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Video Capture

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by Phatboy, Feb 9, 2003.

  1. Phatboy

    Phatboy
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    Advise needed!

    Can anyone comment on how best to capture videc to your PC?

    I can't quitre understand why I might need a £500 capture card ie pinacle when I could use an IEEE connection which comes as standard on most PCs. I have heard that the original footage is compressed as its captured and hardware does this better than software. I would like to keep the quality as high as possible when capturing. Any one know about this stuff?
     
  2. MartinImber

    MartinImber
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    I'm using a Leadtek Myvivo video card for analogue capture with SB Audigy 2 Platinum for sound

    Works well
     
  3. CarlB

    CarlB
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    Phatboy,

    If you have a digital camcorder with digital in/out, then there is absolutely no need for a capture card, and this will only reduce you capture quality through D/A conversion.

    I capture digitally through an IEEE Firewire link into Adobe Premiere at 100% quality. I then edit digitally and output digitally, all at 100% quality, so the edited movie still has first generation digital resolution.

    If maximum quality is your goal then you should be looking to remain in the digital domain from input to output.
     
  4. Phatboy

    Phatboy
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    Thanks Carl

    I intend replacing my current digital camera with one with Digital in/out so will be able to download direct to my PC via firewire.

    Assuming I use this approach ie all via software how long does it take to down load say 30min of raw footage? is it CPU, memory or HDD dependant?
     
  5. EvilMudge

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    Phatboy,

    DV footage from most camcorders is read in real time over a 1394 link - in fact I don't think I've seen one that goes faster - so 30 minutes of footage takes 30 minutes to capture.
     
  6. Phatboy

    Phatboy
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    Thanks

    I assume that via IEEE the quality is unaffected at this rate ie same bitrate on camera is reproduced on PC? Does software choice make much difference in capturing video? If I don't capture at max quality its all down hill from there! I intend outputting to DVD at max quality assuming ive still got some after capture and edditing!
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    When you capture via ieee1394 the quality is fixed at DV quality.
    The software on makes a difference to how easy etc it is to work with the camcorder during capture and then what effects etc are available when editing.
    When you output the final footage to DVD it needs to be compressed into MPEG-2 format (from DV). This is the standard used on all DVD's and therefore will look equal to your origional footage.
    Remember that captured DV will give 4minutes per Gb of disk space and then MPEG-2 will give around 2hours to a 4.7Gb DVD-R so you will need plenty of spare disk space.

    Back to your origional question. You do not need to spend £500+ on a DV capture card. Around £20 wqill get you a card and £50 will get a card and some basic editing software.
    The expensive cards do a lot of the work in hardware, thus putting less of a load on the PC hardware and often speeding things up. Converting a 2 hour masterpiece from DV to MPEG-2 on most PC's will need all night and a lot of the next day to complete. Cards such as the Matrox RT-X100 will speed this up, but then they cost several hundred pounds.

    Mark.
     
  8. Phatboy

    Phatboy
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    Thanks Mark

    At last this is all starting to make sence! (well sort of).

    As long as I know I can capture via firewire at full DV quality I can then concern myself with the spec of my new PC and editing software. I intend getting a very fast PC - AMD 2400 with a 1GB memory and a 120GB drive for video 60GB drive for software. Only thing I would still like advise on is graphics cards I cant really tell the difference between their specs and what level i really need.

    Any views would be welcom on suitable PC spec for DV video to DVD.
     
  9. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well the PC specs you have listed look fine for editing. As I said above, the faster the PC the better.
    Graphics! Most graphics cards with a large amount of memory will do a good job for editing. Most of the 3D features etc. are not needed, but can be handy. Another feature that could be very useful is a duel head card. When editing you will have several windows open at a time, so having 2 monitors will make life a lot easier. This is only a realistic option if you are doing regular editing (due to cost of a second monitor!). I use the Matrox 550 duel head and this is a great card. There are many makes & models that will do an equaly good job. Check the compatability list on the manufacturers web site with any other hardware before deciding on your card.

    Mark.
     
  10. Phatboy

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    Mark

    Thanks for all advise
     
  11. MarkE19

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    Once you have decided on the editing software that you want to use, check the recommended hardware specs. This way you will know what is required without going over the top with specs and budget :D

    Mark.
     

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