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Old July 3rd, 2010, 01:28 AM   #1
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Handling two formats

This year I have been acquiring footage for a nature documentary about birds in the Esk Valleys, near Edinburgh, Scotland. The target audience is birding, wildlife and community groups to educate about wildlife in the local area. My two previous short films were well received and this has encouraged me to make a 30 minute documentary, this time in HD. I have used a Canon XL H1A for most of the planned shots (e.g. birds at known nest sites or breeding territories) but I also use a Canon 7D for opportunistic shots owing to the camera's portability; I can carry it when I am out walking or checking out a new location. I now have completed the shot acquisition, over two years and am ready to edit. I am working on a narration script and have a shot sequence worked out for the final production.

My editing experience is quite limited. I have to date used Premiere Elements 8 and earlier versions and am essentially self taught. I have just received a new PC (MESH; i7 930; 12GB RAM DDR3 1600MHz; 2TB RAID; ATI Radeon HD5850; Win 7 Pro) to replace an ageing unit. I have several very basic questions to ask about editing my documentary, relevant to this section:

(i) for an amateur production such as this, what would be the main advantages in upgrading to Premiere Pro CS5 from Elements ? I am embarrassed to ask such a basic question but my project at the same time will be simple with only 4 audio channels (main, music, ambient and narration) with basic transitions and titling.
(ii) can I import both formats into the same project ? and which project setting should I use ?
(iii) should I convert to an intermediate format (i.e. Cineform) before editing ?


Neil Grubb is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 3rd, 2010, 03:53 AM   #2
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(i) I can't be too sure because I've never used Premiere Elements, but I'd guess you'll get better image control with more powerful filters, better image monitoring (multiple windows, waveform, vecotrscope etc), unlimited tracks for audio & video (you'll be surprised how quickly thay add up) more options for importing and exporting media, better titling just to name a few. Probably the most important thing you'll gain is proper media and project management. You can have several different sequences (individual timelines for each scene) within a project so you don't have to work on a single 30 mintue long timeline; instead you can break it up into smaller, more managable sections. You have more options for organising your clips within Premiere Pro which makes it easier to find what you need quickly.

(ii) Yes, you can. What settings you use will depend on what frame rates you shot at with each camera. If you Shot all 60p with the 7d and all 60i with the XHA1, then I'd use a 1080 60i timeline. If you shot 24p with the XHA1 use a 24p timeline. If you shot a mixture of 24p, 30p, 60i, and 60p then the decision gets a bit harder - but the more advanced features of Pro will allow you to import and interpret your footage in a few different ways to make sure you get the best quality - eg you can import a 30p clip into a 24p project and then 'interpret' it as a 24p clip. This means it will playback slightly slower but once you drop it on the timeline there will be no blended frames or artifacting.

(iii) With CS5 on your system you probably wouldn't need to, but some people still prefer to.
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Old July 4th, 2010, 06:51 PM   #3
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I have never used Premier Elements either, so I can't comment about specific differences, but as far as the wisdom of upgrading goes, you might consider your future plans- if this project is to be a one-off production with nothing else likely then you can probably muscle your way through it with Elements and be done with it. On the other hand, if you think you will continue to produce other video programs, that would be a splendid justification for obtaining the full software suite. You certainly do have the hardware to be able to take advantage of the full performance and features of CS5.
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