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DV PC editing - any need for a specialist video editing card?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Editing Forum' started by Gus, Dec 27, 2001.

  1. Gus

    Gus
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    Sorry if this is a bit simple, but I am new to this. I have just got a Panasonic MX8 and am very pleased with the results. I am planning on getting a new PC next year to edit the footage. I'm no Steven Spielberg but I would like reasonably good (ie. Fast - don't want to be sitting looking at the screen for hours whilst loads of processing is done) editing facilities and some snazzy transition effects to impress the folks.
    My confusion surrounds packages like Pinnacle's DV500 and ProOne. I will be getting a PC with a 1900 Athlon processor, twin 100Gb hard drives, good videocard and a firewire port. Is the firewire port sufficient to get the footage into the computer and if so, what advantage do these specialist cards give, with a PC of the sort of spec I've listed? Do I just need some good software, and if so which is the most comprehensive and easy to use? How about Adobe Premiere? The magazines don't seem to cover much of this issue and although I have visited several shops including Jessop's the assistants seem to know less than I do!
    Many thanks for any help!
     
  2. Xeonic

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    Hi, welcome to the forums :) As someone who had most of the questions I got confused too ! A firewire card transfers the video to the pc for you to process it. Without any software, it's just one big avi file. That's where premiere and the rest come in. They take that file, allow you to cut out the parts you don't want, add titles and effects, and send it back to your camera (if it has DV-in). That's how it's supposed to work!!

    The biggest problems are a) the sheer volume of data at DV rate, 9mins =2Gb and b) the processing required for simple effects. That's what dedicated cards like the DV500 and Pro One do, they help with the effects processing, so you can see the changes in real-time. Real-time is a big phrase banded around - this is because if you add say a title to your video in a non-real time system, for 5 seconds, those 5 seconds must be "rendered" (i.e. combining the base video with the title) before you can see the result. This could take 30 seconds for the simple 5 second piece!

    I have DV500+, and yes it adds titles and simple fades in real time. But more "complex" effects - like spinning the image - still need rendering!! The Pro One has better features, have you looked at Matrox 2500 also? That has got good reviews. If you want matrix type effects, forget one PC and start thinking about 25 connected together :(

    On this basis, the PC spec you mention is fine for the basis of an editing system. But in truth, no current PC based system is ideal for say working on a 3-hour production, because on the sheer amount on disc space and processing power needed.

    I hope this helps!!
     
  3. Gus

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    Thanks very much indeed for this, very helpful. So it seems even my latest processor PC with bags of hard disc space is not powerful enough to quickly edit video by itself.

    Does anyone have any views/experience of which video editing cards are the best value for money and easiest to use. Do they all work with Adobe Premiere or are there particular ones that will work best. I know that many cards come bundled with Premiere, which is perhaps the best option. I have read about compatibility problems with some cards and PCs too, usually related to IRQ problems. Are there any with particular difficulties that are best avoided.???

    Many thanks, again
    Jeremy (my real name - Gus was nickname at school, surname is Honeybun you see!)
     
  4. Stuart Wright

    Stuart Wright
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    I use Pinnacle Studio 7 to edit home videos like a birthday party. And I'll use it for holidays, too. System is a Sony TRV30 and dual PIII 866 with a gig of ram.
    I only have the use of 1 40 gig disk, but that has been fine for a 20 minute video. I don't have an additional cards - just the Firewire and the geforce budget video card. Fades and such don't take *that* long to render and titles are easy.
    Outputting back to tape works fine. Creating a VCD or DVD compatible MPEG file takes absolutely ages, though.
     
  5. colinrbarrett

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    You seem to have answered many of your own questions, Gus! The key thing about desktop video editing is to buy the fastest PC you can afford with as much hard disk space as possible. You're clearly on the case with that one!

    In terms of capture, a DV or Digital-8 camcorder only requires a working FireWire socket on the computer for you to be able to import DV (or D8) footage into your editing program - assuming that everything has been set up properaly and that there aren't any horrible driver conflicts, etc. Once the camcorder's switched on and in "Play" or "VCR" mode, the program itself takes over, giving you onscreen controls which resemble a VCR's controls.

    As for an editing program, you'll most like get Premiere or Media Studio as the bundled package - although they might be cut-down "LE" versions. The heavyweight Premiere 6 might be a bit daunting for absolute beginners - think about a simpler program like Video Studio or even Pinnacle Studio 7 to get started. They introduce you to the basics of capture and timeline editing without presenting you with any barriers. As a starter package, Studio 7 is excellent (see my in-depth review at http://www.simplydv.co.uk/studio7.html).

    Other than that, it seems you're halfway there to getting stuck in!

    - Colin
     

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