Advice on camcorders and video editing

bstevenson

Standard Member
Hi,
Ive been making home movies for a decade now, mostly of the kids to send back to my family overseas. I'm basically looking for a more streamlined way of doing so with the highest possible quality of footage based on equipment I can afford.
Currently I am using a Canon HDV (yes still on those ancient tapes) which I download to the computer and create a DVD using Nero editing software.
Obviously the tapes and the DVD's are going the way of the Dodo.
I still use the tapes as I like to have a hard copy of the original footage. I have found though that the quality is greatly lost after transferring to the pc, editing with Nero and especially burning to and playing on DVD.
I am now thinking that using a camera with an sd card and saving raw footage to an external hard drive will suffice. Then use an editing program to create a professional style movie (ie. title page, menu page, music etc) to be downloaded onto a second hard drive and then stream through my pc to tv to watch. I could also then save said movie to a stick drive to send to my family overseas who could watch the same way.
Does this sound like the most technically efficient way of doing things, bearing in mind I want to keep raw footage, make a 'movie' and be able to send and watch the highest quality of footage possible? But these are just home movies of the family so I'm not looking to spend a fortune on semi pro kit.
The current camera is HD, Nero supports HD and BluRay and my TV is 4k. The laptop is a Lenovo i5 Intel on Windows 10.
Any ideas suggestions? Especially regarding equipment, new camera, video editing software etc or on a more effective process?
At the moment I know what I'm doing is outdated so looking to make it easier, more up to date and not lose to much quality from the original footage along the way.
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
 

Thordell

Standard Member
What you have laid out sounds fine , It's more or less what I do, the only other thing I do more is I film our dog breed at dog shows edit and add titles to the film and put it up on our clubs facebook page for the Members who were showing and those that couldn't get the to watch the whole of the classes
 

Terfyn

Well-known Member
First most consumer cams these days use SD card. The most noticeable difference to a DV cam is that every shot is in a separate file so you do not need to break up the continuous flow of video into shots using the timecode. FireWire is not used as the SD card can be downloaded into your PC either via USB or directly using a card reader. All the video files are in one of the folders on the card.

Most video editors allow a 30 day free download. You do need a PC that is reasonably up to date as editors are quite demanding of PC performance. Example: If to go to Corel UK and look up VideoStudio, you will find a minimum computer specification for running VideoStudio. The editor I use is Corel VideoStudio Pro X8 but there are many others.
The editors do not affect the original video files from your camera. They create an instruction list that takes the information from the video files and applies the actions you have set up in the editor. The modified video is then put together as a final compiled video in a process called rendering. This means that you must retain the links between the raw video and the instruction file at all times during the editing process.
For Example: I download my video files from the SD card into a named subfolder in the "My Video" folder. I then "load" the subfolder into my editor (this produces the links and the access from the editor to the subfolder) and I am provided with thumbnails of each video file. I then edit the video as if it were in the editor i.e. the video will run in a preview window and behave as if it were directly loaded to the editor. This process creates an project file of instructions which is saved in a folder created by the editor. (You can have a number of Project files using the same raw video files to create final videos aimed at different audiences)
Finally you render the compiled video and create a new file that can be saved or burnt to DVD. I render two final files, one to be burnt to DVD for my family and another in AVCHD format that I store on a second SD card for viewing on my Blu-Ray player.

My current cameras are Panasonic, HC-750 and a slightly older HC-V700. I use both and this allows two camera editing plus I let my Grandchildren use the 700 to film for themselves.
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
Hi,
Ive been making home movies for a decade now, mostly of the kids to send back to my family overseas. I'm basically looking for a more streamlined way of doing so with the highest possible quality of footage based on equipment I can afford.
Currently I am using a Canon HDV (yes still on those ancient tapes) which I download to the computer and create a DVD using Nero editing software.
Obviously the tapes and the DVD's are going the way of the Dodo.
I still use the tapes as I like to have a hard copy of the original footage. I have found though that the quality is greatly lost after transferring to the pc, editing with Nero and especially burning to and playing on DVD.
I am now thinking that using a camera with an sd card and saving raw footage to an external hard drive will suffice. Then use an editing program to create a professional style movie (ie. title page, menu page, music etc) to be downloaded onto a second hard drive and then stream through my pc to tv to watch. I could also then save said movie to a stick drive to send to my family overseas who could watch the same way.
Does this sound like the most technically efficient way of doing things, bearing in mind I want to keep raw footage, make a 'movie' and be able to send and watch the highest quality of footage possible? But these are just home movies of the family so I'm not looking to spend a fortune on semi pro kit.
The current camera is HD, Nero supports HD and BluRay and my TV is 4k. The laptop is a Lenovo i5 Intel on Windows 10.
Any ideas suggestions? Especially regarding equipment, new camera, video editing software etc or on a more effective process?
At the moment I know what I'm doing is outdated so looking to make it easier, more up to date and not lose to much quality from the original footage along the way.
Any help appreciated.
Thanks
Considering your tv is 4k not getting a 4k Camcorder or a Camera that does 4k video and stills would seem pointless imo,there are many 4k options now from the major manafactuars and they cost the same in most cases as normal HD machines.You would have the option of either recording 4K and rendering the footage to normal 1920x1080P which still looks far better than footage recorded on HD cams or going the whole hog and making 4K films,either way the films can be rendered onto external hard drives,external hard drives will play on 4K tvs,also when the films are made copys can be put on any disc formats that you wish to send to your family.Cyberlink power director is the best software i have used,the latest version is 14.
 

