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I purchased Canon 600D Few days ago. I am very new to the kind of photography and Videography .

I generally use my camera for taking pictures in auto mode .But yesterday I was in the party I shoot some good video which is important to me . When I was previewing that video in my camera it was good but when I import that to my system . It was very choppy I played in almost every video player . (. mov) This file works great on my iPod Touch .I read somewhere I have to convert the file so I use some simple convertor in Ubuntu . But I get poor quality video in .avi format. In short

I just want to know 3 things here :

1) Is it nessecary to Convert video which I shoot from my T3i .

2) How do I convert video simply without losing its HD quality.(Which format is good for HD videos)

> 3) I am using Sandisk Extreme 4 GB card it is Getting full in 10 min in 1920*1080p 24fps.Why it is taking too much space

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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

The default video files made by most Canon DSLRs is an H264 video file in an MOV container. Decoding high definition video at the data rates that most Canon cameras use is intensive for both memory, disk and CPU unless you have a dedicated decoder chip. Your iPod Touch uses flash storage (which is fast) and has H264 decoding capability to make it run smoothly.

On the other hand, a lower end desktop in particular is going to have slow hard drives and may not have sufficient power to decode the file on the fly, thus resulting in lag during playback. Based on the quality level you describe, data retrieval from disk is most likely the problem you are experiencing. So now with some groundwork set, lets move on to your direct questions.

1) It isn't necessary to convert video you shoot from your T3i. It's a standard format and will play or be editable on any system capable of playing it. If you are having issues with the H264 playback lagging on a particular system, you can try converting it to a lower data rate or less CPU/Memory intensive compression.

Either of these options might make the issue worse if you go in the wrong direction (for example, most algorithms that are less CPU intense take more space and vice versa, so if you were CPU limited and you use a higher compression, it might be more jumpy). You can also simply sacrifice quality to make it play faster and take less space, but this isn't really ideal.

2) Any good transcoder can do the job. The files that come off the camera are generally pretty high quality and thus should transcode well. Your choice of encoder depends a lot on the platform you are on. FFMPEG(MPEG based formats, including H264) isn't that user friendly, but is freely available and works cross platform. Other options include the free Windows Media Encoder(WMV) on Windows, Quicktime(several formats) on Mac or Windows, Adobe Media Encoder(numerous formats) on Mac or Windows or Microsoft Expression Encoder(WMV).

The basic key for quality conversion is to keep the native resolution (number of pixels) in the video and use a high enough data rate to support the quality. VBR 2 pass is better than VBR 1 pass which is generally better than Constant Bit Rate, but each takes more time than the latter to encode.

3) Video is BIG. Really, REALLY, BIG. Since the camera needs to record fast, fairly limited compression is used. It sounds like you are probably using All I frame video which is fairly high data rate video. Keep in mind that you are effectively storing 24 pictures every second, continuously. If it was truly uncompressed, it would go even faster. RAW, uncompressed HD video produces 261 megabytes of information PER SECOND! (14 bits per color, 3 colors, 1920 x 1080 pixels per picture, 24 pictures a second.) Makes 10 minutes on a 4GB card sound a lot better doesn't it?

If you don't need as high of a quality, you can use IBP frame video which will drastically reduce (about 1/5 to 1/6 the size) the amount of space required though it also drops the quality of the video.

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I have doubt in the second part . That you were saying I use both windows and Linux platforms . I want a common HD file format which can work on every OS . Can you name me and if You can then please tell me whcih output should i use . –  gaurav_Canon Jun 13 '13 at 16:41
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And I would like to tell you that I spend almost 4 year on ask Ubuntu. But never get this type of so much convincing answer this is the best answer I ever saw on a site you tell me much more for what i asked . Depth of answer was so good . I hope you will answer my future Question as well. I am hoping I can just Upvote your answer atleast 50 times. You just get your fan . –  gaurav_Canon Jun 13 '13 at 16:56
    
@gaurav_Canon Lol, you want to upvote his answer 50 times. I laughed at that one. –  dpollitt Jun 14 '13 at 1:36
    
@Gaurav_Canon - H264 and either MPEG2 or MPEG4 should work in either. They are established standards used in DVD and Bluray among other things. The only thing that might be hard to play would be WMV. I think there are players on Linux and Mac for WMV, but I'm not 100% sure on that. FFMPEG is available for all of them, but isn't the most user-friendly beast around. –  AJ Henderson Jun 14 '13 at 3:13
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@gaurav_Canon also, thanks for the kind words. It's nice to know my efforts are appreciated. I started out in the A/V field about 17 years ago and started out being mostly self taught before getting formal training. I know how hard it can be to filter through all the info out there and can remember the little things I didn't know that I needed to know, so I try to spread the knowledge. I'm on both AVP and Photography daily. –  AJ Henderson Jun 14 '13 at 3:23
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