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Best Quality for Export Settings?

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Gareth Williams
Best Quality for Export Settings?
on Nov 2, 2016 at 2:42:48 pm

Hi Everybody,

What is the best export format in Premiere Pro CC? I am wondering what settings to use to get the best quality for smallest file size. My project settings are DV PAL 720x576 but I normally export at half frame size (360x288) to make the files smaller.

On an older version of Premiere, (Premiere 6.5), on a old mac (2005) I exported some clips with the same project settings at half the frame size and they were duration/file size 3.39=47.9Mb and 2.36=34.4Mb, these seemed fine to me in terms of quality if not exactly brilliant, but I can’t find what the export setting were. I know the export was at half size (320x288), actually it came out 320x240 for some reason but pretty much half size, the only details of the export settings I can find are File Type - Quicktime File Exporter and Compression Type - H.264, so I have no idea what the closest equivalent is in Premiere Pro CC.

I have tried doing the same thing in the new Premiere Pro CC and I’m getting much bigger file sizes. If I export it full size with the same settings (video codec DV PAL) it comes out at about 224.3Mb for a minute, obviously very large. However, I don’t need it at full size frames so I have done it half size 360x288, and so far I have tried Sorenson 3 and H.264 and both of them are much bigger files than my exports from my old system, so I am bit lost. I can’t work out what the difference could be.

For the same clip which is 3.20 in duration, the Sorenson 3 export is 249.2Mb plus you have to convert it to another file to play it on my Mac which is 91.4Mb, and the H.264 export is 269.3Mb. Can anybody advice on the best quality for the smallest file sizes in Pro CC? What settings could I have used to get the file sizes so small on my old system? Many thanks for your help. Gareth

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Jon Doughtie
Re: Best Quality for Export Settings?
on Nov 2, 2016 at 3:27:32 pm

You will want to look at reducing not just pixel count (size) but bitrate as well.

You will run into a limit eventually where what you consider a good file size may not provide what you consider satisfactory picture quality. Reduce bitrate until you hit that subjective picture quality limit, then bump the bitrate back up a little.

Dell Precision T7600 (x2)
Win 7 64-bit
Adobe CC 2015.02 (as of 6/2016)
256GB SSD system drive
4 internal media drives RAID 5
Typically cutting short form from HD MP4 and P2 MXF.

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