Exported video size-hopefully we can get a definitive answer

first of all I want to thank the developers for making this great program available to us.
it has a nice interface, pretty intuitive to use and fun. just by watching a few tutorial videos I got my project just where I wanted it within an hour!
The only area that I find difficult and not so intuitive is exporting. Unfortunately, there seems to be no detailed user manual which explains all of this.
I know similar questions have been asked but I don’t think there has been a good answer yet. sorry if I am beating a dead horse.
for a simple test, I downloaded a video from youtube called “introducing windows mixed reality”.
It is an mp4. resolution of 1280x720, H264 codec, 29.97 frame rate. It is one minute and seven seconds long with a file size of 8.05 megs.
I loaded this into shotcut and exported with the H264 high profile with its default settings. It produced a file size of 16.1 megs, about double the original size! This is using a “quality” setting of 60%. If the quality is set to 100% then the file is over 100 megs!!!
This “quality” setting is confusing, setting it to 100 SHOULD be exporting at 100% of the original “quality” as increasing the bitrate of the original is useless, it will only make the file larger not better. By setting the quality to 39% I got a file close to the same size as the original, but this is very misleading, it gives the impression that my exported file is only 39% as good as the original.
There SHOULD be a way to tell shotcut to match the exported video quality to the original, this seems like a standard function, will this ever happen?
Is there a way to do this?
I am assuming playing with the quality setting is the only way to adjust file size, within the scope of your chosen output file type, is this true?

I had a similar question and Steve_Ledger replied with this…“You could choose lossless/H.264, but your files will be massive as there’s no compression performed on the original file which was decompressed into memory when loaded into and open in Shortcut for editing.”

The quick answer is that you will never have a video with the same quality as the original.

Due to the nature of how video encoding works the quality for each video edition will be different after exporting. The only way to keep the same video quality is by cutting and joining video parts but that’s not the way Shotcut works.

Even using some codec that will make the video bigger will not make the video with the same quality as the original. Eventually will lose less information and keep the quality very high but will not be the same quality as the original.

You should think what is the purpose of your video to help decide what is the best encoding format and options. If the video it’s for YouTube you have a preset in the exporting menu. You can make some changes to it and change the final size but will not be perfect.

Did a little more investigating.
Even went over to the lightworks forum where people were having similar issues and found one solution which I adopted.
In the end, what I ended up doing was exporting from shotcut with the lossless H.264 profile. That of course created a huge file, 40 gigs in this case. Then I took that file and ran it through handbrake using its “super quality” preset and that produced a video of only about 4 gig with no discernable quality loss.
Found my sweet spot and am happy with the results!

Shotcut is a competent freeware video editor, but unless you were editing the video you d/l’d there was no good reason to use it or any other non-linear editor for the reasons you have discovered. There are good lossless video editors such as VideoRedo and TMPGEnc but they are not freeware. If you just want to reduce the dimensions and/or filesize it’s best to use a good converter such as Handbrake or Any Video Converter Free if the codec and container limitations of HB are an issue. There is also a very good freeware front end for HB called VidCoder.

true, but I did add some transitions and filters.
If it was just going to be trimming I would have used something else.

I have found that changing “quality” setting means modifying only crf setting eg 60% is crf 21, 58% is crf 22 … 50% is crf 26. All others x264 parameters are kept unchanged as seen in MediaInfo…