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Sarcastic Llama? Naw, Just Acerbic
Dartmouth, NS

Experience Editing HD Camcorder Movies

How hard is it to use modern HD camcorders (no time stamp) with Modern Editing suites (final cut pro), Adobe Premiere, IVideo, etc etc?

Currently using a miniDV camcorder and one has to save - convert the tape to digital. I am hoping that working with data already in a digital format it will be easier and may purchase something like the Sony PJ710 etc...

Landing is the REAL challenge
Columbus, OH
miniDV is already digital. Standard def bases on the common 'DV' codec: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV#DV_Compression . While HDV (which, if you have an HD cam recording to a miniDV tape, this is what it will be using) is based on MPEG2: »en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HDV

Barring that, most semi-pro/consumer-pro software (such as Premiere and Final Cut) seem to have very strong support for DV/HDV. From personal first hand experience, Premiere pretty much standardises on DV/HDV compression as the actual working format. ie: If you throw in a clip using any other codec without any editing done to it, Premiere will still want it rendered. Stick in a DV or HDV clip on the other hand (depending on your project settings) under the same circumstances and it will be happy with it, no rendering required.

Just make sure you are importing directly from the cam over Firewire with your preferred editing software and it should be completely painless.

Now if you are moving from SD to HD at this point, I am going to play devils advocate here and suggest to try to aim for an HDV cam. At the current point in time for consumer/prosumer grade cameras you only have 3 options: Hard disk based, flash storage (SD/Memory Stick/etc), or miniDV based. The first two have their own medium-related issues to deal with but also (usually) exclusively use H264 for compression due to space constraints which does not bode well for a lot of NLE suites (you CAN use it with them as source material, but will require extra disk space and processing time). HDV on the other hand is fairly robust in the medium itself and is a well supported format in most NLE suites as previously noted. Plus side to this is you can reuse any existing miniDV tapes you have for HDV and an HDV camera can play back/transfer SD recorded tapes with no trouble.
I swear, some people should have pace-makers installed to free up the resources. Breathing and heart beat taxes their whole system, all of their brain cells wasted on life support.-two bit brains, and the second bit is wasted on parity! ~head_spaz