Which camera (today's choice) works good with FCE?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by TrainingMovie, Jul 1, 2009.

  1. TrainingMovie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #1
    Hello,

    this seems a simple question: I need to buy a complete equipment for production of video tutorials. The choice up to now is an iMac, 24", 1TB and FCE, since I use FCE on my Mac at home since years and know how to use it.

    The question is the camera. I am using a miniDV with tape - no probems. Now I see and hear that miniDV is slowly discontinued.

    Reading through the posts, googling, etc reveals some trouble with AVCHD and FCE sometimes, others say no issues at all.

    I am puzzled.

    What do I need? Shooting footage for approx an hour, and extensive editing in FCE, with overlays, some music, powerpoint inserts. Playout in H264 and distribution then.

    Can you recommend a current camera model, that simply makes no problems with the workflow CAMERA - FCE/iMAC featuring AVCHD?

    I was looking on the compatibility list from Apple, only the older or expensive models there. New panasonics, canons are not listed.

    If I didn't find the right thread to look into, my apologies, please tell me, where to look!

    Until now, my choice would be the pana HDC-SD100, or perhaps the canon HF S100?

    Please advice!

    Thanks a lot for sharing your experience with me!

    Cheers,
    kaechen:apple:
     
  2. jdm111 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2008
    #2
    stay with miniDV

    I do not think that MiniDV is being discountinued anytime soon. There are great advantages such as not having to render your videos in the timeline.
     
  3. redshft macrumors member

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    Jan 13, 2009
    Location:
    NC
    #3
    I think you'll be fine sticking with a Mini DV. Mini DV might sloooooooowly be getting less popular, but it will be here for a while. Companies are starting to produce solid state camcorders, but I wouldn't jump the gun just yet.
     
  4. marioman38 macrumors 6502a

    marioman38

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    Location:
    Elk Grove, CA
    #4
    Stick with Mini-DV, at least until apple yanks FW from us entirely in the Mac Pro!! Damn you apple! That will be the day to upgrade. ;)
     
  5. jla930 macrumors member

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    May 11, 2009
    Location:
    Western PA
    #5
    I think it's just an "illusion" that mini DV is being discontinued. They're still quite plentiful (at least for standard definition); it just doesn't look that way when compared to all the hard drive, DVD, and flash memory camcorders out there.

    Does anyone know if mini DV camcorders are readily available for high def?
     
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    A lot of prosumer (and some professional) cameras still use MiniDV for SD and/or HD (HDV). There's nothing wrong with the format.

    Unless you want to move into shooting HD, I'd say you're fine. If you want to move to HD, I'd also look at the Canon HV30, which is in the HF S100's price range. It shoots HDV on familiar MiniDV tapes and the codec itself uses the same amount of storage space as DV (13GB/hour) when captured. FCE will edit HDV video natively. In contrast, AVCHD has be transcoded to AIC in FCE for editing, which makes the file sizes much larger. Plus, you'd have the added benefit of SD DV backward compatibility.
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    Forgive me for going against the grain here... but I just don't get all the recommendations for MiniDV. Surely this format is on it's way out. :confused: If not this year, next?

    AVCHD recording to solid-state seems to be where things are going. I'm also not sure why people seem to think this format needs native support... it's a format designed for capture... not for editing... it makes a lot of sense to transcode it for editing. Even MiniDV is likely transcoded at least once before it's viewed by it's final audience. :confused: With 1TB drives costing under $80 I don't buy the file size argument at all.

    At any rate, if native AVCHD editing is critical to you then you will have that within a release or two of your preferred editing tool... likely for free.

    If you buy a MiniDV camera now, you will just wish you had a solid state camera in a year or two. Why waste that money?

    Too me, supporting MiniDV is like arguing the merits of the Cassette tape in the face of MP3 players. :p

    Get a Canon HF series camera... they work flawlessly with FCE and FCP.
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    I will agree that solid state is where things are going. I'm not arguing that. After all, I work frequently with RED, P2 and SxS based XDCAM footage. AVCHD was never intended for editing to begin with. It was developed as a cheap way to put HD capabilities into consumer camcorders. But all of that aside, I'd be more compelled to recommend AVCHD cameras when the codec handling improves. And by that, I mean the ability of Apple NLEs to read archived mts/m2ts files without having to resort to slow 3rd-party software like Voltaic.

