Video compression

I just wondered, if you’re selling video tutorials, what sort of file size should you be expecting?

Using Final Cut 720 setting, a 7 minute video is coming out at about 400mb. The Realmac tutorials are 1080 and are smaller. Can anyone suggest settings they use that have a good compromise of quality and file size?

@dan @ben how did you guys do it?

I don’t know how the RM folks do it exactly … but if you are using Screencasting software then you can typically get much smaller sizes relative to pure video footage. My guess is they are using Screenflow (a wonderful app) or Camtasia, but most likely Screenflow. There are numerous ways to set up the export settings in SF. Perhaps Ben would be willing to share his particular settings. (I’d be interested to know!) @ben

Another trick some folks use is they export their video, upload to a Vimeo account, and then download the resulting 1080 video. Typically that is much smaller than what they exported themselves and is optimized for web playback.


Now that IS a good tip!

I use Screenflow to record and edit all our videos. I record everything on a UHD 27" display, so the files are big.

The export settings depend on where the video is being shown (download or via a website).

When I upload to our YouTube channel I upload the highest possible quality because YouTube handle the conversion and auto switch to the most appropriate sized video for the viewer.

When we do a downloadable video course I do downsize them, otherwise, you end up with a multi-gigabyte download. I don’t have the exact settings with me at the moment. It depends on your viewers, are they viewing it on a fancy new 50" TV or on a laptop? My best advice is to size appropriately for your viewers.


A trick someone else pointed to was to upload it to Vimeo who will compress it and then … download it. You will get (supposedly) a good quality, small(ish) file as a result.

Handbrake ( is a useful and free

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How/what do you use to downsize them?

Handbrake come with presets - for devices / general settings or you can save your own presets (encoder, frame rate, size etc)

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This is a good utility that I use too, also free


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