I am new to home video, mostly, but have lots of questions and could really use some guidance. I had a hi8 camera back in the early 90's. I took mostly family movies of events and trips, the usual stuff. About 4 years ago before the birth of my first son, (and since my hi8 Sony died) I bought a Canon Vixia HV30 DV tape camera, and have been using it ever since. I am now trying to archive what I have already shot (so that I can work with the footage but not have to continually drag out the tapes and possibly damage/wear them or wear out the camera motor) and this is the area where most of my questions will be at.
Now like all forums, I know you are probably more than tired of "newbie questions", and I don't want to be that guy. I have snooped around here some looking for a comprehensive FAQ section, but either there isn't one or I am just blind.
Anyways, what I am working with so far. I am open to attaining other resources if it gets me to my goal.
Canon Vixia HV30 DV tape camera
Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9 (Don't know how helpful this is, it was a gift)
PC with Windows 7. Fire-wire card installed
1.5T and 2T External hard drives for storage
Panasonic Viera VT30 65" Plasma (supports 24fps playback)
I have transferred over a tape or two, just trying out the fire-wire card and working with WinDV. Everything worked.
Here is what I want to end up with, if possible:
I am old school, I prefer the look of film over video. This was one of the reasons I went with the Canon at the time, it had the "Cine Mode" that can be used with 24 fps recording. So I assume I am getting as much of a film-like look as is possible with what I have. As I mentioned before, I am trying to archive my recordings on a computer/hard drive, so that I can work with them and leave the "masters" alone. So having transferred them from the tapes, I hope to be able to edit them and such, (as many times as is needed) and then present them when finished hopefully still in the 24fps format. I mention this because I noticed that once I transferred my tapes that WinDV somehow converted them over to 29 fps, or so it appears. I really don't know too much about this, I do have a grasp of the various pull downs and such, and it may be possible that the video could be processed over to 29, and then at some point before all is said and done back to 24fps, but I would assume that all of that processing would have to degrade the video somewhat, or introduce artifacts or something, right?
Do I need to find another option than WinDV to transfer my tapes to my computer? I wanted something that wouldn't compress or degrade my films, and WinDV seemed to be recommended the most. Again, I am hoping to maintain 24fps playback.
What is a good program for editing my transferred footage? I have available, Windows Movie Maker and also Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9. Or should I procure some other software better suited to my particular needs?
Anything else I am not thinking about that I should be?
If anybody has any thoughts or suggestions and wants to share them, that would be wonderful. Or if not, if you could steer me to a sub forum here that might help educate me more that would be great as well.
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Firewire transfer will get you exactly what's on the tape. WinDV is fine, amongst the most reliable of programs for transferring DV from camcorder to PC.
Your camera may have a 24p mode but the DV video that comes from it is still 30i. The 24 fps frames captured by the camcorder go through the same 3:2 pulldown that film does when transmitted as 30i. 90 percent of the "film look" has nothing to do with the frame rate. It's the lighting, depth of field, composition, etc.
The Canon Vixia HV30 is an HDV camcorder (that is, high definition), and although it will certainly record standard definition DV video, its DV mode does not do 24fps. (And I'm pretty sure that Cine Mode only works with HDV, not DV.)
If you want 24fps in Cine Mode, you need to shoot HDV format. And with the hi-def, you would not use WinDV to capture, but HDVSplit. (It would still go through the firewire port.)
Bruce, you are not using your Canon camcorder to its fullest potential. Why shoot standard definition at all?
Afterthought: It occurred to me that you ARE shooting HDV, but are downconverting to DV for playback (which the Canon HV30 will allow you to do). Please explain your processes more clearly.
Last edited by filmboss80; 4th Jan 2013 at 11:00.
once you get the HDV tape captured with HDVsplit to your computer properly by go into settings and changing it all back to HDV not DV out. then you will have to deal with the fake 24p. it's in an HDV 30i stream. what you will have to do is inverse telecine it into proper 24p before trying to edit. you can find plenty of instructions for doing so online if you search.
cine mode isn't to make it look like pro films. it's a setting that gets rid of the overly bright / saturated video that consumers prefer. it gives a more natural video that closely matches pro cams basic settings.--
"a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
Thank you all fror the replies so far. It is my understanding that the Cine mode/24fps process IS High Def. I get that from the manual.
Here are some excerpts. (The numbers in parentheses are page references for further detail)
From the intro, on page 5
What is the Cinema Mode?
Give your recordings a cinematic look by using the [CINE MODE]
recording program (45). Combine this recording mode with the highdefinition, 24 fps progressive frame rate [HDV(PF24)] (38) to get
the enhanced effect of the 24p Cinema Mode.
From page 38
[ HDV(PF24)]: High-definition
video at 1080i specifications for recording
with a progressive frame rate of 24 fps.
When combined with the [CINE
MODE] recording program (45) to get
the 24p Cinema Mode, the cinematic look
will be enhanced.
Here is a link to the online manual:
Most of the details are on page 38 or 46 of the manual, although may be scattered elsewhere. So it appears to me that this cine mode/24fps setting is Hi Def, but I am open to being shown how it is not. Always willing to learn.
