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Video Newbie Here -- Please Advise
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davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 1:57 pm     Reply with quote

Alright, consider me the biggest video newbie that ever lived. Wife just bought me a Canon Vixia HG20 for my birthday. Is this camera suitable to produce some stock footage if I know what I'm doing?

Where should I start? What should I read? What do I need to know?

I'm a reasonably knowledgeable still photography guy.
Ulrich Willmunder


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 5966
Location: Bietigheim - Bissingen, Germany

Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 2:37 pm     Reply with quote

1) Read this. It will show you basically what you camera can do and what it can't. The bit about the manual focus bothers me a bit, but still...

2) Yes, the quality should do for stock, at least to get you started and give you basic working knowledge.

3) Read this forum, all of it. There's a wealth of information here.

4) Since this is a hard disc camcorder, make sure you don't shake it too much. ;-) No actions shots for you.

5) Good lighting will be essential with this one. I know you lighting skills with photography, so all you need to do is apply what you know to moving images.

Good luck and welcome to this crazy side of the show. :)
davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 7:40 pm     Reply with quote

Okay, run into my first conundrum.

So the HG20 shoots what are apparently AVCHD format files, saved in a .mts stream. Now, I can import these into iMovie or Final Cut Pro, but I suspect that they are actually being converted, because when I save the clips (supposedly without further converting) from either program into quicktime movies, they are considerably bigger than the .mts streams.

So what formats should I be using here?

What is a good format for archiving these, for uploading stock, etc., etc.?
davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Sun Dec 07, 2008 9:33 pm     Reply with quote

Sooo... for archiving, it seems as though my smartest move is to just make disk images of the mounted camera hard drive? Seeing as how the video is already very compressed, and in it's best form already.

Then when I work something to upload, I should save it as...?

Edit: Nice. If I save the mounted camera HDD as a disk image, I can then mount that image later, and Final Cut Pro will recognize all the clips on there, and allow me to browse them VERY rapidly in full 1080 HD glory. Very nice! That simplifies things a lot...
Ulrich Willmunder


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 5966
Location: Bietigheim - Bissingen, Germany

Post Posted: Mon Dec 08, 2008 2:43 am     Reply with quote

I don't think there is a AVCHD codec for Quicktime yet, so yes, it has to be converted. Other than that I can't really help you with software - I'm on PC. ;-)

Good to see the backup thing works well for you. Remember to burn extra backups - you don't have tapes to fall back on if the hard disc fail.

When you export for stock, go with Quicktime files. PhotoJPG for progressive footage, MJPG for interlaced footage. (Quality set to 95% in both cases.) The files will be huge, but those are the only codecs accepted everywhere - and the only ones that work reliably with Shutterstock.
davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 7:06 am     Reply with quote

Okay, next question. I have the option of shooting 60i, 30p or 24p. Which is best for stock?

I'm not so sure the progressive modes really ARE progressive. When I shoot, say 24 mbps 30p video and look at it on my computer, I can still see combing/interlacing effects...
Ulrich Willmunder


Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 5966
Location: Bietigheim - Bissingen, Germany

Post Posted: Wed Dec 10, 2008 8:55 am     Reply with quote

I'm not familiar with the specs of your camera, but there's a simple test: Shoot a fast moving object (car, train...) in an entirely still scene from tripod. If the scene seems ok, but the moving object seems interlaced, well... then it obviously shoots interlaced and recombines the image.

If that is the case, better stay with 60i mode.
tobkatrina


Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 1938

Post Posted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:26 pm     Reply with quote

I have been reading footage threads since I got my 5D Mark II and am figuring out the codec thing..... Various, would you be so kind to explain to this silly newbie what the difference between progressive and interlaced means? I assume it means shot all at once or clips put together? I don't seem to be searching correctly on google to find the answer....


Don't laugh! Thanks, Katrina
davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:31 am     Reply with quote

Okay, I can answer that. :-)

Progressive modes (i.e. 30p or 24p) capture frames all at once. That is 30 or 24 frames per second, and each frame as an entire image, like one shot from a still camera.

Interlaced modes (i.e. 60i) capture frames alternating scan lines. That is, 60 frames per second, but each frame is only half a picture (every other horizontal line).

The drawback to interlaced modes are when you have quick motion, you can get a combing effect where the interlaced lines don't "line" up properly.

I hope I used all the vocabulary correctly. I'm still very much a newbie. :-) It's fun!

If I made any mistakes, somebody will be along shortly to correct me.
tobkatrina


Joined: 26 Sep 2005
Posts: 1938

Post Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:34 am     Reply with quote

Thanks, David! I appreciate that very much =) My 5D Mark II then is a progressive shooting camera... woo hoo I learned something =)

Thanks again my friend!!


Katrina
davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:36 am     Reply with quote

Okay, so having done some more research on my HG20, it seems as though even the progressive modes are captured as 60i, and processed in-camera. Which I assume is A Bad Thing™.

Should I then shoot only 60i, and then de-interlace during editing? Final Cut Pro seems to do a much better job de-interlacing than the 30p mode in-camera. I tried a couple tests, and 30p straight out of the camera still has some line mismatch, but de-interlacing in FCP is quite smooth.

I also read a review that said that the HG20 records effectively 675 lw/ph in 60i mode, but the two progressive modes end up capturing 650 lw/ph. Why??
pichunter


Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 833
Location: normanpogson.blogspot.ca/

Post Posted: Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:21 pm     Reply with quote

If you shoot interlaced in the camera, i.e. North American version of the camera, keep it interlaced in the final output, if it is for stock footage.
akpark


Joined: 05 Mar 2006
Posts: 156
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba

Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 10:24 am     Reply with quote

This link is pretty good.

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/video-primer.shtml
davidcrehner


Joined: 20 Jul 2005
Posts: 4839

Post Posted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:57 am     Reply with quote

Boy I'm just full of questions now.

Next one. When I import into Final Cut Pro, yes, the video is being transcoded... apparently into Apple ProRes 422. Now, this looks fine... BUT... colours appear darker/slightly less detailed once the video is transcoded and ready for editing than when I preview in FCP onscreen before logging/transferring from the camera. What up?
pichunter


Joined: 19 Jan 2005
Posts: 833
Location: normanpogson.blogspot.ca/

Post Posted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:58 am     Reply with quote

A lot of editing software previews are downsized for speed of playback in the application, once exported as a .mov is it still dark?
 
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