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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
For VIXIA / LEGRIA Series (HF G, HF S, HF and HV) consumer camcorders.


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Old May 14th, 2007, 07:46 PM   #1
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Please help the Newbie!

Hey All,

OK...just got the HV20. I don't know much about filming, editing or fine tuning my video's. I read through the FAQ's but still have many questions.
I'll just list them and hopefully someone can answer some or all of them.

What's the best file format to capture the video from camera to PC? (Mpeg2, AVI, M2T)

Is there any special hardware I should look into for the PC. My PC has good specs as is but I don't know if I need a special HD capture card or a card with HDMI in.

What program is best for a newbie to use to capture, edit, and burn to Blu-Ray? Hopefully one program can do all. I have Cyberlink Producer but can't seem to find a way to make Menu's for the Blu-Ray disc and don't even know if this is a good program to use. I've made DVD's before (with a few different programs) with video from a SD camera so I have some idea how to do basic editing.

When should I be using the 24p mode?

What is Pull down and why do I need to remove it and how is it best to do so?

Ok...that's a few to start...please answer in layman's terms. :)


Thanks!


Mike
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Old May 14th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #2
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Hi
I am a newbie too! still I would try to help with some of your questions.
1) to capture in computer from the stuff already taped you dont need any extra hardwire ( considering you have a firewire/iee1394 port).
2) I would go for m2t capture while capturing and then converting to some other format later.
3) You can have an HDMI capture card (though there are some issues it seems) if you want to bypass HDV compression ( it has been discussed at length in this forum in another thread; just do a search).
4) 24p footage can be captured and probably look better at low light and scenes where there is less motion else it might look jittery!

Hope more experienced people will hop in later to give you more suggestions!
Enjoy your cam!!

Ajit B.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 08:32 PM   #3
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Oh and about pulldown removal .. its a multistep process at the moment as most of the NLE's cannot do it without flag. (also discussed in another thread!)
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Old May 14th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #4
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1. What video capture/editing software do you currently have?

When you capture the video from you HV20's tape to your computer you set your capture software to "capture HDV" and if the software's smart enough it should take care of it. This will leave you with a M2T file. It's the exact same thing that's on the tape you shot. It's mpeg2, but of a different flavor of mpeg2 then what you would find on a DVD for example. You're basically just transferring what footage you shot to your computer. As a tip, only shoot in one mode per tape. Pick 60i or 24p mode. Don't switch back and forth on the same tape. Makes things easier.

If you want, you can buy an HDMI input card from Black Magic. It's called the Intensity. You don't need it, but if you're looking for best quality footage, and do a lot of shooting next to your PC (you need to be plugged in while you shoot to retain this higher quality). Depends on your needs and budget.

So, to answer your question, as long as you have a firewire port on your PC you should be good to go for starting.

2. I would recommend shooting in 24p all the time. Doesn't mean you need to use it, but it's there saved on tape so you can go back and extract it if you need it.

So pulldown can be a bit to wrap your head around when your first learning it.
In layman's terms, it's this... Say you decide you want to shoot in 24p mode. Now the camera does what's called pulldown. It' 'slices' up the 24p frames and hides them in the 60i recording on the tape. So you've got a 60i recording with 24p 'hidden' within that recording. Now to get those 24p frames back what you need to do is 'extract' them from the 60i recording. This is called reverse pulldown. At this point you have some options to do the pulldown and get your 24p frames back. It depends what software you have. Hence, why I asked what software you have. But, if you've got the money, and don't want to mess around, I highly recommend a company called Cineform. They have a software product that will do the pulldown for you with a few simple button pushes. It's fast and easy and saves you a lot of time.

3. Do you have a BluRay burner?

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 software has been announced to support BluRay burning but it hasn't been released yet. Other than that, I'm not sure about software. I don't have a BluRay burner myself.
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Old May 14th, 2007, 10:16 PM   #5
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If you want menus and such on bluray... then you need to get DVDit PRO.
There are other programs that allow bluray but not with the menus...

Dvsplit is a program you can use to get the footage from the camera to the PC. And as mentioned, cineform does a great job and it will take the m2t file and create an AVI file that is non compressed for your editor to work with.

Bluray writers would be nice, but they aren't necessary... you can put the footage on a standard DVD as a data file and it will playback on most bluray players.
of course there are no menus and the length of footage is shorter than bluray disks....

Last edited by Ray Bell; May 15th, 2007 at 08:11 AM.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 04:21 PM   #6
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Thanks Derek

Thanks for some of the clearest and most precise anwers I've seen on these forums Derek. I really never understood what was going on with 24P. Did I hear the 24P mode slight fogs the video to create a more filmlike look? I guess I really don't want to experiment with it until I can afford an automated pulldown workflow. I'm not much on creating an extensive workflow. Just working through the editor and rendering a video file in the format I need is about enough work for me. I've got Studio 10.7. I had been working with Studio 9 until 10 was doable. I purchased and played with a lowend vegas and element last year but found them pretty tough to accomplish the same things I was doing in Studio so I never really broke through to the level of expertise I needed to be at with either of them. I hear Premier is really tough to work with. I have heard so much good about Vegas 6 & 7 that I will probably wind up purchasing 7. Hopefully after spending almost $500 on it, it won't find it's way to the shelf.

Anyway thanks for focusing so clearly on the questions that were asked.
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Old May 15th, 2007, 10:44 PM   #7
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Thanks for the great info!

So...Pulldown will only come into play when I shoot in 24p.

