12-06-2009 10:22 PM
I recently purchsed a Cannon Vixia HF20 HD. I have managed to download the movie clips onto my computer and find my way around the editting software that came with the camera, but I have not been able to do anything else with the clips. For example convert them to MPEG so that that I can e-mail them or even burn a DVD. I tried burning DVD, but first it took like forever to actually convert the shots I had taken and finally when it went through checking the process it came back with error message. I have tried several discs (Verbatim DVD-R and Sony-R) and I have even tried very short movie clips, justto spped things up and I get the same message. I have been tempted to go and buy the Cannon DW-100 DVD burner so that at least I can down load my shots onto a DVD, but I don't want to waste any more money on Cannon. I have a 3 year old PC with Sindows XP operating system and a reasonable spec, so I am not sure if it is my PC that is letting me down, or this camera is justtoo complicated and user unforendly. Anyway, any help you guys can provide would be greatly appreciated.
12-07-2009 08:47 AM
AVCHD is a pretty new standard, unfortunately not much software supports it... YET. I think I heard a rumor that in Windows 7, Windows Movie Maker supports AVCHD, but I'm not sure.
You will not have any better experience with any other high definition camcorder - all flash memory based high def camcorders use the AVCHD format, with the exception of the cheapo "pocket cams".
What error message? If you don't tell us what the error message is, we can't help you.
And also, define "reasonable spec" - anything that is three years old will give an unpleasant high definition editing experience unless it was top of the line when purchased. For example, my desktop is about two years old and was significantly above average (Core 2 Quad Q6600) when purchased, and editing/transcoding AVCHD is quite time consuming.
Honestly, the intended target format for AVCHD is Blu-Ray, not DVD. In fact, the AVCHD standard is effectively a subset of the Blu-Ray disc standard, burning AVCHD content to a Blu-Ray disc is pretty much a matter of file renaming. If you do want to burn to DVD, you might want to consider transcoding the clips from your HF20 to an easier format to work with that has better support in editing programs that are available like WMM.
Handbrake (http://handbrake.fr/) does an excellent job of transcoding AVCHD content, HOWEVER it was designed originally to transcode FROM DVD MPEG-2 video, and hence does not directly go to that format. You might want to try transcoding the clips to 540p XviD video + MP3 audio with Handbrake, and then edit the clips/transcode to a 480p DVD with other software.
12-15-2009 05:04 PM
I just bought the HF-20 last week from my local BB and LOVE IT (after using the Elura MiniDV line for years). My question is this: if I want to send DVDs to my parents and friends who do NOT have a blue-ray player, what's the best way to do this? Can I plug the HF-20 into my DVR and burn a standard DVD from it or will it not read it?
12-16-2009 09:17 AM
It would be best to use some sort of DVD authoring software to transcode the video down to a lower resolution.
It looks like, according to http://www.moviemakerpreview.com/about.aspx#featur
You could plug the analog output of your HF-20 into the analog input of a DVD recorder, however this will reduce your video quality to 480i analog - Transcoding on a PC will give you higher quality 480p output.
12-16-2009 07:12 PM
Ah, that's right...it came with the red-white-blue cord which I could plug into the DVR. Ok...that would be fine for my parents who just want to see the grandkids piano recital or ballet dance...plus they have a big screen TV but not HD so it's not a big deal. (They were happy with the DVDs from my Elura that I was sending them).
I did order the Canon burner so I can make back-up copies off the camcorder at the highest recorded resolution onto DVD and play it back on that since we don't have a blue ray player yet, so I think this set up will work.
Then the real movie projects, I can do on the computer with either iMovie9 or FCP Express, which I plan to get with a new laptop sometime next year. ;-)
Thx for the idea!
12-16-2009 07:18 PM
iMovie 9 and Final Cut Pro Express handles AVCHD files...;-) Sorry, i tried video editing on a custom-made rig using Adobe Prem. Express and some other video editing software, but almost went bald with crashes, hang-ups, etc.
