HDV-have I made an expensive mistake?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by notmyeggs!, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. notmyeggs! macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #1
    Hi all.

    I have recently bought a Canon HV20 to replace a Panasonic NV-gs400. I wanted the better quality of HDV. However, what do I need to do to my G4 Power Mac to be able to download HDV into iMovie and burn using iDVD? Not a lot is happening at the moment, whilst I can control the camera through iMovie but there is no review and downloading takes an earth, to process 10 seconds of footage takes about 2 minutes! My Mac is uprated to the following spec-

    Sonnet 1.2ghz processor
    1 GB ram
    A second Internal 70gb HD
    2 x external 250 gb HD's
    Trying to transfer through Firewire 800 pci card

    Will any more uprating enable HDV to be downloaded and edited or do I need to go to a dual processor machine eg quicksilver or mirror door? If so what is the minimun spec. machine I need to be looking at on e-Bay?! Alternatively, would installing a Sonnet 1.8ghz or Sonnet Dual processor do the job (with more ram I suspect) I do not have the cash and don't want to go to a new G5.

    Have I made an expensive error? Will I really notice the difference in quality from my trusty Panasonic when everything worked smoothly on the G4?

    Kindest regards

    Steve
     
  2. mepants macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #2
    What version of iMovie are you running? I have the same camcorder and iMovie HD (v5) wouldn't recognise it. I am lucky enough to have access to a copy of Final Cut, which recognised it without too many problems.

    You could upgrade to a later version of iLife: iMovie 08 only runs on Intel, but it does allow a downgrade to the previous version of iMovie HD for PPC, which may or may not support the HV20. Otherwise, you might need to get a copy of Final Cut Express.
     
  3. eXan macrumors 601

    eXan

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2005
    Location:
    Russia
    #3
    iMovie08 runs on PowerPC too :rolleyes:
     
  4. stevep macrumors 6502a

    stevep

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2004
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    No you haven't made an expensive mistake. I've also just bought an HV20 and the footage it produces is amazingly sharp and clear. I use iMovie 06 and I've just got a copy of FCE4 (which I'm struggling with :eek: as it's a bit more complex than iMovie). Both will import with a firewire cable - for some strange reason not supplied, but then Canon don't even put a tape in the box either). Might be worth seeing if you can pick up an iLife 06 disc from somewhere - lots of people seem to dislike the 08 version of iMovie.
     
  5. notmyeggs! thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #5
    Hi all, thanks for the advice.

    I'm running iMovie v.6 on OS 10.4.11. It not a recognition problem, iMovie picks up the camera and I can fully control it through iMovie. iMovie also recognises that the video is HDV and sets the preview page up appropriately. I'm convinvced that it's the low power system that I'm running which cannot cope with HDV.

    Regards

    Steve
     
  6. elmo151 Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2007
    Location:
    NYC
    #6
    me too
    you have to buy a firewire cable (4 pin to 6 pin) to import movies. it took me four hours to figure this out!
     
  7. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #7
    Yup.

    You really should have an Intel Mac if you're going to be working with HD.
     
  8. slu macrumors 68000

    slu

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Buffalo
    #8
    You just don't have enough horsepower. You barley meet the minimum requirements for iLife '06:

    * Macintosh computer with a PowerPC G4, PowerPC G5, or Intel Core processor.
    * 733 MHz or faster for iDVD.
    * High definition video requires 1 GHz G4 or faster and 512 MB of RAM.
    * 256 MB of RAM required (512 MB recommended).
    * High definition video requires 1 GHz G4 or faster and 512 MB of RAM.
    * 1024 x 768 display resolution
    * iMovie HD 6 requires Quartz Extreme-compatible graphics cards
     
  9. hvfsl macrumors 68000

    hvfsl

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2001
    Location:
    London, UK
    #9
    A second hand G5 off ebay will be OK too. But an Intel Mac would of course be better because it is more futureproof.
     
  10. richpjr macrumors 68020

    richpjr

    Joined:
    May 9, 2006
    #10
    An excellent book on FCE4 is Final Cut Express 4 Moving Making for Everyone. Very easy read with good examples.
     
  11. zioxide macrumors 603

    zioxide

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2006
    #11
    An Intel mini would be faster and also cheaper than a used PMG5.
     
  12. tivoli2 macrumors regular

    tivoli2

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    May 29, 2007
    Location:
    My own little world...
    #12
    I agree with this. I do a lot of animation in Adobe After Effects on my dual 1 GHz 2002 Quicksilver, and while it's great at standard-def, it bogs down significantly with HD - although I realize it is a different animal than using iMovie, I just don't think machines from the late 90's to early 00's were designed with HD in mind. I would add that I think your 70 GB internal drive is going to fill up mighty quick, with your externals soon after if you're doing a lot of HD. Even SD makes the GBs disappear quickly. I'd check to see what kind of settings you can make in iMovie to maybe compress your footage in such a way that allows for easier manipulation - you'll be surprised at how good compressed video can look when you use the right settings... of course, it all depends on what your expectations of end-results are.

