HV30 / HDV and Mac - some questions before I buy

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Courtaj, Jul 14, 2008.

  1. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #1
    Hi there

    I'm contemplating buying an HV30. Before I do, I want to make sure that I'm not creating any major editing headaches for myself. I have four questions which I hope some of you may be able to help me with.

    1. Will my 2GHz 2GB C2D Mac Mini handle the data? I'll be buying a firewire equipped external drive to use as scratch and storage (tho the mini only has FW400).

    2. I'm of the understanding that Final Cut Pro is the only Mac app that will deal with full-res HDV - if I'm wrong do tell me! What experience do people have using iMovie or FC Express, not just ease of workflow but quality issues?

    3. What about people's experience using Sony Vegas on a Mac (booting up with Windoze) in order to get full-res HDV? Has anyone here tried that? I'm not sure whether this means I'll have to buy two external drives, one for OSX and one for MSWin, or whether there's a way to wing it with the one drive.

    4. The appeal of HD to me is picture quality, but I don't have a blue-ray burner as yet. Given that I'll be distributing on standard definition DVD for the time being, any thoughts on whether down-sized HDV is better or at least no worse than SD once it's burnt to disc? I'm thinking it'll be as good as and probably a little better than SD, but again I have no concrete experience with this.

    I appreciate any help you can give me here - I want to do this with existing kit for now and would like to avoid making an expensive mistake with my choice of camera.

    Thanks,
    Andrew.
     
  2. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Location:
    London, Taipei
    #2
    1. Yes, last year I was using my Powerbook G4 1Gb RAM to edit HDV and it worked (albeit rather slowly) so yes but I would seriously consider upping the RAM to 4Gb if possible. Especially if you opt to use Pro-Res 422 which I'll get into shortly.....

    2. I primarily use FCP 6 to edit HDV although remember that HDV is an MPEG compressed format, although you can edit with it and produce a fine job, its not always recommended. I'm working on a wedding video right now shot with a HV20 and I've opted to convert all the footage to ProRes 422, it takes up a more space than HDV but it gets you out of the compressed GOP format meaning response time (for accessing footage) is faster (no uncompressing and re-compressing), rendering can be smoother, graphics colours better rendered and some other stuff I don't completely understand myself yet...

    3. No idea, never used it. But for the drives question yes. You'll need one drive in NTFS the other in MacOS Extended.

    4. You don't necessary need a blu-ray burner. For the project I'm working on right now I'm creating a High-Def DVD using DVD Studio Pro which can burn HD onto an ordinary DVD which can (I think!) play on a Blu-ray or HD-DVD drive and in MacOS's DVD Player without a problem.

    The former two I haven't been able to test myself yet since no-one I know has a PS3 or an Xbox HD-DVD drive! But I hear it does work.


    iMovie gets a lot of stick for the way it works, but personally I like it- you can produce a great video in half the time. What I don't like about it is the way it handles data storage and I think its a little 'too' simple for my liking, but I don't like the way it treats you like an muppet so I opted to stick with FCP6 so I'm in full control of what's happening.
     
  3. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #3
    Just a note on the camera -- did you try one out in the store? I was able to try out the HV30 and a Sony. While the Canon does get better marks for images, I preferred the Sony's handling -- especially the zoom. Just wanted to throw that out.
     
  4. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #4
    Won't iMovie also work fine with HDV? That's my plan.
     
  5. Courtaj thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #5
    My understanding is that iMovie will transcode HDV to Apple Intermediate Codec upon import with some degradation in resolution involved.

    If I'm wrong about this I'd love to know because it'd be great if something other than Final Cut Pro (which I simply can't afford) can get the most out of an HV30.

    However, there must be plenty of HV30 / HV20 owners who aren't using FCP - FC Express or iMovie, for example. Comparisons & comments?

    Cheers,
    Andrew.
     
  6. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #6
    I am an Hv20 owner using iMovie to edit on a 1.83GHz mini and you are right that iMovie transcodes to the Apple Intermediate Codec, but I haven't noticed any degradation (remember, though, that the HV20 doesn't quite record in full 1080i like the HV30 does) so whatever degradation caused is subtle. My mini is fine for editing in AIC, but I don't have FCP to tell you how well the mini will do editing raw HDV.

