Wedding video quality

Ray light's picture
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/13/2016 - 6:21pm

Hi everyone
I have just joined the forum after reading so many useful tips and tricks.

I have recently started my wedding videography business in Australia and I need some expert advice on output setting to dvd to achieve highest quality possible.

Few weeks ago I shot a wedding using 2x canon dslrs, rode mic and 3axis gimbal and I am very happy with the quality of the footage. Event was shot in full HD 1080p at 25fps PAL (standard system for Australia).

My question is what video format to use when burning a dvd so I don't loose quality of the footage and achieve same possible results as it was shot. Would I get a better quality with H.264 format or AVCHD. Or if there is any better setting.
I am using powerDirector 16 on pc.

Kevin Mc's picture
Last seen: 5 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 08/14/2009 - 6:13am

By its very nature, DVD is Standard Definition, so you "must" down-scale from HD to SD. The format is MPG-2 (only). And I believe the highest bit rate you would want to attempt is 9.5 Mbps.

lizp's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 06/11/2015 - 11:52pm

Thanks Ray for posting and Kevin for your comment. I too am (like Ray) starting out with wedding (and promo video). And yes the exporting/rendering/compression issue and best format for delivery to client is tricky and something I'm currently focusing on and learning about.
I'm shooting in full HD on Canon DSLRs (MOV)using Rode shotgun and editing in Adobe Premiere Pro. I'm thinking that rendering to MPEG4 (and H264 codec, or 3GPP) is currently best, although for a 20- 30 min finished video ends up being around 3 to 6 GB. This may be too big, although it seems ok but I am learning and experimenting currently. I don't think I'll go to DVD as end product, I am thinking more of USB thumb drive or download from internet...
We can share info Ray light, if it helps...

Jack Wolcott's picture
Last seen: 8 hours 15 min ago
Joined: 01/02/2008 - 11:51pm
Plus Member

As Kevin says, the DVD protocol requires .mp2 file format, nothing else.

I can't imagine why your 20-30 minute .mp4 files are so large. You might try using Handbrake to create these; it will give you excellent quality with considerably smaller files.

Delivery on USB thumb drive is a good alternative to DVD, but be aware that the through-put of many thumb drives is not adequate for smooth video playback. We always advise clients to download from thumb drive to their computer before attempting to play their videos.

lizp's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 06/11/2015 - 11:52pm

Thanks for your reply Jack. Very helpful. I have been trying diff things since posting ...I tried .mpg2 using the correct 1080p 25fps etc. The 28 min video is 800MB, but when viewed on my computer is not good enough quality. For sure. So then I tried H.264 (which adobe support tells me is mp4), and that worked well, looks good and is around 1.2GB instead of 4.4, so a better size. Uploading to share online with client ( so they can view and give final ok) still takes hours so I guess that can be fixed by me getting a faster connection.
At first the 16GB new thumb drive would not accept a 3GB video but someone told me to reformat in NFTS and then it will, and it has. What a mine field!
Then there is the issue of what program the client will use to view the video. wow I'm exhausted and client still has not seen their video...
thanks again Jack. I will check out Handbrake. If you can think of any other helpful hints I'd love some more advice...I will keep experimenting and will learn much and work it out.

XYZ XYZ's picture
Last seen: 6 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/26/2013 - 2:49am

I have read in other forums that HD footage burned onto a DVD will NOT play with a normal DVD player. So please bear that in mind as you definitely do not want your client to come across any problems playing the video. Better to just burn the wedding video onto a Blu-Ray disc and play safe. I always think wedding videos look more presentable in the form of a disc rather than just having it saved on a plain thumb drive in the eyes of the clients.

Playing a disc is also less complicated than playing a computer file. You never know if the client will come across any issues playing the file on their own computer e.g. missing codecs, OS issues, computer not powerful enough, unsuitable media players etc. Consider too that the client might not possess a computer with 1080 display resolution to fully appreciate the video that you have recorded as I see the 1366x768 laptops are still a plenty around.

P.S. Lizp, I just upgraded my Internet to fibre optics and it is totally worth it not having to wait extreme hours to upload videos. So yeah, it's definitely time to upgrade that slow connection. =)

lizp's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 06/11/2015 - 11:52pm

Hi Ivan, thanks for your helpful comments. I will look into the Blu Ray disc option for sure. I see what you mean about issues that client could have playing their video. My current plan is to send a 3.52GB file to client's email as a zip I use 'mailbigfile'...that is a 40 min wedding video processed as H.264 by Adobe media encoder. But as you say, unless they have a good computer or whatever it could be less than satisfactory. And yes, my connection is only around 32 - 70 kb/s so a faster connection would be great. Hopefully NBN will come here before too long...thanks again and will post here to let ppl know how it goes...
best wishes Ivan and merry xmas

paulears's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

DVD is a standard - PAL is 720x576 25fps - this is our region, other DVD formats cover the US and other places. The DVD itself can have HD files put on it for storage, but because they are not formatted in the way a domestic DVD expects, they won't play - so you have to get the difference between a DVD as a storage medium where you can stick virtually any file type on - audio, video, images etc as opposed to a DVD playable in a DVD player.