The software I use now is Cyberlink Power Producer. It came with my Blu-Ray burner but is very limited in funtionality. I have also tried Roxio, Pinnacale Studio, Adobe elements and a few others. I would like to try DVDit! Pro as was mentioned except I can't find a trial version and the price is way to high to take a chance on a program I have not tried out. I'm sure I'll have a dozen more questions over the next few weeks so please bare with me.

Thanks again everyone for all the help!

Mike
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 08:05 PM   #8
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Ok...I'm Back

Just bought DVDit Pro HD. OK..It does menus but not scene detection or transition effects. Should I do these in another program? If so, what file format should I save it as/export as for best quality to import back into DVDit Pro HD for Blu-Ray burning? Will this process cause me to lose quality at all?

DVDit Pro HD does not capture from the camera. It also does not give m2t as a file format import option. I can change the file extension of an m2t to m2v and it imports. Any disadvantages to this 'Cheat'? It imports AVI, mpg fine but warns that it is not Blu-Ray compliant.

What is the next best file format to work with?

Thanks!

Mike
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Old May 23rd, 2007, 08:29 PM   #9
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Some of your questions can be answered over in the Roxio DVDit HDPRO forum....

http://forums.support.roxio.com/inde...howtopic=21049

DVsplit is a free program that can be used to pull the video off of the camera and has scene detection, the files come as m2t.

Some also use Cineform, this program can be used to also pull the video off of the camera and also has scene detection and 24P pulldown and it converts the file m2t to an AVI format that is much easier to edit.

What editor are you going to use???

Most of the time its best to let the DVD application, in your case DVDit, to actually perform the compression of the AVI file for the best quality.
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Old May 25th, 2007, 03:59 PM   #10
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I used HDV Split but DVDit Pro HD didn't recognize the m2t files. I changed the extension to m2v and it was fine.

I'll probably use Pinnacle Studio 10 to make the movie with the transitions (export to what file format to use in DVDit Pro HD? AVI, mpeg2, or mpeg4?)
Then I'll take that renderfed file to DVDit Pro hd and add menues and chapters and burn to Blu-Ray. Am I trashing the HDV quality at this point?

Am I best just making the video without transitions and using only DVDit Pro HD. The menu feature works great. I am very dissapointed that Sonic left out transitions. Seems there is no real one program solution to Capture, edit (with Menus and transitions), and burn to Blu-Ray.

In order of preference:
I am looking to get highest quality video first, then menus, then transitions all burned to Blu-ray. Am I really asking too much?? :)


Thanks!


Mike
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Old May 25th, 2007, 04:43 PM   #11
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I'm sorry, but i can't find this question anywhere.... is there a way to capture 24P directly to a hard disk with the Canon HV20? If you can avoid compression, tapes and pulldown it seems like this is the consumer camera to get.
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Old February 29th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #12
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HI,

Any updates to to the Blu-Ray disc creation software process. I'm still looking for the simpilest solution with the least programs involved to capture edit and burn to Blu-ray. I'm suprised if by now there is not a single program solution. I have used so many different burning, capturing, editing, effects software that I forget which does which best. Regular DVD's where so much easier. One program did it all.


Sigh...


Mike
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 05:10 AM   #13
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Hi Michael,

Unfortunately the only programs that "do it all" are not going to yield very high quality results. They are made to make it easy so that someone can just capture their videos, press a few keys on their computers and then get a disk out.

From my experience the least number of programs you should use to get good results would be three; a video editing program like Premier or Sony Vegas (which is the one I use), a DVD authoring program, and a graphics editing program like Photoshop. All your editing, transitions, titles, special FXs, and color correction should be done in your editing program. If you want to get the best looking videos you should also render your video to your final DVD compliant format. For BR or SD DVDs they will be some form of MPEG video. All still assets should be edited, color corrected (including making sure that they are withing ntsc or pal legal limits) in a program such as photoshop. Then use your DVD authoring (DVDit Pro) to set up your menus, and author the final DVD. The reason I wouldn't let the Authoring software render the video is becuase you usually don't have as much control over the settings.

As far as shooting in 24p vs 60i (for the HV20) it really depends on what you are trying to show artistically. 24p give a more "film like" feel in the way it portrays movement. Somebody above mentioned that they thought that 24p gave a slight fog over the video. I'm not sure what they meant by "fogs" over the video but it actually doesn't. The difference can best be thought of as the difference between watching a movie on tv vs. watching a sporting event. It is true that in low light 24p can have advantages but this is only because it allows you to shoot at a slightly slower shutter speed. Usually you won't want to go lower than 1/48th of a second if you shoot 24p and if your shooting 60i you usually won't go bellow 1/60th. However, in high motion situations, 24p will not look sharp or crisp for those things that are moving. 24p does introduce the pull down removal as well as having to render correctly so that it will play correctly on a televison (remember that older TV's play 60i, most DVD players look for two flags on the disc that tell it what the frame rate is and whether it is progressive or interlaced).
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Old March 2nd, 2008, 05:17 AM   #14
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Hi Steve,

I think if you live capture from HDMI you may get uncompressed vidoe which would mean that whatever your software can capture to would determine if you get pulldown or not. I've got the HV20 and the HX A1 and I use Cineform to capture form both cameras. There really isn't any more problem captureing from the HV20, you only have to toggle one switch (the A1 captures in 24F which essentially is 24p without the pull down). The Cineform guys may be able to answer your question more definately.
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