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Old March 26th, 2005, 02:44 PM   #1
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Which Capturing Card is best for PAL ?

Can anyone guide me, which capturing/editing card is better for Post Production Editing Solutions e.g Pinnacle"LIQUID EDITION PRO", Matrox RTx100 Xtreme Pro etc.etc.
I need professional facilities such as slow motion etc etc. Further more it should be competable with HD format also.
Jamal.
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Old March 30th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #2
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Very wide question

Hi,
you have asked a very very complex question which there is no answer to - i.e "which is best"

If you spend some hours on dvinf.net and read the discussions you will most likely be able to make up your own mind about 'which is best'.

But it is also important to have a basic understanding about video editing technology - which does what, so to say.
1. First you need to shoot the footage with some kind of camera.
2. Then you need to get the footage out of your camera to your harddrive, somehow.
3. Now you can edit your footage
4. And now you need to be able to output/export your footage to some kind of media.

All these steps are more or less complex and can be done in a number of ways - which way you choose is depending on your budget, your needs and your technical skills.

All the answers are here on dvinfo.net - I know because I've learned most of what I know from here, so just keep reading and go through all the forums and you will soon have a good understanding.

Good luck,
Magnus
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Old March 30th, 2005, 07:36 PM   #3
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Nasir, I think you need to narrow down your search first.

1- What format are you shooting on? Most people shoot DV. If so, you only need a ~$25USD firewire/IEEE1394 card to capture your video.

High definition: There are many HD formats around, although I assume you are talking about HDV (consumer HD format). To edit HDV, you need a powerful system and software that handles it (not all editing programs support HDV right now). As most people upgrade their editing systems every 2-4 years, I suggest you leave off HDV support if you not own a HDV camera and do not plan on owning one soon. It would make sense to upgrade later, as computer power doubles roughly every 18-24 months and new versions of software come out a little more often than that.

IMO HD is a gimmick used to sell cameras. To me it makes more sense to shoot really good DV, which most people see right now.

2- It is simpler to think of hardware acceleration cards like the RTX100 as part of a complete system. Hardware cards tend to only work for one program. So you can narrow your choices down to popular combinations such as:

Mac / Final Cut (the cinewave is available but doesn't do much)

PC:
-Avid Xpress Pro with Mojo
-Premiere Pro with the Matrox RTX100. There are other cards available, but the Matrox is generally considered to the best currently. See Premiere forums.
-Vegas (no hardware available)

On this board, those are probably the four most popular editing platforms/systems. There's also a bunch of other NLEs. Ones you might possibly consider are Edition, Edius, DVStorm, and cheaper versions of the four editing programs listed above (Final Cut Express, Avid Xpress DV, Premiere Elements, Vegas Studio) or "consumer"-type editing software (iMovie, Pinnacle Studio, etc.).
There are many many editing solutions out there, such as high-end Avids (many versions), Media 100, Quantel iQ, Sony Xpri, etc. etc. Chances are you do not need to consider them as they are too expensive (i.e. Quantel iQ is somewhere around a million dollars) or unpopular for a reason.

3- Also look at your needs in an editing program. The programs mentioned all can give very professional results and can be professional tools (but do not turn you into a professional). Even iMovie can give professiona results (it gives the same quality as the other programs for basic things). The programs differ mainly in:
A- The features the program has, the things it can do. i.e. Vegas has very good audio tools. In other programs, you have to export your audio to another program to do things like noise reduction with high-quality plug-ins.
B- Productivity. Stability, workflow, and how many buttons you have to push to do something
all affect how productive you are.

To figure out what your needs are, look at the types of material you are editing. i.e. multi-camera shooting, feature-length movies, music videos, infomercials, corporate, etc.
For multi-camera work, you want a program that means the least button pushing for you. All programs will give you the exact same quality here, even iMovie. Multi-camera in iMovie however would take very, very long to do compared to Vegas with the Excalibur tool (plug-in).

4- Look at your budget too. What is your limit for the computer, editing software, and hardware acceleration card (if applicable).

You may also wish to consider other costs for a post production suite, such as a (NTSC) monitor, audio monitors,

To do a good job at color correction and audio mixing, you need to buy the right stuff and have enough money for it (several hundred). For some uses that stuff may not be too important, especially if you do not have the knowledge to use the gear. Example: If you do not know how to calibrate a monitor, then a NTSC monitor will not do you much good.

If you just want to be creative then you do not necessarily need to get bogged down with technical stuff like calibrating a NTSC monitor (which is needed to help make your video broadcast legal) or doing a proper job mixing your audio for broadcast. I would just get something that works and is easy to use, like iMovie or Final Cut Express.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 02:18 PM   #4
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American TV style/ look (Filmic look)

Magnus/Glenn,
Thank for detailed guideline. Let me explain the scenario for which I am getting this information. Here in Pakistan the govt. has given liberty to private sector to launch independent channels and given appox. 50 licenses for new channels. Now these private channels (10 to 12 already launched and others will be on air soon) need soft wares, so they are buying majority of their programs for outside source.