    That's really not the same argument though. Most MP3s are sourced from a master of some sort, often CD. MiniDV tapes give you instant backups. Solid state camera footage does not - it must be stored on hard drives (or other high-capacity media, like BD-Rs). Not a bad thing per se, but tapes will far outlast hard drives when stored properly. That's my point of view on the subject, anyway.
     
  9. TrainingMovie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #9
    First, I'd like to thank you!

    Dear all,

    thanks a lot for the replies. This helps. May I - no intent to lighten a fire here -
    sum together from what I have read so far and please correct me if I am wrong:

    - miniDV is still present, but will vanish slowly.

    If I think about this, it comes to my mind that miniDV contains a real tape drive, mechanically. I would not be surprised if the reason for abandoning miniDV is the possible reduction in production cost of solid-state recorders for the consumer market. Margin rules. Could be a reason....

    - There are AVCHD cameras that work flawlessly with FCE as of today. VirtualRain indicates the Canon HF camera series. Am I right assuming that any HF works? Do they all have the same codec and such?

    For the storage I have to admit that this will not be an issue since the equipment is placed in a company with tons of gigabytes of available storage and if I need more I get more. (Might be luxury, I know, my apologies....)

    Thus, I do like the SD card solution, since if some other department wants to borrow the equipment, bring your own cards along. A question: For my mi niDV (A panasonic) sometimes I get stripes on the footage. My dealer sais, always use a new tape. Ok, I can do so, but - this is costly. Do we have to face the same with the SD cards?

    Please let me know your opinions.

    Again, thanks a lot, this is real help!!!

    Merci bien,
    kaechen:apple:

    Ok, this I would buy. Do you agree for FCE??

    Dear all,

    please be really critical. Give me a straight "NO!" if this is the wrong choice:

    Canon LEGRIA HF 200 OK or KO for this camera?
    Canon MD255 also, OK or KO for this camera?

    Would you agree that we narrowed it down to two cameras that would make sense at all?

    Can somebody please confirm that he or she is working and satisfied with the HF 200?

    Thanks a bunch for this help!!!

    kaechen:apple:
     
  10. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    #10
    I just got into this space myself. I have the Canon HFS10 and picked up another 16GB card, overkill at this point as i always can upload that day. I can do basic editing on my wife's late 08 13" uMB and from there i just need to figure out how to burn the stuff to DVD to watch on my PS3. I also have FCE but right now don't really need it yet as i haven't mastered a lot of things and improved my video "eye" yet.
     
  11. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    Is LEGRIA the UK brand equivalent of VEXIA (in the US)?

    The HF200 should rock. It's this year's version of the HF100 which was a killer camera... I have an HF10 and it works flawlessly with FCE/FCP.
     
  12. TrainingMovie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #12
    Dear VirtualRain,

    I would think it is the same model, different name. Can you have a look at the website, please? Its: http://www.canon.de/For_Home/Product_Finder/Camcorders/High_Definition_HD/index.asp

    Do you think the HF S 100 would also be a good choice? (Budget constraints)?

    Thanks a lot for the help!!!

    Cheers,
    kaechen:apple:
     
  13. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 21, 2008
    #13
  14. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
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    Vancouver, BC
    #14
    Yes... You can't go wrong with any HF model. Just pick one that has the features and price that suits you. :)
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #15
    You are wrong. The consumer video recording market is not driven by the same economic considerations as the personal computer market. VHS and VHS-C will die long before mini DV. If you walk into any major chain drug store, then you will find an ample supply of VHS and VHS-C blank tapes.

