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Best affordable HD camcorder to use with Mac?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
I've been casually looking at HD camcorders for over a year now and have yet to make a purchase. But I really need to pull the trigger on something. I would really like to stay under $450-$500. It will probably only be used for my daughters functions (chorus, piano recitals, etc) and the rare vacations when we get to actually take one. And I guess the main feature would be a camcorder that plays well with Macs. I guess I'm rated as a basic when it comes to tech so I don't want to have to download a bunch of programs just to get my movies to download to the Mac and then to a DVD. Would love to have a plug and play (just insert the SD card into the Mac and download) type camcorder and not lose any resolution from the video by doing so. Does anyone have any suggestion?
post #2 of 31
You might consider an iPhone or an iPod.

If that is not appealing, consider a Panasonic LX7. http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-LX7W-Digital-Intelligent-3-0-inch/dp/B008MB70TI/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358396797&sr=8-2&keywords=lx7

Read opinion and look at sample video here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1447996/the-panasonic-lx7-as-a-video-camera-thread

Bill
post #3 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokey982 View Post

the main feature would be a camcorder that plays well with Macs.
JVC HM150. Although it is a little pricier than $500.
post #4 of 31
Any recent camcorder or digital camera that shoots AVCHD will work fine with the Mac without purchasing any extra software other than what comes free when you buy the Mac - specifically iMovie.

You shoot your footage with the camcorder, then copy the files (the entire file structure) to your Mac hard drive. (You can skip this step and simply import into iMovie from the camcorder if you want to.) You then open iMovie and import the files and iMovie transcodes them into a format that is easy to edit. You edit your movie, then there are multiple options for how to output your movie, including iTunes, YouTube, various iOS devices, DVD, etc. It is really simple and straightforward and millions of people do it.

One caveat is that if you want to shoot 1080 60p footage instead of 1080 60i footage (most camcorders and cameras offer 60i, and some also offer 60p), then you will have to add a minor complication into your workflow. You will need to either purchase the program ClipWrap (there are probably free alternatives, but I am happy with ClipWrap), which can convert the 60p footage into a format that iMovie can import, or if you are a more serious movie maker, you might want to purchase Final Cut ProX, which I believe can work with 60p footage. I would suggest starting out with 60i footage as it is a simpler workflow.

If your goal is DVD, and not Blu-ray, you might want to consider that some camcorders and digital cameras can shoot in the iFrame format, which is a 960X540 format that is easily and directly editable in iMovie, and is good enough for DVD use. If you plan to eventually produce full HD 1920X1080 movies, then you should shoot in 1920X1080, and not in the iFrame format.

You might also want to consider a digital camera instead of a camcorder. For example the Sony HX20V or HX30V go for the $300 to $330 range and are great travel cameras with 20X zooms, and are known for shooting high quality AVCHD video with excellent image stabilization. You might be able to use a digital camera in situations where camcorders (even small ones) are frowned upon.

Let me know if you have other questions.
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

You shoot your footage with the camcorder, then copy the files (the entire file structure) to your Mac hard drive. (You can skip this step and simply import into iMovie from the camcorder if you want to.) You then open iMovie and import the files and iMovie transcodes them into a format that is easy to edit. You edit your movie, then there are multiple options for how to output your movie, including iTunes, YouTube, various iOS devices, DVD, etc. It is really simple and straightforward and millions of people do it.

One caveat is that if you want to shoot 1080 60p footage instead of 1080 60i footage (most camcorders and cameras offer 60i, and some also offer 60p), then you will have to add a minor complication into your workflow. You will need to either purchase the program ClipWrap (there are probably free alternatives, but I am happy with ClipWrap), which can convert the 60p footage into a format that iMovie can import, or if you are a more serious movie maker, you might want to purchase Final Cut ProX, which I believe can work with 60p footage. I would suggest starting out with 60i footage as it is a simpler workflow.
I think that "a camcorder that plays well with Macs" and "transcoding into a format that is easy to edit" are not exactly similar concepts. Considering that you already have ClipWrap, could you clear my mind on these issues:

Can iMovie edit AVCHD (AVCHD 1.0 that is) natively? Can iMovie edit AVCHD 2.0 (Progressive, 3D) natively? Can iMovie natively edit AVCHD / AVCHD 2.0 re-wrapped into QuickTime container with Clipwrap? Why you do not use ClipWrap for regular, non-1080p60 AVCHD footage?