    Good luck! :)
     
  13. notmyeggs! thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #13
    Hi all

    Right I get the message! I'm on the lookout for a G5 then am I......which model should I go for? The duel 2ghz seems a 'mid-range' machine at a mid-range price! I will obviously need as much ram as I can squeeze in. One went on E-bay for £600 (about 1200USD I think?). The 1.8ghz don't seem a lot cheaper but the 2.5's seem MUCH more! What else do I need to look out for? Remember, I'm wanting to download HDV into iMovie and burn using iDVD at the best quality settings I can. Will I be able to download to a large external HD or will I need a huge internal one? (ooh err missus-sorry, it's British humour thing!).

    Regards to you all.

    Steve
     
  14. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #14
    If your budget is £600, then a second hand C2D mac mini or macbook will be far faster than a G5.

    You can use your current monitor and external HDs with both.

    To be honest, I wouldn't consider even trying to work with HD with anything less than a C2D computer. Vast amounts of RAM and processor cycles are needed.

    PS: I just bought 4GB of RAM for my macbook from Crucial for £58 inc postage. Standard RAM is pretty cheap at the moment. G5 or Mac Pro RAM might be a lot more.
     
  15. notmyeggs! thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    #15
    Hi all

    Sorry-I'm not up on the lingo-what's a C2D machine?

    Regards

    Steve
     
  16. Much Ado macrumors 68000

    Much Ado

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #16
    One which has a Core2Duo Intel processor.

    They're 64-bit, and fast as hell.
     
  17. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #17
    You made a very costly mistake and no one noticed so far.

    You can't burn HDV 720p or 1080i/p/aP footage onto a DVD. You're going to need Adobe Premiere Pro Cs3 for the honor of blu-ray burning and a $425 Blu-Ray Burner.

    In essence, you aren't going to be able to display the hd footage without the camera and HDV export to tape.

    Also, HDV doesn't give better color reproduction or anything. Its DV with more pixels. So its not better quality, just resolution.

    Sorry.

    But heck, if you bought the camera just snag an iMac or something. HDV tends to run at a gig a minute and stuff. NOTE. HDV is precompressed to MPEG2, so your system has to decode it. You need a snappy computer....
     
  18. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Video shot on miniDV with a quality imaging element through a quality lens is pretty darned good. A lot of professional video is shot this way. The additional pixels afforded by HDV are nothing to sneeze at.
     
  19. fluidedge macrumors 65816

    fluidedge

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #19
    i have to agree i'm afraid - it may be an expensive mistake.

    You have a fantastic camera that will still be fantastic for years to come so thats one thing, but you don't have the hardware to match it.

    However, you can still use the camera to shoot DV, and you can edit it on your system quite well, but HDV is another kettle of fish.

    But while a lot of people still can't play HD footage, filming and producing HD is a bit pointless.

    You have future proofed yourself with a fantastic camera, i'd say get out there and enjoy shooting DV and then when you upgrade your computer/TV/DVD player you'll be all set to produce HD material.
     
  20. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #20
    True, but a downscaled HDV picture will still look better than anything out of a DV camcorder in terms of sharpness and detail.

    Wrong. HDV not only has a larger frame size (1280 x 720 square in 720p and 1440 x 1080 (1.33:1) in 1080i) but also a 4:2:0 color subsampling. The better color sub-sampling (vs. DV's 4:1:1) plus the larger frame size will mean that an HDV timeline subsequently shrunk down to SD frame sizes (720 x 480 anamorphic) will still look far better in terms of detail, sharpness and color resolution than DV.

    Also wrong, with some qualifiers. If you're editing in native HDV it takes up no more space than DV, since the long-GOP MPEG-2 compression is used to shrink the data rate down to the same 25mbit/s rate as DV. Of course, if you're transcoding to another format on import/for effects (like Apple Intermediate, and does iMovie do this automatically?), it will take up more room.
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #21
    4:2:0 and 4:1:1 sample the same amount of color info they just do it in different ways.

    [​IMG]

    Lethal
     
  22. Alican macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2007
    Location:
    LONDON, UK
    #22

    Why is it pointless? YOu can film and produce in HDV, master back to tape. OK so for the moment, downcoverting and distributing on SD DVD would be the way most people could view, but when Blue Ray HD DVD Burners/Players become more abundant, you need just make a new Blue Ray/HD DVD disc from the HDV master you made.
     
  23. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #23
    Okay, fair, brain fart. Still, the overall effect of a larger starting frame has the effect of capturing more overall information than DV when shrinking down to SD sizes for DVD (especially considering that DV pre-blurs slightly to avoid aliasing, and that DV camcorders tend to have fair-to-middling optics until you get up into prosumer cams like the DVX100B).
     
  24. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #24
    Yes, even though they have the same sampling ratio 1/4 of 400(HD) is still more than 1/4 of 100 (SD).


    Lethal
     
  25. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Location:
    Warminster, PA
    #25
    Whoops. The 1 gig is for a different format, sorry about that.
     

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