    ChaptainChuck post above is spot-on. AVCHD is not the solution to a video problem, it is the solution to a storage problem. Specifically, AVCHD solves the problem of limited storage capacity of SS media. I think that we can all agree that SS is probably the future of digital video. However, AVCHD is not the video format of the future. SS media are rapidly growing in storage capacity. A 64 GB SSD exceeds the storage capacity of a Blu-ray disc. With these drives and higher capacity drives available, AVCHD has few competitive advantages.
     
  16. xIGmanIx macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 21, 2008
    #16
    And i wonder, since flash media/SSD are readily available, i wonder if the video can be changed to another file format with a firmware update. I honestly don't know myself, just curious and thinking outloud
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    It's simple: the ideal format for capture, is not the ideal format for editing, which is not the ideal format for distribution.

    Choose the best format for each and stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    AVCHD is ideal for capture.
    AIC or ProRes is ideal for editing.
    H264 is ideal for distribution.

    Trying to use any of these formats for other than their intended purpose is going to cause issues and serious trade-offs.

    You could try to argue that MiniDV is ideal for capture and editing, but I'd argue it's good for neither as tape as a medium is just archaic.
     
  18. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #18
    Um-m-m-m, no.

    AVCHD is not a capture format. It is a storage format. As I said in my last post, AVCHD allows storage of video on limited-capacity media. The trade-off is that it must go through a lossy-compression process before it can be stored.

    H264 is a non-standard implementation of H.264. H.264 compresses high-quality video in very small file sizes. The format is highly scalable and handles displays from iPods to large flatpanel TVs. H.264 solves the storage problem of low-capacity media.

    There is nothing ideal about high-compression. It requires massive processing power to compress and decompress the video. It is also lossy and introduces time delays that are noticeable in streaming HD video.

    As media capacity increases, the need for high-compression formats to squeeze video in capacity-limited media diminishes. However, there still exists the issue of online video. High-compression formats will have a home there for a while.
     
  19. TrainingMovie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #19
    Still no decision taken for AVCHD, miniDV

    Dear Sirs,

    I like to thank you for the replies you sent into this threat. What clearly crystallizes, is that AVCHD is considered a storage format, that after capturing is used to store on solid state media.

    Also not contradicted is that for editing, AVCHD is not the first choice. That would mean, that software that markets with the feature of native AVCHD editing is not the best choice, probably.

    What I see is that nobody said, miniDV is a bad capture, nor a bad edting format. Perhaps I am wrong, but that means that miniDV is still the best solution for getting training videos, and this is what I am longing for.

    For distribution we are all on the same page with H264.

    So.....:

    I see highly priced, equipped with cool features instruments with AVCHD,
    normal quality instruments with miniDV or the highly professional ones with miniDV. I like to take the point up about the availability of miniDV media. I do fully agree that those media will be available for ages, the distribution of those drives is tremendous throughout the world. However, when talking to a person of our company about my argument, saying that the production costs of the drives are clearly above what any type of solid state device recorder would cost, the colleague indicated clearly that this really at high probability the reason why miniDV will vanish. But - not necessarily a bad thing.

    And still I am unsure about what to buy.

    PRO miniDV: Media ok for next years, cameras available at reasonable price, editing easy and proven, immediate backup on tape, tape cheap to buy. Tapes last long as archive. Mature technology.

    PRO AVCHD: New instruments, large resolution chips, high-quality cameras available. Storage chips fall in price.

    CONTRA miniDV: Will vanish sooner or later. Companies do not set on this anymore (no offense here, what is your opinion?)

    CONTRA AVCHD: Lossy format, not the best for capturing, but for storage on solid state media for the sake of getting long recording times on small media. Will vanish with time, media get cheaper. Hard to edit - not designed for so the re-coding to AIC, etc. is mandatory/or native, high CPU requiring editing is possible.

    Hm. What is my gut-feeling?

    The ration decision must be the miniDV. The "I want the latest"-decision is the HF-types, for example, from Canon.

    What is your opinion? Settle for the old-fashioned, proven working miniDV, like the MD255?

    Thanks a lot,
    cheers,
    kaechen:apple:
     
  20. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #20
    Here's how I would summarize things:

    MiniDV uses legacy MPEG-2 compression technology which is good but last-generation if you like.

