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Forums Apple Final Cut Pro X Is it possible to Convert .MOV to MP4 with no loss in quality

  • Is it possible to Convert .MOV to MP4 with no loss in quality

     Chris Wright updated 1 month ago 15 Members · 17 Posts
  • Rikki Blow

    June 27, 2017 at 10:52 am

    I’m the world’s idiot on codecs, but I’ll throw in a crazy idea that might just work.

    I export 1080 movs from FCPX regularly, but require an mp4 version for posting on twitter – MOVs simply don’t upload on that platform.

    So, on a Mac, I simply rename the .mov to .mp4, and say yes when the warning pops up, and hey presto, it uploads to twitter and plays fine.

    Clearly no data loss with that method.

    Whether it will work on files your client needs, I don’t know, but it might just be worth a try.

    Happy for someone to point out why this is working for me on twitter, and/or the general error of my ways.

  • Chris King

    April 22, 2022 at 4:29 pm

    I disagree with you. A lot of free video conversions online are not free.

  • Michael Alberts

    April 24, 2022 at 3:13 pm

    Been using this trick for years. As long as you encoded the .mov with the h.264 codec it should work. There was a time not so long ago that all h.264 .mov files exported from FCP would not import into PremierePro. It simply refused. If you just change the .mov to .mp4 PremierePro would instantly recognize and import those files. This is true of many “smart” monitors as well. We’d send .mov’s to clients for playback on their “smart” monitors in their booth at various trade shows. If the monitor wouldn’t recognize the file we’d instruct them to change the file name to .mp4. Works every time. It’s just a wrapper. The internal codec is what’s important.

  • Greg Ball

    April 25, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    I always output my videos straight from FCPX to MP4 with a .h264 wrapper. The quality is excellent.

  • Greg Ball

    April 25, 2022 at 7:31 pm

    That’s what I do.

  • Flemming Sorvin

    April 26, 2022 at 5:20 pm

    It’s a good question really.

    The real answer is no. You can’t export to H.264 from your production codec (ProRes, or in your case DVCProHD) without a loss of quality. There will always be *some* loss due to compression.

    But what you can do is make good choices along the way and minimize the effect of compression.

    So, what I would suggest is use the best encoder out there for H.264: x264. It’s used by all the big players (, YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, etc.) not just because open-source and free to use but because it’s the most tuneable and produces the best image per bitrate.

    Luckily for us, there’s an easy and free way to use it: Handbrake (

    Export your master to ProRes if needed, or drop your DVCProHD into it and choose your preset. It comes with a set of Production presets (standard, max, etc.) which should do you just fine, and will do all the x264 tuning for best quality.

    For uploads to web services, like YouTube or Twitter, the service will re-encode your video, so why not give them the best you can before they compress the hell out of it for their delivery?

    If you want to take this to the next level, you can build in an Export to Handbrake command from FCPX. I’ve got instructions on how here:

    Hope that’s helpful.


  • Chris Wright

    April 26, 2022 at 5:36 pm

    i’d also note free shutter encoder (pc/mac) has a feature called rewrap, that changes the container without touching the video data.

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