I have a relatively small video of a screen recording of about 600kB in H.264 / VBR. Now I wanted to edit some unnecessary parts out. So I edited the clip and exported it, just to discover the size balloons up to 18MB. I used the "Share" button on the top left and an Apple Device 1080p preset.

The result is the same, for iMovie or FCP.

Is there an export method that preserves my original small video size or let me encode in VBR?

1 Answer 1


When you click on the share button you will see “Add Destination “. In the window, you see all the possible export formats. Formats with “Small” or SD will make the export file size smaller. Try MPEG if your device can play it. However, with small file sizes, your tradeoff is low video quality in most cases.

  • How does SD/Small preserve my original size? I do not want to size it down. The problem is that the file size increases, despite being the same resolution as the source material.
    – user25835
    Jul 29, 2019 at 20:07
  • Exporting will use different codecs wrapped in a container file. Depending on what you choose for a codec, this will mean different file sizes as a result. If you don't have an editing software which natively supports the codec from your original file you will always have differences in file size. Jul 29, 2019 at 20:16
  • I assume your original footage was already automatically transcoded from FCPX to make it compatable for editing. Jul 29, 2019 at 20:19
  • My original footage is a 600kB MP4, and I export it to a 5.4MB MP4 using Compressor. I can't even get the file size down to original if I manually reduce the bitrate.
    – user25835
    Jul 29, 2019 at 20:29
  • MP4 is the container file, However the inside can be may things, hence the diffence in file size. Jul 29, 2019 at 20:34

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