Your next Camcorder?

A forum to share ideas and opinions on the equipment and technical aspects of film, video and AV making.
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

Thanks Dave

I have joined the NLE email group and will log my problem.

In the meantime I have checked the stills that I have used and they are all .jpeg, .bmp or .psd files all of which I have used successfully in Premiere and Encore when working in 4:3.

They were cropped to 1050 x 576 pixels at a resolution of 72 pixels per inch in Photoshop.

I checked them against a template obtained from the following BBC web site:-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/commissioning/tvbr ... size.shtml and they all fitted OK.

This link provides a very interesting summary, (only some of which I understood), but it did help with the question of square and non-square pixels.

Also tried your ‘Interpret footage’ option in Encore at the widescreen setting but the problem of banding persists. (Without any hope of success tried all three options).

Thanks again for your help.

Arthur
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billyfromConsett
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by billyfromConsett »

Is it all of those file-types that Encore won't have?
But if you export the movie as an avi and then put it into Encore as an AVI, Encore surely won't see any stills - only a video image.

Sorry I don't know the app Arthur. I use Sonic MYDVD for making DVD's - it really is decent.
tom hardwick
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by tom hardwick »

If I put jpegs or bitmaps into Premiere Arthur, I invariably use bigger pixel counts than the bare minimum, and find it works well. So in your case I'd go for 1024 x 576 @ 300dpi, something like that.
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

Sorry to be a bit late acknowledging advice but our club, (White Rose (Thirsk) Camcorder Club) were involved in exciting days activity yesterday.

One of our members has spent the last 20 years creating, almost single-handedly, a lake and woodland development which is sufficiently large to appear on Ordnance Survey maps.

After a club visit just over a year ago we decided that we would create a video of his achievement, taking shots throughout the year, to describe the range of flora and fauna he has attracted to the now mature site.

We invited Professor David Bellamy to present the video at a special club session last night. To our delight and amazement he agreed and spent the afternoon visiting the site and the evening viewing the video and making presentations.

Coming from County Durham, close to Professor Bellamy's home I, was given the chauffeur’s job. This pleasure was a little dented by York Radio's request for my presence at an Interview with David Newton, (our industrious club member), to be made live at the lakeside near Easingwold at 8-00am. That went off very well with a telephone link to include Professor Bellamy in the recording.

Having shot back to Durham to start my chauffeuring duties I then returned to the lake with our guest for the tour, dinner and the evening presentation before returning to Durham.

Fortunately the day was an outstanding success and we now have loads of footage to create another video starring our distinguished guest.

David Bellamy was an absolute star all day, putting everyone at their ease and I have never enjoyed a run down and up the A1 as much in my life, the animated conversation keeping fatigue at bay until I collapsed with my glass of wine at home at 10-30 pm.

Getting back to the subject.

Billy: the banding of stills in Encore occurs with all the formats, .jpeg, .bmp and .psd. The .avi file imported from Premiere contains both video and stills. It plays in Premiere but when imported as an asset into Encore exhibits the problem previously described - this at the preview stage before transcoding.

Tonight I have tried with a pixel resolution of 300 pixels per inch and 1024 x 576 pixels as suggested by Tom but the result is the same.

Having received advice here is it still OK to place my problem on the NLE group site?

Thanks for the help so far. I suppose it is this sort of problem that keeps the brain from deteriorating - or accelerates it if no solution is found.

Arthur
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Dave Watterson
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by Dave Watterson »

What a day, Arthur!

Isn't it amazing what broadcast media ask you to do (free) for the sake of a couple of minutes on the air. My guess is that they think mainly of their enormous group of listeners/viewers and so are prepared to ask participants anything. Perhaps we should try thinking that way when making our films: worry less about the inconvenience to the people we ask to help and think more about the hundreds or thousands who will watch the finished film.

It is a real delight to know that personalities like Bellamy are so pleasant off-screen as well as on. Do you remember that Patrick Moore did a scene for Alan Atkinson's film "Extinction Event" a couple of years ago?

I do hope we will see the finished film in due course - perhaps it will come to BIAFF?

It is also a pleasant change to hear that a "GOFER" task for the club was interesting and memorable. Often all we hear are moans about the chores.

---

As for the technical problem ... what I think Billy meant was that if you have put video and stills onto the Premiere timeline and rendered them, then what comes out should be plain video with no difference between what was shot on the camcorder and what was scanned in or shot with a stills camera.