Similar questions about FCP 7 and FCP X if you familiar with them. AFAIK, FCP X can edit native AVCHD as well as rewrapped into QuickTime. FCP 7 can edit AVCHD rewrapped into QuickTime, not sure whether it would take 1080p60. AFAIK, FCP 7 cannot edit AVCHD natively without rewrapping.

I guess, formats friendly to "Mac" (whatever that means) would be primarily something in QuickTime container (I suppose MPEG-2, AVC and older stuff like H.263 should work). Outside of that, anything that can be converted into AIC or ProRes would work.
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

Any recent camcorder or digital camera that shoots AVCHD will work fine with the Mac without purchasing any extra software other than what comes free when you buy the Mac - specifically iMovie.
That's news to me. My Mac has iMovie '11 and I have not figured out how to work with the 1080p60p video my Panasonic LX7 puts out unless I use the third party program Clipwrap to turn the footage into a quicktime .mov footage.

So Mac users who want to steer clear of this kind of electronic fustration should steer clear of Panasonic cameras and buy a brand like Canon or Olympus that generates .mp4 or .mov videos. Also, I have learned the hard way that a 1080p Panasonic video will not necessarily be sharper and clearer than a Canon or Olympus video recorded in 1080i - both my former Canon T3i and my current Olympus OMD shoot sharper and more detailed 1080i videos than my LX7 does even though the LX7 records 1080p footage (although the LX7 will record in mp4 if the owner is willing to live with the slight quality loss). So the LX7 ends up being a double negative: the 1080p footage is not as sharp as the 1080i cameras and it is about twice the file size which means it takes much longer to import and export the footage
post #7 of 31
I use VLC media player on my Macs to view my 1080p60 videos from my cameras that have 1080p60 or 1080p24/30 from my GH2.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html
post #8 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

That's news to me. My Mac has iMovie '11 and I have not figured out how to work with the 1080p60p video my Panasonic LX7 puts out unless I use the third party program Clipwrap to turn the footage into a quicktime .mov footage.

So Mac users who want to steer clear of this kind of electronic fustration should steer clear of Panasonic cameras and buy a brand like Canon or Olympus that generates .mp4 or .mov videos. Also, I have learned the hard way that a 1080p Panasonic video will not necessarily be sharper and clearer than a Canon or Olympus video recorded in 1080i - both my former Canon T3i and my current Olympus OMD shoot sharper and more detailed 1080i videos than my LX7 does even though the LX7 records 1080p footage (although the LX7 will record in mp4 if the owner is willing to live with the slight quality loss). So the LX7 ends up being a double negative: the 1080p footage is not as sharp as the 1080i cameras and it is about twice the file size which means it takes much longer to import and export the footage

Hi SD90. I specified in my message the difference between using 1080 60i footage in iMovie and using 1080 60p footage, and I certainly did not make the claim that you can directly use 1080 60p AVCHD footage in iMovie, as I know that you cannot. You don't need to use ClipWrap (or an alternative) to edit AVCHD 60i footage in iMovie. You simply import the footage and iMovie transcodes the footage into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) for easy editing. You then have numerous options for output. However, if you shoot 1080 60p footage (whether on a Panasonic or Sony) and want to use iMovie, you will need to use ClipWrap or an alternative to transcode the footage to a form that iMovie can edit. If you simply try to import the 1080 60p footage, iMovie won't accept it. Apparently FCPX can accept the 1080 60p files. Hopefully in the next version of iMovie, Apple will make the change to directly transcode 1080 60p AVCHD footage into AIC. There is no reason it can't be done, as ClipWrap can do it right now. iMovie '11 was probably originally released when 1080 60p wasn't that common.

I looked at the specs for the LX7 and it looks like it shoots 60p but not 60i. Is that correct? The Sony camcorder and digital camera that I use, the GW77V and HX30V, have the option of shooting both 60i or 60p. I would recommend to someone using iMovie on the Mac and wanting to keep things simple to shoot their footage in 60i. That is what I used to do, but I have decided recently to start shooting 60p, so that adds the slight complication of using ClipWrap to transcode the 60p footage to AIC, but it isn't a big deal. You either need to use iMovie to transcode 60i footage to AIC to edit, or use ClipWrap to transcode 60p footage to AIC. The transcoded ClipWrap footage can be used directly in iMovie with no further transcoding.
post #9 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jogiba View Post

