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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old March 15th, 2010, 11:19 PM   #1
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Laptop for Simple HD Video Editing

I am looking to create simple, short productions on a tight budget with my Kodak Zi8 pocket camera. I'm not trying to make a movie here. Although my teeny little camera will record 1080, I will likely stick to the 720. (Youtube stuff. Windows Live Movie Maker kind of stuff.)

Am I unrealistic for thinking a laptop such as the one below is up to the task?

Set me straight, boys and girls.


http://www.amazon.com/Acer-Aspire-AS5740-6025-15-6-Inch-Laptop/dp/B003155ZII/ref=pd_cp_pc_1
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Old March 16th, 2010, 08:14 AM   #2
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If you're patient, no problem. It's a bit better spec'd than mine, and I'm editing footage from my 7D and HF100 on it.
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Old March 17th, 2010, 09:14 AM   #3
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The only part I would worry about is the video card. Will 128 MB of dedicated video RAM be enough, or should I get an uprade?
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Old March 17th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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I'm looking at something similar from HP, but with the 2.4ghz Core i5 and 1gb video card. First thing I'll do is buy a 4bg RAM module and swap it with one of the 2gb ones included. Then as soon as I get the money I'll swap the other one over as well.

I'll be editing HDV in Vegas and Premiere CS3. It's not gonna be fast but it can't be any slower than my 2ghz Core 2 duo. I'll keep both so that when one is rendering, I can be browsing the web, capturing, editing or doing my accounts on the other. While the speed boost won't be massive from the new laptop, i'll still double my productivity!
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:50 AM   #5
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I would definitely choose for the new I5 or I7 processors so the laptop you refer is ok, the only thing I"m not sure of is how it will handle mpeg4 foortage (your zi8 does record in that format no?) so that will be a strain on your laptop for sure. You could choose an codec like cineform's neoscene to eliminate that problem but harddrive space will become an issue fast meaning you need an external harddrive or a laptop that can hold two disks.
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Old March 18th, 2010, 04:58 PM   #6
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good to hear that you think the i5 would work.

in layman's terms, could you explain what is involved in acquiring a codec?

would hard drive space necessarily be an issue if am only working on a single 5-10 minute production at a time?
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Old March 18th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #7
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Neoscene converts your footage to a high quality avi file that edits as easily as dv, quality wise you won't see any difference between the original footage and the converted footage. Only in size which easily gets multiplied by 4.

You can download a fully functional timelimited trial on the cineform site to see for yourself, I have edited with canopus edius pro some time ago who also have a high quality codec similar to cineform, on a older q6600 pc I was able to easily run 4 hdv streams (converted to canopus own HQ avi codec) simultaneously with colourcorrection in realtime. Only 1 hour 20 min of footage was 60 gigs so you really need to think about sufficient storage if you plan on doing longer video.

You could also try to see if your NLE can handle the mpeg4 files in realtime on your laptop before you purchase a separate codec, you might even try canopus neo 2 booster which seems to handle mpeg4 files very well with using a special codec.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 01:31 AM   #8
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Another vote for Neo Scene here. Without it you'll be lucky if you get 4 or 5 frames per second in your preview window. With it, any fast laptop can handle the footage.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 03:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
you might even try canopus neo 2 booster which seems to handle mpeg4 files very well with using a special codec.
That should have been: "without" using a special codec
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Old March 20th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #10
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Ok guys, thanks for the help. I just downloaded the trial version of Neoscene Cineform and converted my first mpeg4 footage to an .avi file.

Works like a charm. I can now edit files from my kodak zi8 in windows movie maker.

However, since I am just a rookie movie editor using the simplest of editing programs, is this really the cheapest option? I'd love to find a comparable option that wouldn't cost me 129 bucks.

Thanks for the help.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 10:25 AM   #11
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Cheaper alternatives are AVCHD Upshift from NewBluefx, VoltaicHD from Shedworx (optimised for moviemaker) or Elecard Converter Studio AVC HD Edition. They all convert to mpeg2 files.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 03:54 PM   #12
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this looks great. thanks!

i'm gonna do a trial of voltaicHD.

EDIT: And now I just tried to convert my first h.264 MOV file from my Kodak Zi8, and it gives me an error message:

**

Error: Unable to parse input file *.359.mov* Please make sure the file is a valid video file.

Error details: Caught exception: no video data found

**

I checked the supported file types, and voltaichd says it converts zi8 files. Hmm.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 10:57 PM   #13
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if you're working on 8-10 minute clips at a time, you don't need any additional software from your editing suite. I suggest go for sony vegas if you can - it eats less resources and you can edit native h.264 with the laptop you suggest. no issues.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 12:55 AM   #14
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would you suggest vegas pro, or could i get by with vegas movie studio?
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Old March 21st, 2010, 04:34 AM   #15
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edius neo 2 booster claims to handle realtime avchd editing, might give their demo a try, think it's half the price of vegas. Vegas, if you can spare the cash, is a better alternative as it's a more complete product.
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