23 Replies Latest reply on Feb 22, 2010 11:37 AM by the_wine_snob

    Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8

    jdwright77

      Hi all,

       

      I'm a teacher in a middle school and recently came into a chunk of money for my computer lab. I plan to buy 16 copies of Premiere Elements 8 Academic (I assume it'll behave exactly like the retail) and a number of video cameras for student use.

       

      My initial thought was to order 16 flip mino cameras for ease of use and inexpensive price, but after a bit of research, I have discovered that they don't play nice with Premiere.

       

      So, I bring my question here. I am searching for a camera similar to the Flip (or slightly more exotic if absolutely necessary) for students to use with Premiere Elements 8. It should not use tape, since we simply don't have time to capture in that manner, and the video files it creates should be directly compatible with Premiere.

       

      Maybe it's a pipedream, but it seems like there should be something out there...

       

      Thanks in advance for the help! =)

       

      Justin

        • 2. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          Justin,

           

          John's suggestion for the forum to get answers is the correct one. There will be more comments that will apply to PrE 8.

           

          I do have to add that both the Flip and the Kodak have issues with PrE 8. Or should I say, PrE has issues with their formats/CODEC's. Not sure of which inexpensive camera would be better suited, but others there will have some ideas.

           

          I would also post to Muvipix (to the Community), as there are tons of users, with different experiences, and they'd love to share their observations, successes and tribulations. That community also uses some other NLE programs, so you might get other options there too.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          1 person found this helpful
          • 3. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
            John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            It might work better if you check camera maker websites and then come back here and either SEARCH or ask questions about specific brands and models

             

            Just do be aware that any non-tape camera you find is LIKELY going to have problems, since the files produced are highly compressed using one or another variant of the MPEG codec (USUALLY mpeg2 or mpeg4)

             

            Go to my notes page and click on the link for editing compressed files to read why they are hard to edit

             

            http://www.pacifier.com/~jtsmith/ADOBE.HTM

             

            Also, read this message thread for one user's frustration with the divx codec

             

            http://forums.adobe.com/thread/581128?tstart=0

            1 person found this helpful
            • 4. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
              Paul787 Level 3

              Justin, a digital still camera like the Canon Powershot A490 might do the trick. The important part would be ensuring you have a good codec installed on your computer that can properly handle the files produced by the camera. The Canon Powershot I use records standard def video in the Motion-JPEG format (as does the A490) and, with a codec I purchased, can import the files quickly into Premiere Elements without any file conversion and edit with no problems.

               

              You might try downloading the trial version of Premiere Elements 8 and buy a camera where the store allows refunds and then test it to see if the setup works for you before committing to buying large numbers of both PRE and cameras. People here could help you find a codec that *should* work. If things don't work the way you like them, then you aren't out any money.

               

              With many digital still cameras, such as mine, the zoom function when shooting video is digital and not optical but I'm assuming the course you want to teach is more concerned with the actual video editing and less with a very high quality image.

              • 5. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                I definitely would NOT recommend trying to use Premiere Elements to edit video from those pocket video cameras. They're really not made to interface with each other.

                 

                As Paul says, before you make a big investment, you can try it out and see if it works. But, from my experience with Premiere Elements, the odds are against you for non-tape video -- particular video from these pocket camcorders, which are made for just shooting and posting to YouTube.

                • 8. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  The OP has never returned... he either doesn't like the answers, or is just reading and not commenting

                   

                  Oh well... hopefully, he will learn what doesn't work so he doesn't go down a dead end

                  • 9. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                    nealeh Level 5

                    It may be he only accesses the Internet from his school - so perhaps he'll reply tomorrow.

                     

                    Cheers,
                    --
                    Neale
                    Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                    • 10. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                      nealeh Level 5

                      jdwright77 wrote:

                       

                      It should not use tape, since we simply don't have time to capture in that manner

                      I don't understand your comment about time. A camcorder with a tape takes no more time than other media.

                      jdwright77 wrote:

                       

                      the video files it creates should be directly compatible with Premiere.

                       

                      A camcorder with Firewire and DV-AVI output will be directly compatible with PRE.

