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YouTube as final output - ZR40 or get a HV30?

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Jose Malone
YouTube as final output - ZR40 or get a HV30?
on Jan 2, 2009 at 12:34:02 am

I'm a total newbie with video editing and with this site I've learned so much. I'm amazed by how much you can do with so little tools, but yet how far you can go with this. It's truly mind boggling.

Anyway, I have decided to use Sony Vegas Pro. Our goal is to create video to put on our site such as this site is doing www talkingpointsmemo com.

I have an older Canon ZR40 (NTSC) I have been testing with and was intending on using. Then I read about the XH A1 which I thought that would be the camera to get once we really worked out the bugs. But I realize the Canon HV30 is a true HD format and offers a progressive mode (OK, I barely know what I'm talking about here) and from what I read it's a truly sweet camera for the $550 price tag.

I guess what I'm trying to decide is even for the first video shoots should I get the HV30, or is the ZR40 going to be enough given we're only shooting in front of a green screen with lights and YouTube is the final resting place for these videos?

Thank you.

Jose


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Gord Stephen
Re: YouTube as final output - ZR40 or get a HV30?
on Jan 2, 2009 at 4:46:45 am

Hi Jose,

If you're going to be shooting in front of a green screen and compositing, you might want to consider the HV30. The DV and HDV formats are less-than-ideal for compositing given how much they compress the footage - but with HDV, at least you have some more pixels to play with...

The HV30 will also output uncompressed video (hasn't been encoded to HDV yet) from the HDMI port (4:2:2 colour space and 1920x1080 square pixels, as opposed to HDV's 4:2:0 and 1440x1080 'rectangular' pixels), which is a lot more appealing for greenscreen use. That being said, to go that route you would need an HDMI capture card on your computer (they're affordable, but more money nonetheless), and you would need to make sure that it was compatible with Vegas, in your case.

Personally I'm a fan of the HV30 because it's cheap but has potential for expansion. Of course, at the end of the day, it's your money - if you plan on eventually moving up to an XH-A1, perhaps you can afford to wait. Maybe shoot and composite some test footage with the ZR40 and see if you can live with the results?

Gord


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Jose Malone
Re: YouTube as final output - ZR40 or get a HV30?
on Jan 2, 2009 at 5:03:01 am

Gord,

Thank you for the quick response.

Wow. OK. This totally changes things. I wasn't at all thinking about that at all. The only cards I can seem to find are PCI Express right now.

I don't have a PCI Express slot on this computer and in my quick trials it has seemed fine for me. To render the movies which were only a few minutes max only took a little while and looked great. So I wasn't thinking about upgrading the computer just yet...

And the green screen has worked well. We have great lights and that has been pretty successful for me. So I'm not sure.

I'll need to figure out if Vegas is compatible.

Is there a camera better suited for green screens and YouTube? I'm just saying that out loud, or is HDMI going to be really what I need to jump to if I'm real about this?

Again, thank you for your help.

Jose



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Jose Malone
Re: YouTube as final output - ZR40 or get a HV30?
on Jan 2, 2009 at 5:35:39 am

Gord,

Just to make sure I get this. If I did the HDMI route this would be in real-time. So I'd need to have the computer and camera connected during shoot?

This isn't optimal given I don't want to have to lug the computer station around at the same time.

I have thought about getting a laptop that I could capture too but I doubt these would be fast enough or support this either.

Maybe this HDMI route is way more than I need? This is only going on YouTube after all.

I'm sure I'm making a video purest cry somewhere. Sorry for my ignorance.

Jose



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Gord Stephen
Re: YouTube as final output - ZR40 or get a HV30?
on Jan 2, 2009 at 4:21:15 pm

Jose,

Yeah, you would need need to capture direct to the card as you were shooting footage. Not that much of a pain for a studio setup, but it definitely becomes a hindrance if you want to take the camera anywhere else. If you're happy with the results that you're getting with your ZR40, the HDMI out would probably be overkill. Of course, you could always start with recording HDV and then move up if you ever decide that you want or need to. (As an aside, and I'm sure that someone will correct me if I'm wrong on this, it's my understanding that the XH-A1 doesn't output uncompressed, be it through HDMI or SDI - interesting, eh?)

As far as alternative cameras that would work better: as long as you're recording in DV or HDV, you're recording with 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 chroma subsampling, which is what makes keying more of an issue. No matter what camera you shoot with (again, assuming you're not moving up to a less compressed format), you'll have that to deal with. So then the issue becomes finding the camera that works the best within those limitations... and well, I'm an HV30 fanboy, you can guess my recommendation. ;)

Hope that helps!

Gord


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