Advice on how using import on camcorder newbie. iMovie and Final Cut Express etc...

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by neonkru, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. neonkru macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #1
    Hi! I'm a newcomer and i've been with some trouble figuring out some things like, which one is better? 1080i, pf25? which format to store the project for long storage problem etc?

    well as long as i'm asking for help in this forum i will post here my progress so it may be of help for those who are in my situation. i will be testing for imovie and final cut express 4.

    So i will be progressing as long as i will be having time.

    First my camcorder model:

    Canon HF200 European Model (Video Modes: 1080i50 and PF25)

    Test #1: Using iMovie to import indoor footage
    Results 1080i: Using interlace is causing very bad quality on iMovie import directly from the camera/sd card. A lot of horizontal lines distorted makes the video horribly viewable. however this is when importing as original size. if i optimize the video for 960*540 it will be corrected, but the main point here is working with the original resolution without losing quality. im trying to figure out how to export using 1080p native but when i go to export settings it says that the current resolution is 960*540 after dragging the vide to the timeline. i don't think it's possible to export native 1080p using iMovie. Am I correct?

    Results PF25: When previewing the video is ok, no interlancing lines shown in preview. Works fine.

    so iMovie won't work with native 1080p resolution, exporting a 1080p is reducing quality compared to the original

    This is my first test and conclusion. If i'm wrong here please correct me, i don't want to give incorrect information.

    Conclusion in test #1: don't use iMovie for important movie content if you're using 1080p video as source and want to keep the main resolution. Maybe iLife 2010 will bring some new solution on iMovie
     
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #2
    If you import your video clips as 960x540, then you can't expect to export them as 1080. If you want to export in 1080, then you have to import them that way. I have a Canon HG20 and record in 1080p/30fps/25mbps and have no problems working in iMovie after the clips are imported and transcoded to AIC.

    EDIT: To clarify a bit. Don't record interlaced. When you import as 960x540 you are tossing away half the fields. If you want "full quality HD" then you need to record in 1080p mode.
     
  3. neonkru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #3
    actually i'm importing them as 1080p origina size source. that's why i get the bad results. if i import them as 980*760 it will optimize the video and solve the interlaced problem. why is on the camera pf25 instead of 1080p mode? i find its the same.

    well however if i use final cut express i can work with the interlaced video at it's native 1080 pixels resolution. that is just not true for iMovie. So using iMovie to created HD movies is out of question.
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #4
    I don't know how tape-less consumer cameras handle progressive footage, but do they record the progressive footage in an interlaced format? Even when they save to a file, where interlacing is not necessary?

    1080p means progressive footage at 1920x1080 pixel, 25fps (you wrote "fp25") means the frames per second, which is independent of 1080p or any other resolution.
     
  5. neonkru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #5
    i didn't write fp25. i did write PF25. in the manual says that it should be used for low light enviroment. i can't answer the other question about interlacing because i'm new on this one. however i'm getting very good results with final cut express importing movies either in 1080i and PF25.

    i guess the best way to keep the movie is exporting using h264 as mov file. what do you think?
     
  6. icrude macrumors regular

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #6
    not to be a jerk, but I'll be surprised if anyone actually benefits from this thread.
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #7
    Sorry, I misread as it seems.

    But I'm still confused, do you import as 1080i footage (your second post) or 1080p footage (your third post)?

    As far as I can tell from the HF200 manual (essential read if you wanna harness your camera's abilities), the footage gets captured in progressive (by the CMOS in the PF24 mode) but is still recorded in 1080i/60, meaning it is interlaced and has 30/29.97 frames (60/59.94 fields) per second.

    So you should capture using the 1080i/60 preset, the footage just "looks like" it is progressive.

    As to your last question: what is the final destination for your finished sequence? H264 is a very lossy codec (the HF200 uses that codec too) so it might not be the best choice depending on your future endeavours with that finished sequence.

    @ icrude: then why the post? The OP might benefit from it.
     
  8. neonkru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #8
    i wish there was a thread about this. i know nothing about video, finding all by myself is not that easy and it's time consuming. posting this thread will also give me answers thats my main point also and its working. your useless comment didnt bring anything at all=P
     
  9. neonkru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #9
    i import as 1080i50 because my hf200 is the european version that shoots at 1080i50. (PAL)

    so even if i shoot at PF25 i will get interlaced video?

    my final destination is for personal purpose. i want to edit having the best quality possible and keep it that way. also being able to play in other computers as well. not really worried about playing on a dvd or so, if i want to play in a dvd i will just use the template and the compressor from idvd, because it just works fine for me. i'm only worried about keeping the quality at it's original if possible or the best possible

    thank you =)
     
  10. icrude macrumors regular

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    Dec 29, 2006
    #10
    no i just mean that from your title that basically says "for anyone that needs help, read this" it makes it seem like you're the one giving advice. But then the thread was full of formats and conversions and all sorts of stuff, so if you're just looking for some help then i am sorry and i understand now.

    imovie does all sorts of wierd stuff anyways, it's hard to find out exactly what it is doing to footage. that half size video format is anything but normal.
     
