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Noob questions about choosing the video format to use


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Any advice / documentation on what video format is the 'best' - most common / high quality without stupidly high file size (yes, I realize higher quality = bigger file size), but is avi more efficient than mp4 (just using those 2 as examples).

For sharing files with macs, android and iphones, windows PCs.

And the quality of the monitor / display settings influences the quality of the recording, right?  1920 x 1080 monitor / windows 10 settings when watching an HD or 4K video will not make a video that's higher quality than the video card is set for?

Oh, and is there a drawback to always saying yes to fast capture to be sure to get the best quality from the system (for watching home movies.. .but not games)... movies can have as much screen activity as a game, right?

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I confess I don't understand what you are trying to do, but for the sake of starting you off...

For nearly 10 years I have been using Debut for screen-capturing live wildlife cams 24/7, it's set to stop/restart every hour.  I almost always record in .mp4, the files are smaller than .avi but I don't notice much, if any, difference in quality.  I have never taken a chance on Fast Capture so I can't advise on that.  I scan the finished 1-hour files in an editor and extract clips of interest and join them up, then upload to YouTube for sharing with the general public.

If you are recording a screen then the monitor resolution will affect the size of the resulting files, no matter what format you have set.  Screen-capturing a 4K screen will result in very large files which are more cumbersome to edit.

You are talking about "home movies" so I presume you want your recordings made on a Windows PC to be compatible with iOS and Android - I don't think this is possible, but maybe someone here will educate us (me!) 🙂


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Thanks Clemenzina!

What i'm looking to do is what you were saying - what format to save files in - you like mp4.

recordings taht are playable in windows, mac, ios and android? I would hope there's at least 1 format that would play on all of them.  but we'll see who else replies.

As for interesting videos of our bird feeder:



It's a costco security camera system that records to a hard drive and then I clip parts to post on youtube.


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