I have a load of important 8mm and VHS tapes I need to digitise (via a Digital8 camera for the 8mm tapes + pass-through function on a miniDV camcorder/S-VHS deck with s-video out for the VHS tapes)
Would Final Cut Pro X and Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 produce the same results in terms of the quality they would capture?
Or has anyone experience of one being better than the other?
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The quality of the resulting DV-AVI files after pass-through/capture with the D8 camcorder is determined by the D8 camcorder A-to-D and supporting electronics, not by Premiere or FCP, whichever was used.For the nth time, with the possible exception of certain Intel processors, I don't have/ever owned anything whose name starts with "i".
Yes, and that would be the DVcam's hardware encoder. Down the road, there might be quality differences on colorspace conversions, rendering fx & compositing & titling, and in export compression/conversions, but inputwise, should be comparable.
AFA, toolset though, there is IMO quite a difference!
Yes, And, though it shouldn't make a big difference to you, you will get a space savings by doing it with iMovie vs. the others. Reason: iMovie saves only the raw DV stream (not even encapsulating in Quicktime MOV container). The others all not only encapsulate in MOV, but also create a Type2 file, where the audio stream is demuxed/extracted from the DV multiplexed stream (comes that way from the camera) and a copy is made in a standard QT MOV audio track. Just like Type2 works in AVI. So you'd get duplication/redundancy of the data and a larger filesize.
Should you go that route and then later want to go to FCP/FCX/Premiere to do your editing, you should follow this guide about your conversion choices: http://www.dc.umich.edu/groundworks/Docs/video/exportingMoviesfromiMovietoFCPro.pdf.
Scott - this is fantastically clear - thank you. With my googling around I've noticed people saying not to capture in iMovie and edit in FCP - but actually if you understand what's going on and follow that link you sent it will work fine. Very handy to know.
Can I just make sure I'm clear on one point - does the stream come from the camera muxed? And iMovie just keeps it that way (just FCP etc that demux it).
I'm can experiment with this myself with the free trail of FCPX and iMovie but in case you have experience with this: I've read a lot of people saying they have issues with sync and capturing stopping for no apparent reason when doing an analogue to digital conversion and going into FCPX - do you think iMovie is actually less prone to these two issues since it saves as DV stream and does not have timecode?
The stream ON the camera is muxed (more accurately: interleaved?). It is then sent out that way via Firewire and captured as-is (muxed) in a raw "transmission stream". iMovie just saves the transmissed stream directly as a raw *.DV file. QT (and QT-based/compliant/dependent apps such as FCP, Premiere) normally just reads the muxed stream and extracts the audio separately, saves it into its own QT track, re-tags the muxed track as a video-only track (thereby hiding the original muxed audio) and encapsulates the resulting 2 tracks (now Video + Audio) in the MOV container.
I am very clear on this and have done extensive testing on this (you can even read past posts to see my tests). You can check it yourself: a DV that is 25MB of Video + 2MB of Audio = 27MB (Raw DV or Type1 DV-MOV). A Type 2 DV-MOV would be 27MB+2MB=29MB. And there are tools one can use to convert Type1<-->Type2 (though be careful of QT itself and MpegStreamclip because they have serious bugs in this area depending on source & destination options!).
Type1 and Raw DV files have less overhead & less filesize, so one would think that it would be less onerous. While that is true in capture, the reverse is true in decoding (since it has to parse & demux & decode on the fly). Type2 works the opposite way: A little more burdensome at capture (since it has to do the saving in realtime with the demuxing & 2nd audio track creation) but once saved, it is less work for an app to just assume the video is just video and audio is audio and read them in the normal way. Because of the packetized way the original audio is muxed in with the video, apps will just ignore & bypass it.
Timecode is another matter: DV has its own internal timecode that is included in the extra UserData that is muxed in the stream. This is NOT, however, the same as SMPTE timecode. It just acts equivalent to it, and for most purposes is translated and used as if it were SMPTE. Only DVCam & DVCPro professional versions are capable of storing (on tape) actual SMPTE.
But for the purposes of syncing, the internal DV timecode should be fine. My guess is that those who have trouble with V+A sync on DV are not using "Locked" audio, and are more likely using 16/44.1 setting (or worse, the 12/32x4) vs. the more Video-compliant standard of 16/48. Or were using LP mode, bad tape, or underpowered machines during capture, etc. I have worked for over a Decade with DV (basically since it originated) and can count on one hand the number of times I've had sync problems.
