Imovie poor quality, need help please!

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by crc13, Feb 14, 2011.

  1. crc13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #1
    I did a lot of searching and reading, but still have a question that I could not find the answer to. I have an upcoming job in which I have to video tape and I am not impressed with the quality of imovie outcome. I am using a sony handycam. Is this the problem? I don't think it is hd. Do I need to be using a better quality camcorder? Or is there a better program out there that I may need to take a look at?

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a

    Angelo95210

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Paris, France
    #2
    Imovie is good software even if it's not professional. Its quality is good, it lacks more on the functionalities aspect. With a soft like FCP you can use better codecs though.

    You have to be more accurate on your workflow and what kind of result you expect and we will be happy to help.
     
  3. Corbin052198 macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #3
    If you are in your iMovie project, you can try:

    Go to Project > Export (or something like that) and select the Large option. This will export your movie in 720p HD.

    Hope it helps :)
     
  4. crc13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #4
    Yeah, I tried the HD thing, still sucks. As for what I am doing, random video, but the quality just sucks. Any settings on the camera I am missing?
     
  5. De Rocca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    #5
    I have a similar issue :

    I take my footage from a sony SR-11 (same as SR-12, AVCHD and mpeg2 cam), It's recorded in SD 720 x 576 widescreen.
    When i import the footage, there is a very visible quality loss although they claim that AIC is lossless... Aspect ratio is ok, no interlace effect.

    When i use an external program to convert the footage with the goal to preserve quality, i get following results :
    I've did some tries, but when i convert it with mpeg streamclip i get a 4/3 aspect ratio although there was no re-scaling or aspect ratio change selected.

    Anybody have an idea for this camera ? I want to preserve quality and aspect ratio. Also a very visible interlaced image is visible, also after conversion
    ...
     
  6. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #6
    You can't do anything about it. You can see the compression in dark places and it is ugly.
     
  7. Corbin052198 macrumors 6502

    Corbin052198

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2010
    #7
    I know my old camera only shot in high quality when it did not record to the internal memory. Try shooting to an SD card or tape or whatever external media your camera allows.
     
  8. crc13 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    #8
    Well, my camera is a tape camera, and it is still poor. There has to be a reason out there for this and a solution. I just don't get it. How can it be so bad?
     
  9. infowarfare macrumors 6502

    #9
    Maybe, get a better camera?

    It sounds like you are using an old, low quality, tape-based camera and expecting HD results... not gonna happen (it doesn't matter if you are using iMovie, FCP or AVID, if you are shooting garbage, the end result will still be garbage.)

    Could you maybe give more details (exact camera model, etc.) and possibly some footage you shot so we can see exactly what you are talking about? That way people here could possibly provide a better solution to your problem.
     
  10. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #10
    Not to mention that from iMovie 08 to iMovie 11, iMovie doesn't handle interlaced material properly.

    Use iMovie HD or Final Cut Express, or another editor for interlaced.
     
  11. DaveF macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Location:
    NoVA
    #11
    As others said, it might be the camera or iMovie's limitations with certain video formats.

    But with a FlipHD, full quality 720p exports look good. Here's an example.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqOJsCTHIWI
     
  12. De Rocca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    #12
    My Sony cam is a harddisk / Stick recorder. I Import the footage straight from the file (tried from the camera and from an archive on my mac)

    Still quality loss although AIC was claimed to be lossless???
     
  13. xStep macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2003
    Location:
    Less lost in L.A.
    #13
    AIC is not lossless as far as I know. It is however high quality.
     
  14. wryta macrumors newbie

    wryta

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    New Zealand
    #14
    Check your camera settings - or update your camera!

    Is everyone missing something here? "SD" means standard definition. It's not HD1080p. Or HD1080i or even 720p. It's SD576. Whatever you edit on, it will make no difference - you are recording in a format that was considered "Standard" quality years ago. It's not the software that is poor quality! Any 576 footage you edit then view on an HD screen will look totally naff.
     
  15. De Rocca macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2010
    #15
    Fact is that this SD (standard definition) is getting down in quality quite a bit after importing : sharp images become soft (like a blur filtre in photoshop)
     
  16. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #16
  17. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #17
    Video tape VHS is only 240 lines of resolution, it's crap. Get yourself an HD camera, they're cheap these days.
     
  18. ukpetey macrumors regular

    ukpetey

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Durham, England
    #18
    Hi all, I have a similar problem to the OP, and I'd love some help. I've been producing home movies for years, started off with an enormous JVC VHS C and an analogue vhs mixer straight to VHS....

    A couple of years ago I went HD and tapeless - bought a Sony TG3 AVCHD 'FULL HD 1920x1080i'. I'm just making home movies of holidays, the kids, and stuff like that.

    I'm recording to SD card in HD, exporting into iMovie09 where I edit my material. Then I either export to iDVD, or Toast 8 - seems to make little difference which.

    The DVD that I end up with is very blocky, and unsatisfactory. It looks nothing like the actual footage on the SOny TG3 when connected directly to the TV - there it looks stunning, on the finished DVD it looks truly awful. Its difficult to put into words - the motion isn't smooth - it reminds me of trying to watch after a few beers, or with a hangover!

    I've spent the past 2 years picking my summer 09 holiday movie up, getting irritated with it, leaving it, coming back and starting over. Its very disappointing. Please if you have any ideas, I'd love some help.

    Thanks in advance,

    Peter
     
  19. pumpkinhead macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2007
    #19
    Check you project regional settings

    One things that will kill quality is asking iMovie (or any editing software) to convert between NTSC and PAL frame rates. I did a few projects with unsatisfactory results before I realized that my default project settings had changed to PAL (25fps) while the source material was NTSC (30fps). This can definitely lead to judder in high-motion/panning clips.

    Also applying the image stabilization can reduce resolution, as it crops the source material, and zooms it to give some room to work with. I only do this in post of material that really needs it. Many camcorders have already done their own optical or digital stabilization while shooting.

    Finally, iMovie's treatment of interlaced material can be quite draconian. It is my understanding that SD DV imports use single-field processing, effectively throwing away half the resolution. I am not sure what happens with HD, or when you choose the "large" (over "full") import option, but I suspect it is the same. I am researching this right now actually.
     
  20. ukpetey macrumors regular

    ukpetey

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Durham, England
    #20
    Thanks for your reply pumpkinhead. As a result I have looked again at everything. The footage in iMovie actually appears itself to be the problem, being of much lower quality than i'd like, despite huge file sizes when imported.

    I'm going to experiment with shooting and importing under different settings to see if I can solve the problem. Your advice to check settings is what has led me to reexamine and at least I know that the problem is not as a direct result of the dvd authoring process.

    Cheers, Peter
     

Share This Page