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Old January 26th, 2004, 08:35 PM   #1
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Any image/performance benefits from using the better programs?

There are several programs at my school which use iMovie on their macs and some PCs with the Windows Movie Maker and Some Sony's with their Sony VAIO MovieShaker. These both seem to be tremendously easy toward to use and aimed toward the lower-end of the consumer. Would I notice any performance benefits or even video/image benefits using like a better, more advanced program like Vegas, Premiere, Avid, or even FCP?

Also, is there a good certain brand of FireWire cables or S/Audio-Video cables? Or are there just all the same? I know there are different miniDV tapes qualitys and grades, does this also apply to the cables/ports?

I finally get to use my GL2 for a school project and my computer is a P4 2.1GHz with 1GB of RAM -- So I am still unsure if I can use faster programs like Vegas and what not. I am quite paranoid (as mentioned in the previous posts) and methinks still that the crappy or slower computer/programs/hardware can bottleneck and degrade your camcorder!
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Old January 26th, 2004, 10:16 PM   #2
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vegas , avid ( window version) each have their own codec .

premiere will default to use the microsoft dv codec (msDV codec).

guessing?? the windows movie maker might convert to wmv format ?? or it would use msDV codec on AVI files
i avoid the microsoft dv codec.

imovie would use the QT codec which is very good but don't know if it would have all the options under FCP ( as in rgb or 601 mapping)

for DV tapes i really find no difference between $3 pansonics and 6 pansonic tapes .. i don't see how either tape can have different colors etc as it is all zero's and one's... in analog it would affect colors ...

any of the programs will do the job ... if you've never edited yet then start on the one's in class till you outgrow em. then by that time you'll know more of what you like /want/don't like from NLE
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Old January 26th, 2004, 10:32 PM   #3
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The higher end programs will definitely add a LOT more features and provide better rendering engines. Since the built-in programs use whatever codec is built into the system, the higher end programs would give a better final end result whenever effects or transitions were applied.

The firewire port will make no difference in quality. It is simply a means of transferring the data from the camera to the computer. It IS wise to get an OHCI compliant card and most people prefer the TI chipset.

Your computer can definitely use Vegas. I'm running it on a PIII 750MHz.
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Old January 26th, 2004, 11:16 PM   #4
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Higher end tools with have more powerful color correction features, which can make your image look better.

Some NLEs will also render in 32-bit floating point (i.e. FCP) which gets rid of banding. In Vegas you can cause banding by making the image darker and then brighter (or vice versa). This can happen, but I wouldn't worry about it unless I spotted it.

There is a slight difference in the various DV codecs, but nothing I would worry about.
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Old January 27th, 2004, 01:07 AM   #5
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It's just that specs these days for the programs are pretty high up there (around 2.8ghz + or so) and I believe if you don't have those specs or having failure hardware (harddrive, video card, any failures/crashes/old equipment/unstable -- also, anyone know if drives like 5400 or 7200rpm matters in editing, or AGP 8x/4x, & such?), it would cause either some dropouts or some problems to either the comp or the camera. But I also prefer the better features of it. If I am just editing DV footage then putting it back onto the camcorder, does it matter what codec? Or does the codec only apply if I am saving it like on the computer or whatnot?
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Old January 27th, 2004, 07:16 AM   #6
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For DV 5400 is the pretty much the minimum for reliable capture/playback of DV streams. It can be done with 4200rpm drives but the chance of dropped frames is much higher. These days 7200 ATA100 is considered the minimum standard for desktop machines and 5400 for laptops when considering NLE machines. SerialATA (SATA150) is also becoming increasingly common in recent machines like the new G5 Macs.
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Old January 27th, 2004, 08:20 AM   #7
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The video card (agp 4x vs 8x) will not make any difference. Most people recommend a minimum of 7200 rpm on the hard drives but I can successfully use the 5400 in my laptop. (I've since gotten a 7200 firewire drive which has also helped)

Capturing DV is simply copying a file from the tape to the hard drive. No codec is used during that process. Same with print to tape which copies the file from the hard drive to the camera.