I use VLC media player on my Macs to view my 1080p60 videos from my cameras that have 1080p60 or 1080p24/30 from my GH2.
http://www.videolan.org/vlc/download-macosx.html

Hi jogiba,

Under Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.2 using Quicktime player 10.2, I can play the 1080 60p AVCHD footage directly from Quicktime. I don't believe that earlier versions of QT or OSX could do that.
post #10 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

You simply import the footage and iMovie transcodes the footage into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) for easy editing.
7 years after AVCHD has been introduced, and 6 years after Steve Jobs recommended Panasonic HDC-SD1 AVCHD camcorder for use with Mac, iMovie still cannot edit AVCHD natively, instead transcoding it into AIC. This is some serious progress.

David, can iMovie edit AVC video without transcoding it to AIC, if it were re-wrapped with ClipWrap first?
post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

I think that "a camcorder that plays well with Macs" and "transcoding into a format that is easy to edit" are not exactly similar concepts. Considering that you already have ClipWrap, could you clear my mind on these issues:

Can iMovie edit AVCHD (AVCHD 1.0 that is) natively? Can iMovie edit AVCHD 2.0 (Progressive, 3D) natively? Can iMovie natively edit AVCHD / AVCHD 2.0 re-wrapped into QuickTime container with Clipwrap? Why you do not use ClipWrap for regular, non-1080p60 AVCHD footage?

Similar questions about FCP 7 and FCP X if you familiar with them. AFAIK, FCP X can edit native AVCHD as well as rewrapped into QuickTime. FCP 7 can edit AVCHD rewrapped into QuickTime, not sure whether it would take 1080p60. AFAIK, FCP 7 cannot edit AVCHD natively without rewrapping.

I guess, formats friendly to "Mac" (whatever that means) would be primarily something in QuickTime container (I suppose MPEG-2, AVC and older stuff like H.263 should work). Outside of that, anything that can be converted into AIC or ProRes would work.

Hi Ungermann,

iMovie was designed to make it easy and smooth to edit even HD footage on a fairly wimpy computer (for lack of a better term). In order to do this smoothly and easily, it is necessary for iMovie to first transcode the footage from interframe encoding such as AVCHD, into intraframe encoding, like AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec). Interframe encoding uses information from other nearby frames (nearby in time) to reconstruct the frame being displayed, which means it is very efficiently compressed, but more difficult to edit. Intraframe encoding compresses each frame separately without using information from nearby frames. This takes up more space, but is much easier to decode on the fly and edit.

So, to answer your question, iMovie can not edit AVCHD natively, as it was not architecturally designed to do that. It probably could be re-designed to edit AVCHD successfully natively on the most powerful Mac desktops and laptops, but on the less powerful or older machines, it just wouldn't work and Apple would have a support nightmare. Apple likes to keep things simple, so even a wimpy low end Mac can edit HD footage, but the footage needs to be transcoded. Back when HD was commonly recorded on miniDV tapes in the HDV format, I could easily edit such footage in older versions of iMovie on a Mac which by today's standards would be a laughably underpowered machine. But in order for iMovie to make it a pleasant experience on a wimpy machine, the footage had to transcoded into AIC when imported into iMovie. This was not a problem, as the footage was being played back from a tape in real time on import, and on the computer I had then, it could do the transcoding in roughly realtime, so there wasn't really any issue.

More recent Macs can easily do the transcoding in faster than real time, but of course the AVCHD footage is not being read from a tape in real time, but is copying from a memory card much faster than real time.

ClipWrap can transcode AVCHD footage into AIC format just like iMovie can. If you are shooting 60i footage and using iMovie, there is no need to use ClipWrap at all. If you are shooting 60p footage and using iMovie, then you need ClipWrap (or an alternative) to transcode the 60p footage to AIC for iMovie to use, as the current version of iMovie can not transcode 60p footage to AIC, but ClipWrap can. Hopefully Apple will allow transcoding of 60p footage into AIC in a future version of iMovie, since 60p is becoming more popular. If you are shooting 60i footage and not using iMovie, ClipWrap might be useful, as it can encode into formats other than AIC.

I used various versions of FCP when it first came out, but that was many years ago. I switched to iMovie because of its simple interface, its cost (free with a Mac purchase), and because it did everything I needed to do. I have kept my eye on FCPX, as it is way more feature laden than iMovie, but has an iMovie like interface (something FCP users complained about bitterly when FCPX came out, but which I would like.) But I don't know enough about FCPX to answer your questions. I have heard that it can ingest 60p footage, but I don't know if it edits it natively or transcodes the footage. I believe that FCPX can transcode footage in the background while you are editing in it.

