Four Video Cameras with Just One Firewire Input?

Here are a few examples of what people are asking on the Videomaker forum. For help on video-related questions, go to our forums. To learn more about video related topics, open a forum account, it’s fast and it’s Free!

Q: 4 Cameras, 1 FireWire, 1 Big Puzzle

What unit can I use with Modul8 and a MacBook Pro to input four video cameras into one FireWire input of the Mac? As you may know M8 can mix up to four cameras, but how do I insert these cameras?

– Steve E.


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A: Great question, Steve. Since you only have one FireWire port on your MacBook Pro, you’ll have to utilize the speed and versatility of your Express Card slot if you want more inputs. Luckily, there are many Express Card adapters that can give you three additional FireWire inputs. sells a perfect solution – find the link here: Otherwise, if you also have a PC tower or a Mac Pro you can install a pair of dual port FireWire 400 PCI Express cards which would also do the trick.

– The Videomaker Editors

Q: Sony Vegas Pro Question

I recently read your review on Sony Vegas Pro 10. I’m getting a new desktop mainly for video editing. The main specs I will be getting as of now are:

Motherboard: [SLI] MSI X58 PRO-E

Processor: Intel Core i7-950 Processor (4x 3.06GHz/8MB L3 Cache)

Processor Cooling: Liquid CPU Cooling System [SOCKET-1366] – Standard 120mm Fan

Memory: 6GB [2GB X3] DDR3-1600 ** Corsair or Major Brand

Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 – 1.2GB – Single Card

rimary Hard Drive: 1TB HARD DRIVE – 16M Cache, 7200 RPM, 3.0GB/s – Single Drive

Optical Drive: [10X Blu-ray] LG Blu-ray Reader, DVD&#177R/&#177RW Burner Combo Drive Black

Power Supply: 750 Watt – Thermaltake TR2 TRX-750M

Sound Card: 3D Premium Surround Sound Onboard

Network Card: Onboard LAN Network (GB or 10/100)

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium + Office Starter 2010 64-Bit

Monitor: 22″ LCD 1920×1080 – Sceptre X226W-1920 (21.5″ Viewable)

I know Vegas, in its past, never made use of the GPU. Do you believe it’s worth it to get the NVIDIA video card. Also, with my set up, will my preview while I edit be as “smooth” and “real time” as your reviewer’s experience with it was? Because that has been my main problem and is why I’m getting a new desktop; my previews lag and skip.

– Stephen

A: Those look like some beefy specs for a computer, Stephen! You seem to have virtually maxed out the processors in the machine, which is your best bet for getting faster renders and previews in Sony Vegas 10 Pro. As you mentioned, Sony Vegas 10 Pro only uses the GPU to increase performance for AVC rendering. If you are rendering to another format, you probably won’t see any speed increase with a fast GPU. If you do render to AVC often, then the NVIDIA graphic card is a great choice since Vegas 10 only supports CUDA technology at this time, which comes from NVIDIA.

Another component to upgrade would be your RAM and HDD. Having more RAM in your system should allow you to have more applications open without having your speed suffer. It should also allow for longer previews to RAM. While it’s good that you have chosen to buy a 1TB hard drive, I would still suggest buying at least two other 1TB hard drives; one for storing your media files, one to run your programs from, and one to render previews and video files. This should help the overall speed of your editing since each drive takes a separate part of the read/write process during editing.

There’s also a couple more things you can do within the software of Sony Vegas to speed up previews. First, you can go to your preview window and switch from high quality to draft quality. Even though this gets rid of a lot of the resolution of your project, it can at least help you play your footage smoothly which should help for making well timed cuts. Also, you can render part of your video to RAM by highlighting your clip and pressing Shift-B. This will store your preview in your RAM, which should allow you to watch your timeline back in real time. Hopefully these suggestions help. Good luck in your editing!

– The Videomaker Editors

Q: Do I Need to Upgrade My Editing Program?

My system runs Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection. I want to buy some of your training DVDs. Do I need to change my editing software to Final Cut Pro, Avid Composer or Adobe’s Premiere Pro before buying your training material or I am good to go with my current program?

– Sammy

A: We’re glad to see that you’re interested in learning more about video, Sammy. Our training DVDs are designed to be cross-platform. Though we pull many of our screen captures from Adobe Premiere, all of the techniques shown in our videos can be done with most editing programs. We encourage learning more about different software tools, so using programs that have additional editing tools like Final Cut Pro, Adobe Premiere, Sony Vegas, or Avid Media Composer can’t hurt. Try to download trial versions of editing programs you might be interested in first, so that you can see which work best for your needs. Most programs have some sort of free trial version, it’s especially important to try these out for the more expensive or more processing extensive programs. Find links to download
Adobe Premiere CS5
Sony Vegas 10

Avid Media Composer 5.
Thanks for your interest in our training DVDs. We’re sure they’ll help you make better video!

– The Videomaker Editors

Q: Are My Camcorder and Editing Program Compatible?

I have subscribed for many years to Videomaker. I am getting into the wedding business and presently use an old Canon GL1. I would like to take the next step and the Panasonic HDC-TM700 appears to be that camera. However, I presently edit on an iMac using iMovie. I read that 60p mode isn’t compatible with most editing programs and can’t get clips to work with iMovie. Honestly, I don’t even know what 60p is. Can I still use this camera successfully with the iMovie editing program? If not, can you recommend another HD camera I could purchase around $1,000 – $1,500 range?

– Wayne T.

A: Thanks for your e-mail, Wayne, and for being a longtime subscriber. The Panasonic HDC-TM700 is a great camera choice. Besides shooting in 60p, it can also shoot in 60i and 24p, which both are standards for editing timelines everywhere. If you keep your camera in either of those modes you shouldn’t have any problems at all when it comes to editing in iMovie. While it’s true that iMovie cannot edit in 60p at this time, it can edit in any resolution at 24 or 60i. Apple also has a list of supported camcorders for iMovie. We’ve already checked and your camcorder is fully supported! Good luck with your future editing. Check out our site for any training needs that you may have.

The Videomaker Editors

The Videomaker Editors are dedicated to bringing you the information you need to produce and share better video.