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Video Cameras forum

General discussion

Video Quality once transfered from the camera

by bworral / December 29, 2009 11:52 AM PST

I have a Sony HDD DCR-SR200. If I keep videos on my hard drive and do not transfer them they look great! But soon as I load them onto my computer, onto a software editing program, or onto the internet, they go grainy.

What gives? Am I doing something wrong? Is there a camera that doesn't suffer from this degregation in quality once you go to view them outside the camera itself?

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Video quality
by bworral / January 10, 2010 7:16 AM PST

Any help here? I'm using USB to transfer files. No other option. Watching videos right from the camera via S-Video cord shows better video than once it goes over the USB.

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For the benefit of those who might respond,
by boya84 / January 10, 2010 8:05 AM PST
In reply to: Video quality

Which computer?
Which operating system?
Which video editor?
How are you getting the video files from the computer and into the video editor?

USB merely transports the video files from the camcorder to the computer - no video conversion or transcoding... so I'll guess it is something that is happening at the editor...

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High End Computer
by bworral / January 10, 2010 8:44 AM PST

Thanks.

Duo Core 3.0 GHz lots of memory on the card, etc. Monitor is HD. I use Pinnicale 14 for editing, but these files were just transfered from HDD to my internal HDD and then put on the internet.

So if it isn't the USB it must be something once the files are stored online. Yes?

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Stored online?
by boya84 / January 10, 2010 10:08 AM PST
In reply to: High End Computer

That was not in your original post.

Details?

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Original post
by bworral / January 10, 2010 10:18 AM PST
In reply to: Stored online?

Yea, its right there. Internet.

I take it you don't have an answer.

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No answer because not enough information, yet.
by boya84 / January 10, 2010 10:41 AM PST
In reply to: Original post

Which computer?
Which operating system?
Which video editor?
How are you getting the video files from the computer and into the video editor?

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OK... we got editor...
by boya84 / January 10, 2010 10:47 AM PST

But not the rest.

Are you compressing a lot when the video is saved?

Is the video "bad" when just form the camcorder and NOT in the editor yet?

Monitor being HD is nearly irrelevant.

You do understand that a lot of compression, then uploading to a video sharing site - which transcodes to flv (more compression) will degrade the video... so the goal is to upload at the highest quality possible - which means large files sizes...

And since you are using Pinnacle, I presume you are using some flavor of Windows... Which means I get to bail. I use Macs.

I just uploaded a 2:40 720p h.264 file to vimeo and YouTube (using FinalCut) and it looks fine in "medium quallity" mov file type. And it is about 82 meg. What is the length and size of the video you are uploading - and in what format?

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PC
by bworral / January 11, 2010 11:43 AM PST
In reply to: OK... we got editor...

I figured that since I was taking the file from my HDD camera and uploading it directly to the internet it didn't matter what software or computer was there.

No, I did not know it took the MPEG2 and converted it to FLV. So that would explain it. Thanks.

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I am curious to understand
by boya84 / January 11, 2010 2:11 PM PST
In reply to: PC

what files your are uploading direct from that Sony hard disc drive, standard definition video, camcorder... I thought the DCR-SR200 saves to standard definition .mpg files. You did not tell us where you are uploading to, but most (vimeo, YouTube, several others) like
.WMV (Windows Media Video)
.3GP (cell phones)
.AVI (Windows)
.MOV (QuickTime - Macintosh)
.MP4 (ipod/psp)
.MPEG
.FLV (adobe flash)
.MKV (h.264)

I was not aware the camcorder's mpg files would upload without some sort of transcoding to one of the above formats.

Also, what "quality" is the camcorder capturing at? There are different quality levels - high quality video means shorter recording time on the internal hard drive, lower quality video means more record time. Are you recording using the "best" quality camcorder setting?

Using high quality capture in the camcorder, the video should look pretty good - even with the transcoding those sites apply.

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SD
by bworral / January 11, 2010 10:11 PM PST

Yes, you are correct. The Sony saves to MPEG SD. HQ, natch. I am making the transition to High Def soon with a Canon Vixia HFS100. But I'll still be facing transcoding issues...but what I read is the higher quality on the front load the better on the back side.

The transcoding must be going on at the site...it looks like adobe flash player 10. Also named as JW player 4.2.90. So .flv makes sense. I couldn't find anything about what files it does save to, however...but it is similar to youtube.

As a side note, I have noticed that in my pinnacle 14 viewer I get the same reduction in quality. Now, that may be just the viewer and not the finished product.

A salesman did tell me that a firewire would be better...but from what you've said that doesn't sound right. USB/firewire...they are still just transfering the file to wherever without compression. The compression takes place in the editor or the internet viewer.

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hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser.
by boya84 / January 12, 2010 12:14 AM PST
In reply to: SD

Need to think about this a bit.

1) As for "A salesman did tell me that a firewire would be better...but from what you've said that doesn't sound right. USB/firewire...they are still just transfering the file to wherever without compression. The compression takes place in the editor or the internet viewer." Lets explore that.

In the consumer camcorder environment, firewire (DV, IEE1394, i.LINK - all the same thing) provides connectivity between a miniDV (or Digital8) tape based camcorders' DV port to a computer's firewire port. The DV (or HDV) video is compressed on the tape. When the video is imported, it is decompressed and brought into a file format the editor can deal with.

2) There are no consumer flash memory, hard disc drive or DVD based camcorders with a firewire connection. JVC used to make a HDD consumer cam with firewire, but it was short-lived. Pro grade flash memory (JVC GY-HM100, Sony HVR-Z7, Panasonic AG-HVX200) use firewire - but they do not save to consumer mpg, mod or tod formats. External pro-grad hard drives (Sony; Focus Enhancements FireStore) also connect using firewire. Other than the Red and Silicon imaging camcorders, there are no "internal" hard disc drive camcorders (and certainly none that save to consumer grade mpg, mod or tod formats.

3) Generally speaking, USB connects a consumer grade flash memory or hard disc drive computer and the video data files are copied over the USB connection - no importing or decompression has yet happened, merely a file copy activity. They are just large "document" files. When pulled into a video editor or player, that is when the codec kicks in for decompression into a format that the editor or player can deal with. Sometimes transcoding is needed before this happens. I would transcode first (using something like MPEG StreamClip) to something more useful. Windows likes WMV files. Windows and Pinnacle should be able to deal with AVI or MP4 files. After the transcoding is complete, bring the converted file to the editor or player... or even upload.

3) "higher quality on the front load the better on the back side." I agree - to a point... If the backside gets a huge amount of compression, then the video quality in a large window viewer can still be poor.

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Do you own conversion?
by bworral / January 12, 2010 3:24 AM PST

So you are suggesting to convert the file before uploading?

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Something like that.
by boya84 / January 12, 2010 5:17 AM PST

I get the video to a video editor, cut the bad stuff out, add in more useful clips, maybe add a transition (crossfade or fade-out-in) between the different clips. Maybe add a soundtrack or narrative... blah blah... titles, credits... Then render the finished project as a high quality MP4 for standard definition - or more likely the case, since I capture in high definition, render out as a h.264/AVC mov or avi file. Then upload. Then the sharing site does a "conversion" (to flv) and the video is posted for others to view.

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