Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Cameras and Camcorders › Other Camcorders › URGENT Christmas buying help on camcorder and editing software
December 16, 2009 at 8:26 PM #43162billZParticipant
I am a newbie looking for some help.
I amlooking to get a camcorder and some editing software for my teenage daughter. She has been making do with a little sure shot and has made some cute videos. She has a pc running Vista and is using the limited video software that comes with it.
I was considering Magix Video proX and a camera in the 300-500 range. Do I have to get mini DV, or can I go with a flash or some other other memory and still get easy upload and editing? I want relative ease of use for both, firewire plus USB, and longish batt life.
What kind of camera/software to do you recommend? And, I need help quickly as Xmas is HERE!! Thanks.
December 16, 2009 at 11:51 PM #180881XTR-91Participant
I’d say that you must first understand general characteristics of camcorder recording mediums. MiniDV records in the simplets video format (yet the highest initial quality) of DV-AVI, which is the most universal of all formats in terms of compatibility with editing software. Importing your clips via Firewire which will probably be the most cumbersome of all your worries. HDD (hard disk drive) camcorders generally allow the longest recording time due to their large capacity, yet they are ultra-compact. Flash memory camcorders use separately purchased SDHC memory cards (some camcorders include them). The recording time, however, doesn’t extend very high until you start purchasing the 16 GB or higher memory cards that currently aren’t the cheapest things to buy. You should also realize that all non-tape mediums record MPEG-2, H.264 (AVC), or AVCHD (if it’s High-Definition). Depending on the type of editing capabilities, your software will need to support the proprietary format.
If you’re using Windows Movie Maker or iMovie, then I’d purchase a MiniDV camcorder in order to save extra bucks on a video converter. DV is the oldest facet of video camcorders, but WILL give you the least of headache in terms of easy editing/uploading. If your consumer software supports non-tape formats, you will probably have more of a slow time editing than it’s actually worth. As with editing software, there’s plenty of cheap options around, such as AVS Video Editor, Cyberlink PowerDirector (a great advanced option for consumers). Also check out chrisColorado’s blog that shows a list of free software available – http://videomaker.com/community/blogs/freeware/about/
There’s plenty of good, cheap, and reliable MiniDV camcorders around that will satisfy your basic purpose. Have you checked Google?
December 17, 2009 at 1:49 AM #180882billZParticipant
Thanks so much.
As to software, I don’t like downloads (no AVS) and PowerDir got some awful reviews. If I were to spend somewhat more, what would be the next step up for reliable and reasonably featured editing software? Also, the software needs to easily adjust file size for youtube uploads.
December 17, 2009 at 3:14 AM #180883AnonymousInactive
Try looking into the Sony Vegas Family. I use the PRO vesion, but i am sure one of the others would work just great. I would go with the Movie Studio, because even though it is cheap, it comes with some great features. here the link to sony’s website.
Another option is Premiere Elements. I have never used it before, but from what i hear, it is a great piece of software. This one comes with a basic version ofPhotoshop, that is a must have (in my opinion). I havePhotoshopCS4 in my pc and I use it all the time with Vegas.
I would not worry about a DVD burningsoftware. Windows Vista, as well aswindows7 comes with the DVD Maker (go to start, all programs, and it should be somewhere in thebeginningof the list). Most people oversee this littlesoftware, but i just love it and use all the time. It is pathetically easy to use, you can customize your menus with music and stuff, and there several templates to chose from. The endresult: A clean, fancy menu that amazes people the moment they put the dvd on the player.
I hope this helps!
From a fellow videomaker,
December 17, 2009 at 3:36 AM #180884XTR-91Participant
If you’re willing to go the same route as far as the budget goes, then I’d look into getting something such as Adobe Premiere Elements. PowerDirector isn’t bad software by its reviews – the speed of editing MPEG-2 was horrible, though,compared to my experience with Sony Vegas Pro 9.
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