Optimizing Export Settings

I’ve been testing different Export settings to try and find a good balance between size and quality, and it seems the stock presets don’t give me the best results. My input video is all 1080p full HD, mostly from a Sony a6000 using XAVC S at 60p 50M. The output videos are for home archiving (not Youtube). Are most people making their own Export presets?

There are an overwhelming number of codecs available in Shotcut, but I’ve only tried the H.264 High and Main profile since they use libx264 which I believe (could be wrong) is close to XAVC S. What I’ve found just by trial and error is setting the Frames/sec to 60 (not 30 or 29), and Scan mode to Progressive makes much smoother results without much increase in file size over 30fps.
I’m really not sure about Interpolation, or most of the settings under Codec. I’m using Quality-based VBR and the default 60% quality, which sounds low but produces much smaller files (1.5 GB for 15 min or so) and I can’t see any difference compared to say 85%.

This is bound to be subjective to a large extent, but I’m curious as to what settings other people are using, as most the presets seem to be camcorder formats and less than 1080p, which is not what I want. I play back the finished files in VLC player, if that makes any difference.

Hi FunkyB, I’ve cobbled together my own export settings, based on stuff that I’ve read in various threads on this forum, I don’t entirely understand what each setting does. Also, I upload to YouTube and I suspect that I’m more focused on function over form than you might be.

What do you mean by “50M”? I looked over a spec sheet for the a6000 and didn’t see that anywhere. If that’s the bitrate, 50Mbps seems a bit excessive for 1080p.

I think “50M” is the bitrate. XAVC S was added with a firmware update to allow higher bitrates than the 28M max of AVCHD. There is a subtle but noticeable improvement in color depth and contrast from what I can see, but the real purpose is to give you more data in your source files so when you edit and recompress, there is less loss of image quality. Not that AVCHD is bad, though.