I shoot with a budget 1440 x 1080 consumer video recorder. The footage is very good but really that's if the highest resolution is kept.
Recently I discovered that all of my films I had taken which are stored on my hard disk have been made into 1280 x 720 films. I couldn't work out why this was - I thought it was a malicious virus at first, affecting people's treasured home video films. I hadn't looked at them for a while and hadn't put them through an editor. I had recently bought Cyberlink PowerDirector 7 H.D. version to make a few new films from the clips, but I haven't even installed that yet.
I discovered all of my clips have become 720p films now, as I say. I was shocked - some of them aren't well taken and unfortunately were taken before I knew that I should use a Class 6 S.D. card only and I used a low class (slower, poorer resolution) S.D. card. So they would be O.K, to edit into a 1080p long film, but they don't look good reduced to 720p.
I didn't load the films into a converter or editor and choose to reduce the resolution.
But, thinking about what could have happened, I have a vague memory of coming home quite drunk one night, and wanting to test a video file type converter program or two with a free trial. So I tried a few. And I think I was asked on downloading, "Do you want [the program] to manage the files in 720p?". I think I had a look at the converter / editor's notes and saw that it didn't do 1080p after all - and so I selected yes. I did that because I thought it meant it would just load up the original 1080p files and work with them in 720p, while not saving or adjusting any changes to the original files themselves.
But my files can only be watched in 720p now. I don't know what editor / converter it was, I tried a few at the same time, and they were all terrible - the quality of the conversions to .mp4, .avi etc. were very poor, so I uninstalled all of the programs, well before I realised that all of my films were no longer 1080p.
Can the files be seen in 1080p again - that is real 1080p sensor made films, rather than newly interpolated by an editor? Are they still there on my disk in latent 1080p format, waiting for some setting to be changed somehow or has what was stored as 1080p resolution been lost for good?
The budget video camera is good but it's quality really mostly is "all at it's height", where even slightly downgrading the resolution from 1440 x 1080 takes away from the characteristic loveliness of the footage.
(Also if the only way to see the films is by interpolation - how is this done, please, any free editor or does the latest, highest version of PowerDirector do this?)