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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 20th, 2009, 07:03 AM   #1
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Software and computer requirements ?

I just got an XH A1s. I have had 5 video cameras in my life, but this one is the most challenging. That's okay, I'm having fun learning and I'm very impressed with my camera's capabilities. I have an iMac with 1G of ram, 200G hard drive, 500G external hd, 2Ghz Intel core duo processor. My only software is the iMovie HD program which worked fine for SD. When I try to capture HDV, my computer just can't keep up. It slows down to the point where I swear it may take 2 days to get 60min of footage. I am thinking that my computer is inadequate. I know I need better software, but not sure I want the complexity of Final Cut Pro. There's probably a thousand opinions on this but I'm all ears.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #2
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I don't use a Mac, but maybe you can draw the parallels to my PC experiences. I had a 2gHz Core 2 Duo laptop with 2GB of RAM that could do SD editing with Premier Pro pretty well. However, it couldn't deal effectively with HDV from my XH A1. It could capture, but editing was painful.

Flash forward to my Quad Core 6600 2.4gHz with 4GB of RAM and life is good. Not only is editing nearly effortless, but adding effects and grading are not a problem, and rendering times are realistic and on par with what I was doing with SD on a desktop about 3-4 years ago.

Your computer is too anemic for HDV. If you search these lists you will find a number of recommended configurations for Macs. I'd suggest you do a search to get you started.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 10:43 AM   #3
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Thanks Tripp ! You are telling me what I thought was true. Of course, I want to be able to handle 24f and 30f frame rates too. I have to decide if I'm staying with Mac or switching to PC. Mac has their Final Cut Express which is better for me, but I haven't figured out yet whether it handles all three frame rates.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #4
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This thread should be moved to Non-Linear Editing on the Mac forum on DVINFO. You will be swarmed with help.

No need to switch Macs or to a PC. Your system is fine and will work fine for HDV. Are there faster machines? Sure.

Your post indicates something odd. Capturing HDV footage is the same as DV footage. If you have 60 minutes of footage, it will take 60 minutes. Something's wrong. Your computer's performance affects rendering time not capture time.

Final Cut Express is the next step up in editors on the Mac. It handles HDV just fine and has plenty of functionality that will keep you learning for a couple years.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #5
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Try capturing with Quick Time. I didn't know you could do it, but it is what I use now.
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Old April 20th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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Thanks guys. I'm going to pursue this some more on the Mac forum that Les mentioned.
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