Even when FCP supports HDV, should I edit in it? at DVinfo.net

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Old February 13th, 2005, 09:02 PM   #1
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Even when FCP supports HDV, should I edit in it?

Ok, shoot me if this has been covered (and I'm sure it has) but I just couldn't find it in a search.

HDV is MPEG2 compressed, right? So would I want to edit in that format or convert it to something lossless for editing?

Already I've been playing with converting the MT2 files to uncompressed formats that FCP can work with, when FCP supports HDV would it still not be better to convert the MT2 files?

Thanks!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 01:19 AM   #2
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I agree

Hey Bryan,
I've been messing around forever trying to get everything to work. I finally got a good work flow going, captured 4 hours of material. Then, I deleted it! I suddenly realized that there was no reason not to just downres to 1080i DVCpro HD. The downres helps a bit with the generation loss. From there I just edit realtime and my plan is to bring a FW drive with the targa seq in for color correction and final print to D5. This workflow has been working great so far, so like you said even if FCP does support HDV I will probibly do the same thing I'm doing now.

BUT,
what would be great if FCP offered a way to realtime (or as close as each system can get) convert during capture to any format you want. Some will take longer than others but then you don't have to use the lossy AIC codec.

My 2 c,
Eric James
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Old February 14th, 2005, 07:57 AM   #3
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Eric,

I too have been converting to DVCPRO HD to edit in FCP (though I've just been testing, not really editing). It's been working well, I just wonder about what HDV will do when heavily edited.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 08:56 AM   #4
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> the lossy AIC codec

Is this the same thing as Pixlet? If not, anybody tried Pixlet? Apple was praising it a few months ago and saying that it's what they are using at Pixar.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 09:26 AM   #5
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Cineform has a detailed assessment of this question on their web site at the following URL, and there seems to be a widespread consensus that "native HDV" is not a good editing format.

http://www.cineform.com/technology/HDVQualityAnalysis/HDVQualityAnalysis.htm

Pinnacle is trying to make a big deal of the fact that they can directly edit native HDV files in Liquid Edition, but this hurts both editing performance and quality compared to using decompressed codecs. The only possible advantage to editing HDV files directly would be if it allowed you to generate the final output without rendering, but I don't think even Pinnacle can do that at this time...and HDV is not currently a useful distribution format for consumer-oriented purposes.

Regarding using DVCProHD to edit HDV, Cineform discusses this on their web site as well and points out some problems with this approach. Lots of people seem to be doing this on Macs because it's currently one of the better options for that platform, but it's still a questionable solution. If/when Panasonic starts shipping their prosumer-priced DVCProHD cameras, I'd expect most Mac users to buy those instead of HDV cameras if they can afford to.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 09:41 AM   #6
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Sucks to be a Mac guy with an FX1, huh? :)

Those Cineform tests look good, I can only hope there's development on the Apple side that will allow for good editing of HDV.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 11:54 AM   #7
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<<< Sucks to be a Mac guy with an FX1, huh? >>>

And for once there's some really good news for people who are using PCs for video editing. Come on over to the dark side, and escape the high prices of Steve Jobs' little monopoly...

:-)
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Old February 14th, 2005, 02:55 PM   #8
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Kevin, I came from the darkside...and it's much better over here!
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Old February 14th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #9
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It is well known that Sony and Apple are not really the best of friends (a little to competitive with each other) but it seems like Apple and Panasonic have been in bed together for a while cooking up something on the HD front. I for one am very interested. I have always been a big fan of both Apple AND Sony but I just don't like the theory behind HDV. DVCProHD though, is very nice. I am a little disappointed that Sony didn't raise the bar a little more though on the HVR-Z1. I got all excited until I started really looking at it. (from a PD-170 owners perspective who doesn't often need HD or built in mic's getting in the way)

I don't have any delusions that Apple isn't hard at work with HDV trying to find a better method but right now it's just not in that big of a demand (for their "PRO" users). I wouldn't want some half-assed solution if I could wait a little longer for a really good one. Of course that's easy for me to say because I don't currently have any plans to invest in HDV in the near future. Maybe in a year or two depending on what transpires but if Panasonic has their killer DVCProHD 50Mb/s camera in a smaller format (and smaller price) I would most likely leave Sony's DVCAM for it. I WON'T however be leaving the Apple platform or FCP, it just works too well.

