I've been playing around with my HD video camcorder, a Panasonic HDC-SD5, and playing with different output settings as part of my summer project, to learn as much about video as I can in 4 weeks. Check out Coop's Word Wiki for my research.
When I left off with the last post, I showed you how I was able to convert my HD files in the AVCHD format to MOV files on my MacBookPro, which are editable on the Mac in both iMovie HD and Quicktime Pro. Then we had to decide which output format to use to share the videos. I decided that I would first try uploading our HD movies to popular video file sharing sites, keeping in mind that most video sharing sites, especially YouTube, will compress the video into the FLV flash format, and the beautiful HD movie will look less than spectacular. But before we even got to that we had to decide on which program to edit the files in. My two inexpensive options were: iMovie HD, free with every Mac, and QuickTime Pro ($30 upgrade). I mentioned that there are other options for editing video on the Mac, but they are out of my "cheap" range.
I decided to try iMovie HD first. I was able to create a spectacular movie by adding music, transitions, titles and still photos, and when it was time to export, my options were unlimited. I chose the Quicktime option Expert Settings and got all the options shown to the right. I chose to use the Divx since it has an HD setting. The output file size was only 36MB.
Editing the HD files in Quicktime was a different story. I got all the same options for output, but the bad thing is the editing features in QT are limited to cropping and piecing files together. You won't find themes, music, or even transitions in QT, but you'll be able to produce a movie a lot quicker. It might be just me but I thought the QT movie looked better than the iMovie HD one.
So let's take a look at the four video sharing sites that advertise HD uploads:
For the life of me I couldn't figure out if I was able to upload HD videos on YouTube, so I just uploaded my test files and then waited to see if they would play in HD. It didn't happen right away, but eventually an option appeared under the video: watch in high quality. I uploaded a Divx encoded HD file from Quicktime and iMovie HD to YouTube, Vimeo, Dailymotion and ViddYou. DailyMotion says that the file will eventually be encoded in HD format, but it has yet to happen; same with Vimeo. And with ViddYou you have to upgrade to premium to be able to upload HD content. The quality on Vimeo was noticeably better, but a little jittery (based on other HD videos uploaded previously). Let's just face the reality, web video is just not great when you're relying on free video sharing sites who limit your upload file sizes.
If you'd like to see the results of my efforts, here is the list:
- HD file (Divx) on Vimeo
- HD file (Divx) on YouTube
- HD file (Divx) on DailyMotion
- HD file (Divx) on ViddYou
Next time I'll take a look at editing standard video files on a PC using free video editing sotware.