This is fun...
by boya84 - 5/6/08 3:44 PM
In Reply to: A couple more issues... by haralampi
1) I don't have a firewire port on my laptop/PC but I assume that some/most of the MiniDV cameras would support USB transfer, am I correct?
No. USB transferring/importing video from miniDV tape camcorders pretty much does not work - that's why I specified the difference. If your tower has an available PCI slot or if your laptop has an available PCMCIA slot, firewire400 ports are cheap and easy to add
Once the firewire400 card is working properly, there are no device-specific drivers (i.e., camcorder drivers) required. The firewire protocol allows for the communication between the computer and the camcorder. Generally, if the camcorder does have a USB port, that is used ONLY for transferring stills from a memory card (if it has that capability) or for web-streaming. Please note that I have specified Firewire 400 - there are two versions. the firewire800 version (much faster) will not work with your camcorder and is generally used with certain external hard drives.
With hard drive based camcorders, the USB connection requires device specific drivers and are either included with the operating system or are easily added.
2) What about the system resource's usage when it comes to editing/converting videos? My computer is not that bad but the video is integrated on the MB, so it is not the best one. Would that favor MiniDV or HDD(MPEG) conversion?
What I have found is that if your computer is within about 3 years old, you will not have an issue with editing either standard definition or high definition video. Nor will you have an issue importing standard definition video. If you are doing high definition video, there can be an issue importing (it can take longer than real time) or exporting (back out to the miniDV camcorder or burning a DVD or anything that takes CPU resources for rendering frames (transitions, titles, special effects, etc.), but this is on the CPU - not on the video card. From what I can tell, the video card hardly works at all - but the CPU is working REALLY hard. In any case, fast CPU and LOTS of RAM... I do all my editing and rendering on Macintoshes - and I am using a 3 year old PPC based 2GHz, 2 gig RAM iMac flatpanel. Most of my video is 1080i HD when it comes into the computer. It leaves the computer as 1080i (back to the camcorder), standard definition (480p, I guess) when written to the DVD, or various MPEG4 compressed data files for uploading. Yes, a new Intel-chip based CoreDuo machine would be much faster, and that is in the plans - but I'd like to get another camcorder first. Heads up on hard drive space: One hour of standard definition video uses about 14 gig of hard drive space when imported - and hidef uses about 4x more than that. I use a couple of 500 gig external (firewire-connected) drives for video project work.
3) HDD cameras use some variation of MPEG, which is data loss compression. If I take that footage that's already compressed, edit it (add music, dub it, shuffle scenes) and want to produce a DVD for example, this will mean that I will have to compress again. Would that degrade the quality of the DVD too much?
Most HDD drives do indeed use some sort of highly compressed video in side an MPEG wrapper. As soon as the video was compressed, the data was lost. Generally, when you bring the video into your computer, it is decompressed so your video editor can work on it. You are correct that you would be compressing again to render the DVD, but the data was discarded way before that. "Too much" is a relative term and subject to your eye and taste. The "high quality" hard drive or flash camcorders might be "good enough" for you... They are not for me, but then I sometimes connect my camcorder to my HDTV (using component video and the audio cables) and watch my exported final projects in high-def... I don't believe this is possible with hard drive based camcorders (you can watch the original raw, unedited, footage) - and I have exported the file as "high quality" MPEG4, connected a computer to the HDTV with a VGA cable and it looks REALLY good...
Was this reply helpful? (0) (0)