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Old February 17th, 2009, 02:22 PM   #1
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What would you use to......

What if you were going to go to a remote location, home, some event or business whatever, and film for 1 - 1.5 hours and end up with maybe 45 minutes to 1 hour of footage.

You take that footage and drop into editing software that already has title and intro stuff on it for this project. Make quick trims as needed, but basically the entire shoot is dumped in. The only transitions are in the beginning and end. Audio is used, but near the camera.

Turn this product into a SD DVD that was pre-labeled, either litescribe or printed, then collect your fee.

Given that work flow, what hardware and software would work out. I currently have a Sony SR11 camera , but a new camera is not out of the question. Given the quick turn around I am thinking AVCHD is a good format for capture in.

Camera, computer, editing software, DVD burner, printer or lightscribe burner. I would really like to hear your opinion.
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Old February 17th, 2009, 03:49 PM   #2
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The problem with this type of "which is best" question is that you'll get tons of answers from across the spectrum with nothing definitive to gauge which way to go.

The issue with AVCHD is that it currently does take more computing horsepower than even some HDV codecs so depending on what NLE you're working with this might either be a non-starter or a non-issue.

The camera you've selected is fine for general video work however the lack of manual controls will become limiting when you need to take control over certain lighting and subject scenarios. Without knowing what the subject type or content is that you're intending to shoot there's no way to gauge whether or not the camera you have would work just fine or if indeed you'd need to step up to something with full manual controls.

As I always recommend for these types of questions my best advice is to get with one of the forum sponsors (preferably in your area or close to you) who can consult directly with you on what you're trying to accomplish and make recommendations for a turn-key solution.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 06:13 PM   #3
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The easiest way would be to shoot in SD. In fact a DV camera would work well, except for the fact that you'd have to capture from tape (instead of ingesting from a card). You'd save quite a bit of time not having to deal with going from HD to SD.

Also, make sure you decide in advance whether you want the DVD's to be progressive or interlaced and shoot/edit accordingly.

Sorry I can't be more specific but I only have experience with Sony EX3 and Canon XL1-S cameras and Final Cut Pro/DVD Studio Pro work flow. :)
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Old February 19th, 2009, 07:04 AM   #4
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Shoot to something like a Firestore, or direct to laptop.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 04:44 PM   #5
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Of course, it depends on what you're trying to optimize-- but if you are Mac based, then you can just import the footage into imovie, do a quick edit, then export to iDVD and burn a DVD.

This would probably be the quickest roundtrip solution.

I would recommend you get a camera with a more edit friendly format like H.264 in MP4 files like the Sanyo Xacti and some of the other cameras make. With AVCHD you have to import it into an intermediate format (on the Mac.)

The nice thing about this solution is that you can make custom templates for your video-- called themes in iMovie and iDVD. You can edit the default themes into what you want if the defaults don't work.

If that's the case, and you have MP4 video the workflow is:
1. Copy data from camera to iMovie Events folder
2. Open iMovie create new project
3. Apply theme
4. Export to iDVD
5. Open iDVD and apply your theme to it.
6. Burn DVD or create a DVD image.

If you stick with AVCHD, the first step becomes:
1. Import from camera into Apple Intermediate Codec
and the rest of the steps are the same.

IF I needed to do quick turn around event video, like baseball games or kids plays, this is what I'd do.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 01:37 PM   #6
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I've done something similar to what you have suggested, at a confrence i did recently i took a live mix from the mixer into a old crappy digi8 then firewire to my mac and just captured it live thus no more capturing time, it worked bueatifully. The only problem i enountered was if FCP is rendering.... you can't open it more than once... but i still recommend it (just don't forget HDD space!!)
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Old February 26th, 2009, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liza Witz View Post
a more edit friendly format like H.264 in MP4 files like the Sanyo Xacti and some of the other cameras make. With AVCHD you have to import it into an intermediate format (on the Mac.)
Keep in mind H.264 is an intra frame codec, thus requires higher levels of processing power to calculate the data which, like MPEG-2, specifies differences in specific pixels from one frame to the next. Not exactly what i would characterize as an "edit friendly" codec since, like MPEG-2 or HDV, it isn't frame-accurate. To get into a frame-based interframe codec you would need to transpose the footage to something like ProRes, AIC or DVCPROHD.

H.264 and most other codecs can work as a workaround, but only suitable for when faced with situations that requires an improvised "MacGuyver" workflow.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 06:02 PM   #8
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Thank You

Thanks to each of you for your replies. I am not sure which camera, software or workflow I will try. While recording and capturing to a laptop sounds good, I need to be somewhat mobile. An option I may try out is to:
Record with my current SR 11 in SD (MPEG2 - PS)
Drop Clips into Toast 9
Burn SD DVD
Any thoughts.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 03:28 PM   #9
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What Mike says is right, it's all a question of tradeoffs. For me, I have several years of footage on an external 2.5" drive that I plug in when I want to edit. Its all there, all easily accessible. If I converted it to one of the intermediate codecs, I wouldn't be able to store all that footage on a single drive and I wouldn't have room for more to boot. Probably would required 3-4 drives of the same size.

In my edits, if its off a frame or two, I haven't noticed, and my editing doesn't need that level of precision-- for others, this might be unacceptable. Near as I can tell, the only issue could be at the edit point, past the edit point the clip is just copied as is into the result (assuming its not being resized or the format isn't being changed.)

I suspect for this application where workflow speed is the high priority and there are few (it sounded like none) cuts, that a straight to MP4 camera would be ideal-- not transcoding, edit the footage as is, and a frame or two error in edit isn't an issue.
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