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Best workflow and final format for imported/edited video?

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I've recently begun shooting video with my a6000 and am finding it to be more confusing than I expected. The camera does a good job, although I need to get a new SD card to use the XAVC format (the one I have is only 8GB Class 10, 30MB/s). I'm shooting in AVCHD 60p in the meantime.

I read on some older posts and heard in YouTube videos that many people shoot in XAVC and then export to .mp4 with a smaller bitrate after editing. Obviously this has been done for anything on YouTube, but even after down converting, you can see the difference in AVCHD/XAVC codec quality they are trying to show you. That made me think that I should do the same thing.

Could someone suggest what a good workflow is for saving mostly family/kid movies shot with the a6000? I want to take advantage of the superior XAVC codec while balancing quality with size in the final file that gets archived. The only video software I have now is Playmemories Home and Windows Movie Maker (not sure that's compatible with XAVC though). I don't want to buy expensive software at this stage - I only need to do simple, minor edits and splices for now. I'm not overly concerned about compatibility with hardware players.

Sorry for being longwinded about a newbie question, but searching has turned up nothing useful for me about this topic.

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  • 2 weeks later...



Check out DaVinci Resolve Lite, which is free and a rather powerful NLE and Colour Correction tool. A subscription to Adobe Premiere is rather inexpensive too and is a fully-fledged tool used in the industry.


You will want to shoot XAVC-S in-camera as opposed to AVCHD. It's a more robust codec with a higher bitrate to support the data load from the camera.


In a perfect world, you could use an external recorder like an Atomos Ninja/Shogun to record an uncompressed feed to Prores or DNxHD. This gives you more headroom to play with color correction and post, and while you'll be dealing with significantly higher data rates, it is much less taxing on your CPU to crunch.


YouTube uses the VP9/VP10 codecs for distribution, but I'd recommend exporting your final output video in either Quicktime H.264 or Prores 422LT

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"Could someone suggest what a good workflow is for saving mostly family/kid movies shot with the a6000?"


" exporting your final output video in either Quicktime H.264 or Prores 422LT"


"then export to .mp4"


After reading through the two posts I think there is a little confusion. There are codecs and there are file containers. Prores 422 & h264 are codecs, the algorithms for the compression, .mp4 is the Quicktime file container.  


Allow me to be a little insensitive towards your family videos, no disrespect,  but you probably don't need to bloat your archive with Prores 422 a much more robust editing codec.


I would keep the files your camera makes wether you set it for mp4, XAVC-S or AVCHD.  Again are you really going to need optimal quality for family pics or more likely a faster turn around within your light editing suite? I shoot a lot of stuff with my camera setting to .mp4 just like sometimes its more practical to shoot jpeg verses raw.  I know they are test shots or that the clips aren't intended to go into a real work sequence that's going to get color corrected, etc... they're just for fun.  Do we really care old family vhs videos look like cr@p no it's the content for the memories.


Once you've edited together your clips into a sequence then I would output that to the specified requirements where you are going to post it.  Youtube has guidelines as does Facebook as do most social media sites.  Right now(2017) I would assume most want an mp4 compressed with h264 codec. While you can keep this exported file, it would Not be my archive file, those would be the original clips you downloaded from your camera. Five years from now Facebook/utube sites might be asking for h265.  this is why you want to keep your original files because in the future if you need to use those clips again you might need to re-render (export) the "spliced together" sequence to the new requirements.



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