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Old July 23rd, 2009, 07:30 PM   #1
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Capture/Conversion Quality

Do various capture/conversion software products such as Studio 12 and Premiere Elements 7, among others, effect the capture/conversion quality of video uploaded from the camcorder to PC or is the .avi result the same regardless of process used?
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Old July 24th, 2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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It depends on the type of footage and the capture method.

Please come back with details: what footage are you trying to capture, using what kind of capture card?
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Old July 27th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #3
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Ervin is right, pretty broad question. One broad answer, at least about avi's: AVI is a wrapper for files, not a file structure per se. So what avi results you get depend heavily upon the codec used in making it...and you will see differences there. / Battle Vaughan /miamiherald.com video team
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:09 PM   #4
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Actually, the question and answer are dead simple. All DV capture software simply copies the zeros and ones off the tape exactly as they were recorded. The usability of the programs will vary widely but as long as it can read the tape correctly the captured DV .avi files from each will be identical. Think of it as a straight data copy from disk to disk, except the medium your copying from is tape.

Conversion is another animal completely. I'd agree with the others who commented on that topic alone.
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Old July 27th, 2009, 09:14 PM   #5
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I don't think the OP refers to capturing digital tapes, in which case Tripp's explanation applies.

The OP is asking about "capture/conversion" - that makes me think he refers to analog capture. The OP's confusion comes from thinking that the editing software does the conversion, which is not the case - instead, the capture card's digitizing quality will determine the outcome.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:20 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies. I do not know what a OP is so some of Ervin's comment eludes me. My question was intended to be somewhat broad and I can understand that it might have been stated too broadly for a single simple answer.

My primary question was taking video from a digital 8 Sony camcorder via Firewire onto my computer. I called it capture/conversion as I don't know the technical definition for the process. I was assuming that the process was essential like a computer file copy where data was ones and zeros and copied from tape to HDD, but I didn't know for sure and wanted to make sure.

The reason for this is that I have an older version of Studio (ver. 8) which is on a system that is better set up to capture the tapes to HDD. I was looking to upgrade to a newer version of Studio or Premiere Elements, but Premiere will not run on this system and I don't know about Studio 12. If I can upload (capture) my tapes using the older system and put them on a portable HD then I could use this portable HDD to move the avi files to another computer and use the newer programs.

As I stated, I assume this was similar to a simple file transfer, but I don't like to assume. From what I can tell the format of the digital data on the tape is different than the storage on the computer, but I don't have any information on this (i.e., if I could mount the tape onto a computer I could not find the files listed on the tape; thus the use of the term conversion). So it seems my assumption was correct and my idea will work without issue.

To broaden this up, there are also analog Hi 8 mm tapes which also need to be uploaded and it appears that this may not be as simple an answer. However, if there is any difference in the results it seems it would be because of the analog to digital conversion processes. I only have the Sony camcorder to play these tapes so I don't have any other options for the conversion here. What other options are there and what things should I be aware of?

So I don't see where a codex would come into play here. Converting the digital footage into DVD footage would involve a codex and possibly other issues, but it seems that this would be program related (Studio vs. Premiere Elements). Is this not correct?
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:32 AM   #7
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Welcome to DVinfo Mike. "OP" is an abbreviation for "Original Poster" - the person who starts a discussion thread (you, in this case).

If using firewire directly from a camera, any software should give you the same quality unless something very strange is happening. You are just transferring digital data but as you note, it's getting put into a different file format.

Capturing from a Hi-8 camera is a different matter because you must have special hardware to convert the analog data to digital. It could be stored in a variety of formats which would obviously not be the same as the original tape.

But I believe digital 8 cameras can convert analog Hi-8 tapes to digital and send the data out via firewire "on the fly", can't they? If so, then it would be treated like any other DV on your computer so the software used to capture shouldn't matter.

By the way, it's "codec" and not "codex". It's short for coder/deccoder.
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Old July 31st, 2009, 08:32 AM   #8
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Mike,

OP means original poster, that would be you.

Capturing D8 tapes via firewire is completely lossless, so you're straight on that.

Capturing analog 8 tapes might be a lot less complicated than you would think: most Sony D8 camcorders will do the job for you: just capture the tape as it would be a D8 and the camcorder does the digitizing for you.
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 03:40 PM   #9
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Thanks for the corrections. I am aware that my camcorder will play the analog tapes, I just wasn't sure if there were any issues there. It appears as there isn't. So it appears that all of my video quality loss will come from the software and its compression.

I am not doing anything very demanding. Right now all I am trying to do is put together an overview video for my son's soccer career. So I am mostly taking short clips out of numerous tapes (separate videos). I have been using Studio ver. 8 which cannot store these clips separately. To do this I need to cut out the clips from a video and save it as an .avi file. Once this is done across numerous tapes I can then bring these .avi files into Studio and put them together under a menu for quick selection.

In this case when I save the video as an .avi file, do I have anything to be concerned about quality wise or is it still a bits and bytes to bits and bytes thing. I am guessing that since I am not compressing the video I should be good, i.e., not lose any quality.

As far as creating the DVD does anyone have an opinion of Studio 12 vs. Premiere Element 7?

Thanks
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Old August 2nd, 2009, 06:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Weber View Post
I am aware that my camcorder will play the analog tapes, I just wasn't sure if there were any issues there.
Double-check the manual or specs to be sure. Not all D8 cams will play Hi8. The cheaper ones don't.
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