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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
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Old August 24th, 2005, 11:24 PM   #1
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Quickest way to make dvd's from XL2, Sennheiser with Dan Gibson Parabolic Mike

Am buying a XL2 tomorrow for the pimary purpose of shooting High School football. Am considering buying the firestore FS4 to go with it. I want to burn dvd's as quickly as possible after the shoot to give the coach a copy. Editing the tape doesn't matter. Currently I do not have a video editing program. What is the quickest way? Also will be buying a Dan Gibson parabolic microphone and Sennheiser wireless mikes. Has anyone used this setup who could give me any tips?
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Old August 25th, 2005, 12:55 AM   #2
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Welcome to the world of the XL2. I hope you enjoy your stay. I love mine although its kinda my baby, so personally I wouldn't put myself someplace where I might be tackled on the sideline and end up with an LCD screen for an eyeball.

Back to your question - I guess if you are not going to do any editing and you are looking for the quickest way to get your footage to a DVD, you might consider getting a Mac - it doesn't even really have to be a top end, a Mac mini will do so long as it comes with the Superdrive. Every new Mac will come installed with iMovie and iDVD, both very capable applications within certain limits. For real 'pro' level work and image control, you will need something meatier, but in your case, the newest iMovie comes with a feature called 'Magic iMovie' (cue laughter from the pro's). I've never used the magic feature (yet) but theoretcally, it will automatically rewind your dv tape (in camera) and begin importing your footage into iMovie. Then, it will choose it's own transistions between scene breaks from a set list of standards, add titles based on minimal input from you, and then send the finished product to iDVD where you will have to put in a few minimal 'suggestions', whereby iDVD will prompt you for a DVD blank, and it will then burn (usually after several hours of rendering depending upon and complexity of your footage and the amount of RAM on board) The newest crop of mini's come with 512 mb of RAM which is 'just enough' to do all of this.

With a mini, you will still need a mouse, keyboard and monitor, but if you already have these from another computer laying around, you should be good to go.

Theoretically, if you come home from the game with an hour and half of footage (or whatever) it will basically take you that long to import into the computer as a 1 to 1 ratio. Then let magic iMovie do it's thing. When it prompts you for a DVD blank, put it in and go to bed (it could take 4 to 6 hours or so) In the morning, if you want to make more copies, just trade out a new blank before closing the project, it just has to burn at this point.

So basically you could hand the coach a finished DVD the next morning and he will think you are pretty cool for a tech geek on the sideline, although not as much as one his 260 lb star players. (That's just the way it is with the A/V students)

I honestly can't say if this setup will work with the Firestore so someone else will have to sound in.

Other systems and applications are more complex and very much more powerful, but for your stated purposes, I think you will find this to be perfectly competent and stable and will produce widely compatible results. (especially if you choose DVD-R's instead of +R's)

If you have lots of cash, you could just get a speedy desktop with a 16x DVD burner, then all the later stuff moves more quickly.

Have fun with the XL2
-Jon
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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:24 AM   #3
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The simplist way to end up with a dvd (without computer editing and dvd burning) is buy one of the stand alone dvd recorders. You hook up your xl2 via firewire, set a few simple controls, push record and you're done.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 06:32 AM   #4
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Take a look at this Sony DVD Direct recorder that claims to do what you are trying to do.

And I'll disagree that "for the quickest way to get your footage to a DVD, you might consider getting a Mac ".

A PC with free or inexpensive software will do everything the Mac mini will do. Just use whatever you have initially PC or Mac. Make it a considered decision to switch platforms if you really want to, but you don't have to get a Mac to do what you are trying to do.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 07:13 AM   #5
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Alan,

Another option if you are recording stationary from the press box would be to obtain Canon's free DVPC Recorder software. It works very well for recording directly to your hard drive with ready to edit AVI files. The Sony box that Patrick mentioned also looks like a good bet except for possible playback quality issues. If it's getting up to 6 hrs on a single layer DVD, there is some heavy duty compression going on there. All depends on how much visual quality the coach wants for evaluating the team's performance.

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Old August 25th, 2005, 08:02 AM   #6
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I agree with Patrick and Bruce, the "quickest" way to get unedited footage from camera to DVD is with a stand alone dvd recorder. It'll take an hour to tansfer an hour, exluding button pressing and disc finalising time!.
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Old August 25th, 2005, 09:19 AM   #7
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Firestore FS4

Thanks,
You guys are great! Nobody mentioned the use of the firestore fs4. Is this kit not worth the $1000 for what I want?
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Old August 25th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #8
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the fs4 is really nice...but I couldn't get it to work consistently with my xl2. I bought one , retuned it, got a replaacemnt, and sent it back.Check out the fs4 forum for the explanation of what I found.
Bruce Yarock
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Old August 25th, 2005, 10:52 AM   #9
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The other suggestions presented definately bear merit. As far as Patrick's disagreement with my Mac suggestion, I have to state that I am not attempting to bring up the age-old Mac-PC war - I use both platforms and prefer a Mac, but I don't play that game, hence my suggestion that you "might consider..." simply with all factors considered, I have generally found it to be slightly more "hassle-free".. Patrick is right in suggesting to stick with whatever platform you already know. Just to learn a different environment would not be worth the simpler task you are trying to achieve.

As far as the Direct to Disc recorders that are suggested, that definately sounds to be the easiest since you are not going to edit at all. I was not aware that there were viable firewire equipped options out there...sorry. I just haven't shopped for that type of product as it isn't viable for my work - it sure sounds like a cool, hassle-free option. Can't say much about the firestore though. I sounds like a neat thing, but so far I have read too many complaints about it's trustworthiness with the XL2. If you use one, I have read that it is probably safer to run tape at the same time just to be sure you have your footage on tape as a backup.
-Jon
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