Hard disk drive camcorders pain to edit?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by soccersquirt82, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. soccersquirt82 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #1
    I am debating whether I should get a Hard disk camcorder or a MiniDV. I love the fact that I could record so much more w a Hard disk drive, but backing up may be an issue.

    What I really want to know is if the HDD camcorders are a pain to edit. I am currently using the new and old version of iMovie, depending what I'm in the mood for. I might upgrade to Final Cut Express. I've heard MiniDV's are the easiest to edit, and I have experience with them. But HDD sounds pretty good too . . .

    And what hard disk drive camcorders are compatible?? I've looked everywhere for a list of compatible camcorders . . . Apple used to have one on its site, but it must have disappeared.

    So, two questions: compatible camcorders? Hard disk drive camcorders hard to edit?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    forlod bygningen
    #2
    Why the double thread?

    iMovie '08: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1014
    iMovie '09: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT3290

    HDD cameras capture footage using a codec, like .h264 or something similar to get more out of the GBs of storage.
    As .h264 (and other used codecs)is a lossy format, it has to be re-encoded to something useful like the Apple Intermediated Codec (AIC, every frame is stored).

    Wanna go HD, or stay SD? DV is SD and is recorded to MiniDVs. There is also HDV (also recorded onto MiniDVs), but it's not Full HD, more something in between, and it records an MPEG-2 stream to the cassette, which is also quite lossy, and will be re-encoded during capturing to iMovie/FCE to AIC.
     
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #3
    Full HD is a marketing term, not a technical term. HDV is a format that meets one of the standard definitions of HD--pardon the pun. Nowhere is high-definition video stored in a frame-based format. All broadcast HD is transmitted as MPEG-2. It is the easiest standard compressed video format to code and decode.
     
  4. jmyler macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2009
    #4
    It could be a marketing term but when I hear full HD i think 1920 x 1080.

    I'm using hard drive based hdr-sr12 sony camcorder and i would never go back (for a consumer camera) to tape. The new version of final cut pro and express both have built in AVCHD compatibility so it works perfect. Transfers into iMovie 08 and 09 seamlessly and it's failry quick to be such a large size format.

    I would suggest HDD based camcorder in my experience but everyone is different.

    I'm not sure what you mean by hard to edit, to me i don't see how it's any harder or easier when all you are doing is connecting the camera and transferring into your favorite editor.
     
  5. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #5
    I meant recording, not broadcasting. I know that broadcasters use MPEG-2, but not every HD camera uses such lossy codecs like .h264. Like the Sony HDCAM cameras for example, which get a data rate from 144Mbit/s to 800Mbit/s and have 4:4:4 subsampling, compared to HDV's 25Mbit/s and 4:2:0 chroma subsampling.

    Also Full HD means a resolution of 1920x1080, and HDV uses 1440x1080. It's the horizontal resolution that is blown up by the factor 1.33 to achieve 1920x1080 pixels.

    That's at least what I know now.
     
  6. soccersquirt82 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    #6
    I would like to edit it in iMovie 06 or 08. Is that hard to do since you have to first go through AIC??
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #7
    iMovie '08 compatible camcorders footage (if HDD based) will be imported/captured using the AIC codec. There is no other step necessary, except the import, as iMovie does the conversion for you, if it's a supported format.
    And iMovie needs the video in an editable format, unlike MPEG-2 or MPEG-4.
     
  8. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #8
    iMovie 06 doesn't support AVCHD, the codec used by most consumer drive- or flash-based camcorders. I'm pretty sure it supports HDV, though (someone else chime in here).

    Going through AIC is no harder than having to deal with Mini-DV tape, in my opinion. It might take a bit longer on some systems than the real-time import Mini-DV takes, but it's essentially transparent for the user, other than the time: connect your camera, import the clips you want, and let the computer do it's thing. Some people make a big deal about archiving, but you just have to approach it differently than with tape. You can copy the directory off the camera and put it on a backup drive and have it in its compressed form. If you ever need it again, just re-import into iMovie or Final Cut. You can also just backup your iMovie projects, but this takes a lot more space because the clips are no longer compressed.
     
  9. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Jul 3, 2008
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    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #9
    Yes, it does.
     

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