Super noob looking for advice (Canon XL1s into PC)

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    • #37844

      I recently (last Thursday) bought a nice used XL1s and shot with it this weekend. I’m looking for suggestions on what to use to capture and edit. I have CS4, but haven’t used it much. I hooked the camera up to the PC last night and captured it with Adobe On Location, but I don’t know if that was what I should have done or not. It was only like a 10Gb file for 54 minutes of video. In case it matters I recorded in frame mode, 16:9 format in SP. Most shots are in low light. My 11 year old son sings and plays guitar and ukulele (hence avatar <—-). I am trying to make a “music video” for YouTube and his website that is a step closer to a professional look.

    • #167620

      Hey, welcome to the video world. Sounds like you’re having fun.

      Also sounds like you’re spending money, and fast. It’s all good, though, as long as the wife OKs it. πŸ™‚

      If I were you, I wouldn’t fuddle around with OnLocation at this point; Premiere has a built-in capture function that will work just dandy for your purposes. (File>Capture) It lets you tag and batch your clips, which is probably all you would get out of OnLocation anyway.

      Then, once you’ve done that, go out and buy FCP. You won’t regret it.


    • #167621


      Having used an Xl1s and On-Location since its first incarnation as ‘DV Rack’, I can tell you with certainty both are wonderful tools. Now that said, On-Location is a great field capture tool as it digitally records your clips as you shoot them to your laptop or external harddrive. Thus, saving you the time doing manual capture with premiere and wearing out your recording heads if you don’t have a secondary mini-dv player.

      Drawback with On-Location is it has to be connected via firewire from laptop to camera in order to function. Therefore it’s only good for highly controlled shoots like those shot in a studio setting or where there will be little or no camera movement.

      On-Location is great because you can setup your video to be within broadcast standard (without whites that cause tv’s to ‘buzz’) and have good color and tone. There are also audio tools with wavescopes so you can make sure your in camera audio isn’t too low or too ‘hot’. It’s a wonderful toolset that emulates a lot of hardware you’d need to have with none of the weight and bulk.

      However, it takes time to learn how all that stuff works plus when and why you should use any of it according to a particular situation. Bottom line; OL is best used with a laptop literally on-location when you don’t want to lug a big editing workstation with you on a shoot. As is you have all you need right now.

      And currently, I’d hold off on FCP at the moment. For one thing, it doesn’t work with PC’s without some major overhauling of your hardware setup. Lastly, if you want it to work properly you have to get an Apple setup which means all new supporting software to do the same thing which you already have. I don’t know about you, but I would ‘regret’ laying out a buttload of cash for something I technically already paid for. Maybe later when you’ve built up your ‘editing chops’ and you’re looking to learn another system, then by all means go for it.

    • #167622

      Hey Nathan,

      Thank you for replying. I’m definitely having fun and spending some money, but not too bad lol. I got the XL1s for $500 and CS4 was free as a student =) I was planning to use After Effects to edit…is Premier better? If so, why? Will my On Location captures be “correct” if I just want to open them in AE or Premier? Sorry for the barrage of questions, but like the title says…imma super noob.

      PS – What is FCP?

    • #167623


      Thank you also for your info. Apparently we were typing at the same time. I kinda assumed what you said about OL from using it, but wasn’t sure about it. That clears it up a lot for me. So, would you recommend capturing and editing with Premier? What about After Effects?

    • #167624

      Not Composite1, but to answer your question most simply, Premiere is an editor, After Effects, a compositor.  Do you cutting in Premiere, that’s what it’s designed for.

    • #167625

      Ok, thank you. I don’t know what a compositor is, but I did understand that you said do your editing in Premiere.

    • #167626


      Kenkyusha is correct. I’ll go further with you can capture footage with Premiere long as you have firewire with your camera or a VTR (video tape recorder) with either firewire or an RSS 422 (serial) interface. You don’t capture footage with AFX because as Ken mentioned, it’s primarily a compositor (i.e. making composite video imagery via multiple video layers.)

      In answer to your other question, FCP = Final Cut Pro which is the Apple OS based nonlinear editing program designed by the same guy who created Premiere. Hence the many similarities between the two software interfaces and controls. However, FCP for a time was a much more advanced program intended for the professional editor. Now, not so much. Premiere has come a long way and now with it’s near flawless integration with the Adobe Suite, you can create your film from start to finish without ever leaving the Adobe interface. Bottom line; since you are using a PC, FCP isn’t an option for you without a major retrofit of your system or buying an Apple setup outright.

      You’ve got your hands full with what you have right now. Don’t start sweating anything else until you’ve gotten a solid grip on what’s in front of you.

    • #167627

      Hey Nate, I’ve used the Canon XL1s for years with Adobe’s Premiere Pro (CS3)… All you need to do is plug your camera into your computer using firewire, start up Premiere Pro, go to “File” then “Capture”, a window will pop up which will be your monitor from which you will be able to view your footage from your camera. You’ll will see button controls which you can use to control your camera’s play/rewind/fast forwar/record/stop etc… or you can still use those same functions on your camera. Locate what footage you want captured and select the “Record” button (red button) on your software to start capturing. when you are satisfied with what was captured, select the stop button. You will be prompted to name your footage or keep what Premiere has named it (usually will say something like “untitled 01.avi” You can just type over it and call that piece of captured video whatever you want. Select “OK” and it will send you’re footage to the bin to the left where all of your captured footage will be immediately available to use. Now just select it and drag it to your timeline, from there it’s all up to you on how you want to slice it up and edit it. Have Fun!!! Premiere Pro is a Non-Linear Editing Software (NLE) Final Cut Pro (FCP) is the same but made by Apple. Premiere Pro’s CS5.5 is the latest software out and is an awesome program to date, with it’s new engine and all. I will be updating to CS5.5

    • #167628

      There’s a lot of good advice here. The only thing I want to add is that if you’re new to video production please don’t spend another dime on a camera, computer or software until you find that it just isn’t doing what you need it to do anymore.

      The XL-1s is a great DV camera. It is only standard definition but it will help you learn camera basics. Don’t be satisfied with turning your dial to green and always shooting that way. Play with it. It has wonderful manual controls forshutter, aperature, gain, white balance, audio etc.Up until it was replaced by the XL-2 in 2004,the XL-1s was Canon’s top of the line prosumer camera and it’s still a great learning camera for today.

      DV might not look awesome on your 50″ HDTV,butit looks just fine on youtube.

      Secondly, ANY version of Premiere will edit your DV footage and offer a wide variety of transitions, color controls, special effects, etc.

      Think about the movies you watch, though. How many of them are chock full of fancy bells and whistles? Almost none. Since you’re doing music videos you have the freedom to play around with that stuff more. But don’t go out and spend money to update your adobe software or worse yet – buy FCP and a new Mac just because someone says it’s the best. (It’s actually a matter of opinion.) You have what you need. At least for now.

      When you do feel like you’re ready to spend a little money, think about your audio gear. The XL line has a great on-camera mic for general audio, but agood wireless mic will get you better audio at it’s source and last you through your next three camera purchases if not beyond.

      People forget that sound is possibly even more important than your video quality. They’ll forgive your DV footage but bad audio is just bad.

      Oh, one last thought – DV footage runs about 13gb an hour so 10+gb for your 54 minutes sounds about right.

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