Have you tried using Premiere's "export movie as AVI" option to put a "clean" copy of the film onto your hard disc. If you then close the editing session, re-start Premiere and import that AVI - will it have the stills as they should be??? I do that when I have a video with a lot of edits/transitions and effects ... just in case they hiccup when playing back straight from the edit timeline.

There is no problem about asking the NLE Group for their help at all. Some of them read this forum but others do not. Give them us much detail as you can ... and good luck!

-Dave
tom hardwick
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by tom hardwick »

Of course Arthur - post your query on the NLE email forum. DVDoctor's a good place as well.
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

Thanks for replies.

I normally ‘Export’ as ‘Movie’ in Premiere Pro and then import the resulting .avi file back into Premiere to make sure that it plays OK. This file, (stills and all), works fine in Premiere but when addressed by Encore at the preview stage, (ie before encoding), the stills break up as described.

Before wasting anyone else’s time I will try the universal method of un-installing Encore and re-loading. Just in case some setting deep in the registry has been altered.

The recent experience of Jim Closs as described on the NLE group site could well be repeated here. Is the Adobe reputation for rock solid performance beginning to slip?

Arthur
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

The un-instal / re-instal route did not help so I will post to the NLE group.

Tried to attach an image of a typical banded still to this post but could not work out how to do it!

Thanks for all the help.

Arthur
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Dave Watterson
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by Dave Watterson »

The only way you can put a still here is to put it on a website and link to it ... even then we cannot handle big images.

- Dave
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

Anyone following this thread in the hope of finding a solution to the Encore problem that I have been discussing would be disappointed as the answer came via the AIC NLE group.

The solution was not quite like burying three chicken livers in a south facing garden on the night of the full moon but almost.

Thanks to David Jackson I learned that if I un-ticked the ‘Optimise stills’ box in Premiere then Encore would work satisfactorily and my stills would not suffer the banding problem, and they didn’t.

As is often the case when we are chasing problems, scientific methodology, (ie changing only one variable at a time), tends to be thrown out of the window. Tom Hardwick had previously suggested making the stills all at 300 pixels per inch and matching the number of pixels to the widescreen size I was using. I did this and it didn’t solve the problem but I suspect that if I had not done so then the later solution may not have worked.

Thanking everyone for their help.

Arthur
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

With 8030 views the “Your next Camcorder?” thread clearly shows what is taxing the minds of forum visitors.

I have spent the last few weeks looking at the opinions and advice available on the forum and elsewhere whilst trying unsuccessfully to unlock the secrets of Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus. More on this later.

The technology is in a state of flux, not just camcorders but also computer processors and video editing software and it is difficult to disentangle the interweaving influences. It appears to me that you cannot make any choice without considering all the factors.

Without repeating what I have already written on this thread my conclusion is as follows:-

1. Camcorders will in the future be high definition and record to solid state devices. But we are not there yet.

2. Solid state devices require a high level of compression and a high level of compression requires a powerful processor to reverse the process for editing and also to handle the extra data involved in high definition as opposed to standard definition.

3. Until bluray players are as common as DVD players are now there is not much point in distributing your output in this format as no one will be able to watch it. If you cannot distribute in HD then what is the point of editing in this format?

4. High definition TV is with us but moving slowly, (in terms of the number of channels available to view). Until HD TV begins to accelerate then bluray players will be equally slow to become popular.

5. I have therefore decided to record in high definition to mini-DV tape and to edit in standard definition and distribute in widescreen DVD. (The argument over 4:3 as opposed to 16:9 has already been decided by the market).

6. This decision means that I do not need to replace my two year old PC until it reaches the end of its normal lifespan and I do not need to upgrade my editing software.

7. The question of editing software is still causing a headache. The Magix/ Premiere Elements/ Studio, sub £100 level systems, all claim to edit in high definition and with a sufficiently powerful PC they may well do so. However if my brush with Magix is anything to go by the learning curve is precipitous. (The many on-line tutorials are heralded as an inducement to buy but I found them repetitive and of little use to the beginner wrestling with basics ‘settings’). On the other hand the enthusiast level of software, (ie Premiere Pro and it’s equivalents), are getting outrageously expensive for the new starter and a bit of a drain on those who have followed the upgrade route).

