14 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2009 3:22 PM by Jestefarean1

    Buying the right camcorder

    Jestefarean1 Level 1

      So...continuing a discussion I posted a couple weeks ago, I've been diligently reading and looking into buying a new camcorder.  I'm currently using a nice Sony Mini-DVD Handycam, but my problem is when I bring content into Premiere Elements I'm having some quality issues.  The DVD's play fine on their own, and content that is taken from a tripod without a lot of movement is okay, but when I'm moving the camera around panning across a scene I'm gettng jittery and blocky video effects.  It sounds like this is a result of me trying to decompress and recompress the video from the mini-dvd VOB files, so I'm looking at Mini-DV tape based camcorders. All of my searches seem to end up with the Canon VIXIA HV40.  It's a little pricer then I had hoped for, but I like the fact that is has 24p and 30p modes, and what sounds like decent all around performance.  I have read some reviews suggesting it isn't the best in low light though.

       

      Are any of you using this platform, and if so would you mind giving me your thoughts on it?  Any other ones I should seriousley consider?  I'm hoping to do this upgrade just once, or my wife may kill me!    I would LOVE to find a camera that doesn't require me to use tape (This seems like a horrible step backwards away from the simplicity of flash or HDD memory) but I guess I'm resigned to the fact that if I want to use premiere there isn't a current camera that will work well for me unless it's mini-dv.

       

      Also, if it matters, my computer is a dual-quad core Intel box...new processor, 1gb video card, and 8gb of ram.  I'm hoping thats enough horsepower to handle premiere HD movies.

       

      Thanks again for all your help...I'm really enjoying trying to read all I can and catch up on this.


      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Buying the right camcorder
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          Tape-based camcorders are by far the easiest to edit from, and that HV40 you describe is an excellent choice for an HDV camcorder.

           

          Otherwise AVCHD camcorders (which use hard drives for hi-def video) are definitely the future -- but I'm not sure how far in the future! The format take a tremendous amount of horsepower to edit with and, particularly with Premiere Elements 8 (which requires a lot of horsepower just to run!), you may find it rather challenging!

           

          On the other hand, you have a very powerful system. You don't say which operating system you're running or if it's a 32-bit or 64-bit system, but each has its own liabilities also.

           

          I'd see if I could borrow an AVCHD cam and give the program a test drive. The quality will definitely be there -- but you'll definitely want to test drive the performance before you invest $700-1000 into a camcorder and software.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Buying the right camcorder
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Steve,

             

            I agree with your comments, though believe that THIS is the future for HD video recording.

             

            Unfortunately, Panasonic has not released an <$5K camera. Also, PrPro CS4.2 has just added direct, native support for the format. I have a feeling that AVC-Intra will likely beat out RED, as the format/camera of the future. Now, just get the price down with an affordable prosumer camera and get native support into PrE and one's ready to go! Right now, it's only a dream, and who knows, RED could corner the market first?

             

            For me, it'd still be miniDV tape, and probably so for a couple of years. By then, one would be ready for a new camera and the NLE programs will have all been updated.

             

            Only time will tell.

             

            Just thinking (and wishing),

             

            Hunt

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Buying the right camcorder
              Jestefarean1 Level 1

              Thank you both for the information.  AVCHD had been mentioned, but I didn't quite understand until now why it might be feesible.  My system is 64 bit, and just might be "beefy" enough to pull off AVCHD.  It sounds like you right, I need to get my hands on some content and try it out.  I wonder if Bestbuy or someone like that might let me take some video in store and bring it home to try it out.  I'm half tempted just to stick with the HV40, since you say it's solid, but it would be nice to be able to work strictly digital.

               

              Thanks!

              • 4. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                You should be able to download AVCHD material from the Web. Make sure that you get full-AVCHD material, as there is also AVCHD Lite, and maybe a few other variations.

                 

                It seems that AT Romano recently found some footage to use for testing. He's been on holiday for a week, or two, so I do not know how soon he'll be back.

                 

                In the meantime, I'll see if I can locate some for you.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                  the_wine_snob Level 9

                  I did not explore completely, but THIS SITE seems to have AVCHD test footage for evealuation use only. Might be worthwhile to test with.

                   

                  Good luck,


                  Hunt

                  • 6. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                    rtprtp Level 1

                    Hi,

                     

                    I went through the same tormenting process, deciding between AVCHD and HDV. I have a Alienware Quadcore, and downloaded some AVCHD as a test, and even though it handled it pretty well, it was very slugish compared to HDV. I then purchased a Canon XH-A1, used, from B&H for about $2,800. The miniDV has been a dream, and PE7 handles it extremely well. Take a look if you would like at

                     

                    http://www.youtube.com/user/444tootsie#p/a/u/0/KD7NdoORd80

                     

                    YouTube encoding messed up some of the edit timings with the music, but you'll get a good idea of the Picture quality at 1440 x 1080i.

                     

                    Best of luck,

                     

                    Stan

                    • 7. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      Stan,

                       

                      Do you happen to still have the URL's for the test footage? That might help the OP make the decision.

                       

                      Thanks,

                       

                      Hunt

                      • 9. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Stan,

                         

                        Thank you so much. I cannot imagine why I would not have remembered that one, but then my memory has been flakey lately. This should give the OP access to some test footage.

                         

                        Appreciated,

                         

                        Hunt

                        • 10. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                          A.T. Romano Level 7

                          Hunt,

                           

                          I have assumed additional responsibilities at another site and have been burning the candle at both ends. So, no vacation excuses for me.

                           

                          I really enjoy working with the users here as well as with you, SG, and all to try to resolve these challenging questions that get posted in the Premiere Elements User to User Forum at Adobe. The link that was found and the AVCHD samples there are among my favorites for use in troubleshooting AVCHD issues. Sorry that I did not see the interest sooner so that I could have shared what I had and saved you the time of searching for those clip samples. I will see what else I found online and post additional links to samples on my next visit.

                           

                          I do not think that it was in this batch, but I did find one AVCHD with 5.1 channel sound online. But, I thought that I downloaded the wrong one since Premiere Elements  properties said 6 channel, not 5.1 channel for the audio. I need to research that further but it appears that what Premiere Elements was calling 6 channel was indeed 5.1 channel. I will figure that one out soon.

                           

                          Hope to visit on a more frequent basis.....

                           

                          ATR

                          • 11. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                            the_wine_snob Level 9
                            no vacation excuses for me.

                             

                            That is too bad. I had imagined Maui sunsets with tall rum drinks - you know the ones with umbrellas!

                             

                             

                            Hope to see you with greater regularity.

                             

                            Take care,

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 12. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                              A.T. Romano Level 7

                              General, Language may be challenging, but deduction may overcome that:

                               

                              http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/avchd-format-discussion/73357-avchd-samples.html

                               

                              http://av.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/20080206/zooma344.htm

                               

                               

                               

                              Panasonic LumixDMC-GH1

                               

                              http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/panasonicdmcgh1/page19.asp

                               

                               

                               

                              Hunt,

                               

                              I went to post the links for the AVCHD and HDV video samples that I use for some troubleshooting and could not put my hands on those links at this time.

                               

                              But, in the searching for them, I came across the above links that might be helpful for future use for someone.

                               

                              ATR

                              • 13. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                But, in the searching for them, I came across the above links that might be helpful for future use for someone.

                                 

                                Thanks for posting the links. They WILL help someone in the future.

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 14. Re: Buying the right camcorder
                                  Jestefarean1 Level 1

                                  Thank you all so much!  This is all very helpful