                       

                      Your overall workflow is likely to require LESS time with a tape camcorder than other media. PRE will read your clips directly from the camcorder (using timecodes to create individual scenes) and they will be ready for immediate processing in PRE. Using a flipcam or similar will require you to load the media into whatever software is supplied with the camcorder, most likely it will then need to be exported in a different format and even then may need further conversion to DV-AVI.

                       

                      To summarise,

                      • a DV-AVI camcorder will import to PRE in a single process.
                      • using a flipcam or similar may require three separate processes before being usable. And of course the footage will already have been processed through a lossy medium once, perhaps even twice, degrading quality.

                       

                      Cheers,
                      --
                      Neale
                      Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                      • 11. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                        Hodge06

                        I recently purchased a JVC Picsio GC-FM1 as a handy pocket cam.  Along with this I also purchased Elements 8 for me and my son to play around with.  I am impressed with E8 so far but still have some bugs to sort through in terms of the program frequently crashing etc.

                         

                        One disppointment for me so far is that E8 does not accept the files from the Picsio GC-FM1.  I wish I had read this thread first.  I figured that because the Picsio outputs a .mov file then E8 would read it ok but I guess I needed to look further into it such as codec used etc (I understand h264 is used).

                         

                        Is there any hope of E8 being able to accept files from the Picsio or must I always go through the extra step of converting to .avi or similar?

                         

                        Note - I also have a Sony digital 8 camcorder (great camera but bulky and not high def of course).  I think the op was referring to the time taken to capture the video in real time as necessitated by tape based cams.  This also was what I was hoping to do away with by using the pocket cam (straight, quick usb transfer).  

                        • 12. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          Read this for a similar problem http://forums.adobe.com/thread/581128?tstart=0

                           

                          I would not hold my breath waiting for P-Pro or P-Elements to add DIRECT support for these compressed files

                           

                          They are simply not meant to be edited, at least by Premiere... converting to DV AVI type 2 with 48khz sound is your best option

                           

                          Since the MOV format belongs to Apple, you might look at Quicktime Pro to see what it will do

                          • 13. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                            Hodge06 Level 1

                            Appreciate the quick reply John.  I will try converting per your suggestion - then importing, as I am still very keen on using Elements 8.  One question about this - the video I have shot is 720p resolution (although the pocket cam will go up to 1440 x 1080 - I choose 720p as it matches my HD plasma native res).  Will converting to avi still retain the 720p resolution of the footage?  Now to sort out through frequent crashes....sigh

                            • 14. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                              the_wine_snob Level 9

                              One of the problems is what camera mfgrs. put inside those MOV (or AVI, or MPEG) "wrappers." Each seems compelled to tweak things to their purpose, and often to the detriment of those wishing to edit. This ARTICLE will give you some background on "wrappers."

                               

                              The mfgrs. have really taken the tack that all users just want to hook these cameras to the TV for a "home movie," or upload directly to YouTube, or similar. As each scrambles to cram more into less, editability will suffer.

                               

                              Good luck,

                               

                              Hunt

                               

                              PS - with the MOV wrapper, Apple's QuickTime Pro (US$29 upgrade/unlock) does a good job of converting to other formats. For SD (Standard Definition) material, I just choose DV-AVI w/ the DV/DVC CODEC and 48KHz 16-bit PCM/WAV (uncompressed) Audio. That edits perfectly.

                              • 15. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                Converting to DV will down-sample to 720 x 480, the DVD standard. It will no longer be the 720p shot.

                                 

                                Good luck,

                                 

                                Hunt

                                • 16. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                  jdwright77 Level 1

                                  Indeed I am answering from school and I just arrived =)

                                  • 17. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                    jdwright77 Level 1

                                    I think Paul787 was really closest to answering my question, though there was a TON of great info in the other posts. I can purchase volume/academic PE8 for under $50 a station. This is a very reasonable price, and really one of the only reasons I'll be able to pull it off. On the other hand, if I have to purchase MiniDV camcorders, I'll be spending quite a bit on each camera, which will probably mean each group/pair of students won't have a dedicated camera.