8. Conclusion. I will stay with my present hardware and software but archive my footage in HD on mini-DV tape. I may consider upgrading my editing system but that is a small investment when set alongside the hardware upgrade otherwise required. (My wife at least is delighted at the clarity and ultimate destination of my logic).

I would very much welcome comments on my analysis and correction if I have got it wrong.

Arthur
tom hardwick
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by tom hardwick »

[quote="ADBest"]Until bluray players are as common as DVD players are now there is not much point in distributing your output in this format as no one will be able to watch it. If you cannot distribute in HD then what is the point of editing in this format?[/quote]

The point is that all your films will look at their best when replayed off your Blu-ray player into your 1080p TV. But I agree - distribution to the masses means printing something they can actually read, and the ubiquitous DVD has certainly claimed that market slot.

Best thing is that if the client actually has an HD-DVD or Blu-ray player it'll automatically upscale the DVD on the fly.

tom.
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billyfromConsett
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by billyfromConsett »

That's a good point Tom - about bluray players upscaling standard def movies. That's good news for all of our back catalogues.

I'll wait until bluray burners come down in price before using the format, and until then I'll use miniDV for the HDV format.

Re editors - I like CS4, and Sony Vegas for hi def.
ned c
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ned c »

1. Solid state recording is here and established. The Panasonic professional P2 system has been around for about 4 years now joined by the Sony SxS solid state recording. Recording to SDHC cards for n-c movie makers is well established and is also in use in the Panasonic AVCCAM professional cameras and the new JVC cameras. For low budget/n-c movie makers recording to SDHC cards is well established. (there is a review of solid state recording at www.ampsvideo.com see Tapeless Recording)

2. Agreed, a powerful computer is required to handle the HD/HDV CoDec.

3. Continue to edit in HD and create an HD master; this will be available for future printing to Blu-Ray. There are a number of programs that will create Blu-Ray compatible HD discs using the AVCHD CoDec on standard blank DVDs; there is a time limit, about 20 minutes, but this is often the limit at which we work. The sales of Blu-Ray players is price dependent and we expect $100 players on sale here before the end of the year. There are SD DVD players that line double with superb results. Here in the uSA the cheaper the player the more capable it is, I recently bought a DVD player for $30 in the local food supermarket that line doubles, plays both NTSC and PAL, with component and HDMI connection!!!

4. I currently receive about 30 HD channels, but this is all satellite subscription. However, the main networks here are now transmittimg in HD.

5/6. Fine.

7. I have no experience of Magix, however I do have Vegas Studio Platinum v9 on a PC, this is a sub $100 program and works very well with HDV. My PC is quite old, single processor, Windows XP, 1 GB RAM, playback of the time line stutters but I can edit and print. I am sure that with a current PC, dual processor and 4 GB RAM this would be improved. My main editing is on a Mac using FCP 7 and FC Express 4HD; plus the incredible iMovie 9 which is now an amazingly powerful program. Everything I do can be done on FC Express ($199) but for other reasons I have to have FCP. The new iMac with 27 inch screen and 8 GB RAM with FC Express would make a superb editing machine.

8. Seems a wise move, but have a look at the downloadable test versions of the lower cost edit software, I don't know what hardware you are using but a RAM upgrade is not too expensive and will often boost perfromance.

ned c
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ADBest
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Re: Your next Camcorder?

Post by ADBest »

Thanks for the comments on my soul searching on the subject of camcorder selection. There is of course no one solution suitable for everyone, it depends where in the spectrum of camcorder users you lie.

I set out to decide on a new camcorder for myself and the subject then exploded into a consideration of the pace of change in the whole process from camcorder through editing to presentation on TV screen or projector.

If any potential new member walks through the door on a club night and says, “which camcorder should I buy?”, then I think I could now give a sensible answer.

Ned c has made a carefully considered presentation of the alternative to my choice but I know from other threads on this forum that he is many rungs above me in experience and the application of the technology. Those in this country in a similar position should carefully consider his comments. They should however bear in mind that he speaks from the perspective of a citizen of the United States where the available technology is in advance of our own and considerably cheaper. New equipment created in Japan and the USA is released in those countries in advance of its release here and the whole marketing development of launch and progressive reduction in price is out of phase with UK experience. Prices of both hardware and software are generally converted to pounds sterling at the rate of $1 to £1. This means we pay 65% more here than in the States for the same technology and we get it later.

Nevertheless it has been an interesting discussion and I have learned a great deal.

Thanks again.

Arthur
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