Final Cut Pro exporting in terrible quality regardless of settings/format?

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      I’m having a problem which may or may not have been plaguing my small studio since day one. Every video that we edit in Final Cut Pro exports in MUCH lower quality than it was when it was imported, not only that, the file size of the newly exported video is several times the size of the original. What I end up getting is a file too large for our clients to email around. We recently had a client come into our studio with a flash drive full of 15 second avi’s no larger than 900 KB, he wanted a few of them edited together with simple cross fade transitions, and even a few seconds of dead space cut out. He needed them to be the highest quality possible for a powerpoint presentation he may now be unable to give. At first I exported them as Uncompressed avi’s, best quality, thousands of colors, and no sound. The resulting file was not only blurrier, but now 260.5 MB!! And that one was with zero edits! The original was 803 KB and crystal clear. So after that I decided to try a few tests. We also produce a bi-weekly hour-long local television show, which looks fine on television but now I’m wondering how much better it could and should look. I’ve been exporting that out as a Quicktime, Apple ProRes 442 HQ, Interlaced bottom-field-first, zero filters, both compressor native and NTSC 720 X 480. I attempted this method on the client’s original 803 KB with zero edits and not only did it export a completely unusable video compared to the original, but it was now 57.1 MB. What is going on here? Is Final Cut conspiring against me?

      This was after I created a new project, made the sequence settings into Apple ProRes lt 30p under the audio/video settings in Final Cut, and exported it as the same with ‘current’ dimensions (it was listed as 850X637, maybe that was the original?) Although I did have to render the original avi itself once it was placed in the timeline which you shouldn’t have to do if the setting is the same as the clip. I guess there’s no way to know exactly what sort of avi my original file is so I can match my sequence to it? The ‘more info’ (to be fair im sort of used to ‘properties’) leaves something to be desired..

      Thanks everyone.

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