How much harder is it REALLY to edit High Def?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by portena, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. portena macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2008
    #1
    I can't really afford to buy an HD camcorder yet (they're about $400 nz dollars) out of my budget which is significant in my case. I'm looking at the Panasonic NV GS230 (standard definition) instead. BUT, if HD is really so much better and I did bite the bullet/or wait til I can afford, am I going to find the editing (in FCE) THAT much harder than SD? And is HD all its cracked up to be anyway?
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #2
    well that totally depends on what format of HD you want to use and what computer you'll use to edit.
     
  3. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    #3
    harder? thats a strange term to use...

    Its not going to be any different than cutting SD footage.

    The difference lies in the fact that the HD footage is many times larger in file size and requires much more computing power to render.

    So, its "harder" for the computer to process, but not you to cut.
     
  4. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #4
    editing workflow is identical, the computer is simply dealing with MUCH more information than SD.

    Just know that any kind of encoding/rendering/compression will take significantly longer in HD.

    Editing is the same.
     
  5. portena thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 9, 2008
    #5
    THanks for this clarification - I didn't realise the answer was quite simple. Since my computer might not be up to HD yet (and since we don't even own an HD television!) it sounds like I'm just as good to go SD. Phew, its that much cheaper... cheers from kiwiland
     
  6. digitalfrog macrumors regular

    digitalfrog

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    Nov 26, 2007
    #6
    I think the biggest difference is that it's a pain to import HD content from harddisk or SD based cameras. The conversion takes a massive amount of cpu and time.

    The option is to use MiniDV based camera that don't need the same conversion.
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #7
    If you do go with an SD camcorder, at least shoot everything in 16:9 widescreen. If NZ is anything like most other countries, you're transitioning to 16:9 HD eventually.

    So when you get an HD camcorder, all of your SD and HD footage will be in the same aspect ratio and you won't have to mess with cropping the 4:3 footage.

    All of the HD formats need to be converted before editing (on Macs ... and at least on iMovie). With HDV, the capture is in real-time, plus some converting time from MPEG-2 to AIC. I remember reading that on a decently spec Mac, the whole import process takes about 1.1 X real-time.

    With AVCHD footage, you can import the clips faster than real-time since all you're doing is copying the files over. However, the conversion from AVCHD to AIC takes longer. I think the overall import time (with a decent Mac) is about 1.5 X RT.

    I could be off on those numbers, but eventually, AVCHD will be faster than HDV for importing as HDV will never be faster than real-time (I guess they could implement high-speed importing, but drop-out could be a problem).

    Anyways, I digress....
     
  8. digitalfrog macrumors regular

    digitalfrog

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  9. supertramp macrumors newbie

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  10. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #10
    AIC is short for Apple Intermediate Codec. It's a HD codec used in iMovie (and I think FCE and FCP). Basically, HDV and AVCHD are not good codecs for editing, so when you import HDV/AVCHD, iMovie converts it to AIC.

    The upside is that editing and rendering requires less computer power. The downside is that you need lots of HDD space as AIC is about 100 Mbps (vs. 25 for HDV and ~17 for AVCHD). That works out to about 50GB per hour of footage.

    ft
     
  11. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    Jun 6, 2006
    #11
    Apple Intermediate Codec. It's codec for editing HD ( well, for anything actually ). You transcode your HDV footage to it so that you can
    edit more easily with lower CPU needs, etc, at the cost of higher bitrates.
    I like to think of it as "partially decompressed" HDV.
     
  12. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #12
    That said, FCP will allow native HDV editing. It's just painful.

    Not sure about AVCHD.
     
  13. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #13
    It is my understanding that FCP is doing an internal conversion to an editable format. The "pain" is the overhead from the conversion. There is no magic here.
     
  14. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #14
    No, the pain is the overhead from doing specific frame seeking (and non I-frame cuts). It's not a conversion per se, just having to do the decompression duties to get to the frame specified.

    I suppose we're arguing semantics.

    There's no reason from a programming perspective that this COULDN'T be done with ANY interframe-based compression scheme in an editing timeline, just that the computational overhead to do the necessary seeking makes the program less responsive and less stable. Witness me trying to cut unconverted DivX files six years ago in Premiere on Windows. *shudders*
     

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