I am trying to organize the videos on my external harddrive. I have a lot of home video shot with a hand held camera, and now I am using a GoPro 4 camera that I record 4K video with. It consumes a lot of data.

I have tried find out how people organize and manage the raw video. Many of the clips from one day of recording (such as a motorcycle trip) is never edited. It just lays on the harddrive. But it consumes so much space when the bit rate of the 4K clips are something like 45-60 Mbps.

Is it dumb of me to compress the video to a bit rate such as 15-20 Mbps. I am thinking of "merging" all the clips that the GoPro is creating to one MP4 file with h.264 codec and a bit rate like 15-20 Mbps. Is that good enough for later usage if I need to use the clip in a movie that I want to edit?

How do you solve this? If I start to record every ride with my motorcycle it would consume to much space and I don't need that. Thats why I want to do this. But I don't want to be in a position where the clips are too bad for later usage.

  • what do you mean by raw? if it's indeed raw video (not processed sensor data) then typical video codecs are not applicable Apr 1, 2017 at 20:43
  • Raw exists because the data is the best quality possible. If you compress you only store a version with less quality... is this what you want, a low quality backup? What would be its purpose? Apr 1, 2017 at 22:18
  • 1
    I don't think the OP is talking about Raw as in raw sensor data, but raw as in uncut rushes.
    – stib
    Apr 1, 2017 at 23:22
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    You need to specify what the "later usage" is. Are you planning on making a theatrically released documentary or just putting it on youTube? The end use will dictate the quality you need.
    – stib
    Apr 1, 2017 at 23:25

1 Answer 1


The way you have worded the question makes it difficult to answer. I keep all mine in default format, because disk space is so cheap. I have a bunch of 2 terabyte drives to store it on.

If you want to compress it you will lose quality, obviously, so you need to decide what quality you would be happy with.

Totally up to you, but I'd encourage buying large disks - they are incredibly cheap these days.

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