3 Replies Latest reply on Jun 3, 2011 2:30 PM by Steve Grisetti

    Comparing PRE 9 to Apple iMovie 09

    stever2011

      Hi all.  I just downloaded the PRE trial but have not had a chance to try it yet.  I am a MAC user and was quite happy using iMovie until I actually tried to export anything.  Apparently it is impossible to make a decent looking DVD from iMovie 09.  It is impossible to export a project as raw uncompressed DV.  Every step is lossy from the moment you capture your video into iMovie.

       

      I have a few questions before I make the jump and buy PRE:

       

      1) Does anyone know if PRE suffers from the same problem that iMovie does WRT video export quality?  I am capturing a lot of SD 640x480 video from 15 year old 8mm camcorder tapes.  The tapes themselves look pretty good but I've noticed that the slightest degradation in DV quality is very noticeable.  As I said, my DVDs from iMovie just horrible.  I just want to archive these videos on harddisk and burn DVDs after a little editing.  I would like my editing to be completely lossless.  Can PRE do that on MAC?

       

      2) In general, is PRE better than iMovie?  iMovie is "free".  Is PRE worth the money?  (Dumb question if #1 gets solved )

       

      3) Is the learning curve steep compared to iMovie?

       

      Thanks.

        • 1. Re: Comparing PRE 9 to Apple iMovie 09
          the_wine_snob Level 9

          I am capturing a lot of SD 640x480 video from 15 year old 8mm camcorder tapes.

           

          Is this a digital, or analog 8mm camera?

           

          Exactly how are you doing the Capture in iMovie - the full steps and workflow might point up an issue?

           

          As far as authoring to DVD, there will be MPEG-2 compression in there somewhere, and that is unavoidable. Still, you workflow might be the issue. Knowing exactly what you have, and knowing that you are going to DVD, someone can then tell you whether PrE will improve things.

           

          We have the good fortune to have a forum MOD, Steve Grisetti, who is on both a Mac, and a PC, and has used iMovie (though I do not recall him having written a book on it). As PrE 9 was the first X-platform version, most folk here are on PC. The new Mac-users are just starting to show up in the forum. To get a direct comparisson, you might have to wait a bit, but in the meantime, maybe we can help with your workflow, regardless of which program you use.

           

          Good luck,

           

          Hunt

          • 2. Re: Comparing PRE 9 to Apple iMovie 09
            stever2011 Level 1

            Is this a digital, or analog 8mm camera?

             

            Exactly how are you doing the Capture in iMovie - the full steps and workflow might point up an issue?

             

            As far as authoring to DVD, there will be MPEG-2 compression in there somewhere, and that is unavoidable.

             

            Thanks for the reply.

             

            It is analog.  I have a Canopus ADVC110 capture box and use iMovie's "Capture from Camera" function.

             

            iMovie doesn't give you any settings to change how the video is captured.  It appears that iMovie saves the capture as a (very large) .dv file of higher resolution -- yet Quicktime knows that the "actual" resolution is 640x480.  That dv file looks pretty good if I view it in iMovie or QuickTime but if I edit it and export the edited version that version looks worse.  It does not matter what export options I use.  Basically this is a well-known problem and is talked about all over on the Apple forums, and I quote:

             

            "Interlaced DV and HDV footage use single-field processing to improve performance, which means iMovie is throwing out every other horizontal line of information."

             

            "Apple has deliberately made a tradeoff between performance and image quality for some footage."

             

            There is no solution.  Everyone suggests using Final Cut Pro or Express.

             

            Perhaps I should be asking how Premiere compares to Final Cut Express.  Any thoughts?

             

            BTW, I am no expert and I am trying to find a tool that is relatively simple to use but with good results.  And since I have 45 120min tapes (yikes!) I need a stream-lined workflow... and a large disk

             

            Does premiere do it's own DVD burning on the MAC or would I export to iDVD to burn?

             


            • 3. Re: Comparing PRE 9 to Apple iMovie 09
              Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

              Premiere Elements should interface beautifully with the Canopus capture device and should capture your video as DV-MOVs.

               

              Don't use iMovie or another program to capture your video. Capture it as DV with Premiere Elements and it will save your video in the format that is ideal for editing in Premiere Elements.

               

              There really is no comparing Premiere Elements to iMovie -- or Premiere Elements to Final Cut, for that matter. They are completely different programs with completely different features. Premiere Elements is much more user friendly than Final Cut, though a bit less powerful. iMovie is even more user friendly and even less powerful.

               

              But in terms of the quality of video they produce, it is identical for all of these programs, if your Canopus device is set up to capture DV, and it should be nearly identical to your source video. If you're seeing a difference in quality, it means you haven't got your capture device set up properly. It has nothing to do with the software.

               

              You'll know you have the Canopus set up right because, when you capture it into a Premiere Elements DV project, the clips will NOT have a red line above them when you add them to the timeline until you add effects to them.