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Digital video

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  • Merv Leeding
    Hi Rhonda ... An enormous difference but with qualifications. The video from the camera is DV and that is still true when captured as AVI. The resolution is
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 1, 2005
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      Hi Rhonda

      >If you have a digital camera that also does video, does it make any
      >difference if the video is saved in .avi or .mpeg1 format? I've found that
      >anyone with windows versions older than XP cannot view the .avi format
      >without another
      >program but as far as quality goes are there any differences?

      An enormous difference but with qualifications.

      The video from the camera is DV and that is still true when captured as
      AVI. The resolution is 480 x 576 (from memory, down under with PAL it is
      720 x 576). This is full-screen video and corresponds to DVD.

      MPEG1 or VideoCD is about a quarter of that number of pixels and is about
      the level of VHS. It is a fixed industry standard and the low quality was
      the reason that VideoCD players didn't take off in Europe and the US.

      AVI is a different "beast". It is a format but can take different CODECs
      (stands for compression decompression) and DV is only one of many CODECs.

      If you have a digital camera you should, at worst, have quite high quality
      compared to anything done with most consumer older cameras. How do you get
      the video into the PC?

      How you give it to friends is a key issue. Broadly speaking high quality
      means large files, small files mean lower quality. If you are distributing
      CDs it would make sense to go for higher quality but size is a problem. DV
      quality would be about 10mins per CD while VCD (MPEG1) would be around
      70-80mins and SuperVCD (MPEG2) about half that.

      In passing DVD is also MPEG2 but higher quality than Super VCD. DV is not
      MPEG2 but has some similarities to that compression.

      One option with AVI and also MPEG2 which is often used with multimedia is
      to cut the size down from full screen and also to cut the frame rate from
      30 to 20 or 15. This drops the file size significantly and they run easier
      on slower PCs. Another option is to convert to the Windows WMV format which
      will play in Window Media Players which can be upgraded on older systems if
      needed.

      A key is what your video editing software will do. What program are you using?

      Regards
      Merv Leeding
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