Help with converting digital camera videos

posted in Encoding

I recently purchased a Canon A540 digital camera, which is capable of shooting video. I am happy with the video quality (640x480, 30fps), however the .AVI files uses M-JPEG, which results in huge files (1 min is about 120 MB, I can only fit ~17 min of video on my 2GB SD card).

So, I want to convert my videos, I would like: Decent compression, quality, and support (i.e. I want to be able to send it to someone and expect that they can probably play it with downloading an obscure codec/player).

I tried using VirtualDub, but it doesn’t seem to work so well with M-JPEG (my conversion to Divx produces no video, only audio). So I have been using Super ( and trying out TMPGEnc Xpress.

I was hoping for suggestions on which format to convert to (Divx, Xvid, MPEG, WMV...) and some settings.

I have found that around 800-1000 kbps of Divx or Xvid produces reasonable results at 7-10 MB for 1 min (about 12-17x smaller than the original file).

I also noticed that converters seem to want to use 29.97 fps, I don’t know if there is a good reason for this, or if I should be concerned going from 30fps to 29.97 fps (a synch error or quality loss or something).

Also, the camera records mono-PCM audio at 88kbps and 11025Hz (I think), which I have been compressing to mono-MP3 at 64kps which seems to sound fine.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated reply

It’s very nearly iiaarctmcpble to manually fire a flash to coincide with critical a shutter button. Flash duration is so fleeting, you’ll rarely get the timing aptly.If you trigger the flash optically (from the flash on the digital camera), then if the flash has red-eye reduction or TTL metering (any or both highly liable in a compact camera) it fires pre-flashes. What happens is that your slave' (open-air) flash fires off on the pre-flashes and doesn’t have time to re-payment in time for the main flash.To trigger a flash you need to disable the red-eye place the flash into blue-collar mode, so it doesn’t fire metering (TTL) pre-flashes you may not be able to do this on your camera. The common way to trigger flashes on DSLR’s is to use a touchtone phone logic trigger on the hotshoe or to use an optical logic.Incidentally, compact camera’s DON’T have leaf shutters, they sync at any speed in view of the fact that the shutter' is electronic it’s the feeler life turned on/off.It is doable to fire your flash manually during a long exposure (ie a few seconds or longer) but I am assuming this is not what you want to do. 0Was this answer helpful? reply


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