HD in Final Cut Express vs. iMovie 09

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by dansmith3003, Jun 6, 2009.

  1. dansmith3003 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #1
    Hey, i'm looking to upgrade to final cut express after reaching the absolute creative limit of iMovie (picture in picture/keying etc.) I have a Canon HF10 AVCHD video camera and when I import it into iMovie it loses quality, especially when exported under the 'HD' option. I was wondering, when you export from Final Cut Express, will the 'export in HD' option export better quality HD video or is it exactly the same as exporting in HD (1280x720) in iMovie 09?
     
  2. nyzwerewolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #2
    final cut express 4.0 should do a better job than imovie 09. If i had a camera, I would have tested it right now. Unfortunately, I am at work. I gotta wait till I get home and test it out. Will post an update.

    edit: i have a Canon Vixia HF11
    let me know what your video settings are on your camera. I will try to replicate.
     
  3. dansmith3003 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2007
    #3
    HD in Final Cut Express vs. iMovie 09

    Camera is at highest quality settings. I've herd that iMovie cannot work in AVCHD natively and converts the video into a lesser quality video format in order to edit it, which means that you can never get full quality HD when you export it. I was hoping that FCE would be different, when you couple iMovie with iDvd's poor handling of good quality video it's pushing me to either go FCE and Roxio Toast 10 pro or just cutting my losses and going straight up to Final Cut Studio for FCP and Dvd Studio pro.
     
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #4
    It's not that the conversion format (Apple Intermediate Codec) is of lesser quality, it's that you inevitably lose quality whenever you transcode from one format to another. Due to the aggressive amount of compression that AVCHD uses, it doesn't lend itself well to editing to begin with.

    FCE also uses AIC to transcode, so I'm not sure if it's going to be much better than iMovie is during the import process. But FCE is quite a bit more flexible than iMovie in its import and export options.
     
  5. nyzwerewolf macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    #5
    FCE uses Apple Intermediate Codec & Final Cut Pro uses Apple ProRes which is supposed to be a better codec that outputs a higher quality footage.
     
  6. acearchie macrumors 68040

    acearchie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    #6
    I can tell you that when I moved from iMovie 06 to 09 I felt I had instantly reached the creative limit! There was less chance for creativity!

    So I took the plunge and bought FCE! There is no looking back it is certainly the best decision I could have made. FCS 2 was too pricey for me and I got all the features I wanted from FCE.

    Also with FCE you can export at full 1920x1080 and the quality is really good! (Well atleast from my dad's HG10 which is similar to the HF10!)

    It's annoying there isn't a trial but as you can vouch from many of the responses it would be a good choice if you have the money!

    If you want to see some examples of the sort of editing you can do check out my youtube channel in my sig!
     

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