Going back to the original poster's question about a camcorder or digital camera to be used for HD video to be edited on the Mac and output to DVD quality, I would still recommend the following simple ideas:

1 Get a camcorder or camera that records in 1080 60i AVCHD (very common).
2 Import the footage into iMovie and iMovie will transcode the footage upon import (you don't need to know the details of what is happening.)
3 Edit the footage in iMovie.
4 Choose the appropriate output format - you can do this multiple times after editing a project.
5 If you use 1080 60p footage, then you will need to transcode the footage into AIC using ClipWrap, instead of having iMovie doing the transcode. iMovie can then directly edit the transcoded footage.

So in summary, by using transcoded footage, iMovie is responsive and pleasant to use, even on an older underpowered Mac. I think that computers would have to be considerably more powerful than they are now to make editing AVCHD natively practical and responsive on a lower end machine, so for the time being I expect that iMovie will continue to use transcoded footage. I'd love for Apple to prove me wrong though.
post #12 of 31
David, thank you for response. I do understand that Apple "likes to keep things simple", but not even offering an option of native editing still does not play well with me. I used to edit HDV on an Athlon32 with 2GB of RAM, and it worked fine. Conversely, I had (and still have) an option to convert my original footage into intermediate codec for faster editing and potentially better grading.

When I was asking you about your use of ClipWrap I was not interested in ClipWrap's transcoding feature, but merely in its re-wrapping feature, keeping AVC video intact. This should work very quick, and such a video should be editable natively in FCP, at least in FCPX. NOt sure about iMovie.
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

David, thank you for response. I do understand that Apple "likes to keep things simple", but not even offering an option of native editing still does not play well with me. I used to edit HDV on an Athlon32 with 2GB of RAM, and it worked fine. Conversely, I had (and still have) an option to convert my original footage into intermediate codec for faster editing and potentially better grading.

When I was asking you about your use of ClipWrap I was not interested in ClipWrap's transcoding feature, but merely in its re-wrapping feature, keeping AVC video intact. This should work very quick, and such a video should be editable natively in FCP, at least in FCPX. NOt sure about iMovie.

Hi Ungermann,

I guess you wrote the above while I was writing my other longer post. I did a simple test for you, in which I simply re-wrapped a 1080 60p file using ClipWrap, which was essentially instantaneous. However, when I then imported that file to iMovie, iMovie still forced a transcode to AIC. Perhaps that would not be the case in FCPX, but I don't know.

I think I laid out the practical reasons why iMovie doesn't edit AVCHD files natively. iMovie is an amazing program, is incredibly easy to use, and is very well integrated with iTunes, iPhoto, etc. Considering that it is also a free program that comes with the purchase of a Mac, I can't really complain that it doesn't edit AVCHD natively. There are other more costly editing options for a Mac and of course other options for a PC.

I am used to transcoding, so it doesn't bother me that iMovie needs to transcode, and transcoding can be advantageous in some situations, as I explained in an earlier post. I also understand that some would rather not transcode, and for them, if they are going to use a Mac, then iMovie would not be the best choice.

For those reading these posts who don't use iMovie or a Mac, it might sound like the whole transcoding thing is complicated, but in reality it is essentially invisible to the user. When you import 1080 60i footage into iMovie, it automatically does the transcoding for you.
post #14 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

I guess you wrote the above while I was writing my other longer post. I did a simple test for you, in which I simply re-wrapped a 1080 60p file using ClipWrap, which was essentially instantaneous. However, when I then imported that file to iMovie, iMovie still forced a transcode to AIC.
Yeah, I thought that would be the case. I was interested whether it would work in case of old-fashioned 60i. Anyway, thanks for testing it.
post #15 of 31
Adobe Premier Elements 11 does all forms of AVCHD 1.0 and 2.0, including 1080p50/60. In the box is a disk that will install on either a Mac or PC. It "is an amazing program and is incredibly easy to use".

It makes any current camcorder play well with Macs. One does not "have to download a bunch of programs just to get movies to download to the Mac and then to a DVD". You can "just insert the SD card into the Mac" and move the files to the computer. Original resolution is preserved as the camcorder files remain unmodified. Videos produced are copies of the original that can be optimized for the viewing methods from iPads to YouTube.

