When I am preparing a file for client review, something that I will put online, I tend to automatically reach for the same codec (Photo JPEG) and pull the slider to somewhere between 60 and 90 (mostly depending on how I'm feeling that particular day), have a couple of mouthfuls of coffee, upload the file for review and then wait for the phone call that will tell me they have changed their minds about everything.
However, I would be interested to know what other people do in their workflows. Is it worth changing codecs depending on the job? Should I be doing some kind of research about which are the best? The list is huge, so I am assuming there are some relics in there. I don't even know if the ones I use are antiques... Should I be using Adobe's media encoder, rather than After Effects? But who needs the extra hassle when it's a simple review? I know there is a balance to be had between picture quality and file size, but in my experience clients have been happy viewing files anywhere between 40 MB and 60 MB from the web.
Obviously I'm only talking about intermediate, client review files. Not the files for broadcast.
H.264 - but you can configure it a million different ways so it just depends on how long your review is and how fast the clients connection is. I never compress anything straight out of After Effects. I'll use custom settings that I create in Compressor based on the client and what I know their connection can handle.
H.264 is prob the way to go. I usually render pro res HQ out of ae, then compress to H.264 in quicktime pro 7. With the pro version of 7 you get great control over your flavor of h.264 depending on your needs. You can also use quicktime X and hope to get lucky with a web export. Photo JPEG seems to be getting replaced by different version of pro res...I also suggest checking those out.