                                     

                                    And, I would like to say that I have researched this pretty extensively. I purchased a camera for my own station (canon hv30) that has been fantastic with Premiere Pro. But, I also have extra time to capture video while teaching or away from the classroom. The students have to function within a 43 minute class period.

                                     

                                    I have had success with a few digital still cameras with their video function, and I appreciate the suggested models. I think this is a good direction to go, since it would also provide still cameras for image editing. =)

                                     

                                    Thanks for all the help! and hopefully this thread will answer other folks questions about Adobe Premiere Elements 8 and video compatibility.

                                     

                                    Justin

                                    • 18. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      When you settle on a brand/model for your class, please report back with your work flow (direct import or have to convert) and how well, or not, the camera files work with PE8

                                      • 19. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                        the_wine_snob Level 9

                                        Justin,

                                         

                                        Thank you for reporting. Back when I was in film school, there were two cameras (an H-16 Rex Bolex w/ a zoom and a B&H DR-70 w/ three prime lenses) in the entire school, and the students had to check them out, when time came to film their projects. I was lucky, as I had my own H-16 Rex and a Beaulieu RP-16 w/ a Schneider zoom, so I did not have to "sign up." We only had one Moviola 6-plate deck, and one Moviola viewer with rewinds, so students had to sign up for those, when it was time to edit. We also had only one Nagra recorder, and two lesser units (sync was tough to attain with those). That was how it was back then.

                                         

                                        Predicated on how well it worked then, I'd urge you to look up the camera list, just a bit, and maybe dole them out on a schedule. I do realize that you are not a "film school," but those sign up sheets taught another lesson - planning. When I walked out of school, I had some neat gear already, but had to rent a bunch more for the assignments. Knowing how it worked with limited assets, I was better prepared to rent gear, when needed, and schedule my edit booth time efficiently. Kind of like two lessons in one.

                                         

                                        Just some observations from an old-timer.

                                         

                                        Most of all, here's wishing you great fortune with your class.

                                         

                                        Hunt

                                        • 20. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                          I agree with the others. You're going to be in the same situation is you try to use video from still cameras. Premiere Elements just doesn't work well with this type of video source! You'll likely spend so much time chasing down buggy behavior you won't have time to edit.

                                           

                                          I stand by my previous post: If you want to work with Premiere Elements, you really will need to provide it with a traditional (ideally tape-based) video source. Anything else -- pocket camcorders, video from still cameras -- is likely going to give you lots of problems.

                                           

                                          So, if basic miniDVs are outside your budget, you may want to consider another editing program. One that may not be as versatile as Premiere Elements but which works well with a wider variety of source video formats.

                                          • 21. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                            nealeh Level 5

                                            I recall another recent discussion where the Cyberlink Power Director software was said to have a wide range of source video it could work with. May be worthwhile trying a demo version of that - and of course seeing if they can match the Adobe academic pricing.

                                             

                                            Cheers,
                                            --
                                            Neale
                                            Insanity is hereditary, you get it from your children

                                            • 22. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                                              An excellent alternative, Neale, with some very nice advantages!

                                              • 23. Re: Inexpensive camcorder/pocket camcorder for Premiere Elements 8
                                                the_wine_snob Level 9

                                                Neale,

                                                 

                                                I have an older version of CyberLink PowerDirector. It does seem more lenient regarding formats/CODEC's, and I would guess that the newer versions might well offer even more latitude - but do not know this for sure.

                                                 

                                                I find the GUI to be clunky, but then I am so used to PrPro, so most other NLE's just do not do it for me.

                                                 

                                                Though I use it basically as a conversion program, it does seem a bit more crash prone (remember - at least two generations ago), especially compared to PrPro, which is rock-solid on my workstation. I probably just overloaded it with too many Assets.

                                                 

                                                I also have Magix MovieEdit Pro (again, older version), and it reminds me of PowerDirector in many ways. I picked it up to edit some proprietary Magix formats, from Music Studio, and others. I do not use it for much general editing, except for those specialized video files.

                                                 

                                                Good luck,

                                                 

                                                Hunt