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Did I blunder?

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valiant ocd
Did I blunder?
on Jun 29, 2005 at 6:42:45 pm

Hello to all!

I'm new to these boards and also to video editing (I can almost hear all the sarcastic "no kiddings" out there). I have a lot of experience in multitrack musical recording so at least the concept is not new to me. Here is my question.

I bought a brand spanking new sony handy cam model DCR DVD301. This camera uses the 8cmDVD media type. It seems to be a really well thought out piece of equipment IMHO. So naturally I take some quick shots of 2 or 3 scenes and proceed to attempt my first edit. Nothing fancy, just an opening scene, a simple transition or two and a closing scene. Now keep in mind I am using the bare bones editing software that came with the camera (image mixer). To my surprise I am succesful! I manage to get about a 15 minute DVD complete with a menu etc. burned and working. (yay me !) Problem is that it took me about 4 hours.

So in an attempt to research ways to speed the process up I discover this VERY helpful site and almost immediatley read the words.

"under no circumstances should you buy a camcorder without a firewire port"

My camera has no firewire port Surprised ops: .............but my PC does.....

Am I screwed?

Should I try to exchange the camera for one that has a ilink, or is this http://www.videoguys.com/studiodeluxe.html hardware a viable alternative

I thought it might be helpful for you folks in the know to know what I am working with. so here are my pc specs.

pentium 4 1.8Ghz processor
Windows XP
512 MB DDR sdRAM
80 GB hard drive
and i just added a usb 2.0 port (whew!.... this editing stuff is exhausting!)

Also, I plan to purchase the pinnacle studio software I have read so much about on this board.

1) Is there any way around my Fire wire problem?
2)Why can't I just take the disc from the camera and dump the data
straight to the PC?
3) What hardware setup would be the best way to go?

How's that for a first post? Very Happy

Thanks in advance for any help given. I hope to become a regular poster!


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valiant ocd
Re: Did I blunder?
on Jul 25, 2005 at 2:08:18 pm

ok, I guess everyone's been busy.................... Thanks anyway


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John Q
Re: Did I blunder?
on Jul 26, 2005 at 4:04:44 am

Your camcorder doesn't have firewire, because it's recording in a non-DV format, i.e. in MPEG-2 IBP with GOP header DVD format. This variable rate compression technique is great for distributing video, but not for editing, as you discovered. Camcorders with DV formatted tape record a fixed compression ratio that is downloaded directly over a firewire interface, thus no loss in digitization. It is possible to transcode your DVD video into DV format, but it's time consuming and the resulting video is uncompressed and then recompressed to put back on another DVD. You lose quality with every compression step. Edited camcorder DVD's are just not going to look as good as edited DV transcoded down to DVD format. So either be happy with limited editing capability of your miniDVD's or switch over to miniDV format.

Read the Videoguys handbook pages for pointers on what it takes to edit video.


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Matt Gray
Re: Did I blunder?
on Jul 26, 2005 at 11:34:23 am

A P4 1.8? Whoa. How long have you been hangin' on to that one?

I highly recommend getting an additional hard drive (internal or external, although the external would require the firewire connection) to store your footage on.

Also, if you plan on going with Pinnacle, get Studio 9 Plus. If not the Liquid Edition.

Upgrading the processor couldn't hurt either.


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