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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old April 3rd, 2008, 02:53 PM   #1
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Editing HDV footage from XH A1

Hi.
I would very much appreciate recommendations, thoughts, input on the best systems to use for editing (and capturing) hdv footage from an XH A1.

If I go windows, which is the best software (Premier, Vegas, Edius, etc.) and how much system horsepower do I need?

Or is going mac/fcp really the best way to go and if so how much horsepower do I need on a mac system?

Thanks!

Jonathan
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:26 PM   #2
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I would start by visiting the High Def Video Editing solutions forum (link below) and filtering through peoples opinions there. Your question really is geared toward editing HDV footage and the A1 should be somewhat irrelevant in your decision for an NLE. You will find people who have had problems and successes with both getting their A1 setup on a Mac or PC.

I personally use PC with Premiere and it works great. Only complaint is lack of embedded timecode in Premiere Capture, and there are solutions/workarounds out there for that. As far as performance, its great on a quad core. :)

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=63
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 03:46 PM   #3
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As far as performance, its great on a quad core. :)

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/forumdisplay.php?f=63
1st of all, Luke, what isn't great on a quad core? Haha.

As for the real topic though, I am a mac user. I switched from PC about 2 years ago and have never looked back. The hardware is pricier, however I don't think the service that goes with it is without value. One myth that should be dissolved from mind is that macs never crash. While it is true that very, very seldom does the OS crash but I've had almost all of my FC studio applications crash at some point or another. So don't expect perfect stability, however I have found it to be exponentially more stable than the PC. I find the integration within the FC studio to be exceptional. Nothing like I ever used on PC. If I was given a budget to buy a new editing setup, I would go mac many times again.

As far as horsepower to edit HD, I am using a 2.4 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo MBP with 2BG ram. I can run FC studio quite well for my purposes and it edits my A1 footage very well thus far. Sure, it takes 15 seconds to render some things, but I'm frankly not in any huge hurry. All my filming is for recreation. If i were making the Fox nightly news, sure I'd want more ram and a faster processer (it takes a TON of RAM to edit that in the "far and balanced" portions, hehe). I know people who edit HD in FCP on a macbook. Obviously, the video card sucks (motherboard), the screen is tiny, but it gets the job done. I feel like at some point, you have enough power, and from there it just comes down to patience and budget. If I had 15K burning a hole in my pocket, sure I'd be on a G5 with dual processor quad cores, maybe 16 GB ram, a few terabytes of storage and 4 graphics cards for good measure. But I don't, and my MBP works great for me.

My advice is to go to a mac store, try out different computers editing HD footage. Most of the computers are loaded up with all sorts of demos you can mess with.

Best of luck!
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:03 PM   #4
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My advice is to go to a mac store, try out different computers editing HD footage. Most of the computers are loaded up with all sorts of demos you can mess with.
Being a PC User, this is something I must admit about Apples, which is a very nice thing about Mac Stores.. The marketing of their products and the ability to test before buying. It is hard to find a "PC Store" that carries different NLE's or any at all with the exception of Windows Movie Maker. :) I try to be as non-bias about this as much as possible because it is really all about the final product of your video and you can get fairly equal results with both. :)
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:05 PM   #5
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Although I use all of the standard PC NLEs, I have found a relatively little known NLE that, for the most part, blows all of the others away in flexibility and speed. The NLE is Newtek's SpeedEdit. I've been using it for about two months now (with my A1 and other cameras) and frankly, I have not found a need to go back to the other NLEs.

One nice thing is that there isn't any rendering necessary. Another plus is resolution and format independence - which means you can place DV, HDV, .mov, .avi., flv, etc all on the same timeline and edit them in realtime as if they were all the same resolution and format.

With the A1 it captures the footage in .m2t format.

You might want to check it out while you're deciding on which direction to go.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:14 PM   #6
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The NLE is Newtek's SpeedEdit.
Very cool!!! I thought i had heard of all editors by now but I have never heard of this before and I am a big fan of not waiting for render times. (premiere's other minor annoyance) :) I was expecting a lower price than $495 for something that isn't necessarily "mainstream".

Not to stray from the subject at hand too much, but what NLE did you come from before you switched?
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 04:52 PM   #7
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You can get an Achedmic discount from B&H. Then the price is only $295.

I have been using Edius Pro and Premier Pro CS3 most recently.

Don't let the fact that it isn't "mainstream" fool you. This is a nice piece of software. The current version is 1.5.1 and version 2.0 is expected out soon.

Newtek has been around for a long time - they pretty much created the first affordable video editing hardware for a PC "The Video toaster" Linear Editor and the Toaster Flyer NLE - first for the Amiga computer, and later for the PC.

One downside is that other than directly from Newtek or BobFX, you won't find a lot of plugins for this NLE. However, it pretty much does just about anything you'd expect with out the need for plugins (e.g., Keying (chroma and alpha), Motion tracking (to stabalize the image or create shaky cam effects, Color Correction, video / audio filters, DVE's, CG animation, etc.)

Also, you can edit using a storyboard method or timeline or both simultaneously. There is a little bit of a learning curve because it is laid out differently...but once you get your arms around it, it's very powerful.

Some things that Speed Edit doesn't do as well is Slowmotion. It doesn't use interpolated slo-mo, just adds additional frames so it's not as smooth as interpolated. I'm hoping they fix that in version 2). Also, it doesn't have true 5.1 surround sound (although it does use a virtual method that's not too shabby). Again, I'm hoping they fix that in ver 2.

It would be nice if you could find a local distributor so you can test drive it.

Anyway, I just offer it up as another option. You need to find what works best for what you intend to do.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 05:48 PM   #8
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And i thank marcel for letting me know about this editing solution as well. i have 35 hours of alaska, washington state scenic and wildlife footage that i have been waiting to get at. i didnt own a powerful enough computer to run cineform and pp3 etc. marcel introduced me to speed edit, and i have since contacted the company on line.

richard has been a tech with speededit for several months now, but has been involved with abc and other network broadcasters, including doing news editing on hurricanes. he spent almost two hours with me on line demonstrating the features, and it is incredibly easy. the anti shake only had a zoom feature, but he stated the limits of the program would maintain a resolution of pixels that would be the same even loosing 15% of the screen? i am not sure how that works...but the effects he showed me were incredible.

i am ordering a copy, and am thankful i waited, not having to go pp3 and cineform, an expensive set of software. it seems much easier to learn than what i saw in my brief expsoure to pp3 and vegus.

And the tech did all the technical aspects on hdv by internet connection, with a $700 Dell computer.

Last edited by William Boehm; April 3rd, 2008 at 05:50 PM. Reason: poor sentance structure
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:03 PM   #9
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I currently use Edius Pro Broadcast and whiz right through the A1 footage. I also have FCP and Premiere but hardly ever use them. I recommend downloading demos of all the NLE's and see what works best for your workflow.
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Old April 3rd, 2008, 06:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
richard has been a tech with speededit for several months now, but has been involved with abc and other network broadcasters, including doing news editing on hurricanes. he spent almost two hours with me on line demonstrating the features, and it is incredibly easy. the anti shake only had a zoom feature, but he stated the limits of the program would maintain a resolution of pixels that would be the same even loosing 15% of the screen? i am not sure how that works...but the effects he showed me were incredible.
I met a Richard at a recent Newtek Red Carpet Tour (maybe the same guy?) and he is very helpful and knows the application well. I'm glad you found a solution that will work for you, William.
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