I shoot POV bike videos using a GoPro Hero at 1280x720. Picture is fine (lots of details, fine color), but similar videos (also with GoPro or another helmet mounted camera, same resolution) in YouTube weigth just a 10% of mine, while looking gorgeous. Take a look at this RedBull example (83 MB) and then my last video (162 MB). RedBull look great at 16 MB/sec, while mine look not so good at 23 MB/sec (original size 480 MB). I'm using the same camera (or very similar), with no postprocessing. How can achieve a better looking video in YouTube? (BTW, I used kdenlive for editing).

2 Answers 2


While watching the examples it struck me that your video is stuttering as it is over the top with MBPS (23 MB per sec). So I would address your compression scheme first. I recommend that you consider rending your work in mp4 with 5 MB to 10 MB per sec. Here is the recommended video and audio compression as set by the folks at Vimeo for optimizing presentation on their site:


Another issue your video example is facing is that the GoPro does not have manual exposure controls. In your example, I see the bike going through bright areas and dark areas rapidly hence quick changes of exposure from the GoPro auto exposure. While the Red Bull example, shows the bikes in a stable light situation that does not force the GoPro to make wide adjustments. The solution to this problem is to either use a camera that offers manual exposure or shoot scenes that are evenly lit so they do not challenge the auto exposure to make big changes. Also, since the GoPro offers you at least a choice of Spot or Center Weighted auto exposure you might explore how one or the other might help expose the scenes more evenly.

  • Definitely agree - get the compression done before you send to YouTube.
    – Dr Mayhem
    Commented Aug 4, 2012 at 17:51

YouTube will re-encode whatever you give it, and depending on the ratecontrol method YouTube uses, the complexity of the input can be a major factor in the file size of the videos YouTube re-encodes. Therefore, without altering your content, you may have little control of the size of the videos on YouTube's servers.

There is little need to adhere to specific bitrate suggestions: the best practice is to upload the best quality you practically can since YouTube (and others) are going to re-encode it anyway.

For Kdenlive specifically, I recommend a new export profile:

Open Kdenlive. Choose Render and then the Render Project tab. Click the Create New Profile icon. Fill out Profile name with H.264 Visually Lossless (video) / Vorbis (audio) or whatever you prefer. Extension is mkv. Parameters are:

f=matroska vcodec=libx264 -preset medium -crf 18 acodec=libvorbis aq=8 ac=2

For newer ffmpeg verions the parameter string is:

-f matroska -vcodec libx264 -preset medium -crf 18 -acodec libvorbis -aq 8 -ac 2

This should provide an output that is "visually lossless", yet it should be a manageable size for uploading. The audio format doesn't really matter as long as and Matroska and YouTube support it and you use a high enough quality (and assuming your ffmpeg supports the encoder). Others to consider are acodec=libmp3lame aq=1 or acodec=libfaac aq=100.

Who needs Premiere with such output flexibility?

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