    AVCHD uses more current MPEG-4 compression technology which is more efficient (better quality per bit/rate than MPEG-2).

    Of course, if you use very aggressive compression on either codec (eg. low bit-rates), you will get poor quality video.

    The current HF series cameras will now record full 1920x1080 AVCHD at 25Mbps which will exceed the quality of MiniDV at 25Mbps.

    Because AVCHD is a more complex codec, it does require more computing horsepower to edit. If you have the necessary computing power, you can use Adobe Premiere Pro to edit AVCHD natively. If you don't, Apple's editing programs (iMovie, FCE, FCP) will transcode it for you seamlessly into AIC or ProRes which requires less computing power to edit and doesn't suffer any quality loss.

    Last but not least is the storage media... MiniDV uses tape which, as we all know, is NOT an instant-access medium. It means transfers have to occur in real-time... eg. a 15 minute clip will take 15 minutes to transfer. Any operation related to finding, viewing or moving clips off of tape takes longer.

    HD or solid-state storage afford you instant access and faster transfers. As solid state storage continues to increase in size and decrease in cost, this will over take all other forms of storage.

    AVCHD camera's use USB for transferring video. MiniDV uses Firewire.

    MiniDV is cheap. AVCHD is more expensive.

    I think that about summarizes it.

    BTW, as far as Canon products go, the HV series is their MiniDV series that is comparible in features and performance to the HF series of flash storage cameras.

    AVCHD is based on MPEG-4. MiniDV is based on MPEG-2. You can run either codec at a bit rate which will produce poor or good quality video. MPEG-4 is actually more efficient and will achieve the same quality video at a lower bit-rate. It's simply important that you encode your video at a bit-rate that provides the quality you expect for the given codec you are using.

    The latest gen of Canon HF camera's now record AVCHD 1920x1080 at full 25Mbps... which will provide a better image than MiniDV at 25Mbps. So the time has already arrived where media capacities have increased to the point where the need for high compression has diminished.
     
  21. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Location:
    USA
    #21
    All you are doing is describing compression. You have already admitted in your previous post that high compression formats like MPEG-4 require more processing power than lower compression formats like MPEG-2. That was my point. It is one that you agree with.
     
  22. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
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    #22
    I completely agree... it is a more complex codec to process, but as a result, it's more efficient in terms of bit budget.
     
  23. TrainingMovie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #23
    Canon HF S 10 is the choice?

    Dear all,

    let me thank you for the posts and replies.

    I think, when reading through all, the HF S 10 might be
    a good choice. The sensor looks large compared to the HF x00-types,
    and the build-in memory is useful for having the camera
    used by different persons.

    If the workflow, the settings are defined in the department's workflow,
    there should be not issue with different people.

    Would you buy this camera for FCE on an iMac, latest make?

    Thanks for your opinions,
    cheers,
    kaechen:apple:
     
  24. TrainingMovie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2009
    #24
    Canon Legria HF S 100 fully operational with FCE

    Dear all,

    I like to inform you that we decided for the Canon Legria HF S 100 for our
    work and that this camera works flawless together with FCE 4 on an
    iMac 2.96 GHz at 4 GB RAM. We added (no wonder) immediately a FW800
    external storage.

    What surprised me:

    - How easy and comfortable the "Log and Transfer" works!
    - What amount of data from one single 16 GB card grows in AIC!
    - No whatsoever issues/problems importing the files into FCE!
    - 50i or 25p (25p is not supported by FCE) - both no issue and used a interlaced.

    What I have checked is the work with the AIC encoded files on a
    2x2,5 GHz G5. I have to say, that my (at home residing) computer
    is very outdated against that iMac. (I need a new Mac.)

    Bottom line:

    Thanks a lot for your help and I guess we got the right choice!

    Merci,
    :apple:kaechen
     
  25. Sdashiki macrumors 68040

    Sdashiki

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    Behind the lens
    #25
    The amount of MISINFORMATION in this thread is astounding.

    I hope anyone who stumbles it later does not take any of the advice given here without further research.
     

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