Filmboss80, you said "Afterthought: It occurred to me that you ARE shooting HDV, but are downconverting to DV for playback (which the Canon HV30 will allow you to do). Please explain your processes more clearly."
I set the camera up to record cine mode/24fps. I then (at least so far, I will look into HDVSplit tonight at work) transfer it to my computer with WinDV, (I connect firewire to camera and computer and let WinDV do its thing) and so far that is all I have done. Is my process changing it to DV from the HDV I (assume) I am filming? I wanted to get some veterans advice before I got in too deep doing it that way (I have probably 10 more tapes to transfer/archive) which is why I joined here and posted. So again, thank you for the advice and keep it coming.
Don't be misled by your manual. The "cinema look" has nothing to do with frame rate any more than the "soap opera" look does. There are several tricks for making DV look like film (at any video speed). To echo jagabo's reply in post #2, film has a different contrast range, a different middle point and gamma motif, a different type of noise level and character (yes, I said noise, or noise that videophiles refer to as film grain), and so forth. Don't let fps lead you to expect that it will give you a cinema "look" by virtue of frame rate alone.
Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:31.
I agree. Shallow DOF & Bokeh is a big difference as well, and overall Latitude (Dynamic Range). But framerate (specifically progressive) is part of the overall "film look".
If you are shooting in HDV mode (which I think you might be if you actually are using the "1080i" setting), then you are doing yourself a disservice by using the WinDV app, because then the HDV mode will downconvert into DV mode (in realtime?) giving ALL of your captures only SD (standard def) quality. Go back & recap completely with HDVSplit (or with the HDV module in Vegas).
Tried to access the PDF, but it says "access denied". But I'm using an educated guess that "Cine Mode" is something that can be applied to SD (DV) or HD (HDV) mode; it doesn't necessarily turn it into HD mode. The 1080i DOES mean HD mode. Notice, however, the "i": that means Interlaced. So, even though you may be using the Cine Mode 24p setting, it is likely using a form of Pulldown to accomplish this. Much like PsF type HDV frames.
Sony MS9 is a MUCH more capable editor than WMM, no doubt about it. It will be particularly evident with HD material. You may, once you get into practice, decide you might even want the Pro version of Vegas in order to take advantage of features available to it for HD material.
This is what I was thinking...
Among the various cameras in my production arsenal is an HV40, which I haven't used much; so I'm certainly no expert on the HV30. But I think if you switch to Auto Mode, instead of Program (P) Mode, the recording defaults back to 1080i. (Not positive about that, though.)
There is a nice forum for Canon HV20, HV30, and HV40 users, where you might find more helpful information:
Thank you all agian for your thoughts/suggestions. Last night after much anguish, I was finally able to get HDVSplit to work. (There were two separate menus in my camera setup for outputs, one of the menus was buried, but I found it, and it was set for regular DV, not HDV like the primary, and HDVSplit saw it somehow, and that is why I kept getting the "cannot detect camera" message in the box.
So I downloaded one of my tapes, and yes, there is a difference. The WinDV product was 720 x 480, the new ones via HDVSplit are 1440 x 1080.
I was instructed to also download "ffdshow", and to configure it. But once I downloaded it, there was no way to configure it. The only file on my PC is the setup file. I found a newer version that had setup options on the "finish" page of the download, and used it. But do I need that program? They made it sound like it was needed in conjunction w/HDVSplit.
I'll continue to play around with it, to see what I can do.
Thanks again, I'm sure I'll be back with more questions.
Hey everybody, I'm having an issue with (so far) at least a few of my transfers using HDVSplit. As I use it, it does its thing, breaking up the scenes as according to the various timestamps, but on 2 out of 3 tapes, one of the scenes has a "meta" property or whatever it is called (In Windows 7 when you click the file it is at the bottom, or you can right mouse click it and go to properties, and then to the "details" tab) that is waaaaaaaay off. Like a 58 second clip that shows up in the properties as 12 hours, 31 minutes and 29 seconds. I tried twice last night, same both times. Today, I rebooted my computer and everything, but still the same result. I googled to see if there was some kind of program that would let me in there to manually change it to what it is supposed to be, but came up empty. I don't think it is corrupted data, because when I did the same tape using WinDV, it did the capture and the "propperties" time was spot on. So the data WinDV used gave it a correct reading, but HDVSplit consistently gets it wrong?
Anybody ever heard of such a thing, or know of a solution? Or somehow to get in the details of it and manually change it?
Last edited by Bruce/Fl; 12th Jan 2013 at 02:03. Reason: More details
Don't use MS Explorer to tell you definitively the meta properties, use something like MediaInfo. Explorer often gets it wrong. But this could also be a bug that should be called to the attention of the HDVSplit programmer(s).
First thing to do is post a text output from MediaInfo here so we can be on the same page...
