HV20 and MBP questions from an absolute beginner

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Gilfanon, Sep 6, 2007.

  1. Gilfanon macrumors member


    Aug 8, 2007
    London town

    I splurged over the weekend and bought a shiny new 15" MBP 2.4Ghz and an HV20. I've just finished a Masters in Film History and thought it was time to get practical :) I have a few questions, and was hoping some of you might be able to fill me in!

    1) I can't seem to get iMovie to recognise my HV20 so I can import footage using the included USB cable. Do Macs only use Firewire for video data, and if so, does the HV20 support Firewire 400 or 800 or both?
    2) An article on Wikipedia suggests that iMovie can't process footage filmed in 24p, which I believe is what the HV20's 'Cinemode' records in. Does that just mean it can't process the footage if it remains in 24p? Can iMovie transcode it to a different format so it can be edited?
    3) Any suggestions on which mode on the HV20 to use for day-to-day use? I'm initially just going to be using it for holiday videos while I get used to it- is Cinemode overkill, and what are the implications for using that mode? i.e. larger file size when imported to the mac etc?
    4) Can anyone recommend a useful "Noobs guide" to either the HV20 in particular or camcording in general that includes a little bit of technical background into formats, encoding etc? Also, any good guides to Final Cut Express out there?

    Apologies if those are basic questions, but I'm new to all this, and after following the discussions on this board for the last month or so whilst trying to decide on a camera, there seems to be a lot of folks who know what they're doing! Any assistance is gratefully accepted.
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    You'll need a 4pin-to-6pin FW400 cable.
    Even if you shoot in 24p it gets recorded as 60i onto tape w/pulldown. iMovie (and FCE) don't edit HDV natively. Upon import the footage gets converted to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) which is like 3-4 times bigger than HDV so keep that in mind when looking at storage.
    Because of the lower frame rate 24p can give you jerky looking fast motion so I wouldn't recommend it for day-to-day recording.

    dvinfo.net has a wealth of info about a wide range of production and post production gear (including the HV20).

  3. northernmunky macrumors 6502a


    Jan 19, 2007
    London, Taipei
    As a note since you are in the UK you'll probably have the PAL version which means you'll be shooting in 50i.

    I've got a HV20 which I bought here in Taiwan which unfortunately is an NTSC country so I have to put up with lower quality when shooting in SD compared to a UK camera. I would like to clarify whether you still have to fiddle with pulldown in PAL (or NTSC) HDV footage? Since I'm used to PAL I've never had to deal with it before?

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