By March 19, 2013 5 Comments

Video Recording Modes – MP4, AVCHD or MOV?

The video (and audio) components of hybrid photography are way new to me, coming from a background in still photography. Having a few “recipes” for how to set up for video capture, and little knowledge to back them, I don’t feel confident in my ability to get great video in any circumstances.

In my quest to learn the ins and outs of setting my camera for the best video capture, my colleague and Lumix expert, Mark Toal, joins me for a discussion of the video recording modes.

This is the second post in a series of 4. Each is complete on its own, and together they tell a pretty complete story of video settings, While based on the Lumix GH3, many of the concepts apply regardless of the camera. The first was about the concepts involved in video using the GH3 Motion Picture menu. After this discussion on the recording modes and which to use when, there will be a discussion on the differences between the exposure modes (automated like P,S or A – completely automated like iA, or Manual) when shooting video. And finally we will get into the options that each of the recording modes offers and what they mean to the final output.

Enjoy this bit of information and stay tuned for the next 2 segments!

About the Author:

After 20+ years in a computer tech job, Carol Schlintz is enjoying a second and more fulfilling career as a portrait and sports photographer in suburban Milwaukee. Like many of us, she has met with some personal challenges and is in need of reducing the physical strain from carrying heavy pro cameras and lenses around. Not one to take "no" for an answer, she jumped in with both feet and no safety net. As of April 2012 Carol has retired her big DSLR's and picked up a couple of small, light mirrorless cameras and is now using them on every shoot. Vlogging here on discovermirrorless, as well as sharing and swapping ideas with the other Hybrid Heroes (and the viewers!) is part of her process of evolving from a still photo only photographer into a photo+video+audio hybrid image maker. Count on Carol to share what works, what doesn't, and all the steps in becoming Milwaukees first hybrid photography studio that specializes in making and selling eProducts.

5 Comments on "Video Recording Modes – MP4, AVCHD or MOV?"

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  1. MKeefe says:

    Carol you took about 3.5 minutes to ask the first question regarding the various movie formats. Please be brief in your opening comments and get to the information as quickly as possible. I am not expecting a Crockett style performance, but we can all learn from the master. However, you and your guest did answer the questions and I had. Thank you for the effort you made.

  2. Sorry – working on speeding up. Thanks for watching.

  3. MAG says:

    The program content was very helpful. Your videos provide a short cut to getting up and running with the GH3 without having to thumb through the manual or PDF. Please do more videos on the GH3 :)

  4. empirephotoandvideo says:

    Hi Carol.
    I like your videos but wish the video\audio for them was higher quality. Sometimes it’s hard to hear clearly what you or the other speaker is saying.
    I also wanted to point out that .MOV is just a container like .AVI. They aren’t encoding options in themselves but are a “wrapper” for other file formats called codecs. It’s misleading and incorrect for Mark to state it’s the highest quality. My camera producing an MOV file may contain a different codec of greater or lesser quality. An .MP4 can be contained in a .MOV file. So can H.264, DivX, Xvid, and so on. .MOV is NOT the greatest quality or even a benchmark you can use because it’s actually just a shell/container for the codec. It’s the codec it contains which determines the final quality. For the record most cameras which output a .MOV container file usually use the H.264 codec. That’s something the photographer should be aware of.

  5. Hi Adrian,

    Thank you for watching and for your informative reply. I learned some new information from you just as I did from Mark. I do think that we need to put Mark’s information into context. We were talking about video from the perspective of the GH3. On the GH3 .MOV, whether a wrapper or not, is the highest quality video produced by that camera. So Mark’s comments were not incorrect when perspective is included.

    The quality of the video is directly related to Google+ and the quality of the connection on any given day. I am sorry that is is less than what you want, but to ensure that it would be better I would have had to be in Portland OR or Mark in WI. Sadly unlikely so we go with what we have.

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