The price ranges from $45 to $80, depending on promotions. That's pretty cheap compared to the money you spent for a Mac and a camcorder.

Bill
post #16 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ungermann View Post

Yeah, I thought that would be the case. I was interested whether it would work in case of old-fashioned 60i. Anyway, thanks for testing it.

I tried it again using ClipWrap re-wrap with 1080 60i footage, and iMovie still transcoded, as expected.
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post


Going back to the original poster's question about a camcorder or digital camera to be used for HD video to be edited on the Mac and output to DVD quality, I would still recommend the following simple ideas:

1 Get a camcorder or camera that records in 1080 60i AVCHD (very common).
2 Import the footage into iMovie and iMovie will transcode the footage upon import (you don't need to know the details of what is happening.) .

But isn't any video recording in AVCHD a .mts or m2ts file? If so, to my knowledge iMovie can't import .mts or m2ts files unless they are first converted into mp4 or .mov files using a third party program.

If this is correct I would suggest to the original poster to get a still camera or camcorder that records video as .mov or .mp4 files and then those files can be offloaded from the SD card onto his Mac computer and then imported into iMovie.

All the latest Olympus cameras record 1080 footage as mp4 files. All the Canon still cameras record 1080 footage as .mov files. Panasonic still cameras like the LX7 and the FZ200 allow the user the option to record 1080 footage as .mp4 files or mts. Panasonic camcorders appear to record mts files only, while the Canon Vixia models offer the option to record both mts and mp4 files.

I would not recommend the Adobe Premier Elements 11 movie editing program for a beginner because the iMovie is difficult enough initially for a beginner (though is quickly mastered). Adobe Premier would likely be too much for a beginner to handle right off the bat.
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Sholle View Post

Hi jogiba,

Under Mountain Lion OSX 10.8.2 using Quicktime player 10.2, I can play the 1080 60p AVCHD footage directly from Quicktime. I don't believe that earlier versions of QT or OSX could do that.
Hi David, thanks for that info, I just clicked on some of my 1080p60 AVCHD videos in Quicktime player on my i7 MacBook Air and they play great.

Joe
post #19 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

I would not recommend the Adobe Premier Elements 11 movie editing program for a beginner.
I am a beginner. I started two years ago. I learned three different editors before I tried Premier Elements. That chewed up a year. I would be less of a beginner had I not wasted that year re-learning approaches to editing techniques. The word "Elements" in the program title is there to tell consumers it is Adobe's version of a beginner's editor. It does have a full spectrum of tools that are optional to the beginner, but available when the beginner wants to proceed.

Adobe calls the "beginner" mode "Quick". Additionally, Version 11 cleaned up the interface so that all the distracting buttons, options and tools are neatly tucked under unobtrusive tabs and buttons. Watching one or two sort videos at "Adobe TV" would have any beginner making a basic video in an evening.

When I was shopping for an video editing machine last fall, I stopped at an Apple store and told the salesman my purpose. He blazed through a video demo with iMovie that made my head spin. It automatically turned a few simple clips into a boring clone of a Hollywood blockbuster. Then he told me buying a Mac would "change my life". I only wanted to do short videos with simple transitions. Not wanting life itself to transform, I stuck with Premier Elements and upgraded my PC.

As I wrote in my earlier post, Premier Elements 11 is the easy way for a beginner with any brand of computer and any brand of camcorder to edit AVCHD (or other type of file) into videos.

Bill
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

But isn't any video recording in AVCHD a .mts or m2ts file? If so, to my knowledge iMovie can't import .mts or m2ts files unless they are first converted into mp4 or .mov files using a third party program.

If this is correct . . .

Hi SD90,

No, it is not correct, as I made clear in my first post in this thread, as well in at least one subsequent post. I have been editing 1080 60i AVCHD video for several years now, only using iMovie, without any third party programs. As I posted, iMovie, while importing the AVCHD footage, will transcode the files to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec), without needing any third party programs. I also made it clear that if you shoot 1080 60p, then you will need to use a third party program, such as ClipWrap or an alternative, to do the conversion to AIC, as iMovie does not currently convert 1080 60p footage.