If you are recording in 24fps mode (HDV24 ,24p in 30i wrapper) HDVSplit will capture exactly what is on the tape 30i, you have to inverse telecine it as aedipuss stated to get 24p. To work with true 24p. Look up proper procedure over there http://www.hv20.com/forumdisplay.php?19-PC-%28non-Mac%29-Computers-Editing-and-Software
30p mode (HDV30)is interesting too, in cinematic sense, it is inside 30i (60i) wrapper, it is 30p progressive , it needs to be interpreted within videoeditor to acknowledge those 30p. And 6 more frames per second is really handy, movement is more fluent but 30p is not BD compatible. You'd have to author with fake interlace using x264 encoder, it is not straight forward, maybe really intimidating for you. But possible.
CINE MODE does not introduces gain (or not to the extreme , not sure now) so you do not have to be aware of that (grainy picture during low light). With 30p mode you have to use that trick , while turning the camcorder on during low light, you point camcorder into appropriate source of light (even cell phone light if nothing is there for example) , and go into manual exposure right after, so gain will not kick in,you lock that and manually adjust exposure to not introduce grain or more practically do not go into negative double digits at least , -6dB is all right perhaps (you can check photo button to see F-stop -providing you have microSD card put in the camera, but it doesn't show actual dB gain value unfortunately)
You can fix shutter for Tv mode (and 30p) but you cannot fix shutter for CINE mode, because it is either Tv mode or Cine mode, that's how canon put it in the menu. Tv mode is handy if you use ND filter outside and you want to have really cinema experience, longer shutter speeds, with 30p mode you'd choose 1/30. With 24p 1/24. I mention this because you stress this importance. So you can set shutter as a constant within 30p mode AND Tv mode but you cannot do that with 24p mode and CINEMA mode.
I heard that CINEMA mode does not produces as sharp image as the other modes, but 30p mode gets similar results I guess anyway.
I looked at it, it correctly showed the length, unlike MS explorer did.
But this is impacting my video work. How? I c&P'd a bunch of small segments (including one with the wrongly assigned meta data) into Windows movie maker, and it made a spot for the length that it thought it was, the whole 16 hours or whatever, not the minute 28 seconds or whatever it really is.
Either WMM is going to be useless for me if I have one of those "corrupted" segments included, or I need to find a new editing program not so dependent on what MS explorer assigns.
Or possibly try to play with the segment inside WMM to make it the correct size......?
Best thing to do with Windows Movie Maker: uninstall it, and never look back. In MediaInfo use the "View" menu and selct "Text". The text in the window can be selected with a mouse, copied, and pasted into a .txt file in Notepad. You can upload that .txt file to this thread, or copy and paste the contents into a post here.
Last edited by sanlyn; 25th Mar 2014 at 07:31.
WMM next to another segment the exact same length (1 mn 8 sec). The screen cap only shows 7 rows of the project, but there are a total of 73 rows, because it thinks it is 15+ hours long. So you can see how this windows explorer "quirk" is screwing things up.
You recommend closing WMM, uninstalling it and never looking back. Did you have a suggestion for a similar program that this wouldn't be an issue with?
Media file text file and WMM screen shot file attached
Wow, it's been a year and a half since I posted this here. Time does fly!
Well, I successfully transferred all of my tapes into big glorius 1440x1080 m2t files, and have tweaked and compiled many of them in Vegas.
My new project is getting my old family movies my Dad shot on 8mm film transferred to digital., and am looking for any guidance there. Is there a better sub forum I should probably ask those kind of questions in? The questions I have fall into two areas. Vendors and formats.
On the vendor side, has anyone here had a really good experience with a particular vendor, or, maybe more importantly, a bad one? It would be good to know who to stay away from. I am just now getting into this somewhat deeply, after casually researching the past year or so. I have contacted one particular company, Cinepost, as I have heard good things about them.
Cinepost did send me some samples of transfers using different codecs, those being what they call Motionjpeg1080i, DV, DVCPRO50, DVCPROHD, and ProResHD. Some worked better than others for me. I am on a windows machine, and needed to use quicktime for a lot of them. One I couldn't open at all, the DVCPROHD. The DVCPRO50 stretched 16x9 for me also, which it shouldn't have.
Going in I assumed I would get files in either SD or HD format. I (probably very ignorantly) thought the HD might also be in m2t format, as that is what I was used to getting as an end product when I transfer my new HD files using HDVSplit. I really don't have a great understanding of transport streams and codecs and such.
As an experiment I put one of the samples that I had to use quicktime to view into Vegas and simply "processed" it, without changing/correcting anything. It did output in m2t format, but upon viewing it had changed it a bit it seemed. It improved the color somewhat it seemed, at least for my taste, but I couldn't tell if I lost any detail. I would probably need to put it up on a much larger display than my computer monitor to see if it indeed did.
So, does anyone have any thoughts on this? Suggestions on where to go, what kind of format I might want to see if I can get the transfers in? Whether running it through Vegas did indeed degrade it, even slightly? I learned a lot last time I posted here from many of you, and you really helped me. Hoping for maybe some more suggestions, insights and advice again.
Vegas has to show in preview window black screen with "No re-compression required" message or flashing occasionally into preview, if you cut video to reconstruct a GOP. If you did not see that "No re-compression required" message in preview window, Vegas was re-encoding - degrading the quality a bit.