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  1. Member wingspar's Avatar
    Join Date: Dec 2009
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    This is my first post to this forum. Thought Iíd joined a few months ago, but I guess not. Iím rather new to video cameras. Back in 2004 I did the research for a video cam for a major construction project, bought the cam, shot over 8 hours of video on the project over a couple of months, and made a 27 minute movie with the current at the time version of Pinnacle. I got an award for the video, so I guess I did ok.

    Iíve never personally owned a video cam, but I am just about to take the plunge on a used Canon VIXIA HF-10 AVCHD 16GB Dual Flash Memory/SDHC Memory HD Camcorder. I was reading in another thread about someone not being able to use either Sony Vegas Pro, Pinnacle 14, or get the video onto his computer and edit it. Rather than tread on his thread, I wonder if this cam Iím about to buy falls into that catagory. It has a 16GB hard drive, and a slot for SDHC, which I thought I might like better than the MiniDV I used on the construction project.

    The only software I have now is the Windows Movie Maker that comes with XP, but I do plan on some good editing software. I have not done any research on software yet. Iím not stuck on Pinnacle. Am I going to run into problems editing videos from the Canon VIXIA HF-10 with the MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 format?
    Gary
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
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    it all depends on what you are going to do and what you expect for the final output. like you most likely read the format is not editor friendly. it's highly compressed long gop meant mostly as a final display format. the exact opposite of the DVavi you used from the miniDV tapes.
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  3. Member wingspar's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. Maybe I should stick with another MiniDV cam such as the Canon VIXIA HV30 HDV High Definition Camcorder. It even has a viewfinder, which most new ones do not seem to have. Used for $ 599.95. Seems to have been replaced by the HV30 $715.95. Iím trying to keep costs down, and I certainly want to be able to move them to my computer and edit without problems.
    Gary
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  4. Member wingspar's Avatar
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    OK. Let me ask this then. What software can directly edit AVCHD files?

    It seems like all versions of Sony Vegas can, but are there others?

    I looked at the Pinnacle page, and it can output to AVCHD, but couldnít find where it could edit the format.
    Gary
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Do you want the long story or a quick answer?

    DV (standard def) records all frames and is very editor friendly.

    HDV (high def MPeg2) is professionally supported. Most recent generation edit programs will edit it fine on a Core2 Duo machine.

    AVCHD is a consumer format with MPeg4 h.264 compression. It is much more difficult to edit and suffers more loss through editing.

    Quick answer: If you intend to edit, get the HDV HV30 and avoid AVCHD

    We can go into as much detail as you wish.
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  6. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    the canon hv20/30/40 are fine consumer cams. i use a hv30 for an all-purpose lightweight portable. i shoot with it in 1080 30p for a mixed web/dvd source. a decent external mic and tripod are recommended. the internal mic is lame, and it is a single cmos sensor cam so fast panning will look bad with rolling shutter distortion.
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  7. Member wingspar's Avatar
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    Quick answers probably work best at this point in time. The video world is new and confusing to me. I thought it would take me less than a day to research a cam, and hit the buy it now button, but I accidentally stumbled onto some comments about the AVCHD format and editing, and that just opened up a can or worms. Big fat worms. I initially started looking at MiniDV cams, but the hard drive/flash drive cams started to appeal.

    Well, I did stick a link to a used VIXIA HV30 for $599.95 in my bookmarks the other day. It says it is a HD cam and records to MiniDV, which is the only format Iíve used in the past. But, the idea of recording to a hard drive, or flash memory vs tape seems to appeal. Much faster access time for locating a spot in a movie vs searching thru tape, and Iím guessing that I could drag and drop with Windows Explorer from the cam to my computer. This stuff is very difficult to visualize without actual hands on, and itís been a few years since I used the MiniDV cam.

    Is there a noticeable difference in image quality of a hard drive/flash memory over MiniDV, even tho both may be HD?