This is why I strongly suggested to the originator of the thread, smokey982, to simply obtain a suitable camcorder or camera that shoots 1080 60i. It will work fine in iMovie on the Mac (without needing any additional third party programs) and is simple to do and I have been doing it for years.
post #21 of 31
I think it is not wise to choose a shooting mode or camcorder to suit a piece of limited software. Do not get a camcorder or camera that cannot shoot 108060p (this barely limits your choice set).

In particular, there is no reason to shoot 60i when one can shoot 60p - interlaced is inferior, period. On most camcorders or cameras 108060p is conspicuously better than 108060i, if one has the choice.

Obviously iMovie has not kept up with current trends in video, for whatever reason.

As Bill has mentioned, Premier Elements 11 is available for the Mac and edits 108060p natively. No need for rewarpping or transforming (the latter lowers quality).

.
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Do not get a camcorder or camera that cannot shoot 108060p (this barely limits your choice set). In particular, there is no reason to shoot 60i when one can shoot 60p - interlaced is inferior, period. On most camcorders or cameras 108060p is conspicuously better than 108060i, if one has the choice.
"interlaced is inferior, period" is based on theory. In the real world I don't believe any of the videogeeks on this forum can tell whether or not a good looking landscape video on YouTube or Vimeo (good landscape clarity, detail and color) was shot in 60i or 60p. So if someone ask a question like: "What camera shot this spectacularly sharp and lifelike colorful video of Yosemite I saw on Youtube"? the videogeeks will not be able to say: "oh that was obviously shot in 60p by a 60p capable camera."
Edited by SD90 - 1/18/13 at 1:15pm
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by SD90 View Post

"interlaced is inferior, period" is based on theory. In the real world I don't believe any of the videogeeks on this forum can tell whether or not a good looking landscape video on YouTube or Vimeo (good landscape clarity, detail and color) was shot in 60i or 60p. So if someone ask a question like: "What camera shot this spectacularly sharp and lifelike colorful video of Yosemite I saw on Youtube"? the videogeeks will not be able to say: "oh that was obviously shot in 60p by a 60p capable camera."
It is practically impossible to figure out whether the camera was shooting in 60p. But opposite is true, it is often easy to figure out that the video originated from interlaced source, and the editors/uploaders did not care to deinterlace it correctly:



See more here: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1397430/interlaced-video-must-be-correctly-deinterlaced-for-web-video-delivery

Interlace has its place during times of analog video and CRT TVs, but now it is outdated and the sooner it is abolished the better.

It is possible to create decent-looking 720p60 from 1080i, but with all other things being equal 1080p60 will have more detail.

See this about correct deinterlacing: http://www.avchduser.com/articles/watching_interlaced_video.jsp
post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

I think it is not wise to choose a shooting mode or camcorder to suit a piece of limited software. Do not get a camcorder or camera that cannot shoot 108060p (this barely limits your choice set).

In particular, there is no reason to shoot 60i when one can shoot 60p - interlaced is inferior, period. On most camcorders or cameras 108060p is conspicuously better than 108060i, if one has the choice.

Obviously iMovie has not kept up with current trends in video, for whatever reason.

As Bill has mentioned, Premier Elements 11 is available for the Mac and edits 108060p natively. No need for rewarpping or transforming (the latter lowers quality).

.

Hi Mark,

I agree with you in general about 60i vs 60p, but if you read the original post, it stated that smokey982 wanted to use their Mac without buying or downloading additional software. In addition, smokey982 said they wanted to produce DVDs (not Blu-rays). I was providing smokey982 with an appropriate option to do exactly what they wanted, and also trying through this thread to clear up some confusion about iMovie and ClipWrap. I think there are numerous cameras and camcorders in smokey982's price range that can do both 60i and 60p. It might make a lot of sense for smokey982 to get a camcorder that can do both, and start with 60i and iMovie (with no additional cost for software and which will work fine for DVDs), but have the option to start shooting in 60p and spending the money for other software if so desired.

My first use of Adobe Premiere was back in the early 1990s, with Adobe Premiere 1.0 on the Mac that could create 160X120 movies (seemed amazing at the time), and then after several iterations of Premiere I switched to FCP, and eventually iMovie, so I don't have much knowledge of recent versions of Premiere. Since you seem to know about Premiere Elements 11 for the Mac, do you know if it edits natively fairly responsively projects with numerous clips, transitions, titles, audio edits, etc.? Since iMovie uses transcoded footage, it still edits very responsively in a complex project, even on a fairly wimpy machine. I would consider trying Premiere Elements 11 if it really edits 60p natively and it does so responsively. I can't stand using an editing program that is not responsive while I am using it. I read up some more on FCPX and noticed that it has the option of editing AVCHD natively, as well as transcoding the AVCHD footage, which might be more appropriate in certain situations. If I decide to move away from iMovie, I think I would spend the extra money for FCPX instead of Premiere Elements 11, as I like the way that Apple does interface design. I realize that is a personal issue though.