The codec IS used when you start to edit. Any time you add an effect, transition, or modify the video is some other way, the codec will be used to create the new version to send to tape during the rendering process. And, yes, some codecs are better than others.
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Old January 27th, 2004, 01:50 PM   #8
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Ok. I have a 80GB HD 7200rpm with 2MB buffer. Would 8MB buffer or a 15,000rpm reduce dropouts/errors or improve performance? Also, the dropouts... do they only dropout when camcorder to computer and vice versa, will that effect the heads or future dropout reliability? (Is it permanent?)
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Old January 27th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #9
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David, you won't have anything to worry about with a newer computer (well at least you don't have to worry about it being CAPABLE of capturing fine). When I first started capturing and editing video it was four years ago on a computer with a 5400rpm HD, a 400MHz Celeron, 160mb RAM. Not the fastest computer by todays standards. I did occasionaly have a dropped frame, but the capture program should tell you when this happens and you can recapture that section.

Then I went up to a 900Mhz, 7200rpm HDs in a RAID0 setup, 512mb, and it captured great. HOWEVER! For the life of me I couldn't get the thing to export back on to a tape with out it dropping frames, I tried all sorts of things to try and fix it and finally discovered that the RAID controller on the motherboard was using the CPU too much and that was causing the drops. Now with the HDs not in a RAID setup and with a 2GHz processor I never have a problem, and you also shouldn't with your machine. Be sure and shut down all other programs when capturing (you may not have to, but if they decide they need to do something while you're capturing it could cause a dropped frame) and you should be fine.

Give it a try and see if it works, it's the only way to be sure.

Cheers,
Brian

PS the 4x 8x spec on AGP is just marketing garbage and doesn't really even make a difference in anything!
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Old January 27th, 2004, 04:33 PM   #10
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I think I have RAID capability on the computer, but how do I check if mine is turned off or on. Anything else I should know to tweak the computer for the editing?
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Old January 27th, 2004, 05:49 PM   #11
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You'll know if you have it turned on, you need two harddrives and then you have to set them up to be in a RAID array, don't bother with it. Other then that, tweaking various things will get you a little bit of performance boost, but I'm not sure it will be anything really noticable.

If you do have two harddrives though, have your operating system installed on one, and capture video to the other one. That can help things out. But if you don't it isn't a big deal.

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Old January 27th, 2004, 09:09 PM   #12
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What I mean, do the frame drops and such, acquired by slow computer, ruining the tape portion of the camcorder? Or does it affect everything from now on?

And 2MB vs 8MB -- any differences in buffer size?
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Old January 27th, 2004, 09:16 PM   #13
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Yes. The extra buffer improves performance with program loading times (when your computer has to grab data from your hard drive). On Western Digital drives, the performance goes up 30% with the extra buffer. For your system drive, you should probably go for the 8MB buffer.

For video, I have no idea if the extra buffer helps. Theoretically, it probably doesn't. I would just go for the larger drives instead of a larger buffer. Larger capacity drives are faster and more future-proof. The extra capacity means performance won't drop if you run out of space (common sense).

www.storagereview.com has excellent information on hard drives, but unfortunately they aren't very helpful for video editing.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 01:46 PM   #14
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Ok, I am probably going to use Vegas or equivalent because it seems the features are as pretty good and it's less power-hungry than Premiere and easier to use!

I currently only have one 80GB (2mb buffer) HD, and only one partition which is what I store all my apps/games/video files on. I will buy a new HD later, but for the time being, I need to edit a quick short 10-15 minute film for my class. Should I partition my remaining HD into two portions? I have used up about 20GB of space, and can still use up about 40-50GB of space. 10-15 minutes is only about 3 or 4GB, so I would be fine. But should I still create two partitions to separate them? What are the disadvantages and advantages of separating the two? Would I need any special instructions to do that? In the near future, I will most likely buy two HDs and do either a RAID configuration or do some sort of "master/slave" (I haven't figured out how to do this yet, I may know some stuff about computers, but when it comes to actually BUILDING and CONFIGURING inside, I am illiterate). What would happen if I put this 10-15 minute on the same one HD as everything else?
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Old January 28th, 2004, 02:31 PM   #15
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Quote:
Should I partition my remaining HD into two portions?
There is really no need to do that. In fact, you may well be better off leaving it at one large partition. DO get the second hard drive when you can but I wouldn't worry about the current hard drive - especially for a 10-15 minute clip.
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