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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old November 8th, 2004, 10:06 PM   #1
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Avid Xpress Pro or Sony Vegas?

I would very much appreciate some help...

I have a Panasonic DVC30 and want to get an editing package. I briefly thought about Pinnacle Studio 9, but after reading about it, would like something more substantial (and more stable).

I don't make videos for pay or anything - just amateur (home movies, etc.). I'm now trying to decide between Sony Vegas 5 or Avid Xpress Pro. Can anyone give me some advice?

Are they both stable? Is either faster than the other?

(Should I also consider Adobe Premiere?)

Also, I would like the ability to input from analog sources and output back to VCR, as well as convert some VCR tapes to DVD. What kind of card do I need to add to my PC to give me analog I/O?

Thanks for any help (and patience),
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Old November 9th, 2004, 06:08 AM   #2
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1. I would test the different NLE's myself, see what you like. If you just do it for yourself I would go with either Vegas or Premiere. Test trial versions of those products and see which you like. In your case it would probably be better to go with Vegas (ease of use, and in my opinion a bit more stable as well)

2. Analog capture can be done in multiple ways. I would NOT go with an analog capture card because this will almost always tie you to a platform (usually Premiere). Some DV camera's allow you to record from an analog source to tape (you can then capture that) or directly convert analog to DV, so you might already have an analog to DV converter. Otherwise you can buy an analog to DV (and vice versa) converter like a Canopus ADVC.

The reason I would go with such a converter (or your camera)
is that this converts your analog source to a standard DV signal
and can be captured with any application that supports DV (even
including the free Windows Movie Maker for example).

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Old November 9th, 2004, 04:44 PM   #3
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For my analog in / out I use a Pinnacle MovieBox USB. I think they're relatively cheap now. Good solid piece of kit. Converts analog directly to DV. I use it to go to/from VHS and as a quick DVD to DV convertor. There's also a firewire version (which I think also accepts composite signals).

This comes bundled with Pinnacle's own software, which may well be all you need.

I still find Avid to be a bit of a dark art (and I'm no spring chicken) but I installed Vegas for a friend the other day (and he's a real amateur) and we both got the hang of it straight away. Much more intuitive.
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Old November 12th, 2004, 12:56 PM   #4
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search for canopus ADVC50 or ADVC100 (one's internal one's external) that'll solve your VHS analog/digital problem. you should already have a firewire, as that canopus thing needs one.

re: NLE, have you used Microsoft Movie Maker 2.0? it's free update from windowsupdate. if you've never used it then you're in for a treat. it can do edits, dissolves, transitions, etc. the biggest thing going for it is that it is free and pretty intuitive! if you feel that you have moved beyond this and want to get somn better than i highly recommend vegas5+dvd package. i tend to think avid's more pro-oriented... but if you're moving up from moviemaker then you're going from consumer to prosumer which is what vegas does very well.
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