I think that your comments about transcoding being undesirable are a little too black and white, when the reality is more of a shade of gray. If you are only doing cuts in editing (as I know you espouse in other threads) it really makes a lot of sense to edit AVCHD natively, if possible. But the situation becomes more shaded if there are numerous clips, titles, color grading, effects, etc., and transcoding begins to make a lot more sense, as evidenced by the numerous professional editors that work with visually lossless transcoded footage. However, within the context of this forum, I think your comment about transcoding is very reasonable.

Also Mark, I want to thank you for your numerous thoughtful posts on this and other forums about various digital cameras and camcorders, including sample footage. I ended up buying a GW77V based on your posts, and it is a great unobtrusive travel camcorder, especially in bad weather.
post #25 of 31
Here I pitted two 60p Panasonics against the 60i Olympus OMD and I think the footage of the OMD is the clearest: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vyaoDof558
These are all straight out of the camera with no sharpening in post.
post #26 of 31
Are you comparing cameras or 60p versus 60i, the topic here?

If you want to compare 60p to 60i, then shoot *with the same camera* 60p and 60i and compare (ceteris paribus).

Whups, I do not think the Olympus OMD 5 actually records interlaced. It uses a process called progressive segmented frame, that means it is really 30p dressed to look like 60i. So in fact the OMD is shooting progressive, just at a lower frame rate (30fps) than cameras that shoot at a real 60p. Indeed, the OMD cannot even shoot 72060p; it can only do 72030p.

Its video looks good though.
Edited by markr041 - 1/18/13 at 6:29pm
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by markr041 View Post

Whups, I do not think the Olympus OMD 5 actually records interlaced. It uses a process called progressive segmented frame, that means it is really 30p dressed to look like 60i. So in fact the OMD is shooting progressive, just at a lower frame rate (30fps) than cameras that shoot at a real 60p.
I didn't know that. Thanks for the clarification.
post #28 of 31
Thread Starter 
Well I've been out of pocket for a while so I'm just now getting around to reading all the post. I appreciate all the info from everyone. Most everything makes perfect sense (although some things were a little over my head). I would like some clarification on the end result of a DVD if I use a 60i camera and use iMovie to create the DVD. I was always under the impression that DVD can't show anything above 480i, is that correct? I didn't mention creating blu-ray because I don't necessarily need 1080p movies, although I would at least like them to be 16:9 ratio and at least 720p or 1080i. Would I be able to get that from DVD?
post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokey982 View Post

Well I've been out of pocket for a while so I'm just now getting around to reading all the post. I appreciate all the info from everyone. Most everything makes perfect sense (although some things were a little over my head). I would like some clarification on the end result of a DVD if I use a 60i camera and use iMovie to create the DVD. I was always under the impression that DVD can't show anything above 480i, is that correct? I didn't mention creating blu-ray because I don't necessarily need 1080p movies, although I would at least like them to be 16:9 ratio and at least 720p or 1080i. Would I be able to get that from DVD?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD is a storage media. It does not "show" anything.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DVD-Video is a video recording format.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc confusingly defines as both media format and video recording format together, but just like with DVD, if there is no specific file structure required for BD video than it is just a data disc.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD#AVCHD_as_distribution_format is a way to record kinda sorta BD video on DVD media. Obviously, this will not play in a regular DVD video player.

Downscaling is simple, so you can get 480i from 1080i, but to my eye 480i looks really crappy on a large HD screen, with thick twittering lines, and no fancy in-TV deinterlacing can help with it. On the other hand, you cannot have 60p on DVD-Video. So... if you want twitter-free looking video with full 480 lines in each frame (almost HD like! Compare to Netflix) you should use 24p. But in this case you need to be careful with motion.

As I don't mind 24p look I shoot most my stuff in 24p. Works both for BD and DVD.
post #30 of 31

Hi can you tell me if this will work with the Sony Handyman CX-220 Camrecorder. I just bought it and I'm going to Africa in two days and want to be sure it will work?

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