  11. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #11
    Yes, will get interlaced video, seems the camera can't handle progressive footage all the way, which takes more computing power in-camera than interlaced does.

    During import, the H264 encoded video will get transcoded to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) to allow editing. It will take 30-40 GB per hour of your HDD space.

    If you only wanna watch the finished sequence afterwards, then H264 will be fine as a final codec, but if you wanna use that final sequence again, you might save an AIC encoded video too, as you would have to transcode the H264 video again into AIC, which will loose you more information.

    And I agree with icrude about the thread title.

    To edit your thread title, just click on the [​IMG] button on the bottom right of your original post and then click the "Go Advanced" button below your message.
     
  12. neonkru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #12
    that sums it perfectly. for final sequence i can just save it in h264 but if i want to use it later i should have the sequence in apple intermediate codec. meaning that the best thing to do is to keep the original files or the transcoded apple intermediate codec files.

    i thought 1080i and PF25 would be 2 diff formats in my camera, one interlaced and another one progressive, but seems like i will get interlaced in the end so it doesn't really matter that much depending on which manual settings i use for certain type of footage. thank you =)

    however i'm a bit disappointed with iMovie. I guess i won't be using it that much then and stick with final cut express.
     
  13. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 6, 2007
    #13
    They will look different. As I've said in your other thread, PsF (or PF as Canon seem to be calling it) will look like a movie and i will look like sports. Both are stored as i but are not recording the same thing.

    Think of it like flatpack furniture. You go to Ikea and buy a chest of drawers, a wardrobe and a table. You leave the store with three white boxes that look the same, but when you get home and assemble them they all end up looking quite different. In flatpack form they were really easy to get home and through the door. Interlaced is an easy way of storing and transporting video just as flatpack is an easy way of storing and transporting furniture.
     
  14. neonkru thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 3, 2009
    #14
    yeah thanks to your help i got the idea now=) i guess all it's left is for me to try out the diff shooting formats :D
     
  15. phoolholy macrumors newbie

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    Nov 19, 2010
    #15
    Can't capture from Canon HF200 to G5 Intel

    Has anyone encountered this problem? I have a Canon Vixia HF200, and when I tried to capture to my G5 Intel Mac, it wouldn't recognize the camera. Apparently, it's because Final Cut and iMovie don't recognize USB. The HF200 ONLY has USB! Are there any simple workarounds?
    Thanks!
     
  16. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #16
    Do you have an Intel Mac or a G5 Mac?
    What specific Mac do you have?

    Look for the Model Identifier here (#3) and report back or look for yourself here..
    [​IMG]

    What exact Mac OS X , Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro and iMovie version are involved?

    Btw, FCE/FCP and iMove do recognise USB connected camcorders.


     
  17. phoolholy macrumors newbie

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    Nov 19, 2010
    #17
    Canon HF200 capture problem

    Hi spinnerlys,
    Thanks for your reply. I have a Mac Pro G5 Intel-base. OSX 10.5.8
    Final Cut Pro 6.
    When I tried capturing on either FCP or iMovie, the capture window gave me the error message attached.
    I was able to capture on Windows with Pixela that came with the HF200, and make clips for FCP, but they're not true 1080p.
    Appreciate the help!
    phoolholy
     

    Attached Files:

  18. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #18
    Okay, either you have a Mac Pro using an Intel CPU (x86 architecture) or a Power Mac using an IBM CPU (PPC architecture), there is no G5 Intel Mac, even though it gets mentioned a lot.

    The other thing: The Vixia HF200 is a camera, which stores its footage onto a Flash Memory Card, thus "Log & Capture", meant for tape based media, is not the correct option.
    You need the "Log & Transfer" window to import and properly transcode the footage into FCP. As FCP 6 came with a big manual, and a searchable PDF, it will you help to properly ingest video from your camera via the right settings.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And then there is MRoogle.
     
  19. phoolholy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    #19
    Canon HF200 problem

    Good info. I tried Log & Transfer, but didn't find any options for importing AVCHD clips. The main problem here seems to be the camera being Windows-based. The clips aren't readable in the finder.
    I'll see what I can find in the manual.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. phoolholy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    #20
    Problem Solved!

    Went to Samy's Camera in Pasadena, and found out I needed iMovie '09 to get my Mac to see and transfer the files. Otherwise, I'd have to spring for the Leopard and FCP 7. Not ready for that.
     

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