Alot of learning to do

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Jshwon, Nov 30, 2007.

  1. Jshwon macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #1
    I plan on buying an iMac after Macworld in January. Part of the reason I will be switching to Mac is for a new hobby. I would like to get into making my own home movies and short films. Now I am totally green when it comes to this but while I wait for my Mac I am researching what would be good devices to capture video with for someone starting out. I have been researching two Canon models: HV20 and HG10.

    Can anyone give any guidance on these two models (pro's/con's) or any other cameras. Any advice regarding the whole hobby in general? Starting out is it just a matter of shooting video and playing around in iMovie? Any help you can give would be great.
     
  2. brnbenefield1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Dunedin ,FL
    #2
    HI,

    First the Canon HV20 HD Camcorder has mini DV. Mini DV camcorders are the best to buy.

    As for the HG10 has a 40 HD bad idea b/c you will most like fill the HD in one mont

    The Canon HV20 HD Camcorder is the better choose in a Camcorder.


    Have a nice day,
    Brian
     
  3. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #3
    Right, so in comparison the mini DV tapes will store more data than the 40G HD in the HG10? I would assume the advantage of the HG10 would be that you dont have to continue to buy tapes whereas the HV20 will store more data.

    Also regarding video editors would you say Final Cut Pro is too advanced for a novice? Should I go start with iMovie?
     
  4. brnbenefield1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2007
    Location:
    Dunedin ,FL
    #4
    First question
    Let's say you have a one hr. bith of your child and then you start to rec. like a madman. Guess what you have to delete that video of your kid's birth = a mad wife and sad you. The Mini DV stops you from having to chose, just get a new tape and their are small!!!!!!!!
    second question
    you are correct.
    third question
    Imovie Is perfect and it happens to be free with your computer.
    So in other words wait may be 6 to 10 months so you can get use to using your Camcorder and your mac before you would shell out around $299. That if i had no idea what i was doing.

    I hope that helped you
    have a nice night and great weekend,
    Brian
     
  5. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #5
    Also AFAIK, Mini-DV is better quality, as the video is compressed more when stored on an HD based camcorder. I've had the HV20 since Aug. it is an amazing camcorder. Do a quick thread search here, and you will find many compliments to it. FCP is probably too advanced for a novice. Start w/ iMovie, and you can move to Final Cut Express once you are comfortable editing. As you may know, apple just released a new version, and dropped the price by $100.

    Where To Buy
    HV20 In-Depth Review
     
  6. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #6
    Thanks for the info guys. It helps. I've been checking out this site http://videomaker.com and it has alot of good info. I guess there are pro's and con's to both the HDD vs. mini DV. Regarding the HDD instead of deleting the movie it can always be moved and stored externally on a HD. But the reviews that the above website gave between the two had more positive things to say about the HV20.
     
  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #7
    Yeah you definitely don't need FCS and probably won't even need Final Cut Express for a while.

    I'd recommend the tape HV20 because you'll have an instant backup of your video. If you get a HDD based cam, you're going to have a good backup solution in place, because if a hard drive failed, you'd lose all your data. You can just throw the tape in a box and be all set for a backup.
     
  8. RBMaraman macrumors 65816

    RBMaraman

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    Jul 25, 2002
    Location:
    Prospect, KY
    #8
    Definitely stick with Mini-DV, as it is the current standard. Once you really start getting into filming and editing, you'll really understand how important it is to have a hard-copy tape backup of your footage.

    iMovie is a fantastic piece of software. I'd recommend picking up a book on it so you can familiarize yourself with terminology, tips, and tricks that will make learning the software much easier.

    Some basic tips:
    1. DV footage takes up a lot of hard drive space, so make sure you purchase the iMac with a large drive, or purchase an external FireWire drive.
    2. When working in iMovie, make sure you save often. iMovie is excellent, but when working with large video files, transitions, effects, sound, etc., sometimes the program can become unstable and suddenly quit. A newbie mistake is working a hour or more without saving when suddenly the program quits, meaning you just lost all your work.
     
  9. P-Worm macrumors 68020

    P-Worm

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    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Salt Lake City, UT
    #9
    There is a great podcast for people starting out like yourself.

    http://www.izzyvideo.com/

    Some of the topics may be a little too advanced and some of the video tutorials will be impossible for you because it deals with Final Cut Studio. But if you search for topics about shooting techniques, Izzy gives some great advice that can help make your videos more professional. Check it out.

    I agree with what others have said about software. I would play around with iMovie for a while and get used to how the whole video editing workflow works. One thing to keep in mind with all of the software advancements of the digital age is that nothing beats great footage. If you can learn to really control your camera, lighting, and audio, you can make great looking videos without much work in the computer at all. It would be a good idea to start learning that way and then when you switch to more powerful software later, you will be 'ahead of the game' so to speak because you aren't trying to fix everything in post.

    Good luck and have fun with it!

    P-Worm
     
  10. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    #10
    Thanks everyone for all of your help! I will be sure to check out all the recommendations you posted. Hopefully soon I will be able to contribute some of my own material.
     
  11. chris200x9 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 3, 2006
    #11
    you might want to download imovie '06 its free, I heard 08 which youll get with your computer lacks the cool effects
     
  12. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #12
    Ok. Hard drive based camcorders record the video into a compressed MPEG2 stream. MiniDV or DVCAM cameras record it uncompressed. Stick with MiniDV, its far more compatible and easier to work with. Ps. Give Final Cut Express a whirl first... its cheaper. Final Cut is easy, but its a bit tricky to use at first.
     
