Why would you want to re-compress you video files?
Well, I don´t know about you, but with the quality the HX5 gives me in videos, I find myself using the video function more and more. And that shows on my disc. Where before a DVD was enough to archive several years of picture memories including some clips, now a DVD would be filled in a matter of weeks.
So I need a way of keeping the videos I want but if I could get them smaller without loss of visible quality that would be perfect.
After spending several days work to try all kinds of programs and fiddle with the settings to get exactly the results the way I wanted it it is time to share that information with you. In one sentence: You can save 50 to 75% of space and keep a good quality.
If you have lots of movement over most of the screen, then re-compression might not save you much. This 3 min clip "Fiesta del Carmen Gran Canaria 2010 - Sony HX5.MP4" in the original is 150 Mb re-compressed with RF:25 (see below) brought the file down to 132 Mb. In a case like this you already got the best compression / quality ratio in the original file.
If you have a mostly static scene like on this 32 second clip a small grasshopper drinking, you can archive a compression from the original 24 Mb to 3.3 Mb at setting RF:25 what is quite a lot for nearly the same quality. This clip was taken to test if the HX5 macro sweet spot from 2.4 x works also in video mode. And yes it does very well, our grasshopper here is roughly 1 inch = 2,5 cm long. Focus was set to spot.