Simple video editing...best camcorder? Or do you even need a camcorder these days? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 06-29-2012, 09:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay I've not looked at camcorders in years. A few years back my son and I both enjoyed making cute/funny music videos at home and posting them online...just for fun. He got a little fancier than I and used Sony Vegas...I think I just used moviemaker...but some of the videos were just from my Canon A620 digital camera, which I believe delivers in .avi format. My son often used our old Sony HandyCam...yeah - it uses a tape...and downloading to the computer was easy, editing was simple.
Fast forward to today.

So, I'd like to play around with videos again...but I don't want to use the old heavy HandyCam...and although I could still use my A620...I am wondering what the options are today. Is it easier to edit now? Harder? What about the formats...are they standardized or do you never know if what you have will work until you try it? I'm just talking simple home music video editing here....just for us to laugh at. So I'm not looking to spend a bundle....but I just wanted to see what the options are out there today. What do you guys use? What do you recommend?

Thanks a bunch!
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post #2 of 8 Old 06-29-2012, 11:49 AM
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SD cards for storage, the AVCHD format, HD TV and the goal to make cameras better than cell phones have created some opportunities for home video. Consumer camcorders and cameras are merging into "hybrids" that do both well.

Editing is a lot easier. Because video is no longer on tape, it is easy to do what is called "Non Linear Editing" meaning you can clip, cut and join clips together quickly.

Between my wife, granddaughters and I we have three cameras that use the standard SD cards, record in AVCHD formats and came with good editing software. The resulting video plays beautifully on current big screen HD TVs through the camera, a Blu-Ray player, media player or laptop.

One camera was a $1000 "camcorder". One was a $550 camera. The third is a pocket point and shoot camera for $330. In normal conditions, I can't see significant difference between the three with my eyes on the HD TV.

The cheapest camera is the one I seem to use the most, so I will recommend you look at it. It is a Sony HX9V and is considered last years model so may be hard to find. The stereo sound recording is quite good The current version is the Sony HX20V or similar HX30V. Searching YouTube will provide lots of "test videos" that will show you how good it can be with these small cameras.

Bill
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post #3 of 8 Old 06-29-2012, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks Bill...good info. Since you mention a Sony, that brings up something I've read on a few sites. Is the format of the Sony camera video, something that is easily transferred to your pc and edited easily? What I want is to put videos to music...so I need to be able to add an audio track and "synch"it (not sure what the proper terminology is), as well as perhaps add some special effects. I don't have any problems using software to do that, but I want to make sure that the video format provided by the camera is not one that is a PITA to use. I know I get movies sent to me from people with iPhones, and I always hate that as they are quicktime movies and they won't play with anything else. I read somewhere that the Sony videos were of a proprietary format and a pain to edit. I want to avoid that if I can.
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post #4 of 8 Old 06-29-2012, 03:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post

.... Is the format of the Sony camera video, something that is easily transferred to your pc and edited easily? What I want is to put videos to music...so I need to be able to add an audio track and "synch"it (not sure what the proper terminology is), as well as perhaps add some special effects. I don't have any problems using software to do that, but I want to make sure that the video format provided by the camera is not one that is a PITA to use.......
Sony and Pansonic teamed up to create a standard called AVCHD. You can read about it here: Wikipedia: AVCHD. It has become a defacto standard for consumer and some pro models of camcorders. I know nothing about Canon cameras and camcorders so I can't help you there. The files created in that standard are everything but a PITA!

AVCHD combined with SD cards make it easy. Pull the card from the camera and plug it into your computer's card reader or a cheap card reader plugged into your computer's USB port. If you don't like that, plug the camera into the USB with the supplied cord.

Launch the software that comes with the camera and it will copy, as well as catolog, the video to your computer. If you don't like that, you can copy the video files with Windows Explorer. If you don't like that either, most video editing software will do it too.

You made it slightly more complicated when you wrote you want to " I need to be able to add an audio track and "synch"it (not sure what the proper terminology is), as well as perhaps add some special effects". The various software that comes with the cameras may or may not do that very well. However, my favorite editor, Adobe Premier Elements 10 for about $75 does an amazing job with sound tracks and has no problem reading and using the AVCHD files I get from my cameras. Many that post here prefer the consumer version Sony Vegas for about the same price.

I'm not saying there isn't a little learning curve with this stuff. But, it is fun and the results can be spectacular with the current cameras, computers, software and all the various viewing options.

Bill
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post #5 of 8 Old 06-30-2012, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Okay...that helps. Yeah we do have Sony Vegas...I might have to upgrade but I'm fine with that. I had read that the AVCHD format was a problem for many editing programs, so maybe it's just a matter of the technology has caught up now. Thanks!
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post #6 of 8 Old 07-01-2012, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChessieMom View Post

I had read that the AVCHD format was a problem for many editing programs, so maybe it's just a matter of the technology has caught up now.
A lot of things happened in 5 years.

It terms of camcorders and editing: shoot in progressive, edit in progressive, deliver in progressive. Forget old-fashioned interlaced video.
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post #7 of 8 Old 07-01-2012, 11:47 PM
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I'd say forget the camcorder. Use the point-and-shoot camera you have. Otherwise, if you wanted to upgrade slightly, plenty of YouTubers are using the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS (very recently discontinued), or the 110 HS (which just came out a couple months ago).
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post #8 of 8 Old 07-02-2012, 08:50 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jimmy Russells View Post

I'd say forget the camcorder. Use the point-and-shoot camera you have. Otherwise, if you wanted to upgrade slightly, plenty of YouTubers are using the Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS (very recently discontinued), or the 110 HS (which just came out a couple months ago).

thanks!
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