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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old November 25th, 2002, 10:35 PM   #1
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Capture card questions

I am currently shopping around for a capture card for my PC. I will be using the card to edit a short movie I have recently finished shooting. Therefore, my primary concern is the quality of the image since I plan on taking the finished movie to film festivals. I've been told that certain cards will cause the image to lose generations after the final rendering. Is this true? Will a real-time card solve this problem?

My biggest concern is that the image quality looks as good going back onto a DV tape as it did going into the computer. I only plan on using transitions such as dissolves and fades. Will this be a factor in how the image comes out looking? Does the editing program I use have anything to do with the quality of the image? The two cards I am thinking about purchasing are the Pinnacle DV500 DVD or the Pyro PlatinumDV. Would either of these cards suit my needs, or does somebody know of one which would be better? I only have about $500 to spend.

Also, which editing program is the best to use? Right now I am only editing short movies, but eventually I will be editing a feature length movie. What would be the best program to handle the job?

Dennis Turkmen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 25th, 2002, 11:02 PM   #2
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From what I have seen and read...Xpress DV, FCP, Vegas Video and Canopus have the best codecs. You could use a $40 pyro firewire card w/ Premiere, digitize the DV footage and then export back to DV and not lose any quality. When you start rendering is when you'll see a loss, though depending on how much rendering you did to may not be noticeable to the human eye. Some say 4:1:1 compression isn't good enough for broadcast period, but if you're just working with mini DV then I think it's perfectly acceptable. I haven't used the I can't comment on that, but Canopus makes good RT hardware. RT card won't solve the problem.

Maybe someone else can chime in with more info...
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Old November 25th, 2002, 11:07 PM   #3
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the Pyro Platnium uses Premiere which will default to using the microsoft DV codec = the worst dv codec available....the 1394 card is excellent -

the pinnicle uses it's own dv codec which is OK ...

Canopus makes a excellent dv codec so any of their cards

Vegas Video has a excellent codec a Pyro basic ($50) 1394 will work with it ...

also with a OHCI 1394 you can use firewire drives and oher 1394 devices ...

premiere, Vegas video , Ulead media studio pro , avid express will all work ... which is the best ? the one you BUY is the best !!
they will all do the job .... Avid does have the advantage over the others on managing files ....

number 1 for me = VEgas Video .....also has excellent audio
there is no number 2 on my list
3rd choice AVID ...
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Old November 25th, 2002, 11:21 PM   #4
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I got the ADS Pyro card for about $50. I belive (could be wrong) that almost all these cards use the Texas Instruments chip, and are all pretty much the same in terms of what they do. I wouldn't spend a dime on any of these cards above the basic package, unless you are getting Premiere with it, and you plan on using it.

The Firewire/IEEE1394/capture card (many names) should not have any effect on the quality of your video. This will depend mostly on the NLE and codec you use. See the above posts for details on that. My choice Vegas Video.

The real-time cards are awsome from what I see, but won't affect video quality coming into the computer. If you want to pay $800+ more. Make sure you actually need it before you spend the big bucks. I thought I needed a real time card at first, but in retrospect, I didn't.

With $500 to spend, I'd buy a $50 capture card, and Vegas Video. Then take my girl out to dinner with the change.
FWIW, I read mixed reviews about the DV500 and anything else Pinnacle makes.
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Old November 25th, 2002, 11:47 PM   #5
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I've been using the DV500 since it was first released. It's pretty solid giving good realtime performance on PINNACLE transitions and most basic functions, however effects still have to be rendered.

The down-side of the DV500 is that is is quite picky about what it shares your machine with. If you are not comfortable with manually assigning IRQs then I'd give it a miss. One the driver side the V1.2 and V3.0 drivers sucked. I'm currently running V4.0 with Prem 6.0 and Win2K(NTFS) and it works well. I wouldn't use this card with anything less than Win2K, Win98 just isn't stable enough.

You can pick the card up for around US$500 new with Premiere 6.0 and there are a few around second hand now the Pro One has been released. If you do get a second hand version of this card, for Premiere 5.1, use the V2.0 driver and V4.0 for Premiere 6.x.
Adrian Douglas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old November 26th, 2002, 03:50 AM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Adrian Douglas : The down-side of the DV500 is that is is quite picky about what it shares your machine with. -->>>

A master of the understatment! :->

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