  13. rotlex macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 1, 2003
    Location:
    PA
    #13
    I was facing this same decision a few months ago. I WANTED to go with a HDD based cam for the supposed "convenience" of not having to use tapes. (Previously owned a 5 year old Sony MiniDV cam).

    Long story short, I bought a HDD based cam for a Disney vacation back in August. I now regret that decision immensely and have since picked up a Canon HV20 and am extremely happy! To tell you how much I wanted a HDD based cam, I also owned a Canon HG10 for a short time. Great cam, great video, but here is what I found:

    1. I never realized just how much hard drive space EDITABLE AVCHD video consumes. I was honestly trying to picture how I was going to store the next 5 years worth of video. Reason number one I decided to stick with tape. Instant archive, and HDV is very easy to edit on any machine not set for the junk pile yet.

    2. I thought with a HDD cam I would not have to capture in "real time". Well, that's true, if all you want to do is copy the files to a comp. To actually do anything with them, you need to get them into a program like iMovie\FCP which will not allow you to edit the native files. They have to be converted first. This takes as long, if not longer, than simply capture the video off of a tape in the first place.

    3. Tape is cheap, and very easy to store either off site, or in a fireproof box. It's also your master copy, that will probably out last you as far as age goes.

    Anway, I know those seem like simple things, but they are what led me back to tape, and a Canon HV20, after quite a few months of experimentation. The HV20 is simply an amazing cam, which produces unreal quality very easily. Also, while I can only burn SD DVD's at the moment, the quality of them, after being shot with the HV20 is also amazing. Even when making a DVD, I capture in full HDV\1080i and keep it that way all the way to the end. This seems to get me nearly studio quality DVD's by the time they are burned, even if they are still in standard def.
     
  14. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #14
    Thanks for sharing your experience. I do like the idea of having a physical tape to store as a backup. A question though, you mentioned that iMovie/FCP cannot edit native file types that the HDD camera would save. What is the process to get the video from MiniDV into iMovie/FCP so that it can be edited? Do you just plug the camera into the iMac and edit directly from the tape?
     
  15. rotlex macrumors 6502a

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    PA
    #15
    iMovie or FCE4 won't edit the native AVCHD file. (From a hard drive, HDD, based cam). It has to convert them into an editable format, MPEG2. Both programs do this automatically when you attach the camera and import, but it takes quite some time. On my 2.8Ghz iMac, 4GB ram, it was pretty much 1 to 1. (1 hour of video, 1 hour of import\convert time).

    You CAN move the "raw" avchd footage to the computer by simply copying it, or making a disk image out of the mounted volume, but this is not playable, or editable by anything I know for for OS X.

    HDV\MiniDV tape on the other hand works as it always has for import and editing. (Whether Hi-Def or not). Connect cam via firewire port, open iMovie\FCE whatever, and import. Tape begins to play in cam, and imports to the comp in real time.
     
  16. Jshwon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jshwon

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    Nov 2, 2007
    #16
    Sweet thanks. Sounds like MiniDV and the HV20 is the way to go.
     
  17. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    Jun 18, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #17
    As everyone said start with iMovie, but with the older imovie HD not the newer version as it is even more consumer oriented and you give up the nice timeline feature.
     
  18. AstrayCliche macrumors member

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    May 28, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #18
    DV is a compressed format. HDV being recorded onto a MiniDV tape is even more compressed; as a MPEG2 stream.
     
  19. big dainjerus macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
  20. rotlex macrumors 6502a

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    PA
    #20
    No, it does not.
     
  21. GregE macrumors 6502

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    Nov 28, 2007
    #21
    Where can you get iMovie '06? Can it be loaded at the same time as iMovie '08?
     
  22. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 2, 2003
    Location:
    Pittsburgh
    #22
    I'm not sure where anyone got the impression it was downloadable for free. It's not. However, it does come with iLife '08 - you have to look for it though. The short story is that the iMovie with iLife '08 is quicker and easier but much less flexible than iMovie 06. The two are a completely different workflow as well. I've been told that you can make a project in '08 and then open it in '06 for fine tuning, but haven't tried yet. My advice would be to find '06 and use that, as the ability to mix audio is what makes an iMovie special, IMO.

    Dave
     
  23. GregE macrumors 6502

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    Nov 28, 2007
    #23
    I order iLife '08 when I ordered my iMac so I should be good to go then. You can't mix audio in iLife '08? They took that out? Can I have both versions of iMovie loaded?
     
  24. Dave00 macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 2, 2003
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    Pittsburgh
    #24
    You can mix audio but it's limited. You'll be very frustrated if you're used to '06 and you try to use '08. In '06, you can fade in and out of two tracks, or up to three tracks if the video section has an audio (i.e., a movie). There is only one track in '08. No idea why they crippled it, except that the sound mixing seems to be what bogs iMovie down, and they wanted it snappier.

    Dave
     
  25. robby818 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 2, 2007
    #25
    My HV20 is on the UPS truck right now, coming tomorrow :)

    i made my decision to buy a mini DV over a SD or hard drive camera for many of the reasons stated on this thread.

    Now, I am looking at editing software. It looks like I can burn HD-DVDs with Final Cut Studio 2. Although FCS2 is a lot of money, I am seriously considering buying it so I can burn short HD-DVDs on regular DVDs that can be played on my Toshiba HD-A2. I've been looking for a good workflow that would make this really simple. If anyone can suggest a site, please do so. Thanks.
     

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