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How to retain quality when converting formats?

Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 10:12pm

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WWIIZombies

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I am filming usig a JVC gz-mg680 which deposits its videos onto my computer as .MOD files. (720x480p approx.30fps 4800kbps bitrate)

I am using EffectsLab Pro which - as you all know - only reads quicktime .mov or .avi formats.
I have tried using many free downloaded conversion programs (as well as forking out £50 for a top of the range program) to change them into quicktime format so I can add all of my gunfire effects (which is absolutely essential).

The problem I am having is that every program converts it down to a much decreased quality. Both video and audio is being compromised.

In a nutshell: How can I change my .mod's into .mov's without losing quality? I am at my wits end and the entire film is being held back by this issue.
Collectively we have spent in excess of £1000 on this movie, half of it has already been filmed and I am in dire need of a solution.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 10:42pm

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Axeman

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This has everything to do with the codec you select when converting the footage. When you convert to Quicktime, use Uncompressed and the quality is guaranteed to be as high as it possibly can be, based on your source footage. If you need smaller file sizes, use Animation, Apple Intermediate, or ProRes, all of which are excellent intermediate codecs.

Run the audio uncompressed will also help, though there are acceptable compression schemes out there for audio as well.

What software are you using to convert, specifically? Did the camera come with anything for converting the footage for editing? What video editing application are you using?
Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 10:54pm

Post 3 of 9

WWIIZombies

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I'm currently using Corel VideoStudio Pro for converting by loading in the video then exporting straight away in a different format, I'll also be using this program to edit the movie once the effects are added in. The camera came with no software as far as I'm aware of (i'm only using it, it's not mine so I don't have the manual etc.)

I'm not entirely sure how to choose which codec to use when using this program (I've only been using it for a matter of minutes), it doesn't give me many options when exporting the video file.

Is there a program you can suggest? I'm not entirely savvy with this field of expertise so a step by step guide would be ideal.

Thanks for your help so far.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 11:46pm

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Axeman

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I'm not personally familiar with anything for converting from MOD files, so i can't offer any suggestions from experience. This is really the downside of all the proprietary formats that all the camera companies are using these days, compatibility is a nightmare.

Hopefully someone else around here has worked with .MOD files in the past and can offer a suggestion.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 11:49pm

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WWIIZombies

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Okay, thanks for your help thus far, I think you're right in that the codec is what needs adjusting.
Posted: Tue, 23rd Nov 2010, 11:51pm

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Axeman

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Yeah, regardless of format, the codec controls how the video is compressed, which involves how much data is thrown out in the interests of saving disk space.
Posted: Wed, 24th Nov 2010, 12:20am

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FXhomer66148

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I am new to the video part but i use iskysoft video converter to convert my home movies and it works good
Posted: Thu, 25th Nov 2010, 10:58pm

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WWIIZombies

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You were right, it was compression that was causing the issue, and I've figured out on the program how to remove it.
I have all my clips ready for effects at great quality, but they are so huge I have an entire drive dedicated to their storage! smile
Posted: Fri, 26th Nov 2010, 12:03am

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Axeman

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Yes indeed. Video work requires lots and lots of storage space.