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Thread: Laptop and software for mpeg-editing?

  1. #1

    Default Laptop and software for mpeg-editing?

    I currently own a Sony hard drive camera (DCR-SR80) that records in the mpeg-2 format. I'm looking to buy a new laptop that I plan to use at least partially for editing footage from this camera. The kind of editing functions I'm looking for are basically equivalent to what you can do in iMovie--definitely not less than this. In fact, ideally, I'd like to get a mac.... but as far as I know iMovie doesn't really mesh well with the mpeg format, so if it needs to be a PC then it needs to be a PC...

    So my questions are basically:
    What kind of computer/software would you recommend for me?

    If that's not specific enough:
    Is it possible to edit mpeg-2s with Mac software like iMovie or finalcut?
    If the answer to above question is no, can I somehow convert the mpegs to DV or something to make them editable in iMovie? And if so, would it be worth it to go this route or should I stick to a PC?
    And finally, if I go with a PC, what kind of setup and software would you recommend?
    Right now the price range is open until I can get a better handle on what is out there...

    Any help on the topic would be appreciated. Thanks! And sorry if this is the wrong forum... it seemed like the best choice

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    791

    Default

    iMovie does allow direct importing of MPEG2 footage from supported camcorders. I just looked at the list and while the DCR-SR80 isn't on it, the DCR-SR82 is. Is there much of a difference between the models? I believe (although I'd need to check) that it takes the MPEG2 footage and transcodes the long GOP into something easier to edit (at the expense of some quality).

    Supported Camera List: iMovie 08 Camcorder Support

    I use Final Cut Pro which can of course handle a huge range of video formats and codecs natively (no transcoding).
    Lloyd

    That's my opinion. If you don't like it I have others

    System: Apple Macbook Pro 17, and an external Freecom 500GB eSATA drive.
    Software: Final Cut Studio 2 (FCP 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, DVD Studio Pro 4, Compressor 3), Sonicfire Pro 4.5
    Favourite Resources: Findsounds.com, Free DVD menus, Ken Stone's FCP Page, Wikivid

  3. #3

    Default

    what about final cut express?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    791

    Default

    Again, Final Cut Express HD transcodes HDV (which is in MPEG2 format) using the Apple Interchange Codec (AIC). You should be aware though that sometimes transcoding can induce some artifacts in the footage. It doesn't always happen, but it can. If the footage has to be guaranteed to remain perfect quality then you will need to choose an editor which will edit MPEG2 natively. On the Mac the only editor which does that is FCP.

    The good thing about the Final Cut Express and iMovie solutions are that they do at least transcode upon capture. It's always important that if you are going to transcode you do it at the earliest point you can.
    Lloyd

    That's my opinion. If you don't like it I have others

    System: Apple Macbook Pro 17, and an external Freecom 500GB eSATA drive.
    Software: Final Cut Studio 2 (FCP 6, Motion 3, Soundtrack Pro 2, Color, DVD Studio Pro 4, Compressor 3), Sonicfire Pro 4.5
    Favourite Resources: Findsounds.com, Free DVD menus, Ken Stone's FCP Page, Wikivid

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