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Old January 22nd, 2009, 03:19 PM   #1
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lossless export from hdv (canon xha1)

i am inquiring as to what seems to be the best lossless? codec for exporting/ editing hdv files. i read from the mac forum the pros and cons of prores 422 and the editing lossless cut usage of the original file versus rendering, editing ...

What are the more experienced PC editors using that have hdv tape files to transfer to a lossless intermed codec? lagarith, cineform? i think i have grasped the limitations of hdv and GOP compression through dvinfo forums, but still am questioning what works best in conversion of hdv to a lossless codec that does not break storage limitations etc. i am still attempting to narrow down an NLE for editing...Newtek speed edit, pinnacle 12? Vegas?

thanks for any help. i will be working primarily with landscape and nature material..with simple dissolves and some color correction, etc.

william boehm
bothell wa
canon xha1, canon hv3
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 03:45 PM   #2
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Cineform is not lossless. Very few codecs are. Huffyuv, Lagarith, PNG (lossless), PhotoJpeg (lossless), Uncompressed (AVI or QT). All create quite large files.

Then there is the category of ""Visually lossless" where Cineform, DNxHD, Jpeg2000, and some others fit in.

Then there is lossy in varying degrees.

From the sounds of things, it seems like you'd want to be using something like Cineform, DnxHD, or even something a bit lossy for your editing, since you are trying to conserve disk space.

Why don't you offer a "rough" estimate of how big a file per hour you think you can handle. Remeber that DV and HDV are both around the 12-14 GB/hr mark, and you want something more lossless. By comparison, The files coming natively out of my EX1 are 16GB per hour, and the files coming off the Panasonic HVX200/HPX170 are about 60 GB/hr in 1080p.
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 09:46 PM   #3
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would file sizes be that difficult to store of uncompressed then? say using 1Tb external drives to store the cut and edited files? i am very concerned about getting a good export that will loose as little quality as possible...but since i have not yet grasped the relationship with rendering, file sizes etc. ..i need some help to wrap my thoughts around a complex issue. thanks for the lossless, uncompressed etc explanation. bill
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Old January 22nd, 2009, 10:00 PM   #4
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Uncompressed 1080p is about 480GB per hour. The EX1 records 16GB per hour and its footage is considered good enough for DiscoveryHD. Does that help you with the scope of the issue?
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 11:32 AM   #5
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The problem with uncompressed HD is not the total size (Since 1TB drives are cheap for 2hrs of video) but the data rate, since you will need a large array of drives to playback any of your footage in realtime. From the sounds of things, a compressed editing codec would work much better for you. Which specific one is totally dependant on what system you want to edit on. For FCP use ProRes, For PPro CS3/4 use Matrox or Cineform, for Avid, DNxHD, for Vegas maybe Cineform as well. You get the idea. Once you choose an NLE, then we can discuss the specific advantages of the different options for that platform.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 12:25 PM   #6
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thanks for your comment mike. that is what i am up against...which nle? i am looking for simplicity and speed, which newtek speededit seemed to have ..yet it is not compatable with most plug ins. i have no editing expereince yet on video..but lots with stills. vegas8? or pinnacle 12? i simply want to do cuts, stablize some footage from boat motion in marine mammal footage of humpback whales and otters in se alaska, music added, some dissolves and maybe color, exposre compensation. i have been given a mac g3, but am more familiar with my pc with xp windows.

i guess archiving to a hard drive? to store the cuts? just trying to keep life simple and be able to edit quality video for family, with a potential to use commercial in the future if i can maintain a quality archive. i understand the need to store in a different file to edit in...but the balance between generational loss and compression, versus larger files and uncompressed footage confuses me still. thanks again for help in understanding in advance. bill
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 01:35 PM   #7
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William,

I think you are GROSSLY overestimating the "generational loss". You could choose a reasonable intermmediate codec (even a lossy one) and render the same file 5-10 times and MAYBE see the difference if you're looking at a high quality monitor. On the average TV, I'd dare you to tell the difference after 5 renders with Cineform, ProRes, or DNxHD. I posted some difference files here on this forum between uncompressed and DNxHD at 220 Mbps and 36 Mbps off my EX1. I would have bet $100 that no one could have told the difference in EITHER without looking at scopes. No way to tell on screen.

I thought you were doing this commercially. Which was the concern for going uncompressed. If you're just doing this for your own benefit, or for the family, you're going WAY out of the way for nothing. I'll send you some more info off-list that speaks to this.
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