Why Does Video Quality Go Down After Editing?

Have you ever noticed that the video quality of your edited video seems to be lower than the original footage? It’s a common issue, and it can be frustrating for anyone who wants to produce high-quality videos. In this article, we’ll explore why video quality goes down after editing and how you can prevent it from happening.

The Compression Factor

When you edit a video, you’re essentially compressing it. Compression is necessary because it makes the file size smaller, which in turn makes it easier to work with.

However, compression also leads to a loss of quality. This is because compressed files have fewer pixels per frame than uncompressed files, which leads to a loss of detail and sharpness.

Transcoding

Another reason why video quality goes down after editing is because of transcoding. Transcoding is the process of converting one video format to another. For example, if you shoot your footage in AVCHD and edit it in Adobe Premiere Pro, the software may transcode the footage into a different format like MPEG-4 or H.264.

The problem with transcoding is that it can introduce artifacts like pixelation, blurring, and color banding. These artifacts are often more noticeable in areas with high contrast or fine details.

The Editing Process

The editing process itself can also lead to a loss of quality. When you trim or crop a clip, for example, you’re essentially throwing away pixels that were in the original footage. This can lead to a loss of detail and sharpness.

Similarly, when you apply effects like color correction or stabilization, the software has to process each frame individually. This can lead to a loss of detail and sharpness as well.

How to Prevent Loss of Quality

Now that we’ve explored why video quality goes down after editing let’s talk about how you can prevent it from happening.

One way to prevent loss of quality is to use a high-quality video format from the start. For example, if you’re shooting with a DSLR, consider shooting in a format like ProRes or DNxHD instead of H. These formats have less compression and therefore retain more detail and sharpness.

Another way to prevent loss of quality is to avoid transcoding whenever possible. If you’re editing in Premiere Pro, for example, try to use footage that’s already in a compatible format. This will eliminate the need for transcoding and therefore reduce the risk of introducing artifacts.

Finally, be mindful of the editing process itself. Try not to trim or crop your clips too aggressively, and be careful when applying effects like color correction or stabilization. Consider rendering your final video at a higher bitrate as well, which will help preserve detail and sharpness.

Conclusion

In conclusion, video quality often goes down after editing due to compression, transcoding, and the editing process itself. However, there are steps you can take to prevent loss of quality such as using high-quality video formats from the start, avoiding transcoding whenever possible, and being mindful of the editing process itself.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to produce high-quality videos that look just as good after editing as they did before!