This one is for you video experts out there. I googled and searched the forums here, but I just seem to get further confused and add to my list of questions.
Here's where I'd like to end up: I want to have high quality videos from my Kodak Zi8 used on my website(s). I plan on using Youtube and/or Viddler and embedding them on my blog.
There are larger screen size videos on Youtube that look stunning - not pixilated or blocky. I know lighting can make or break video, but I'm concerned here more on smoothness and clarity/definition quality so let's assume there are no problems there.
I've seen videos like this so it should be easy right?
As an example, I want to place a video on my blog for school magic shows (I do magic part-time professionally) and have a three minute video introduction including live show footage etc.)
Here are the problems and questions I've run into so far:
1) Out of the options on the Zi8 what would you recommend? (I've read enough not to use the 1080). 720@60fps? 720@30? The WMA option?I have several applications (free and otherwise) that are available to me for conversions and editing. But I haven't found a combination that has worked out for me.
2) Both 720's look great on my pc. Any sort of conversion software turns them into less quality at least the way I'm doing it. So....
Any conversion software you'd recommend? Or method I'm missing? Youtube does not seem to like the raw .mov file from the Kodak Zi8 as it is. So when I convert, I'm losing the quality there.
3) Plus - What screen resolution should I use? Do I convert to a smaller resolution on my end? Or do I tell Youtube to do that for me and start from a much larger video ignoring the resolution it starts at? Does this make sense?
4) File size. The movies from the camera are huge. (They can be a few hundred megabytes for just a matter of minutes. Can a 1GB video become converted to 20 or 30 Mbs?) What step do I need to concern myself with to make them much smaller? I've read here the format obviously makes a difference. Avi versus mp4 versus flv and that kind of thing. How do I choose?
Do I convert the file (and by the way is "render" a different word for the same thing or an entirely different process?), then further compress it somehow? I see so many great videos and I know they are much smaller in size, but yet still fantastic quality.
5) Hosting. I also wonder if the tradeoffs of hosting the vids yourself versus Youtube and the like mean more control over all of the above. Is this true? Would Amazon S3 be a good solution for hosting the videos? I've read here it's inexpensive and worth avoiding the pain of hosting your own video for bandwidth reasons. If so, is there a player you recommend? Know of any good walkthroughs?
As a last example, fellow warrior Derek Franklin has a great video about publishing a book on amazon.com on his site, and the quality looks great. I'd like to emulate that.
I know those questions could keep you typing for a looong time guys. I hate to be a bother and I appreciate any help! Thanks guys....