    It looks like Canon is the leader in this field, and would like to stick with Canon. Is there a cam that records to a hard drive that is not AVCHD? One that would be easy to edit?

    I have to wonder who would buy a video camera, and not want to edit?
    Gary
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  8. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
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    One thing i can tell you is if you are going to watch your video on hdtv then you will want to capture in avchd,its not that hard to edit and author and burn,it doesnt have all the software support of mpeg2 but the quality is much better when viewing at 1920x1080 or 1280x720.

    I do a lot of editing avchd and use tsmuxergui,tssniper and multiavchd and burn and watch on my blu-ray player.
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  9. Member wingspar's Avatar
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    Wow. That stuff is way over my head. I donít even own an HD TV. Most of my output will probably be to the web, tho Iíd probably watch some stuff over the TV for the heck of it to see what it looks like, but most will be on the computer and output to the web.

    I havenít seen anything on AVCHD that says it is easy to edit. I wish I could borrow or rent a couple of different cams, but just not possible. Iím thinking I need to stay away from AVCHD and buy a MiniDV cam. Iím sure the quality of todays MiniDV cams has improved since 2004 when I used one, and processed it with Pinnacle.
    Gary
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by wingspar
    Wow. That stuff is way over my head. I donít even own an HD TV. Most of my output will probably be to the web, tho Iíd probably watch some stuff over the TV for the heck of it to see what it looks like, but most will be on the computer and output to the web.

    I havenít seen anything on AVCHD that says it is easy to edit. I wish I could borrow or rent a couple of different cams, but just not possible. Iím thinking I need to stay away from AVCHD and buy a MiniDV cam. Iím sure the quality of todays MiniDV cams has improved since 2004 when I used one, and processed it with Pinnacle.
    Used prosumer SD MiniDV cams are an option but I'd recommend you get one that is optimal for 16x9.

    My recommendation remains a Canon HV 20/30/40 (or selected Sony HC models) which can shoot normal DV or HDV. If you shoot HDV you have two options for export over Firewire. You can export high def HDV or the camera will internally downscale to standard def 16x9 wide DV or 4x3 letterbox DV. That way you can shoot high def but easily edit standard def using existing software without needing to downscale on the computer. You have the high def version on tape for the future.
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  11. Member wingspar's Avatar
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    I do have the Canon HV30 on my short list. Itís used for $599.99. I donít think itís available new anymore. The HV30 is now on top of my list, and I probably need to click on the buy it now button fairly soon before they are all gone. These are all factory refurbs.

    As for most of your post, itís all foreign to me. What do you mean ďdownscale to standard 16x9? Donít know what DV means. Digital Video?

    It is unlikely Iíll ever leave anything on tape. Once itís transferred to the computer, itís history from the tape. I do want something much better than 80% of what you see on YouTube and Americas Funniest Home Videos tho. Most of that stuff hurts my eyes. As a pro photographer, Iím always tuned into focus, white balance, and a myriad of other things most people never see, but I donít need to be spending $3k on a cam.
    Gary
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  12. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
    Join Date: Nov 2007
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    Originally Posted by johns0
    One thing i can tell you is if you are going to watch your video on hdtv then you will want to capture in avchd,its not that hard to edit and author and burn,it doesnt have all the software support of mpeg2 but the quality is much better when viewing at 1920x1080 or 1280x720.
    Sorry, but this isn't really true.

    The best AVCHD camcorders have just exceeded HDV camcorders (at comparable price points) in terms of quality. Most AVCHD camcorders of the last couple of years have been inferior to their HDV cousins.

    In the "best" consumer models available, the images are usually sensor limited.

    In many lesser AVCHD models, the image is very much codec limited!

    Cheers,
    David.
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  13. I'm a Super Moderator johns0's Avatar
    Join Date: Jun 2002
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    I'm talking about hd quality vs sd quality in viewing camera sources,not arguing about avchd camera vs hdv cameras,so you are wrong.
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