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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old December 31st, 2005, 10:58 PM   #1
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Capturing the HD

I just bought an HDR-HC1 and boy am I loving it. But then I tried to capture some stuff in Final Cut Pro HD 4.5. I could capture in DV mode but not HD. So I asked around and they said I'd need Final Cut 5. Ugh.

Anyway, I've found that I can capture in HD in iMovie HD. So what I've been doing is capturing in iMovie, then going into the iMovie project bundle to get the MOV files to use in Final Cut Pro. But that's a huge hassle because I can't mark the in/out capture points and stuff like that.

So this is all frustrating. I've got the academic version of FCP 4.5 so I can't even just get the FCP 5 upgrade. Is there any possible way I could, like, get the drivers iMovie uses and use them with FCP 4.5? Or something??

Or, are there any other good programs for capturing HD?

Thanks.
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Old January 1st, 2006, 08:25 AM   #2
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Okay here's a bit of an update. I went down to the studio I work at and used one of the FCP5 editing bays. The HDV support on FCP5 seems rather... horrible? It wouldn't even give me the normal "Log and Capture" screen, just a thing that prompts me for a clip name and then it just started capturing from tape. Very weird. Is that how it's supposed to be?
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Old January 1st, 2006, 10:08 PM   #3
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Capture HDV in FCP 5

No, you should get a regular capture window like other formats. Use a new project and make sure you go under the Easy Setup to make sure its setup for HDV editing. Also make sure the system has all the updates. FCP should be at 5.0.3 and the system Hopefully is running 10.4.3 OS - My system is at these settings and captures fine from the capture window.

Also for affordable HDV editing you may want to checkout Final Cut Express HD for around $300. Lot better than iMovie HD in terms of options for editing. Good Luck.
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Old January 4th, 2006, 04:55 AM   #4
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Womble

As proposed by Tom Roper, Laurence Kensington, etc..., I use the simplest and the cheapest native editing tools.
I capture with CapDVHS and perform simple editings with MpegVideoWizard (made by Womble). The initial quality is preserved, except when texts are included in the video where zooms or pans take place.
To validate the proposed method I have uploaded a few videos, shot in the full automatic mode without tripod.

http://www.archive.org/details/ligouHDR-HC1_video
http://www.archive.org/details/ligouHDR-HC1_video2
http://www.archive.org/details/ligouHDR-HC1_video3
http://www.archive.org/details/ligouHDR-HC1_video4

The first one is a MPEG2-HDV file to be viewed with WinDVD7 and the other ones should be played back with WMP10.

I would appreciate any comment.
Jacques Ligou
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Old January 4th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #5
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I have had a similar problem trying to capture HD footage from the HC1 to Vegas 6 when i was playing with it in the shop
I could capture when the camera down convert to DV but when i tried to capture HD it would find the device but it keept saying that the device was being used by another process
Anyone know why that was happening?
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Old January 8th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Ligou
I capture with CapDVHS and perform simple editings with MpegVideoWizard (made by Womble). The initial quality is preserved, except when texts are included in the video where zooms or pans take place.
Jacques Ligou
I totally support this approach for simple edititing ( cuts and moves, and some Titles and a little audio manipulation, simple video transitions or none..).

I dare add that after editing with Womble MPEG Video Wizard i often handle the MPEG 2 with TMPGEnc Express - cheap, EXCELENT and fast interface - specilaly compared with Windows ledia Encoder, which is a PAIN- and also an excellent capability fo batch processes in 4 key strokes, and therefore to output several versions of different format or video rate, etc..

All this even works on a small machine ! like my small vaio portable ( 1.2MHz...!!=) which i use to derush when away from my "big" CPU . Excellent job from Womble, specially since the last September 2005 version.

By the way i would be happy to know
a/ what tool do you use to do the WMV encoding
and b/ why did you limit the video speed to 6000Kps if i am right..
Thank you, and compliments, great shots.. Bravo ( entre francophones..)
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Old January 9th, 2006, 07:54 AM   #7
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Very happy to read your post.
On french forums there are so many people smiling when you mention Womble. They criticize such a choice without testing it. About your questions:

a) I save my edited MPEG2-HDV files on DVD+R (I can archive about 20min). Then I use TMPGEnc 3.0 XPress to produce WMV files and also for down-conversion to Pal format. Finally my approach is exactly yours.

b) Why 6Mbps? this is a good question. When I downloaded WMV japanese files I saw that the bitrate was always around 6 Mbps. Microsoft also gave the same number. But I forgot that all these clips had a 1280x720 resolution and I kept this number.
Now I see that most 1080p clips use 8 Mbps; so I will use this value. I have made a test and the size of files increases only by 15%, but I don't see a big change in the quality.

I have question to you: when I capture with CapDVHS, I get files with 15Mbps for the bitrate instead of the expected value 25 Mbps?
Thank you
Jacques
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Old January 11th, 2006, 01:51 AM   #8
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1/ Glad to demonstrate that French people are not ALL stubborn ! ;-)
2/ capDVHS bit rate ? I dont know.

3/ When shown on a real 1080 display, some difference really shows between 6 and 9Mbps...

Have a good time
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Old January 11th, 2006, 03:07 AM   #9
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I have a real HD monitor : the 24'' LCD sold by DELL has the resolution 1920x1200. So, when I display HDV movies on this monitor I don't need any scaling. Only two horizontal black strips appear at the top and the bottom of the screen (1200-1080=2x60).
I will carefully compare two wmv files with 6Mbps and 8Mbps.

Thank you again
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Old January 19th, 2006, 10:02 AM   #10
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FCP 5 is the only version of FCP that supports HDV and I've had no problems on my old Power Mac G5 1.6 ghz single processor and esp. not on my new Quad.

For those of you who want to know about capturing via iMovie HD (the old one creates artifacting/darker video), visit:

http://hdvinfo.net/articles/edithdv/machdvworkflow.php

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Old January 21st, 2006, 02:10 PM   #11
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I've been using Womble MPEG Video Wizard for over 2 years now to edit my SD videos that I converted to MPEG2 using TMPGEnc. It's a great program for working with MPEG2. For my HC1, I've been capturing with CapDVHS, then using Video Wizard's convert stream tool to convert the .M2T file to .MPG. I then have a standard MPEG2 file to edit and store on my external hard drive.

My only complaint is with CapDVHS - I'd rather have a better capture program, one that controls the camcorder, displays a preview, AND tells me whether any frames or GOP's were dropped. I've had that functionality with Scenalyzer for DV, and I miss it.

Jacques, Lausanne is very beautiful! My wife and I lived in Basel for 5 years (in fact, our oldest son was born there), and we loved traveling to Lake Geneva and the Alps whenever we could.
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