Recording SD movies on a HD camcorder?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by stringtheorist, Sep 5, 2009.

  1. stringtheorist macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #1
    I'm researching my first camcorder purchase. I'm struggling to find out whether it's possible to shoot SD movies on a HD machine. (I don't envisage shooting a lot of footage in HD but I'd like to have the option.) I want to allow for the possibility that my Mac isn't fully equipped yet to import and edit HD, but don't want to restrict myself un-necessarily to standard definition.
     
  2. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #2
    Lots of consumer HD camcorders offer the option to shoot in SD.

    For example, this Sony Handycam offers several different modes of HD and several modes of SD capturing. The HD is captured in AVCHD and the SD is captured with MPEG2 (I think the same DVDs use).

    http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs...gId=-1&productId=8198552921665737600#overview

    And in case you ever get a new Mac or editing system, you can just adjust the recording mode to HD too.
     
  3. stringtheorist thread starter macrumors regular

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    Apr 1, 2008
    #3
    That's good to know but where does it tell you this? What to look for?
     
  4. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #4
    If you click on the tab entitled "Specifications" . Here are pix of the info:
     

    Attached Files:

  5. stringtheorist thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #5
    Ok, thanks. :)

    If a camcorder doesn't offer an SD mode, what options are there for processing HD movies down into smaller files?
     
  6. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #6
    You would have to upload the HD footage to your computer. Then, you would have to export it half quality or an SD size (720 by 480 resolution).

    If you have Final Cut Express or FCP, you would have to adjust your timeline for an SD timeline and drag the HD clips on to it and scale them down to fit.

    Basically, you're going to upload all your HD footage into your editor then make a whole new video file with the footage scaled down to SD. Your best bet would be try to find a camcorder with SD settings because it will make everything a lot simpler and test time consuming (if your budget will allow it).
     
  7. stringtheorist thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #7
    I'm actually considering just going SD and maybe buying a cheap HD camcorder just for those instances where I need HD. There seem to be too many complications in trying to cover both formats. :/
     
  8. arjen92 macrumors 65816

    arjen92

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2008
    Location:
    Below sea level
    #8
    You could use a tape based camera. For example the HV20. You can then film everything in HD, and keep the tapes for later use. But you can import as SD and edit everything fast, when you get a faster computer you can get the original HD files.
     
  9. stringtheorist thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2008
    #9
    Not a bad idea. Might look into that.
     

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