However - USB memory stick is rapidly becoming the delivery medium now, because people want HD, not SD, and maybe soon, 4K. Adobe have discontinued their DVD authoring software, mac computers no longer have CD/DVD slots, and the disk as a delivery medium is on the way out - rapidly. The firms making DVD duplicators are moving to USB stick duplicators.

The file sizes are creeping up too, so USB makes a simple solution, although it's a shame that all the chapter stuff and pretty pictures have gone. Looking at my home - the TV and the other gizmos all have slots for cards and USB ports. DVD is, sadly, dead. At least from the manufacturers perspective. Clients, of course, still ask for HD, and DVD as a delivery medium and simply don't believe me when I say it is impossible.

lizp's picture
Last seen: 1 month 1 week ago
Joined: 06/11/2015 - 11:52pm

Hi Paulears and thanks for your comment, so firstly to go back to the top comment posted by Ray light, it seems we cannot offer clients HD video (which we want) on a normal DVD. Ivan has suggested BluRay discs, or USB thumb drive. I'm going with the thumb drive. But since I began uploading and rendering videos I realise I need a stronger computer and faster upload speed becos it takes HOURS. Anyway, it seems that H.264 might be best to render our .MOV HD footage. This is MP4 (MP2 just is not good enough as it is SD 720p or whatever. Hmm this is great, I'm finally starting to understand. Oh, and format the USB to NFTS and it will accept larger thanks everyone...still learning. Now I wonder about 4K, seems interesting and is obviously trendy. But I'm also learning that it depends what programs the client uses to view videos and if they can download a big file to their computer, or what. They obviously need to back up their wedding video because USBs can be lost v easily. Thanks and any other info gratefully accepted. Merry Christmas!

Ray light's picture
Last seen: 8 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 12/13/2016 - 6:21pm

Hi Everyone,
Thank you all for your comments and professional advices. I decided to go with Blu-ray discs to deliver the highest quality to my clients. Considering the clients I have and their culture I am more comfortable providing them in a disc with disc case and cover (ended up buying Canon Pixma printer for disc printing).
I also need some professional advice (preferrably from wedding videographers) as I am in the process of upgrading/ expanding my gear. I am looking to buy 2 cameras, one for my came-tv single gimbal and another for all time on a tripod (obviosuly with a video head)
1- Gimbal Camera - I am tossing between Sony a6300 and Panasonic GH4 both with a wide angle lens. My primary concern is autofocus/ focus tracker as I dont want to press the shutter button while in use.
2- For all time tripod Camera (my 2nd tripod cam). I was going for 5D MkIII but its really bad when it comes to auto focusing. I would love to get 5D Mk IV but Including the lens it would be way over my budget. Therefore my 2 options are Sony a7 MK1 with 24-70 F/4 (Approx $2600) or Sony a7s MK 1 with same lens 24-70 f/4 (approx $4300). I know a7s is 4k capable via external recorder but I am not really into 4k. I need to know if any wedding videographers are using/ have used one the sony full frame cameras as a fulltime camera during a 5-6 hrs of wedding and what are their thoughts and challenges.
lizp - I am happy to share any info with you as we are on the same boat.

paulears's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

H.264 .mp4 for me is now becoming standard - most people's systems can play these with few issues. In fact - the whole authoring DVDs was a total pain, so in a way I'm happy it's gone. I'm using exFat as a format now on most things I do as Macs and PCs have no issues reading them so far. Not so sure about the Luddites with XP and Vista?

SDE Weddings's picture
Last seen: 4 months 4 weeks ago
Joined: 11/26/2014 - 2:26pm

The standards now are h.264 1920x1080p .mp4 renders. we use mainly adobe premiere

SDE Weddings |

75ADOB's picture
Last seen: 3 months 1 week ago
Joined: 09/05/2017 - 10:14am

I'm looking to deliver a 7gb 1920X1080 Mpeg 4 wedding film to a client. exFat and NTFS formatted flash drives won't show up on the TV's I've tried. I've played it through a laptop via HDMI. Is there a plug and play option? Anyway better way around the 4gb limit?

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Joined: 09/05/2017 - 10:16pm
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paulears's picture
Last seen: 13 hours 7 min ago
Joined: 11/05/2006 - 8:36am

Hate spammers! I've just got rid of my blu-ray burner.

Not a single client wanted blue-ray since I have had it and not a single blu-ray disc used from the first ones I bought! USB and SD cards seem to be the way now, with client viewing on vimeo - NOT - Youtube, even privately because of their very strict music copyright issues.

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