Hi. I've been trying to figure these issues out for myself for a while (I've done a lot of searching, etc.) but haven't been able to crack it yet. I'm hoping someone here will be able to help me out. I think most of my confusion here comes from the fact that I'm not used to this type of camera and dealing with files rather than tapes. I'll include all the information I can think of -- I hope that's helpful.
I'm working on my first documentary. It will be a short (roughly 15 - 30 minutes). I filmed with a Canon Vixia HF100, shooting in FXP and Cinema mode, using a PNY Optima SD HC 8GB card for storage. The camera uses .MTS files, which I made Final Cut friendly with iSkysoft Video Converter (I believe it converted them to .mp4). I then imported those .mp4 files into my Final Cut Express.
I'm done with all my shooting and am trying to figure out the best export options for highest quality. It seems that whenever I export, I lose too much quality. I'm using Final Cut Express. The main avenue for the film will be the Internet, but I also have offers to screen it locally. What would be the best export options for the Internet? And for DVD for the screenings?
Also, it seems that no matter what settings I choose, I get letterboxing. I'd like to remove it for the Internet because it seems to cause compression of the frame no matter what I try. I suppose I don't mind the letterboxing on the DVD, but it would be nice if I could remove it. Is there a way to do this, especially for the video that will be uploaded to YouTube and other video sites?
Thanks for any help you can give me.
(If you need any more info from me, I will of course offer it.)