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Is Your Video Quality Holding You Back?

Having great quality video is important to hold onto your viewers and clients. In fact, according to David Hall Social Media, 43% of people said they would switch to a competitor if the video quality was poor... but let's delve into that a little closer.

Source: https://davidhallsocialmedia.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/videosalesfigures.jpg

Source: https://davidhallsocialmedia.files.wordpress.com/2013/12/videosalesfigures.jpg

In our opinion there are two definitions of "quality" when producing video. So let's explore what "video quality" means in this context.

Clarity

So let's start with clarity. If you were to think of your video as being like a TV or radio station, when you don't have the tuning right to that particular station then the clarity is off - you end up with a poor picture and/or bad sound quality on your tv, or the radio station seems fuzzy. And the same can be said for the picture quality of videos. If you don't have the right equipment or it's being incorrectly used, you won't end up with a visually sharp video as an end product. 

So we're not going to cover all the in's and out's with regard to bad setup. Needless to say this could range from incorrect use of the camera itself, through to other pieces of equipment such as lighting. 

But I did want to focus here on talking about actual image quality, specially image resolution. Here at GINGERBEARD Media we have the ability to shoot to 4k video; - meaning that we end up with a high-resolution image. So let's take a look at what 4k actually means.

So a normal, high-definition picture is known as 1080;- because it's resolution is 1980 pixels by 1080 pixels.

But a 4k picture is twice that size; measuring 4096 pixels by 2160 pixels. That means when we shoot 4k, we're capturing double the amount of information in the shot. It also means that the image is twice as big as 1080 - both in physical size and also in the size of file.

For most of our clients they are using video to place on their website or on social media, so having a larger sized video like that is unnecessary overkill. So in most cases at the moment we supply their video in 1080. However we want them to have the best picture quality possible, so often we actually resize that 4k image into the smaller 1080 format - what this basically means is that by squashing the large image into a smaller format you increase the amount of pixels in your image - you get better image quality.

Certainly no fuzzy tv-channel quality here!

 

Movement & Stabilisation

Now, when we look 'video quality' we're also looking at the quality of the final product. Often what separates professional video from self-shot is the movement within a video - and by this we're looking at camera shots themselves.

You want your video to be stable, be it a locked down shot with no movement, or when the camera is actually moving, you want it smooth and steady. After all, your business video is not the Blair Witch Project.

So what this means is use of equipment;- tripods for locked-down shots to ensure a rock-steady shot, sliders;- which allow a smooth horizontal movement that slides along with the action and then gimbals to help smooth a walking or shot where the camera physically moves. It sounds stupid, but what you shouldn't have is movement in a shot which should be locked down - i.e shakey hand holding a camera in an interview, or the rise and fall, or even foot-judder as someone steps, holding a camera, in a walking/movement shot.

 

Sound

Our final piece of the puzzle is the often overlooked sound component. And in all honesty this is actually something which should be looked at more in video and marketing and advertising videos.

Most viewers will actually put up with a worse picture with great sound, than a perfect picture video with terrible sound. There is nothing worse than having an interview-style piece where you cannot hear what the person is saying. This is your company and you want your product or service message to be communicated fully.

So what do we use at GINGERBEARD Media to make sure we can hear you properly? We'll it depends on the situation, but we have a range of mics suitable for the task at hand. 

For most interview-type situations, we ideally look to use our professional-grade shotgun mic. This mic usually sits overhead and out of shot, capturing a lot less background noise than other microphones.

Our other go-to mic is a wireless lapel mic. This is generally used in situations where the subject is moving. The wireless lapel mic allows the subject to move around without being connected to the camera, but still capturing a nice, clean audio signal from them.

Finally, we have a series of onboard microphones. These are really only used for 'run-and-gun' productions;- where you are really only looking to capture background noise, or perhaps you're looking to capture people on the go and you can't have them mic'd. We also use them if we're running two cameras and we'll need to sync sound later in the editing.

 

Summary

So that's our 3-part look into what "video quality" means to us;- clarity of picture, movement & stabilisation and sound.

I hope that this article has been interesting and useful to you. If you have any feedback or questions, feel free to post them in the comments.

As ever, if you'd like to talk about how video can help your business, please feel free to get in contact.

Bruce

Head Beard, GINGERBEARD Media