Then when I started editing on a Mac with simple iMovie, was making movies from start to finish without a hiccup! We were at a summer camp for families and decided to do a special movie feature for Sat. so after storyboarding the idea (it was a music video to the theme song for the week), we rounded up the kids whenever we had free time and shot the scenes over 2 days, I edited it on Friday night on my ancient mac laptop G4, and showed it the next day! (They didn't have any MP3 of the song, so I just recorded it live onmy camcorder and used the soundtrack from that footage which is why it sounds blah, but it worked for the audience, who sang along anyway!).
You can see the creation on YouTube entitled, "Dare to Run" by Spicy Curry Productions. ;-) After doing all this on an old Mac, that solidified my suport for video editing on the mac! ;-)
ps. I still use PC here at work, so use both platforms regularly, but for surfing the net at home and video editing, we only use our iMac!
12-17-2009 10:10 AM
The cheapest and easiest Windows Application to get started with is Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection, currently on sale at Best Buy for $80 vs the regular price of $130. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Pinnacle+Studio+Ultima
First, make sure you use the Canon provide software to move the media from your camera storage to the PC. Depending on your video camera model, that include internal camera memory, SD memory cards, HD, DVD, or Optical storage. Do not use windows drag'n drop functions to move the content from the original source to the PC.
With the Canon HF11, the software provided is Pixela ImageMixer. It is not very good for editing, but do use it to transfer the files to the PC. For instance on an SD card, for a 1 hour performance recorded at the highest bit rate MXP (full 1920x1080 - 24Mbps) the recording will be over 10GB in size which will be split into 2GB chunks on the SD card. If you use drag'n drop operantions to move the folders/files to the PC and then put them back together on the timeline in the editing software, at the points where the video files were chunked you will notice an audio dropout of about 1/5 second. If you use the Canon transfer software you will not have that issue (I learned this one the hard way).
Pinnacle can the read the native AVCHD file output from ImageMixer (or whatever transfer software came with the camera). It can then output to a number of different formats, Blu-ray, DVD, Flash (for the web). The Flash output can be configured for whatever size you want the video to playback at on the web by using the custom settings. For me this is nice, as I can output everything for web and once posted, grandparents 1000 miles away can view without having to send them DVD's, etc. A 20 minute film will take around 500MB on the web depending on the image size selected. I make use of Amazn S3 storage on the web for these files as it is cheap. Just provide the grandparents with url's in an email and all they have to do is click in the link.
If you are only interested in creating DVD quality results then change the recording mode (video quality) in your video camer to SD (HF11 camera default) or even LP. Not only can you record more on the camera at lower settings it will also lessen the load on your PC when you go to process the video.
Bit rates and recording times for 32GB of storage for the different recording modes:
LP - 5Mbps - 12 hr 15 min - 1440x1080
SD - 7 Mbps - 9 hr 35 min - 1440x1080
XP+ - 12 Mbps - 5 hr 45 min - 1440x1080
FXP - 17 Mbps - 4 hr 10 min - 1920x1080
MXP - 24 Mbps - 2 hr 55 mn - 1920x1080
A 3 year old machine will not cut it when it comes to editing full HD at the highest bit rates - 24Mbps. I run a high-end Quad Core 9300 with maxed out DDR3 RAM with a striped disk array (maximum performance I can get out of the machine) and rendering a 1 hour video for Blu-ray will still take 5 hours and consumes 90% of all 4 CPU's. With Pinnacle, you can also have it just create the files on the PC HD and then burn to blu-ray as a separate activity. As a result, you can create the output and view the result on the PC prior to actually burning to Blu-ray or DVD and possibly avoid creating coasters if you have any issues with the video. At $6 a pop for blank blu-ray media it is a nice option to have.
If you want to spend more for the software, you can step up to Sony Vegas Pro 9 $700 http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Vegas+Pro+9+-+Windows/
or even Avid Media Composer $2500, but have to go through some time consuming transcoding to get the video into the DNxHD format supported by Avid (Avid also owns Pinnacle). www.avid.com