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  • Phone videos delivered at wildly varying sizes

    Posted by Claire Presnall on April 17, 2020 at 12:33 am

    So, we’re doing some edits of phone video shot by the people in them (because…well, you know). And the clips we received are a variety of sizes. They were shot on the same phone, by the same person, over the course of about 10 minutes. And by a variety of sizes, I mean 1920×1080 and 640×360. Anyone know how I can help folks send me the correct file sizes? Or why a phone camera would shoot back to back clips at such different sizes?

    Patrick Sheppard replied 4 years, 1 month ago 4 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • Francois Pénzes

    April 19, 2020 at 11:33 am

    Hi Claire

    Each model have there own different settings options and menu. If you always have the same pool of video providers and you don’t mind wearing your ”educator” suit, get their model number and give them a crash course on how to set their phone so you can get a working format out of it. There is also the issue of vertical and horizontal framing. Depending on your end use you may want to standardize that also.

    Also bear in mind that most phones will output a variable frame rate file (not to be confused with variable bit rate). Some editing software wont respond well to that. You may have to drop the file in something like Handbrake before the edit process.

    Having a proper file to start with will save you tons of work in editing.

    Cheers !

    PC Win 10 Pro 64-bit 16gb
    Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core 4.60GHz
    Radeon RX 5700 XT
    Cameras: Canon XF305 + Canon XH-A1
    Vegas Pro 16, User since Vegas 3.0

    \’\’When the cutting stops, the editing begins…\’\’

  • Claire Presnall

    April 19, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    Sure, phones are all different. But why would one person, filming with one phone, sending clips of one 10-20 minute activity have files that vary in sizes from 1080 to 640, and sometimes as small as 320 in the same shoot? They are not changing their settings, just pointing the phone and pushing record. I’ve never had that before, and it’s happened with 2 different people (out of at least a dozen so far). I don’t have direct contact with the people who are filming, so I haven’t gotten an answer from my contact about what phones folks are using, but it is their personal phone.

    I’ve searched the Googles and found nothing about phones automatically adjusting image resolution between takes.

    I usually end up sending it through Media Encoder, since I’ve had issues in the past where Premiere will lose audio sync with iPhone clips.


  • Francois Pénzes

    April 19, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Claire

    Save yourself from early greying hair and see if you can have your contributors supply you with better material. It will make your task much easier and more enjoyable.

    For example, here’s a link you can send to the ones using a Samsung:

    Youtube also has loads of tutorials for making better videos with cell phones.

    I’ve been shooting for more than 40 years and I’m still learning….

    Cheers !

    PC Win 10 Pro 64-bit 16gb
    Ryzen 9 3900X 12 Core 4.60GHz
    Radeon RX 5700 XT
    Cameras: Canon XF305 + Canon XH-A1 and a bunch of others
    Vegas Pro 16, User since Vegas 3.0

    \’\’When the cutting stops, the editing begins…\’\’

  • Santanu Bhattacharjee

    April 21, 2020 at 8:10 pm

    Leave aside asking your people to change the resolution setting, I am tired of sending them a comprehensive pictorial video on how to shoot and send videos when shot with a smartphone camera. Despite all that, when I ask them to send landscape videos, they still send me a portrait. For them, its eventually just a damn video. How should it matter if its landscape or portrait? God! Forgive them…

    It’s for us filmmakers to fix all that. Ain’t it? I have stopped complaining. I often crop all their video into a small square box and embellish the entire frame with stylish motion design, which is far better than their boring background. It doesn’t matter now if they send a 320×100 video or a 4K. They all get cropped and reframed.

    If their sound has background noise I work hard with denoiser and other EQ. Layer it up with a piece of good music.

    If they have shot against a light source, I fix the high contrast with luma curves as much as possible and again style them with a fancy LUT, color correction.

    Santanu Productions, Mumbai
    The Swiss Army Knife for All Your Creative Needs

  • Patrick Sheppard

    April 22, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Are they using iPhones to shoot video and sending the videos through the iPhone to you?

    If so, it could be that the iPhone is transmitting a down-sampled (i.e. not full resolution) version of the video.

    This article may be helpful:

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