Imported to iMovie 08, now how to burn to DVD?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by RichardF, Jan 1, 2008.

  1. RichardF macrumors 6502

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    I imported roughly 7 hours of Mini DV tapes footage into iMovie with my Sony DCR-PC100 via Firewire.

    Now everything seems to be in user > Movies > iMovie Events and the files have a .dv file extension.

    How can I back-up this footage onto a DVD before I start working on it in iMovie?

    Also, if it is simply a matter of burning the contents of the iMovie Events folder onto a DVD via Finder, then can other apps/ OS platforms read off of that DVD or will it have to be iMovie/ Mac OS X only?

    Thank you in advance for helping.
     
  2. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #2
    I could be wrong, but there really is no need to back up the video that you've imported. iMovie'08 uses non-destructive editing (I think this is true), so as long as you don't delete any clips, you won't lose anything.

    Also, your miniDV tapes can serve as a back-up copy of everything.

    If you really want to back up the footage onto DVDs, I'd suggest burning it as a data DVD and keeping the video in its native format.

    You could also invest in another hard drive and copy all of the footage over to the new HDD.

    Personally, I have the footage on my external HDD and on the original tapes. That's enough for me.

    ft
     
  3. RichardF thread starter macrumors 6502

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #3

    Thank you for your note.

    So copying the footage is simply a matter of copying the iMovie Events folder?

    I do have an external firewire HDD so just drag the folder?


    Beyond the above:

    I imported this footage I care about into Movie because I sold my camcorder yesterday and the next I will buy will be an AVCHD Flash-based camcorder so I don't have any way to read off of the Mini DV tapes anymore.

    So in essence I am looking to be able to view this footage from a DVD like I would from the tapes: independently of OS and of the application used. Ideally even without a computer and just from a regular DVD player.
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    That should work just fine.

    OK, I get the picture here. I would still hold onto the miniDV tapes anyways. Plenty of people have miniDV camcorders and chances are that you could borrow one in a pinch.

    As for Flash-based AVCHD, the back-up strategies are a little tougher. Unless you want to buy a boatload of SD cards, then you're going to have to back up your footage.

    Here's what I would do. I would have two external HDDs. One for the "working" iMovie files and the other HDD as a back-up drive. I would also burn the raw AVCHD files onto a DVD and keep them separate. If you have 4GB SD cards, a DVD-R SL would work great. If you use 8GB SD cards, a DL burner would come in handy.

    Keep in mind that AVCHD gets transcoded to AIC during import. So you really want big HDDs. I'd say 2x 500GB at a minimum. Go with FW/USB2 for maximum flexibility.

    BTW, I realize that all of this gets expensive. So at the minimum, work in a DVD burn into the back-up strategy.

    Getting back to the SD footage from the miniDV tapes. The best way to do this is to use iDVD or Toast. Edit as much (or as little) as you want and burn a DVD using iDVD (or Toast). Easy as pie. Keep in mind that going from DV to DVD (MPEG-2) will result in a loss of video quality ... so don't use these DVDs as your only backup.

    Good Luck
     
  5. RichardF thread starter macrumors 6502

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #5
    Thank you again.


    Yes, I am keeping the tapes anyway.

    I just launched iDVD and see there is a "OneStep DVD" option: plug the camcorder, turn it on the VCR mode, insert a DVD and click and that's it. That sounds pretty good to me!

    From your comment below, I gather I am still better-off having used iMovie because I actually copied the footage onto my HDD at the same quality as the Mini DV tape, correct?


    Really? I didn't know that. The image quality from a Mini DV tape is higher than than of a DVD=MPEG-2?

    I guess the marketing drums did a good job at teaching me DVD was great quality...

    Side note: I spent the morning doing research about the best camcorders out there and it seems AVCHD-based models do not yet use the full potential (only 12-14 megabits per second) of this format which would bring it up to par with taped-based HD units (25 megabits per second). Tape is still the way to go if one is seeking the best image quality it seems. Everything I read point to the Canon HV20 even though, I find it quite ugly personally. So I may get another Mini DV camcorder and will be able to read my tapes after all. :)
     
  6. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #6
    Yeah, that iDVD is a slick application.

    Here's the thing. DV footage is recorded at 25 Mbps. DVDs are limited to about 9 Mbps. Also, DV is compressed differently ... each frame is compressed separately. MPEG-2 is compressed with a reference frame and subsequent frames are "linked" to the reference frame. Every so often, the reference frame is changed. This makes DV the better format for editing.

    When going from one format to another, you'll always lose quality. The secret is to limit the amount of quality loss. There are lots of variables to video and codecs and such. Just keep the transcoding to a minimum and you'll end up with good quality.

    My personal opinion is that HDV is the way to go right now. AVCHD will eventually take over in the consumer market, but it's not better than HDV right now. I think that the AVCHD encoders in camcorders aren't powerful enough to do on-the-fly conversion in real-time at anything higher than 15 Mbps right now. Maybe in a year or two.

    The advantage of the HV20 is that you can record everything in HDV and still be able to use your miniDV stuff.

    ASIDE - HDV is also based on MPEG-2, but the bit rate is 25 Mbps. So it's much better than DVDs.
     
  7. RichardF thread starter macrumors 6502

    RichardF

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    Location:
    New York City
    #7
    Sensible thoughts.

    What do you think of the JVC GZ-HD7? It uses a 60GB HDD to capture video in HD MPEG-2 format at 26 megabits per second.

    Do you know if iMovie preserves the original miniDV footage quality when importing it and putting it in those .dv files?
     

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