best video format for editing?

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    • #44115
      AvatarCruzinCostaRica
      Participant

      Hi all, just registered 10 min ago, so my 1st post. I am new to editing, and I need some advice.

      Sorry if the post is long with several questions, but I figured that was better then 5 diff posts.

      Let me give you some detail about what my needs and limited experience are, equipment I have now, so that you have enough details to help me.

      I have had video camera’s in the past, but never did anything in terms of editing. The last 4 years I’ve had a Sony DCR-PC350, uses Mini DV tape and takes 3 megapixel stills, records to Sony Memory stick for the stills.

      As of April 2009, I am now in charge of all marketing and sales for a real estate project here, an ocean view mountainside community (from 300 ft above sea level to 3000 ft) about 5 miles from the Pacific beaches, set in a 1000 acre Nature Reserve, approx 100 lots and custom homes over the next year. For now, I am the only one on our new development team that has any computer background, so I take all the photographs and video tape and do the editing, which right now has only been small clips uploaded to youtube for clients to see.

      So I am responsible for producing all the photography and “quick” video for the project website, and there is no end of things to shoot, be it the views from the lots, the equestrian center, all the bird and animals, the river that runs through our community, 50 different “eco tourism” activities, sportfishing trips, visits by new clients, etc. All of this to be used in marketing the project.

      I started with the older Sony in April, and a friend loaned me a Nikon D80 DSLR, (never used a slr or dslr before) with the standard F-S DX 18-135 mmand a fisheye lense, so I am using it and with my limited knowledge, the photos seem great, but honestly I have left it on automatic settings so far (except some macro shots).

      I went overboard on software (I think I did) so the lack of tools would not give me an excuse not to learn, as I have just about everything in Adobe CS3 and some CS4 updates, IMovie 09 and the older IMovie HD, and 10 different programs, some free, that have to do with converting to different formats of both audio and video. So far, I have “played” with IMovie 09, but have not actually created anything yet with any of the better tools, except something in April using the older Sony mini dv and windows movie maker, which is very limited, and I would rather not boot to Windows for editing, I am focused on learning the correct mac-centric software for real editing.

      I run a 15′ Macbook Pro (pre-unibody) 2.5 Ghz Core 2 Duo upgraded to 4Gb Ram and a 7200 rpm 320 Gb hard drive, and a separate 19 in ch monitor, also running Paralllels 4.0 and virtualizing Windows XP, just for some legacy programs from before I went Mac, I have 2 Tb of external disc space, usually running through firewire 400 for better speed then USB 2.0, so that is my current computing power.

      I have purchased two new items since July, the 1st was a new Canon SD780, 12 megapixel still and 720HD Video, primarily because I could have one compact tool “always with me”, and I have to say I have been very happy with it, and the fact that is records to .mov (from Canon website-records inmodern H.264 format and encodes mono audio as Linear PCM at 16 bit / 44.1KHz, then stores the result in a QuickTime MOV) so I can pop the SDHC in a card reader and transfer to my mac and play in quicktime with no editing/conversion, a bonus when with clients in the field.

      But I dropped it, and no store in Costa Rica had a new Canon SD780, so I was desperate with a video shoot for a new client scheduled, and so I found a 2 year old PanasonicHDC-SD5, smalland light but shoots great HD Video (1080P) and has3CCD, but it records toAVCHD format. I have no real knowledge if that is better/worse quality Video, or better or worse forediting then the H.264 format/.mov format of the small Canon, but I can not just shoot and view on my Macbook pro, if I have 20 minutes of raw video, it takes 25 minutes to import and convert in Imovie before I can use it.

      I am fortunately in a financial position to get (some) new equipment the next 2-3 months, be it cameras, more powerful computing, other editing software, etc. So I am armed and dangerous, as I can buy new equipment and tools, but still don’t know anything beyond basics to use the tools (better cameras, better video cameras, more powerful computer and other digital editing peripherals, and editing software) though I am an enthusiastic and fast learner, and am truly enjoying this new creativity.

      So I thought I would ask experts, to give me advice before I buy, so I end up with the right equipment, and get focused on the right editing tools and software so I have a shorter and more productive learning curve.