And to be clear: the internal "DV" timecode is muxed into the original stream on tape. Thus, it is also on all subsequent forms of the resulting captured file - whether RAW DV, Type1 or Type2. This includes iMovie, FCP, FCX, QT, Premiere, etc.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 10th Nov 2014 at 12:52.
Right, without sounding like a kiss-ass (although I probably will) - that's brilliant! Thank you for taking the time to explain all that to me in so much detail, I really appreciate it. It must get repetitive for you with newbies like me probably asking the same types of questions over and over.
But this is so helpful for me figuring out how I will proceed. As thinking more about my project, in the not too distance future I think I will need to edit the footage I'm capturing actually, so I'm going to go with FCPX instead of iMovie - for the reasons you mention about the decoding having less issues. Plus I won't have the hassle of conversion.
I hope you don't mind if I come back to you in the future if I have any problems when I start my capturing process - although hopefully all will be fine.
Also - last couple of questions if you don't mind?
(1) In terms of capturing you mention in your reply above that FCPX & Premeire CS6 are comparable when it comes to capturing. But In terms of simple editing and export compression/conversions does one have a clear advantage over the over? It's just that CS6 is more than twice the price of FCPX. Is there good reason?
(2) If I captured in FCPX and then later got funding for my project (I'm self funding at the moment so money is very tight) could the files be taken into Adobe Premeire CS6 or Avid Composer without any problems do you know? I'm just thinking about future proofing as I have a lot of tapes to capture (jeez I've gone from iMovie to Avid Composer on the same thread)
PS I wish I could send you a virtual beer to say thanks for your help - they really should introduce that feature on here
Simple editing (butt-cuts, no LJ-cuts, few/simple transitions, limited compositing/titling/FX, etc.), no, there should be little to no difference. In terms of export/compression, there WILL be a difference. Unless things have changed with X, FCP uses "Compressor", which is Apple-brand self-contained compression/transcoding engine. It is IMO, VERY GOOD but not GREAT. Premiere is IIRC using AME (adobe media encoder), which licenses a good portion of their module from Mainconcept. Usually, this means better quality, options & variety (though MC has been known to limit their licensed versions) than Compressor would be able.
Haven't done a compression all-inclusive shootout in years, so YMMV, but I would expect Premiere's exporting to be better overall (with variations with each codec implementation).
Capturing as DV-MOV Type2 makes them universal (though you'd likely have to Un-wrap for use in iMovie if you went backwards to them), so there should be NO problem with cross-usage. Slightly more difficult would be the exchange of EDLs (& Project/Bin info), but recent versions of both of those should have sufficient facility for easy transition between workflows.
AVID MC is a slightly different matter. They will work with QT (when on Mac), but these days they natively work with MXF-encapsulated files (used to be OMF, both with project files of AAF). So it would likely re-wrap on ingest/import and re-wrap back to QT-MOV if going back to FCP/FCX/Premiere, using their AMA plugin-capable architecture. EDL/Project/Bin info would transfer as ALE (avid log exchange) or AAF formatted files (of which I'm confident both FCP/X and Premiere have the facility to export to).
Drink a pint on me, mate! Here's mud in your eye.
(my grandad was from Penzance, Cornwall)
Questions are always OK, particularly when someone is being polite and detailed/forthcoming.
Last edited by Cornucopia; 10th Nov 2014 at 12:54.
Haha I'll drink a pint on you for sure. I've been to Penzance a couple of times, I love it there. St Michael's Mount is fantastic.
This is all excellent info thank you. Again great for me to make a properly informed decision and avoid creating unnecessary work for myself later down the line.
You say questions are always OK, so I'm going to test that now sorry I know before I said I had two last questions, now I have another. But this REALLY is the last one!
If I export captured footage from FCPX (DV-MOV Type2) into AVID MC (which would likely ingest/import and re-wrap to MXF-encapsulated files - have I got that right?) - would that result in any loss of quality or not? I am presuming not but wanted to double check. I do not foresee a need to then go back from AVID MC into FCPX, so I'm just wondering about the footage being transferred to from FCPX into AVID MC and if it will suffer any loss of quality.
That really IS all my questions (unless something goes wrong during capture haha)
Thank you !
Yes-(AVID will) rewrap.
No-No loss of quality. Rewrapping NEVER loses quality because it doesn't re-encode, just changes container.
Should you subsequently have difficulties, don't hestitate to return with more Qs.
Great, that's the last thing I needed to know.
Very many thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
I may well come back to you once I get into my project if I hit difficulties, it's great to have that backup there
Have a great rest of the week