I’m sure you’ve seen them, those little rectangular Flip cameras. They look more like a toy than a video camera, but these little guys actually shoot HD video at an aspect ratio of 1280 x 720. Compared to standard definition cameras, which are only shooting at an aspect ratio of 720 x 480, the Flip is a great camera for shooting quick home movies, and can even be used for some professional situations. Here is one of those situations.
For the past year I’ve been producing a daily web show for a local St. Louis radio personality, JC Corcoran, called “JC’s Daily Dose”. JC, like many radio personalities, has seen the value of supplementing his radio show with a web show. Having a daily web show keeps your fans coming back. If they miss your program that day, they can always catch up with you online later.
The web show doesn’t have to be fancy, as web viewers are used to this type of raw format, and have even grown to expect it. This is where The Flip camera comes in. Every morning at around 5:30AM, JC wakes up, sets up his Flip camera on a tripod, hits ‘record’ and then gives us the latest entertainment news happening around the world. Then, on the way to his 10AM radio show, he drops off The Flip camera here at MindActive. Here’s where my work begins.
My job is to edit the Daily Dose video and upload it to JC’s website. First I delete some video from the beginning and end, then I add an intro and outro title sequence. It’s a very simple edit, but before I edit anything, I must convert The Flip video file to something usable.
The Flip camera records an MP4 video file. To simply upload an MP4 file to youtube is a breeze, but if you want to edit your video, you must first convert it from MP4 to something usable by your editing program, because MP4 files are NOT editor-friendly! I use a Macintosh with Final Cut Pro as my video editor, so I require MOV files.
The Flip camera plugs right into a USB port on any computer, then acts as a hard drive, so you can click and drag the video files right onto your computer.
Now for the conversion process: I’ve found that MPEG Streamclip is the simplest way to do this conversion, and it’s free. Now since this video will be going on a web site, I can shrink it down to 640 X 360 pixels (exactly half its original size of 1280 X 720 pixels), it is much better to convert it to this size right away! It makes it a much smaller file size so Final Cut Pro can process it a lot faster. (Originally I tried to convert it at full size (1280 X 720) and this slowed my computer way down).
Once I have my MOV file, editing goes very smoothly. When exporting my final video, I use an h.264 codec for video and an AAC codec for audio. These are common audio and video codecs (for now anyway) that are easily uploaded and digested by transcoding programs all over the web.
After figuring out this conversion process, using the Flip camera for JC’s web show has been the ideal way to go!
JC’s Daily Dose
, Daily Web Show
, Definition Cameras
, Final Cut
, Final Cut Pro
, Flip Camera
, JC Corcoran
, JC's Daily Dose
, Latest Entertainment News
, MPEG Streamclip
, Radio Personalities
, St. Louis
, Video Editing
, Video Editor
, Web Show