dosdan

Active Member
You would have the option of either recording 4K and rendering the footage to normal 1920x1080P which still looks far better than footage recorded on HD cams

I'd like to see examples of clips from 4K-camcorder-converted-to-HD vs HD-camcorder to see the possible improvement. Similar price-bracket cameras used in the comparison to give roughly similar lens quality would be the best way to do this. You'd think that a 4K camera would need a better quality lens, or the extra resolution would either be lost or other aberrations like lateral CA might become be more obvious. But if both cameras were in a similar price bracket, the manufacturer might have to skimp on a better lens in the 4K version to reign in the cost.

Dan.
 

chrishull3

Well-known Member
I'd like to see examples of clips from 4K-camcorder-converted-to-HD vs HD-camcorder to see the possible improvement. Similar price-bracket cameras used in the comparison to give roughly similar lens quality would be the best way to do this. You'd think that a 4K camera would need a better quality lens, or the extra resolution would either be lost or other aberrations like lateral CA might become be more obvious. But if both cameras were in a similar price bracket, the manufacturer might have to skimp on a better lens in the 4K version to reign in the cost.

Dan.
If you had been using 4K you would know what i meen.The FZ1000 costs a lot less than the Canon HC-G30 but compare the 2 films.
even watching on the 1920x1080P you tubbe setting there is a noticable difference,on a large screen tv the difference gets bigger.
It is nothing to do with the lenses
watch this
even watching at 1920x1080P there is a big difference watching on a 4K set the difference is even bigger

 
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dosdan

Active Member
Thanks Chris, but I didn't want to compare camcorders with fixed lenses vs MILCs. A test with similar format models from the same manufacturer, in similar price-brackets, with similar sensor sizes like a HC-VX870 vs HC-V750 comparison would reduce the number of variables.

The question I'm posing is "How much of an improvement are this year's 4K/UHD models over last year's HD models, when played back at HD?"

Dan.
 
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chrishull3

Well-known Member
Thanks Chris, but I didn't want to compare camcorders with fixed lenses vs MILCs. A test with similar format models from the same manufacturer, in similar price-brackets, with similar sensor sizes like a HC-VX870 vs HC-V750 comparison would reduce the number of variables.

The question I'm posing is "How much of an improvement are this year's 4K/UHD models over last year's HD models, when played back at HD?"

Dan.
Dan the FZ1000 and all except the EOSM in my films are fixed lens,i have not used a HC-VX870 but i would be surprised if there was much difference using one in tests against 1920X1080P cams than with the FZ1000,That cam is going for a fairly low price now
Panasonic HC-VX870 4K Camcorder
 

12harry

Distinguished Member
If you are going to play back at HD then the difference should be "very little" - however, as things move forward the 4K camcorder may have additional features filmmakers actually want ( ?), like built-in ND filters for better Out of Focus backgrounds, etc. . . . so it may be the "features" that swing it, rather than any theoretical advantage. - However, the prospect of zooming-in (in Edit) may appeal - it will be interesting to see if upgraded Editors allow this as the degradation won't be noticed - it might also allow a subtle stabaliser effect to be under the Editor's control ( perhaps using the mouse as guide?), so the viewer see only a really smooth movement. Such feature would not work with a straight HD file however good the optics
- although with CX410 ( and others with BOSS ) it is possible to be almost up to pro-steadycam quality . . . I'm not quite there in HD, but I'm seriously looking at the Sony 4K camcorder with this Stab. system; maybe in the next year when SMS takes advantage of the better Win10 interface and Win10 is thoroughly standard.... so I can go 64-bit with oodles of memory - and some funds to indulge!
( I dislike PC sellers suggesting I have to UpGrade for free.).

It's possible slightly inferior lenses will be fitted to HD camcorders, but the difference is very little... HD=about 2Mpx as against 4K=6Mpx - since most camcorders offer many Mpx in "stills" mode . . . and modern Optics come in High Quality more-or-less as standard. Buying 4K does offer some future-proofing; although many audience-folk won't appreciate the difference being happy with SD. Yikes!
Show 'em a fluffy kitten, even out of focus and still get Ooohs and Aaahs!
 
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