    As far as down converting and burning to a regular DVD, stuff I've done this with is noticeably better than regular DV footage on a regular DVD. I have one DVD that included some regular DV footage and you can definitely see a difference in the image (and not just because my HDV stuff was shot 16:9 and the regular DV stuff was shot 4:3.)

    I also run using a FW400 external drive and that hasn't been a problem. I don't think FCP is the only application for the Mac that will edit the raw HDV, but it is the only one published by Apple.
     
  7. Courtaj thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #7
    Thanks

    Thanks for your replies.

    I think I have answers to some of my questions now: my Mac Mini will come to the party as the core of an editing system (thanks Jzuena), and down-converted HDV will look better on DVD than (most) Standard Def video.

    I suppose what I'm still unclear about is whether Final Cut Pro is indeed the only OSX software that will import HDV without conversion - I'll never (at least not in the near future) be able to justify buying FCP, and I just wanted to be sure that this doesn't make getting an HDV camera pointless - though you have given me some reassurance that whatever degradation does occur in the conversion to AIC it's not exactly glaringly obvious.

    And I'd still be interested to hear from anyone who has used Sony Vegas on a Bootcamped Mac - as anathema as that may sound! Or from anyone who knows of OSX software other than FCP that will edit raw HDV.

    EDIT: One other thing: Am I right in thinking that iMovie doesn't deal with progressive HDV (i.e. 25P)? Does Final Cut Express?

    Cheers,
    Andrew.
     
  8. jzuena macrumors 6502a

    jzuena

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, MA, USA
    #8
    I didn't realize you were in Europe (or at least somewhere using PAL) until I saw your question about 25p. I am in an NTSC region that uses 24p for film mode, so hopefully my comments about degradation being subtle will still hold for a PAL DVD. As for 24p/25p, neither iMovie nor FCE will deal with it, but the HV20/HV30 should just convert the footage back to 60i (I guess it would be 50i for you) as it transfers to your computer.

    I think Adobe Premiere Pro is another that edits the raw HDV, although it is in the same general price range as FCP.
     
  9. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #9
    HDV to AIC will get no loss. The AIC can accept much more info than HDV offers.

    HV30 is a great camera if you don't mind the tape format (instead of a hard drive) and keeping in mind that it (like every other consumer camera) won't do well in low light.
     
  10. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #10
    As far as I know, to run Vegas you could set your external drive as FAT32, or you could partition and have one FAT32 and one OS Journaled.

    You will most probably find AIC fine, and the image indistinguishable from the HDV source.

    If output correctly, down-converted HDV will look better than DV.

    Also, 24P, 25P and 30P in non-JVC HDV cameras is not recorded as progressive, it's a progressive image recorded over two interlaced fields. So iMovie won't need to do any conversion (other than HDV-AIC), and it will work just as it would with conventional interlaced material.
     
  11. Chirs macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2008
    #11
    Doing some reading to try to find out what formats support the HV20/HV30 recorded in 30p and found you post.

    I know next to nothing about HD as of now, but you may want to check out this article on this point. I had to look closely, but could tell the difference between HDV and AIC.

    http://digitalproducer.digitalmedianet.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=110117-0
     
  12. l2pdrums macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    #12
    I have Adobe premiere CS3 running on my 1.83 mac mini. I upgraded the internal hard drive to 320gb and 4gb or RAM, although it is only able to use 3.2 gigs.

    Not as fast as a turnkey system, but is able to get small jobs done. It takes a while to render a 30 min project even with maxed out ram, but i love the little thing.

    There is a dedicated website for the CANON HV20/HV30 that you might want to check out.
     
  13. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #13
    I used DVD Studio Pro to create an HD-DVD disc content on a regular DVD. It does not work in a PS3 which makes sense, since it is not Blu-Ray. I don't have access to a HD-DVD player to try it. It did work in DVD Player.

    At the July LAFCPUG meeting Bruce Nazarian discussed (PDF) creating HD discs. If I got it right... For Blu-ray you have two options on the Mac. Toast with a plugin can produce a very basic BR disc, and Adobe Encore CS3 also can do the job. You can also burn BR HD content to a regular DVD but of course the content length will be much shorter. A recent player such as the Sony BDP-S300 would be needed to play this BD5 or BD9 disc.
     

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