      Small form factor is critical, if it’s not on me, I get no shots, and 50% of the time I am in rugged terrain, around rivers, up and down the mountain hiking, some times “rock climbing”, where I need to use both hands and not carry much, and often on horseback or quad, so a Goriila Pod tripod and the little Canon were perfect, often just the Canon. Many times I had to leave the bigger Nikon D80 in the SUV, otherwise I would break it or soak it in the river. But I default to the Nikon for the really nice shots. I mention this form factor as I have been looking at something “in between”, maybe a bridge camera like one of the ultrazooms that eliminated the seperate dslr lens, still has 20x zoom and HD Video (like the Canon PowerShot SX20 super-zoom)

      Some specific questions.

      1. Have I overlooked the older camera (Sony DCRPC350) as it seems good video quality, and records to mini dv tape.

      2. What is the best format in 2009/2010 for HD Video recording, so I maintain high quality all the way thru editing and final product.

      3. Suggestions of the best small Video Camera, or was I fine with that sweet little Canon SD780 with the 720 HD Video and .mov format(for my level of knowledge)

      4. Should I stay away from AVCHD, or is that a good format for editing and video quality, once I learn the tools..I have read posts on other forums, some hate it, some say it’s OK if you have the computing power. All I know is that I can’t “drag and drop” from camera to Mac and play quickly, but I don’t want to disregard the format and give up on my current Panasonic 3CCD/1080HD Video Camera if that is the only problem.

      Should I be moving to a quad core Mac Pro Desktop for serious editing, or are the current/next gen high end 2009/2010 Macbook Pro’s with the newer processors and 4,6 or 8 GB enough power.

      Should I move right away to FCP, or FC express? or…?

      Or learn the adobe tools I already have, because I am new, user friendliness and fast learning curve are critical.

      Again I appreciate any and all suggestions, computer or camera equipment, software, downloads, links..you name it.

      my Skype is marazul.ray, and my email is raycruzcr@gmail.com

      Thanks in advance, and if anyones is coming to Costa Rica, give me a shout..

      Ray

    • #184900
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      1. If you already have a miniDV camera, I would shoot with that if all you’re doing is uploading to Youtube. I understand Youtube has the option to view HD, but it’s not THAT good. Although, apparently Vimeo is pretty decent. Anyway, it doesn’t matter. No client will look at your work and say “This is crap..It’s not HD.” You can compress your SD video just fine for Youtube and it will look great. And besides, MiniDV is easy and ready to edit. No transcoding necessary.

      2. HDCam SR, but you can’t afford that. I think AVC-Intra is the best, and DVCProHD…if you can afford those. If you can’t you may have to settle for HDV or AVCHD, which are probably suitable for the web anyway.

      3. Everyone seems to like the Canon HV30…or whatever model number they are at now. Probably HV40 by now.

      4. I’m not a fan of AVCHD, but it’s probably fine for what you’re doing. I’d go with miniDV or AVCHD though.

      5. Your Macbook Pro will serve you will, especially if you go the route of editing miniDV footage.

      6. I love FCP, but it sounds like that will be overkill for you. Final Cut Express is probably the better option. I think it’s only $100.

      7. Do you have Adobe Premiere to edit video with? That’s very similar to FCP, so I’d save the money and go with that if I were you. Just be sure it supports the format of video you are recording though.

    • #184901
      AvatarMORUGY
      Participant

      HI RAY,

      YOU HAVE A LOTA LOTA QUESTIONS AND I UNDERSTAND WHY YOU WANT TO GET UP AND GOING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE.

      THINGS CAN GET A BIT CONFUSING WHEN YOU TRY TO FIND TOO MANY SOLUTIONS AT THE SAME TIME, ESPECIALLY WHEN YOU WILL GET TEN DIFFERENT OPINIONS ON EACH SUBJECT.

      HERE IS A FEW POINTS —

      I AGREE WITH ROBERT YOUR MACBOOKPRO IS WELL GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOUR PRESENT NEEDS- I EDIT HD FOOTAGE ON MINE NO PROBLEM.

      I BELIEVE THAT FINALCUT IS THE BEST FOR THE MAC, I FOUND PREM PRO GOOD ON THE PC ESPECIALLY FOR BEGINNERS.

      WITH EDITING FORMATS A LOT DEPENDS ON WHAT CAMERA YOU USE AND FOR WHAT OUTPUT PURPOSE.

      I WOULD PRACTICE WITH WHAT YOU HAVE ALREADY, ITS BETTER TO GET THE KNOW HOW FIRST THEN BUY THE TECK STUFF, YOU CAN SAVE TIME AND MONEY THIS WAY.

      I FOUND VIMEO UNRELIABLE AND YOU CAN GET GOOD QUALITY UP ON YOUTUBE NOW IF YOU USE THE RIGHT FILE TYPES.

      TANYA

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