2 Replies Latest reply on May 12, 2011 3:39 PM by wakeboarder

    newbie question on importing from hd camcorder


      I purchased a Canon HFM30 HD camcorder about a month ago. The internal  memory and the SD card are about full now, but before I delete the video  files from them, I want to make sure I import the highest quality video  possible into my computer for archiving purposes. I'm a novice, and so  don't know the best settings to use. I did set the camcorder to record  at the best/highest quality, so it's an issue w/ importing the videos  via the computer software that I'm having trouble with.  I'm working on  an iMac, with iMovie (little knowledge), Premiere Pro CS5 (little  knowledge), and Final Cut Pro (never even launched the program).

      I have imported the videos twice w/ iMovie....once at "Full" - I think  that brought them in at 1920 x 1080; and again at "High". The "Full"  setting seemed to take about a GB/minute of video, the High setting  quite less.

      I'm willing to use any of the other programs I have (including Premiere) to import the video  as well, if they would be a better choice....I'm just not savvy enough  to know.

      Can someone please point me in the right direction as to where to learn  about the best settings to import digital video from the camcorder to  the computer, depending on one's goal (this case, archiving as well as  some editing, hence the two imports mentioned above), please? I'd  appreciate it. Tutorials, books, sites, etc....any insight is  appreciated....Thanks.

        • 1. Re: newbie question on importing from hd camcorder
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Keep life simple, just copy ALL the contents of your SD card to a hard disk. On PC use Explorer for that, on MAC I believe it is called Finder.


          Once all the contents have been copied, you can reuse your SD card for new shoots. Make sure that you regularly backup your hard disk, because it is the only instance of your precious shots and everything will be irretrievably lost if you encounter a disk failure and you have no backup.

          • 2. Re: newbie question on importing from hd camcorder
            wakeboarder Level 1

            Thanks Mr. Millaard. I never thought of just dragging/dropping from Finder (you're right about that name...it's Finder on the Mac). So, I just compared all my transfers (all the same clip, 6 minutes and 27 seconds in length fyi):


            Video 1 imported via iMovie at "Large 960 x 540" : file size = 1.47 GB

            Video 2 imported via iMovie at "Full - Original Size" : file size = 6.02 GB

            Video 3 imported via drag/drop from Finder onto iMac: file size =  754.5 MB (the camcorder saved the video clips as .mts files, fyi, but VLC player had no problems playing them)


            I guess my follow-up question would be, is the drag/drop method, resulting in a mere 754 MB clip really the "original" file size, leading me to believe that the other imports of 1.47 GB and 6.02 GB are just wastes of space? Is iMovie really bringing in a better quality video if the "original" video that is on the camcorder/SD card is only 754.5 MB?


            Thanks. Again, I just want to import the best quality video to the iMac before ridding the camcorder/SD card of the video.


            Thank you again.