I have played around a lot with this issue (export to .mp4, big files) and here are my findings:
1. You can't export to .mp4 to play on an iPad, impossible, forget about it.
This is how I do it:
2. I have a couple of hi-def files in AVCHD that i import and do some editing to.
3. I end up with a 6-minute movie that I export with highest quality (MOV or MPEG, doesn't matter). The file becomes around 1,5 GB (original files all together around 300 MB) with excellent quality.
4. I then use Handbrake ( www.handbrake.fr, freeware) to convert to .mp4. My 1,5 GB file is then compressed to around 150 MB with retained quality, looks really great on the computer and an iPad. I even changed the default RF of 20 to 25 to compress more and the quality was still great.
And just to clarify on your questions:
1) What other export settings can I do to retain the quality without having to increase the file size?
You can't retain th quality without increasing the file size. The exported file will always be much bigger than the original when you export in full HD, and I'm using the latest software, Elements 9.
2) Is there any way I can use PE4.0 to edit *.MP4 files (my original source files) and save it back as *.MP4 without losing the original quality?
No, you can't.
You will have to use another software to convert and compress the exported file. I have tested a lot of different softwares to accomplish this and the best freeware software isHandbrake (www.handbrake.fr) but there are other software that can compress more but those softwares cost money.
Thanks Andreas for the suggestions. I'll try them out.
Hi Andreas, your advice were great it helped reduce the output file size. Thank you.
Still on PE4.0, I was just trying out a 20 sec *.MP4 video with a file size of 30MB. I did not do any editing on it.
I export it out to QT-MOV file, and use Handbrake to convert it to become MP4.
While the file size reduce siginificantly the quality were not as good from the original MP4 file I import directly from my camera.
Will you please give me some suggestions and tips on what are some of the quality conversion settings in Handbrake which I should be making before i start the conversion?