more complicated than that, but it's nothing like the explosion of options available in digital video.)
Furthermore, it seems like the video's file extension doesn't tell you what's inside the file. From what I understand, a .mov file (for example) could contain just about anything.
Then there is this whole thing about h.264, AIC, ProRes, iFrame, AVCHD, DV, HDV -- at least I think those all belong to the same category, but I'm probably mistaken.
Can anyone help me understand all the different variables that are in play here so that I can make intelligent choices about what I do with the files coming off my camcorder?