Better for editing SD video from tape - iM6 or iM11?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by tekriter, May 14, 2011.

  1. tekriter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    I'm pretty familiar with iMovie 6, having used it for several years with imported video from my two standard-def Panasonic mini-DV cams.

    I recently bought iMovie 11 to catch up with the times, but have read since then that never iMovie versions don't necessarily like the interlaced video (480i) I am shooting.

    What's the recommendation on this board - stick with iMovie 6 until I upgrade to HD camcorders?

    Or, does iMovie 11 work well with interlaced video?
  2. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    It isn't a myth. See this extensive Apple discussion thread on the problem. I believe it is referred to as the iMovie Missing Field Import problem which occurred when Apple released iMoive 08. They have not fixed the issue.

    Here may be one solution to bringing in older DV material to the newer iMovie.

    Final Cut Express and above will handle the older interlaced media properly. If you do consider that as an option, be informed that Apple is bringing out Final Cut Pro X this summer for only $299. It will require at least an Intel based Mac, possibly Snow Leopard will be the minimum OS requirement.
  3. tekriter thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 16, 2004
    xStep, thanks for the information!

    The only reason I've avoided FCE is the cost, and the only reason I've avoided the newer iMovie is that I'm so familiar with iMovie6.

    The poor import of interlaced video would just kill my projects. Much of what I shoot are high school athletes who want highlight videos for scholarship purposes. The jerky motion that would result from dropping frames would make my videos look terrible.

    If I may, could I share some questions I have about video in general?

    Right now I use two Panasonic mini-DV camcorders; decent performers but with limitations. One, the time it takes to import taped video. Two, cameras are getting old. Three, standard definition.

    I'm just about ready to pop for two new cameras and I want HD, of course. I would like to continue using iMovie, but in the past some HD camcorders did not work well with newer versions of iMovie.

    I'm aware of the Panasonic 60p video incompatibility because I have researched getting new Panasonic HD cams.

    Are there any other HD brands or formats that specifically won't work in iMovie 11? Are there any that are acknowledged as being especially iMovie friendly? I would still share these as standard def DVDs for now until more people have blu-rays.

    Another problem is file size. I appreciate the non-destructive quality of iMovie, but in my shooting it results in enormous files. If I shoot, say, eight soccer games focusing on one player for a highlight film, and then edit those videos down to a five-minute final video, I still have all the overhead of the unused data. I have had five-minute videos of nearly 100 gb in size because of this. I would really like to be able to truly trash the extra unused video. I guess I could export it as DV and then re-import the movie as a new file.

    Sorry if I ramble too much - just lots of questions while I enter the 21st century!
  4. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    I've used iMovie6 for many years and now use iMovie11. My DV camcorder is about 5-6 years old, but I don't experience any of the above problems.

    It gets imported into both iMovies as DV at 720 x 576. When played back in iMovie6/11/Quicktime there is no discernable difference in the picture quality.

    The only interlaced video that I've imported was from a camcorder that used an SD card, and a conversion with MPEGStreamclip sorted it.

    I agree about the excess footage in iMovie11. With 6 it was easy to delete unwanted footage, but with 11 you have to go through the Event library and delete from there, taking care that you dont delete any that is in your Project.
  5. xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    If you're making money on those videos, then $199 is a very inexpensive investment. Ditto for the $299 for the new Final Cut Pro X coming out this summer. And these investments tend to be a tax write off in most places.

    From descriptions I've seen, I agree, but I think you should do your own experiment to make a better judgement.

    Yea, I don't think 60p material works with iMovie. I don't know as I haven't tried it. Just seen it mentioned here and there.

    I don't follow what brands work better than others. At times I've seen people complain about a camera model and others pipe up saying it works fine for them. Often the person complaining doesn't understand the 'tricks' in camera use. Search the forms for the cameras you are interested in to figure out if there are problems and resolutions.

    I'm thinking that Panasonic's have had issues with Apples consumer editors in the past. Perhaps they have improved.

    Media management is a big issue that even the high end pros have issues with. I'm no pro, just a curious individual. You need a workflow that works for your particular situation.

    I believe that in iMovie 08 and above, you can strip out unwanted footage and have iMovie remove it from the imported content. You do that by first rejecting pieces or whole sequences in the Events section and then telling iMovie to trash those rejects. Try it out in your copy of iMovie 11.

    As for older DV material and iMovie 06, that is tricky. I suppose that once a project is done, you could do a high quality export, say using DV or AIC codecs to a file. That version of iMovie also has the ability to export to camera, so you could export the project to a 'master' tape for safe keeping. Once you are satisfied with the export, trash the iMovie project. This assumes their isn't other material still to be used. Also, you can trash entire clips from within iMovie 06 which would allow to remove unused clips. I think you need to learn the abilities of the editor and work within that.

    100GB of DV material is about 7.5 hours of time and 5 minutes is just over 1GB. Even if you are working on 10 videos, that is only 1TB of data required. Given the low price for such drive capacity, I'd say buy two external 1TB drives. One for working, the other as a backup. Backing up an iMovie 06 project is a simple drag & drop since all material is within the project file. iMovie 11 is almost as easy, but comes in parts and can get complicated with reference issues for external sources of materials like pictures and music.

    No problem. This is a good place to learn. No sales pressure here.

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