... and it doesn't suck to be a Mac guy with an FX1, both FCExpress AND iMovie work with HDV and iMovie is FREE.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 03:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rhett Allen:
and it doesn't suck to be a Mac guy with an FX1, both FCExpress AND iMovie work with HDV and iMovie is FREE.
But it sure seems like people aren't happy editing in AIC, so the iMovie workflow isn't all that great.

I'm just getting started into this HD world, but from my perspective it seems like converting and editing in DVCPRO HD is the better way to go on the Mac side.

I'm still being blown away by the images my FX1 is generating. I just want a simple and good editing solution, like DV.
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Old February 14th, 2005, 07:10 PM   #11
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Re

"It is well known that Sony and Apple are not really the best of friends (a little to competitive with each other) but it seems like Apple and Panasonic have been in bed together for a while cooking up something on the HD front."

I'm curious what all this stuff with sony was about in the keynote at macworld. Also if you take a look at the box of FCP Express you'll see non other than the FX-1. This symbolizes to me a new apple relationship with sony.

Also,
I think the FCP team must not be happy with the AIC codec and are working hard to come up with something new. I can't imagine thay aren't. I've met several from the FCP team in my research for a new book I'm co-writing on FCP and they have always been way ahead of what is needed. It's apple themselves that seems to drag their feet. Hopefully we will see a solution before NAB 2005, but I doubt it. Not because they don't have it ready, but because apple is waiting for marketing reasons.

My 2 cents,
Eric James
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Old February 14th, 2005, 07:43 PM   #12
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Bryan- I wouldn't pretend to think that iMovie would be the "best" avenue for editing HDV but at least it's something for now and it'll only get better.
Like Eric says, I'm sure Apple is and has been working on this for as long as they could but HDV wasn't "intended" as a "PRO" format in the first place. What's incredibly stupid is that neither was DV but it was snatched up by many PRO markets. The difference is that HD is a much better format and HDV is a step down from that (wheras there wasn't this step for DV). I don't have any numbers but from the press I've been seeing and hearing though, many networks are looking at these new Sony's with drooling eyes and buying them up. Did Sony not think that they too were looking for a CHEAPER inroad to HD resolution? With the pressure on higher margins, cheaper productions and more programming, is it any surprise these are getting so much press? I would be interested in seeing some figures on the cannibalization of their higher end HD cameras in this regard. Maybe a network would buy a few HDCAM's but now they can buy a bunch of Z1's instead, as long as someone figures out a good way to edit it and still come out relatively clean and easy. It's not like all these stupid reality based shows need HDCAM, they just need to be able to "say" it's Hi-Def for marketing banter, after all most are currently being shot with PD's and XL's anyway so at least it's a resolution jump for the same money.

It's going to be an interesting ride, that's for sure.
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Old February 18th, 2005, 01:44 PM   #13
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<<<Kevin, I came from the darkside...and it's much better over here! >>>

Chris: I liked Macs before I got sick of the high hardware prices and switched over to PCs, where I've found things also aren't too bad. Darn if those irritating PC users weren't right all along: they really do have far more options with a wider range of pricing choices and greater configuration flexibility! Since I switched Apple appears to have done some impressive things for video production, but nothing which would make me want to re-invest thousands of dollars in the Mac platform. Especially right now for doing HDV work, there's no way I would pick any of the available Mac-based solutions over PC-based ones. If I already had a Mac I'd make do with what's available, but I'd be grinding my teeth when reading reviews of the PC HDV products.

Seems to me that Apple is counting on Panasonic to release their low-priced DVCProHD camera, and doesn't really care all that much about the HDV format. My guess is that most Mac-based videographers will follow this plan and be happy about it, even if the Panny cameras cost twice as much (or more) than the Sony FX1.

Ultimately it's all good for all of us and our customers. If you like what Apple has to offer, go for it!
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Old February 19th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #14
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I think you're wrong about Apple and HDV, just wait 8 weeks and see what happens at NAB. I think the next few months are going to be great for HDV on both platforms.

Personally we use both Mac's and PC's, that way you get the best of both worlds.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 07:32 PM   #15
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<<<I think you're wrong about Apple and HDV, just wait 8 weeks and see what happens at NAB.>>>

We'll see, we'll see. Hopefully they have something better coming than what they've managed to put together so far.

<<<Personally we use both Mac's and PC's, that way you get the best of both worlds. >>>

Yeah, that seems to be the best solution if you can afford it. I hear Apple's DVD authoring program alone is well worth the cost of admission.
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