14 Replies Latest reply on Dec 29, 2009 7:00 AM by the_wine_snob

    Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera

    Alan2212

      I recently purchased a Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera.  The videocamera can record in 1080 p; 720p at 60fps; 720p; and WVGA.  I was trying the camcorder out and took some short videos at 1080p.  The videocamera comes with some basic software to create movies from the videos (ArcSoft Media Impression for Kodak).  However, I wanted to use Adobe Premiere Elements instead.  My version of Adobe Premiere Elements is an older version, I have version 4 running on a Velocity Micro Vista Ultimate 32 computer with 2 GB RAM.

       

      I first copied the Kodak MOV files onto a folder and then used PE to open these movies.  I created a new project using the HD Video preset.

       

      When I loaded the movies into the project and viewed them, they were extremely choppy and pixelated.  I also received a message about the memory allocation was low and that I should proceed with caution.

       

      I am not sure if this choppiness and pixelation is a function of the MOV files being read by PE4 (MOV format) or something with the memory allocation?

       

      I know that this is a fairly old version of PE but I didn't want to buy the current version unless I have to!

        • 1. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          For the resources issue, this ARTICLE will give you tips on getting your computer ready for an editing session.

           

          Hope that this helps there,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
            the_wine_snob Level 9

            Now, for the choppiness, first download and install the freeware utility, G-Spot. Run one of the .MOV files through that, to get all of the info. The .MOV extension is but a "wrapper." It can contain all sorts of stuff, especially the CODEC used to compress the data stream. This ARTICLE will give you some background on the "wrappers." These can be .AVI, .MPEG, .MOV, .WMV, etc.

             

            Good luck,

             

            Hunt

            • 3. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
              Alan2212 Level 1

              Thanks, I will try the article and the G-spot utility.

               

              I also tried the same Zi8 videos on my Dell computer using PE4.  This is an older windows XP computer but has a bit more RAM.  Same thing here--video is choppy and pixelated using PE4.

              • 4. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Now for the last part. Playback can often be improved greatly just by Rendering the footage. If, when you drag it to the Timeline, there is a red line above it, just hit Enter to Render it. A green line will appear. Did that help?

                 

                Playback is often a function of the I/O sub-system, i.e. the HDD's, their size, speed, controller type, amount of defragmented free space, and how they are allocated. Please tell us all about your HDD's.

                 

                "Resources" and "Memory" can take two forms: physical installed RAM, and also Windows Virtual Memory (Page File). A bottleneck in either can cause problems. The article that I first linked to on freeing up resources will go a long way, on both types of resources. Still, additional improvement can be made by proper management and location of the Page File. For editing work, I like to set my Page File to be static (not dynamic, managed on the fly by the OS), and size it to ~ 2.5x the physical RAM. In your case, that would be ~ 5GB in size. Where the Page File is located can make differences too. However, testing those locations can take some time and a lot of observations of common editing tasks with the same exact source files - over and over. Most people are fine by locating the Page File on their C:\. What does happen, however, is that if one only has one physical HDD, and everything is on it, there can be major bottlenecks. I recommend an absolute minimum of 2 physical HDD's, and 3 is even better. Your answer to the I/O question will tell us a lot about the ability to do smooth playback.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                 

                PS - with AVCHD material, the CPU speed is more important than the I/O. Otherwise, the I/O is the more important link in the chain.

                • 5. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                  Alan2212 Level 1

                  BTW, I did attach a gspot jpg screen shot when I ran one of the videos through the utility software.

                   

                  I did try to render one of the videos--it created a short MOV video and then replayed it back on quicktime.  It didn't look good at all with lots of choppiness and pixelation.

                   

                  In terms of the HDD, my c drive has 290 GB free out of 465 GB.  My d drive (both c and d internal), has 342 GB of 372 GB free.  Both of these are NTFS drives.  I have two external drives, too.

                   

                  I did rechange my virtual memory after I first encountered the memory allocation prompt on PE4.  I now have an initial size of 3067 MB and a maximum size of 8000 MB (I didn't really know what to make these numbers) but they were larger than before.  I also have a small 4 GB thumbdrive running with ready-boost.

                   

                  I thought upping this vm would make things better for the PE4 but I got the same error again after I changed the vm.

                  • 6. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                    the_wine_snob Level 9

                    Looks like you've got H.264 footage. There are some popular variations on that, Apple, Lead and MainConcept. Some folk have better luck with one vs the others.

                     

                    That G-Spot did not give you a "CODEC's Installed," is worrisome. Do you know which H.264 CODEC your computer has? Look in the Tables tab in G-Spot for your Video CODEC's. Note: do not worry when G-Spot tells you that there is a problem with some of your Adobe MainConcept CODEC's, as those will be false positives. Adobe uses a different naming convention, to keep other programs from overwriting their installed CODEC's. Same thing will happen with Sherlock the CODEC Detective utility.

                     

                    Also, G-Spot shows this as AVC footage. Usually, AVCHD is in a different "wrapper," but maybe Kodak has done some tweaking to their version of the CODEC. Camera mfgrs. do that all too often. If it is AVCHD footage, then the power to decode and work with it will have to come from the CPU.

