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Unfortunately, I think you've found the nature of the compromise. An MP4 video is already very highly compressed. It's about as small as it can be without compromising quality. About the only way to make it smaller is to compromise its quality somewhat.
One solution you can try is downsampling video from you HV30. Although that camcorder shoots in HDV, you can set it *(using DV Lock) to send standard DV to your computer -- which capture using Premiere Elements into a regular DV project.
The should still be of excellent quality -- and you should be able to output a very nice looking MP4 for your iPod from it.
Thanks Steve for the information.
Is the DV Lock a feature of the camera, or is it a setting within Premier Elements that I can set before capturing the video into my project?
It's on your camcorder. It's a setting for downsampling your HDV video within the camcorder so that what streams to your computer over FireWire is standard DV.
Ok, will give that a try. Thanks.
It's not my camera, so I wasn't sure how to change the settings on the camera. But in case anyone else needs to know, I found the manual online:
Will try this again, and will post my results.
I changed my DV Output to DV Locked. Plugged my camcorder back into the firewire. Created a new project with a connection device 'DV Camcorder'. The popup window comes up, and tells me my capturing Source is 'Microsoft DV Camera and VCR'. I tried selecting HDV as my connection device earlier and it said I didn't have one connected.
Now, with my previous project, all I had to do was click 'Capture' and the it simply worked. Now, I'm not getting anything to work. It just sits there. Do I have something configured incorrectly?
My project settings are:
Editing Mode: DV NTSC
Timebase: 29.97 fps
Frame Size: 720x480
Pixel Aspect Ratio: D1/DV NTSC Widescreen 16:9
Fields: Lower Field First
Capture format: DV
File Format: MSFT AVI DV NTSC
Compressor: DV NTSC
Ok, for some reason, it started working. Instead of creating a 500 MB mpeg file, it decided to create a 576 MB avi file. The resulting MP4 is now 21 MB's, and after testing it on my iPhone, there's a noticeable difference in picture quality (looks worse).
I must be doing something wrong here.
Well, it should be a noticeably smaller file. After all, it has 1/4 the resolution -- so we got you a smaller size, as you wanted.
But you have to be clearer by what you mean by "it looks worse." If you're talking about more than resolution, we have an issue. But, if we're creating a standard DV video for an iPod, it's going to be a much lower resolution than a hi-def project.
Though that's resolution. Not overall quality. The "quality" (not resolution) should be excellent.
I don't think I was clear. I need to keep the video resolution the same, just lower the file size (MB's).
When I imported the video from the camcorder using HDV, it came in crystal clear as a MPEG at 500 MB's. Resolution was fine when rendered to a MP4 file. File size as a MP4 was around 20 MB's.
When I imported the video using DV lock, it was a bit fuzzy as an AVI at 580 MB's. Resolution shrunk when rendered to a MP4 file. File size as a MP4 was around 21 MB's.
So, when I used the DV lock as suggested, the file size went up, the resolution was a smaller picture, and the video quality was fuzzy. I could of lived with that solution, if the file size of the MP4 was around 4-5MB's.
Which makes me think I'm doing something wrong with my file import with DV lock. Because I'm getting a lesser quality video, but with a larger file size.
I'm not sure what's up.
You can try adjusting the output settings by going into the Advanced settings.
But, as I said at the outset, you can't reduce file size without reducing quality. Something's gott give!
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Unfortunately, the file size is a factor of Frame Size, Frame Rate, Bit-rate and Compression. If, after adjusting the Frame Size, the Frame Rate and the Compression (CODEC), you still have too large a file, the only thing that you can do is reduce the Bit-rate, and both it and the Compression will have a noticable impact on the quality of the resulting image.
The MP4 CODEC will get you about the maximum Compression, but for even smaller file sizes, you are stuck with the quality compromise - no other way around it, unfortunately.
Thanks for the input. I've decided to go with a slightly modified High Quality preset.