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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Lights...camera...action! » » How do I reduce the File Size? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

John Long
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Earlier this year I got a Cannon PowerShot 630; an 8Mp camera. The video clips that it produces are very nice, but I don't want a 20 Mb file (AVI) for 1 min video. Even in its compact mode (lower resolution/small view size, and lower frame rate), it yields 6.2 Mb/min.

In contrast, Penguin's WMV videos are about 2.2 Mb/min and the picture seems to be full size, and better quality (less fuzzy) than my "compact" mode.

Is there a way to lower the file size from my camera?

Thanks
John

Posted: Sep 26, 2007 12:53pm
Is there a software package that can be used to reduce the file size?
Ken Dumm
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John,

There's a program called VisualHub that may be what you're looking for.
http://www.techspansion.com/visualhub/

I think it's pretty affordable and allows for converting files and resizing them. I just realized it's for Mac, but I'm sure there's PC versions as well. Good luck...

Ken
John Long
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Thanks for the lead, I check into it.
Spellbinder
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John:
f you have Windows XP on a PC computer, Microsoft Movie Maker is a free download that will do the job of converting AVI files to WMV files:

http://www.download.com/Windows-Movie-Ma......903.html
Professor Spellbinder

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John Long
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Thanks, but will that make the file size any smaller?
JoeJoe
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John, yes it will make the file size smaller. First, you import the video into Movie Maker and you can then use the editing tools to slice it up and add transitions and effects and the what not. It's easy to use, just drag clips to the story board.

When you save the movie file, you can select what bitrate you which to save the movie at. You can even say you want a 10 megabyte file, and Movie Maker will determine what bit rate is needed for that size.

Overall, the wmv format is provides good compression and quality and I find it the perfect format for webuse. The biggest downside is that only Windows computers can play the file (Mac users can correct me if someone has figured out a way). Another downside is that Movie Maker can't edit MPEG-2 files (DVD files).

And here is a good site for tutorials and what not on Movie Maker:

http://www.windowsmoviemakers.net/



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ScottRSullivan
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Joe, great info.

To answer your question, Mac guys can play WMV with a free plugin called Flip4Mac. There is a commercial version that allows more options (batch exports, etc), but the free version lets us play WMV.

That being said, WMV may be a widely used format, but I actually prefer Quicktime's H.264 codec. It is a much more efficient compression format, which means much smaller files with better quality.

Also, keep in mind the changing dynamic of online video and the huge popularity of iPods. Many people are now downloading video to watch on their iPods. Many forward looking people with websites and videos are even placing their videos in RSS feeds for people to "subscribe" to (just like blogs).

Every current iPod model except the very cheapest one (the Shuffle) plays video, and the iPod is the most popular portable media player by a huge margin. It plays Quicktime videos (H.264) and not WMV.

On average, I can encode to 1 Meg per minute for Quicktime video.

In the end, if you just want people to see it, the best option is to offer both formats for people.

Scott
John Long
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Thanks, I will have to check this out, but my computer has been sick fo the last few weeks and I think it is time for a new one.
ScottRSullivan
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Dr. Sullivan here to help your sick PC. Recommend an Apple a day to keep the doctor away. Good Apples: iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro or MacPro for the super serious.

They don't get sick.
:D

On a more serious note, I hope your computer gets better soon and/or you find a nice computer for your needs. (I'm just a MacHead!)

Also good luck with your file sizes!

Scott
John Long
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Movie maker seems to do the job; thanks all.

As far as the Mac, well maybe the next time Smile
obijuan
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AVI is a not a codec for compression. Try wmv for size, or h .264 .mov quality for hi-def and low size.
ScottRSullivan
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There's a thread somewhere else on the Café about codecs and their differences. As Obi correctly stated, H.264 is a great codec. Here's a VERY brief breakdown of codecs:

AVI
A microsoft codec. This is uncompressed video, which is why the file sizes are so large. This is used as an acquisition format (from the digital tape) and editing format. Be prepared to have your computer come to a screeching halt unless you've got the computing power to handle the large files. Standard file sizes are Gigs, not Megs. Not used for final delivery on the web.

WMV
Another microsoft codec. It isn't too bad for web video, though I prefer H.264 since it is a more efficient codec (see below). Can encode Standard and High Definition.

DV25
The format used for all miniDV cameras. The quality is pretty good, though it uses a 5:1 compression. You'll also have pretty big files with DV25 (using Quicktime). Limited to Standard Definition.

DV50
A more professional capture codec. This is similar to DV25 (miniDV) except that it is recorded with higher end cameras that record twice the information and typically on larger tapes. Again, like other uncompressed codecs, be prepared to wait as your system chugs away on this format unless your hard drive is fast enough (I use a RAID 0 to edit DV50). Limited to Standard Definition.

DVCProHD
There are several 'flavors' of HD: 720p, 1080i, 1080p, 2K and 4k. Plus variable frame rates, 24fps, 29.97fps, 30p, 60i, 60p, etc. If you are working with DVCProHD, chances are you, like myself, are in the field and have a system that can handle it. RAID0 is recommended. Be prepared for file sizes around 1 GIG per MINUTE.

Flash
Technically, not a codec, but a "wrapper" or "player." Like Quicktime is a wrapper that can use the H.264, DV25, DV50 and Animation codecs, Flash can use FLV files encoded using the On2 codec (pretty good) and a few other codecs. Recently, Flash added the H.264 codec as a supported codec (see below).

Quicktime H.264
Currently my favorite codec for final delivery. It is not used for acquisition or editing, but is perfect for final web delivery after the editing is finished. It has a very efficient compression algorithm and can even be played by a Flash player now. So I encode all my web videos as H.264 and then the same file can be played as is by Macs and via Flash on PC's. Can encode both Standard Definition and High Definition.

There are many other codecs, but these are the most popular codecs and players used. Thanks again Obi for kick start of the codecs.

Scott
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