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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 17th, 2006, 04:33 PM   #1
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Acquiring footage with computer

Hi folks,

I'm new to the PDX10 and shot my first real footage last week at a motorcycle show. I've just purchased a firewire card and properly installed it, hooked up the PDX10 and used Windows Movie Maker(?) to send the footage to my hard drive. I had shot everything in 16:9 - but Windows was only aquiring it in 4:3 and would not give me the option to import the footage as it was shot. I used the highest quality setting (as per the Windows option) and sent roughly 22 mins of footage to the hard drive - for some reason this entire file was only @ 30 meg in size (which seems much too small - no?). The colour of the footage looked good as I was previewing it during the "transfer" stage - however, you could tell it was "squashing" my orginal aspect ratio producing and producing the unwanted "narrowing" effect. When I then saved the file to my desktop and viewed it using Windows Media Player - it looked awful.

Therefore my question is - what am I doing wrong? Is it the software and should I be running out to by something really cool right now? I want to shoot in 16:9 and broadcast to the web in 16:9. Any suggetions for this amateur would be really appreciated - as the footage I shot looks really good on both the PDX10 LCD display and awesome on my Sony Vega TV. Thanks!!!
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Old February 17th, 2006, 05:16 PM   #2
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I don't use Windows, but obviously there are some software issues there.

16:9 footage is really just the same as 4:3, but everything is squashed horizontally. This is why it's called "anamorphic," which literally means "changed shape." However that data stream contains a flag indicating the footage is anamorphic, and most editing software will notice that an adjust the proportions of the editing window. Your software may not support anamorphic 16:9... if so then you should consider switching to a more mainstream program like Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas.

30MB is way too small for a 22 minute clip! Full quality DV is 25 megabits per second, so do the math...

25,000,000 / 8 = 3,125,000 bytes per second
3.125 x 60 = 187.5 megabytes/minute
22 x 187.5 = 4,125 megabytes

So your clip should really be 4.125 gigabytes!
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Old February 20th, 2006, 07:16 AM   #3
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Hi there and welcome to the group,
The first thing you need to do is to get the GREAT 16:9 footage from your PDX10 to your computer. http://scenalyzer.com/ is my app of choice. Some apps such as WinDV don't copy the audio correctly. I've never had any problems with ScenalyzerLive.

From there it's really up to you on how much editing you want to do. I use ULead Media Studio Pro 8, but anything that can import standard DV (and work with 16:9) and can produce DVD compatable mpeg2 should work.

From there it's what you want to author and burn your final DVDs with.

You may want to check out http://www.videohelp.com There is tons of information, it really helped me out. With a little planning and a PDX10 you should be able to get amazing 16:9 footage.

More than anything, Have Fun!

P.S. Search this site for ways to set-up the custom settings on the PDX10 to get even better video than the default settings allow.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #4
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Another option is to use the Avid FreeDV application. Easily found on the Avid.com website. If you want to learn to edit like the "big boys" in film and video, you have to learn their toys. That would mean you are looking at 4 Non Linear Editing applications. In my favorite order:
Avid, Vegas, Premiere and Final Cut. All 4 of these will correctly handle 16:9 footage very well. I am an Avid guy but spent many happy early years with Premiere.

In Avid land, the 4:3 or 16:9 part is inconsequential until you create your final output back to tape or a DVD, etc. In Avid you sinply change the aspect ratio on your PC monitor within the application and keep editing. Kind of handy actually as you can instantly change to 4:3 and letterbox the footage with a quick filter application.

More advanced stuff will come later. Boyd is a great resource on all this. You'll find lots of good info on this branch of the forums. Welcome aboard. I know the camera isn't the newest toy on the block but if you are doing regular old video in widescreen, you picked a real gem. I love mine.

Sean McHenry
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:38 PM   #5
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One of the difficulties with playing captured DV footage on a PC, is that imbedded flags to indicate display aspect ratio for video streams in an AVI container, are almost universally ignored by the players (like Windows Media Player), so unaltered, captured DV gets displayed with a 1:1 pixel aspect ratio (4:3 also gets distorted, perhaps slightly less noticably).
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Old February 21st, 2006, 09:49 PM   #6
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An easy, and free, way to convert unaltered, captured DV to display correctly on a PC, is to resize to 640x480 (for 4:3) or 854x480 (for 16:9) in VirtualDub (freeware). If you download the Xvid codec (also freeware), and use it for the compression codec in VirtualDub, you can also trim the file sizes quite a bit, with virtually no loss in visual quality.
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Old February 24th, 2006, 05:04 PM   #7
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Thanks guys!

It really impresses me how willing you guys are to help someone new to this - I really appreciate it! I've decided to buy Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 - as I have been told it will work really well with the 16:9 footage. Now I will start reading some threads to get the most out of this camera. Thanks again!
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Old February 26th, 2006, 02:37 AM   #8
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You might want to download the trial versions of PP and Vegas, and give them both a try before making an investment in editing software.
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Old February 27th, 2006, 12:39 AM   #9
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And don't forget that Avid FreeDV either.

Sean McHenry
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