I have some video clips that were recorded on my Sony digital camera in MP4 format. I am going to edit them together into one "final" clip. At somepoint, I will do further editing of this final clip. Right now I just want to "splice" these together,put them with the rest my video clips, and delete the original MP4 files.
Should I save the edited clip as MP4, MP2, or AVI? I did not know if since the original file was a MP4, will I gain anything in terms of quality for future editing by saving as MP2 or AVI?
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You don't say what cam you have, but let us assume it's like most and contains avc video...
Avc was meant as a consumer, ready-to-share and play format. In its standard use, it is NOT very suitable for editing, for reasons that should be becoming clear to you now.
Your choices (in descending order of quality desirability):
1. Save copies of your originals to disc, convert other copies to Cineform/SomeOtherLosslessish codec, edit, same master in same format, convert copy of master to final distribution format, backup intemediates to optical disc also so can be losslessly reedited later on.
2. Use an Nle that supports editing the native Mp4 format, edit always on the Iframe and do smartrender at export to identical format, save to disc, re-edit later on from same ORIGINAL clips (not copies), make distribution converts from these outputs.
3. Same as 2 but edit not on Iframe, being able to live with the slight degradation during the affected gops. This still outputs to either same format as originals or lossless intermediates.
4. Anything else, including what you originally suggested, is just not prudent if you value quality.