Reduce resolution at the camera or in Shotcut?

This may be a bit of an off-the-wall question.

I have an actioncam that can record in a few resolutions up to 4K. I mostly use it for recording in flight in light aircraft, so 4K is great for those out the window scenes.

The flip side is that a lot of the videos are for training purposes rather than scenery and the substantially smaller 1080p is more than adequate and much easier to share with the trainee.

What are the pros and cons of

(a) Reducing the resolution in Shotcut
(b) Recording at the lower resolution to begin with.

I realize this can depend on the camera, so I’m asking generallly.

Recording in a higher resolution (4K) and then reducing the resolution in post-production (using Shotcut) versus recording directly at a lower resolution (1080p) each have their own advantages and disadvantages. Here’s a general comparison:

Recording at 4K and Reducing Resolution in Post (Shotcut)


  1. Flexibility: You have more options for cropping and zooming without losing quality. This is particularly useful if you want to focus on specific details or reframe shots.
  2. Future-Proofing: 4K footage ensures you have high-quality originals, which can be beneficial if you need higher resolution footage later.
  3. Better Compression: Downscaling from 4K to 1080p can result in better image quality due to oversampling, potentially producing a sharper and clearer 1080p video.
  4. Stabilization: Higher resolution footage gives more room for stabilization algorithms to work, resulting in smoother videos.


  1. File Size: 4K video files are significantly larger, requiring more storage space and processing power. This can be cumbersome when managing large amounts of footage.
  2. Editing Requirements: Editing 4K video demands more from your hardware, including a more powerful CPU, more RAM, and a capable GPU, which can slow down your workflow if your system is not up to par.
  3. Battery Life: Recording at 4K generally consumes more battery power, which can limit recording time in the field.

Recording Directly at 1080p


  1. File Size: Smaller file sizes are easier to store, manage, and share. This is especially convenient for training videos that need to be distributed quickly and efficiently.
  2. Editing Performance: Editing 1080p footage is less demanding on your computer hardware, leading to a smoother and faster editing process.
  3. Battery Life: Recording at 1080p typically conserves battery power, allowing for longer recording sessions.
  4. Simpler Workflow: No need to downscale the footage in post-production, saving time and effort.


  1. Less Flexibility: Limited options for cropping, zooming, and stabilizing footage without losing quality.
  2. Quality: The direct 1080p recording might not be as sharp as downscaled 4K footage due to lack of oversampling.
  3. Future-Proofing: You won’t have higher resolution footage available if you later decide you need it for other purposes.


If you prioritize flexibility, future-proofing, and the best possible quality for cropping, stabilization, and other post-production techniques, recording in 4K and downscaling in Shotcut is the better option. However, if ease of handling, faster workflow, and longer recording times are more critical, recording directly at 1080p makes more sense.

For training purposes where quick sharing and simplicity are key, recording at 1080p is usually sufficient. But for scenic shots or detailed analysis, recording in 4K and downscaling can provide superior results.

Generated by AI

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Thank you! This is fabulous!

Fortunately, the biggest cons of recording at the larger size don’t apply. Since I connect my actioncam to a portable battery pack even battery life isn’t an issue.

Then it is definitely better to record at higher resolution :+1:t2:

Definitely sounds that way. Even better, I don’t have to remember to change camera resolutions depending on what the purpose of the flight is.

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Please tell people when you use AI to generate an answer.

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I don’t see a problem of warning when I know AI does give the correct answer, it just saves time to write :slightly_smiling_face:

Either way, I’m impressed.

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Nice to hear :blush:

You can also directly ask gemini or chatgpt for any general questions, they both are pretty good at it. Especially ChatGPT. And then if you are not satisfied, then the forum also is there.
And for any shotcut related queries you have the forum.

AI is getting just helpful these days, probably I should add the “generated by AI” thing in every AI post like Dan said. However I don’t see the need when I do human interference by reviewing it, I mean it’s just text, I could edit it anyways.

This exchange got me thinking. I felt like there are two issues: genuineness and courtesy. It seems a bit wrong to post something you did not write without giving credit, but who did write it? The AI is just software and some composite of Web knowledge. Saying which AI was used does not really give a worthy credit (unless the AI output has footnotes) and is more like an endorsement. Maybe the AI re-poster wrote the prompt (instead of pasting it) or edited the result, which does require some work and input. Also, it might seem courteous now to indicate when AI is used, but it will quickly fade into a quaint activity we did in the early days before it became the new normal. Ultimately, AI usage cannot be controlled and will become commonplace–directly or not.

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