compression question for iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chris Walsh, Sep 29, 2005.

  1. Chris Walsh macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2005
    I've been doing some research and it seems to me that iMovie HD,when bringing in footage, does NOT compress (at least anything up to HD). Does anyone know if that's right? I want to bring in minidv footage, edit it in iMovie, then go back out to minidv or dvd, and maintain my image quality all the way through. It's to be eventually projected in a medium size theater with a fairly high quality projector.

    Is that how iMovie works (ie, no compression), or will I get a loss of quality somewhere?

  2. tdhurst macrumors 68040


    Dec 27, 2003
    Portland, OR

    That's the whole point of DV don't have to compress much...

    On another note, while in the editing process iMovie may drop frames. HOWEVER, once exported, the footage will be back to normal. Don't let iMovie fool you.

    If you're serious about movie editing (based on the fact your flick is being shown at a theatre of some sort), why not try FCE? You can do quite a few more things with that program....
  3. Chris Walsh thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2005
    FCE? is that Final Cut... something? i only know of FCP, and that baby runs approx. $800 tax. incl for me. soooooo- iMovie suddenly looks very sweet! my school has FCP, but when i am editing i like to do it at my leisure, so whatever i have on my laptop is the ticket- for me, iMovie. plus my editing is very simple. since i animate (and follow a storyboard very closely while shooting), all my editing is simple cuts and transitions.

    anyway, if iMovie doesn't compress, then right on! and for that matter i'm sure FC doesn't either (another question i am trying to answer- if there is no compression, then we are not dealing with an "off-line" "on-line" thing that AVID does... it's basically all online with iMovie and FC) yes?

    thanks for the quick help!
  4. Chris Walsh thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2005
    ah! Final Cut Express. you know i've never even heard of it, but i was saying to someone yesterday, "i bet Apple will develop something that is a middle ground between FCP and iMovie"... and what do you know.

    but still- FREE editing software that totally does the trick and doesn't compress is a-ok by me. of course, iMovie's title features are pretty crappy...


  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    As long as you always keep the signal moving over FireWire you won't cause any quality loss. Compressing it onto a DVD though will drop the quality a lot. So, if you have the option of handing over a MiniDV or a DVD to be screened always hand over a MiniDV.

    No one really use offline & online editing w/DV because the files are so small. When you start using higher quality formats that take up a lot more space you'll see people using offline & online editing. What software you use to edit with doesn't really matter in this respect.


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