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Old September 24th, 2012, 10:19 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Raleigh NC
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Codec versus Camera

Greetings - I've searched on this topic without success. If this is posted in the wrong area, or there are posts related to my question I'd gladly welcome guidance.

I have dabbled with video for years, primarily on mini-dv tape formats including SD and HDV. I'd like to move to digital capture using FCP X. I am having difficulty determining which codec to use, as well as which camera using a specific codec. I'm an amateur, but like quality goods.

I am considering a Canon XF100, but I read that the 50Mbs codec is "overkill" for non critical applications, and that editing/importing/storing footage is challenging. I then read that the Sony codec on the PWM-EX1R is more than enough for non broadcast use and the larger chips make up for shortfall in the codec. One person explained it to me this way: "If you don't capture the image correctly initially the codec doesn't matter at all. You can't improve on a poorly captured image/audio. Put your money into getting the best acquisition, they fix it in post."

I don't expect to broadcast on the BBC, but I do like knowing that the camera I select is capable of that type of quality. An analogy would be buying a high end sports car, with capability far above my skill level, but the ownership experience adds to the "fun" of having a highly capable tool to use, appreciate and admire.

So, as I consider my options, where do I start? Is the codec the key? I'd like to avoid third party external recording add ons (Ki Pro, NanoFlash, etc.) and work with the camcorder only. The convenience and low cost of SDHC format cameras is wonderful, but I would consider CF (as on the XF100) or even SxS on the Sony.

Related issues are ingesting/transcoding various codecs, etc. It's a hobby to me, not a paying avocation, so being cost effective is important, but getting the right tool is more important.

Thanks in advance for the help.
Len Capristo is offline   Reply

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