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JVC Everio GZ-HD and GZ-HM Series
JVC's Everio Series 3CCD High Definition MPEG2 camcorders.


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Old August 2nd, 2008, 09:06 PM   #1
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iMovie 08 Handbook

Steve,

Kudos on this handbook. It is extremely useful for anyone who wants to work with iMovie, and the revised workflow for HD7 is the coolest. I found that the transition tip used by the pros helped my movie go a lot smoother.

I have a PAL camera (model GZ-HD7AH - bought in Hong Kong), however, I am in Canada under NTSC. Also, my objective is that once I finish my movie, I get rid of all unedited video and just save my movies in HD with the highest resolution possible and the least amount of loss possible; to play back in my Mac, or a Mac connected to an HD 1080p LCD TV, and PROBABLY down the road convert to something for sharing (e.g. iDVD, Blu-Ray, Apple TV, Web, etc.). One thing to note is that my Mac is perfectly capable of playing 1980 x 1080

I just have a couple of follow-up questions.

1) Since I have a PAL camera... Should I select PAL in VisualHub? Or should I stick to NTSC?

2) Since my video is PAL... Should I configure iMovie 08 with PAL or NTSC.

3) Does it matter if I imported events with iMovie configured as NTSC? (Let's say the answer to 1 and 2 is PAL... do I have to reimport?)

4) Is there anything wrong with doing everything in iMovie 08? I mean transitions, adding stills from a 5 MP camera, captions, etc.? All my footage has been filmed in FHD with the HD7.

5) To export, based on my earlier statement about wanting playback in the PC... I think I followed the explanation, and I should stick to 1280 x 720. What happens if down the road I want to burn a Blu-ray? Or should I export to the "lower" HD 1980 x 1080 16:9.

Thanks!

Last edited by Adrian Vargas; August 3rd, 2008 at 08:24 AM.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 09:28 PM   #2
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Great questions!

Once you shoot PAL you must edit in PAL and play on a PAL HDTV. (I'm not sure what happens if you import PAL into iM08 set for NTSC. You likely will be able to edit fine, but the export will be 25fps not 30fps.)

The reason I suggest -- in my book -- using iM08 with FCE or FCP is: iM08 works with only a single field (540-lines). If one is burning a Bluray one would like to have all 1080-lines.

HOWEVER, I've become less convinced that the loss of a field is a REAL loss. Why?

We think of the camera feeding FINE detail to the recorder -- filling each line with information. We think if a field is removed, HALF the lines carrying detail is lost.

With consumer camcorders, the details the camera outputs are not really small. Luminance information has been obtain either by pixel-offset from low-rez chips or a Bayer interpolator from a single chip. The "tiny" details are "big" enough they cover 2 or lines.

Therefore, removing one field does not cut rez by half. Whenever 540-lines are scaled back to 1080-lines -- the missing lines are "re-created" thus the picture is ALMOST back to the original picture. The pix is slightly softer. The main loss is diagonals MAY not be as smooth.

So, there is less reason not to entirely edit in iM08.

--------------

Although BD is supports 720p -- none of the software works at 720p. So, for BD you should follow the instructions for outputting 1920x1080.

Other than for BD, output at 720p.
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 10:22 PM   #3
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Thank you!

In case you are interested... I started a project with iMovie configured as NTSC; then I switched to PAL and the project was really screwed up. The timing of clips was off, and stills imported form iPhoto were off as well. If I go back to NTSC, everything is back to normal.

One question, though... Do computers know anything about PAL or NTSC; and, does this still hold true in HD? I am guessing, probably erroneously though, that if I connect a PC/Apple TV to an HDTV and play my exported movie (as a File), then it would not matter if I have an NTSC or PAL HDTV; and that it would only matter when I burn any type of media (e.g. DVD, BD) that PAL will come into play.

Thanks so much on the iMovie clarification. All I am shooting is family videos from my little guy; hence, from what you say, it is not worth to pay $ for FCE/FCP to keep everything in 1080; mind the learning curve (as you can tell I am really a newbie). All I am trying to do is preserve files in the best possible quality in my hard drive so 20 years down the road he can be embarrassed when we play them, and mom and dad can shed a tear :o)

Thanks again!
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Old August 3rd, 2008, 11:12 PM   #4
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Help!!!

HELP! I am back to square 1...

I was reading the manual that came with my camera, and in the specs it states that the signal is 1080/60i. Isn't this NTSC???

However, on page 36: "Watching Images on TV"; it says:

"This camera is designed to be used with high-definition OR PAL-type colour television signals. It cannot be used with a television of different standard.

The manual is for model GZ-HD7AA/AG/AH

Now, I opened a RAW (.TOD) file in quicktime, and opened the movie inspector. It reads:

MOV00F.TOD
Source: /Volumes/video/PRG001/MOV00F.TOD
Format: MPEG2 video Decoder, 1920 x 1080, Millions+
MPEG2 audio, Stereo, 48.000 kHz
FPS: 25
Playing FPS: 25
Data Size: 584.57 K
Data Rate: 109.61 kbits/s
Current Time: 0:00:00:40.58
Duration: 0:00:00:43.68
Normal Size: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Current Size: 1920 x 1080 pixels (Actual)

When I open the exact same file with MPEG Streamclip, and open the stream info window, I get:

Stream: MOV00F.TOD
Path: /Volumes/video/PRG001/MOV00F.TOD
Type: MPEG transport stream

Duration: 0:00:43
Data Size: 155.70 MB
Bit Rate: 29.92 Mbps

Video Tracks:
4113 MPEG-2, 1920 × 1080, 16:9, 25 fps, 28.00 Mbps, upper field first

Audio Tracks:
4129 MP2 stereo, 48 kHz, 384 kbps

Stream Files:
MOV00F.TOD (155.70 MB)

I am lost :o(
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Old August 5th, 2008, 04:13 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Vargas View Post
HELP! I am back to square 1...

I was reading the manual that came with my camera, and in the specs it states that the signal is 1080/60i. Isn't this NTSC???

However, on page 36: "Watching Images on TV"; it says:

"This camera is designed to be used with high-definition OR PAL-type colour television signals. It cannot be used with a television of different standard.

The manual is for model GZ-HD7AA/AG/AH

I am lost :o(
NTSC models are HD7U. Looks like they tossed a USA manual into a gray market PAL HD7 for Austr and Hong Kong.
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Old August 5th, 2008, 06:31 AM   #6
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PAL for sure...

Ironically speaking, I bought the camera from Fortress in Honk Kong, so it is not a grey market product. I am just assuming it is a typo. I discarded the manual in Cantonese as it was of no use to me :o) so I can't compare to that one.

However, based on the outcome from Quicktime and MPEG Streamclip, I think I can safely assume it is 25 fps / PAL / 1080/50i
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