I am trying to get into the business by starting a company, which will produce different types of programs e.g., Sitcom, Serials, Music Videos, Game/Talk Shows etc.etc. Now comes a problem, and that is, I want to produce something, which matches American TV style/ look (Filmic look). The programs, which are currently running on channels, are 100% video style.

I want to start with production of one or two programs, and as I have stated earlier that the local pattern is of “Video Style” program so I cant get any good help from here. I am trying to built in-house small facilities of Shooting & Editing for which I have $20000 as starting amount for gears. I want to buy Camcorders in price range of $4000 to $5000 such as DVX100A, XL2, FX1 or Z1 etc. (for start I will buy one of them, guide me which will be suitable for the reason mentioned above).

I already have Pentium IV PC, 3.2 KHz with 1GB Ram & 80+120 HD, 7200rpm. DVD writers etc., (I can switchover to AMD-Athelon Processor if that is good for NLE).

I visited a local store for purchasing Matrox RTx100 Xtreme Pro, (I will be using Adobe Premier Pro.) When I told him that I want to work on HD Format also he told me to buy Pinnacle” LIQUID EDITION PRO 6.0" which can edit HD format videos also & is better than Matrox RTX100 Xtreme pro, and has slow-motion option also (Is he correct? That’s why I have posted that thread).

Pl. guide me as now you guys have guessed that I want to produce good thing in the limited budget.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 02:21 PM   #5
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American TV style/ look (Filmic look)

Sorry, I left one thing, We have PAL system here.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 03:22 PM   #6
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Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5.1 (the latest update) can edit and capture HDV.

You will need bigger harddrives... 120GB is not much for video.
(I assume you have the 80GB HD for windows and all the programs, and the 120GB for video)
(1hour DV= 13-14GB)

No need to change over to AMD.
From what I've heard, Intel is (a little) better for video.
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Old March 31st, 2005, 04:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
I am trying to get into the business by starting a company, which will produce different types of programs e.g., Sitcom, Serials, Music Videos, Game/Talk Shows etc.etc. Now comes a problem, and that is, I want to produce something, which matches American TV style/ look (Filmic look). The programs, which are currently running on channels, are 100% video style.
American shows have a lot of money behind them. One of the most expensive shows on air currently (Lost) costs around USD$2.5-2.8 million each episode. Other shows are a lot less. Part of the money buys talented people (Cinematographer, camera crew, art director, colorist, etc.) and good equipment (35mm film, high end telecine suites and color correctors, steadicam, etc.).

If you have a talented cinematographer (and producer), you might be able to achieve very good looking results for a lot less. Check out the dvx100 footage at:
http://www.lafcpug.org/reviews/review_dvx_pd150.html
It was shot on a DVX100 (non-A). The DOP was David Mullen, who is a member of ASC (honorary society for cinematographers). Members of ASC are generally the most talented in their field.

2- I'm guessing shooting DV if likely your best idea as the channels will not be broadcasting HD for a long time. You may want to check what format the channels want masters delivered on. You may need the appropriate deck to handle that format.

Camera: I would get the camera that your cinematographer prefers. Some cinematographers/camerapeople own their own gear and you can rent from them, or just not buy a camera and rent cameras as you need them. The argument for doing this is that your cinematographer can use whatever he/she is most comfortable with.

Editing: If shooting on DV, all the editing programs pretty much give the same level of output quality.

If you want to do color correction/enhancement:
A- Get someone who is specialized in color correction to do it. I'm not really sure what services are available in your area and what formats they prefer. Telecine houses will all offer color correction services, as do places with online Avid suites. A da Vinci session where I live costs about $500USD/hour (plus other little costs I believe).

B- Do it yourself.
Magic Bullet Editor's (available for many editing programs) is likely the easiest way to make your footage look better, although it has long rendering times.

Vegas, Combustion, and Final Cut + Color Finesse are good for more advanced color correction work. Unfortunately you have to figure out how to use them yourself.

You can see the difference color correction makes by looking at some of the stuff on my website. http://www.glennchan.info/fcpugto/
(Those are presentation notes on the color correction that is possible. See a before/after comparison at http://www.glennchan.info/ab-comparison.mov)
I am by no means professional at this stuff, and more talented colorists can do a better job. In the music video I can see I screwed up in a few places (the "after" version lacks resolution... too blurry).

3- Getting back on topic, I can't really say what program would be best for you. I personally like Sony Vegas. It is very powerful and can do more than Final Cut or Premiere or Avid Xpress can if you need to do complicated things or advanced audio post. If you know how to use it, it is a very good tool. It is also your best value as it is software-based (does not need expensive hardware acceleration to get decent performance) and you already have a good PC for editing.

There may be reasons to go with Final Cut, Premiere, or Avid Xpress though.
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