I have been getting more and more interested in video work in the last couple of years. Shooting video at the same time as stills is a regular feature of any shoot I am now on. I am even getting better at planning my shot requirements for the video in order to have some hope of putting together a relatively coherent piece later. The recent ISAP symposium had some good information on that. However, that is not the point of today’s piece. Instead, I am thinking about video size.
I have a YouTube channel on which I upload my content. As s shameless plus, if you want to check it out, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/EdgcumbePhoto and you can see the videos I have previously uploaded. Subscribe if you want and it will let you know about all of the exciting new videos I upload! Okay, we return from that commercial break and resume normal programming. I shoot everything in HD and edit the footage for 1080p output. This can result in some quite large files. YouTube allows you to upload full 1080p so that is what I have been doing.
Unfortunately, our current internet connection is not helpful here. While we have pretty decent download speeds, the upload speeds are very slow. DSL was not designed for upload and consequently, the upload speeds have not kept pace with the download speeds and the needs of users generating more and more content. A recent video I made was about eight minutes long. The 1080p version of this was nearly 2Gb. Uploading this took over a day!!!
Now, when I watch videos on YouTube, what resolution do I watch them at? I certainly like HD footage but I only ever use 720p. This is a combination of avoiding bandwidth issues as well as the size of my monitors. There really is no need to be any larger. I wonder whether this is normal. I started looking at what is available on other videos I was watching and quite a few only go to 720p. I thought a quick experiment was in order. The eight minute video I mentioned before can easily be regenerated at 720p so I did that. The file size came out to just over 300Mb. That is a pretty dramatic reduction in file size and upload time.
I think I have been wasting time and bandwidth creating files too large for anyone to need. I am going to stick with 720p for a while and see how things work out. We might have access to a different net connection before too long and I might check out upload speeds then but, for now, this seems to be a far more sensible approach.