Workflow suggestions - HG21, Macbook, iMovie '09, external drive at

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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old January 2nd, 2010, 05:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Alabaster, AL
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Workflow suggestions - HG21, Macbook, iMovie '09, external drive

Picked up a Canon HG21 over Christmas and had my first encounter with AVCHD. Have done a little Digital8 work with Premier Elements, but never with good results.

My question is about workflow, formats, and maintaining raw footage. I have a Macbook with iMovie '09 and no intention of buying additional software unless absolutely needed. My footage is of family and family events, nothing that will be used professionally. However, as with anyone else I want to *maintain* the quality of the raw video from the HG21. My preference is to offload the raw video from the HG21 to an external disk and work the video from there, eventually archiving the raw footage somewhere. I doubt I will do much more than trim away unwanted clips, add some titles/transitions, and cut to DVD.

I understand that iMovie '09 does not natively work with AVCHD and therefore has to use an intermediate codec, therefore the raw footage with increase 4-5 times in size? So now I have clips in raw AVCHD and an intermediate codec so that I can work with it in iMovie? If so, what codec and project settings should I use and overall workflow? My footage is in FXP (one step lower that the highest HD setting). I have 20GB of video right now from Disney and Christmas and 1) want to ensure I don't lose it and 2) want to keep an archive of the AVCHD.

Right now I have a USB2.0 250GB Maxtor drive. I am looking at a 1 or 1.5 TB drive to keep all my video on (also need a backup in the overall scheme of things and keep off site).

Many thanks!
- Reynolds
Reynolds Boyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 3rd, 2010, 02:07 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
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Why not just burn data DVDs, to save the original AVCHD footage, after copying the files to your computer, and before transcoding them to much larger files? (It will cost a whopping 50 cents, or so, per hour of AVCHD footage, using Verbatims, if you buy em when Newegg has a rebate deal going, along with free shipping, on spindles of 100 - which is quite often.)
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply

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