                     

                    Last, refresh my memory on what your Project Preset was. If you did not try an AVCHD Preset but do not choose DD 5.1 SS Audio, as it appears that you have stereo in MP4 format.

                     

                    Good luck,

                     

                    Hunt

                    • 7. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                      Alan2212 Level 1

                      Thanks for your ongoing help.

                       

                      I've attached another gspot screenshot with the tables tab.

                       

                      Not sure, consequently, if my computer has the correct H.264 codec.

                       

                      BTW: when I play one of the kodak hd movies using quicktime, I get the same thing: jerkiness, pixelation, dropped frames, choppiness, etc.  Don't know if that is important to know or not?

                       

                      Here is the info for my project preset (PE4):

                       

                      HDV
                      HDV 1080i 30

                      - For editing with IEEE1394 (FireWire/i.LINK) HDV equipment.

                      - 16:9 interlaced HD video at 29.97 frames per second.

                      - 48kHz audio.

                      - Drop-Frame Timecode numbering.

                      General
                      Editing mode: HDV 1080i
                      Timebase: 29.97 fps

                      Video Settings
                      Frame size: 1440h 1080v (1.333)
                      Frame rate: 29.97 frames/second
                      Pixel Aspect Ratio: HD Anamorphic 1080 (1.333)
                      Fields: Upper Field First

                      Audio Settings
                      Sample rate: 48000 samples/second

                      Capture Format
                      HDV Capture

                      Video Rendering
                      Maximum Bit Depth: Off
                      Preview File Format: I-Frame only MPEG-2
                      Compressor: I-Frame Only MPEG
                      Color depth: Millions of colors

                      Default Timeline
                      Video tracks: 3
                      Stereo tracks: 3

                      • 8. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                        Well, it does appear that you have an H.264 CODEC, but G-Spot did not give us the name, just the general type.

                         

                        If that footage is AVCHD, there might be a problem getting it to work well in PrE 4. Full support for AVCHD was added in PrE 7, so you do not have that Preset in PrE 4.

                         

                        If doing a Render does not help, I am out of ideas on how best to handle things in PrE 4. I think that some others have worked with AVCHD in PrE 4, maybe it was Steve Grisetti, or A T Romano. I have just never used it.

                         

                        Until one of them stops by with a great workaround, I'll poke around some more, in case I can find something that will help.

                         

                        Good luck,

                         

                        Hunt

                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                          Alan2212 Level 1

                          You've been helpful, thanks.

                           

                          Maybe I should be upgrading to PE8?

                           

                          I can create movies in other formats--I would guess that these might work fine with PE4.  However, I haven't checked this hypothesis.

                           

                          What is strange though is that these Kodak hd videos don't seem to stream very well in quicktime.

                           

                          Maybe I can get ahold of kodak/apple about that.

                           

                          Thanks again.

                          • 10. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                            the_wine_snob Level 9

                            Here's a review of the camera. This is a link to Page 2. Read paragraph 5.

                             

                            I could find no references to AVCHD anywhere, but that review might be helpful.

                             

                            Good luck,

                             

                            Hunt

                            • 11. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                              Alan2212 Level 1

                              Very interesting.

                              I think what I need to do is to go back and take some video using each format and see how quicktime and adobe work with each. I'll try to report back when I finish.

                              • 12. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                                the_wine_snob Level 9
                                I'll try to report back when I finish.

                                 

                                Please do. As the "pocket" video cameras become more popular, I am sure that others will benefit from your findings.

                                 

                                Not doing HD work, I am learning, as I go on your issue. Gotta' learn something new every day!

                                 

                                Good luck, and happy editing,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 13. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                                  Alan2212 Level 1

                                  Last night I created four short videos using each format available on

                                  the Zi8:

                                   

                                  1080 p at 30 fps

                                  720 p at 60 fps

                                  720 p at 30 fps

                                  and WVGA

                                   

                                  I uploaded them to vista computer described in my earlier texts and found something a bit surprising (or maybe not).

                                   

                                  I tried to view them several ways: the mediaimpressions Arcsoft app that came with the camera; the most current version of Quicktime; and PE4.

                                   

                                  All of them suffered a bit of choppiness, pixelation, stuttering, etc. when I tried to view them in the above methods.

                                   

                                  Strange...

                                   

                                  Would this indicate something wrong with the drivers, codecs, etc. on the computer?  or the way the videocamera stored and saved the movies?

                                   

                                  I have chatted with the kodak support and need to continue along this today.

                                   

                                  I see a similar post with the kodak videocamera (Zi6, another pocket videocamera): http://forums.adobe.com/message/1990668#1990668

                                   

                                  From what I read, it appears that one may need to convert the movies to another format (AVI for example).

                                  • 14. Re: Kodak Zi8 pocket videocamera
                                    the_wine_snob Level 9
                                    From what I read, it appears that one may need to convert the movies to another format (AVI for example).

                                     

                                    Glad that you found that thread. I did not recall another Kodak camera question here. Must have been out of town.

                                     

                                    It appears that for that poster, Prism did a good job with the footage from the Kodak. This FAQ Entry discusses file conversion with Prism.

                                     

                                    Hope that that will help,

                                     

                                    Hunt