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Thread: Questions reg. HD camcorders and editing (from a newbie)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Marlborough, New Zealand

    Default Questions reg. HD camcorders and editing (from a newbie)

    My first post here.

    My Dad has bought a new HD (High Def) camcorder.
    Now he's on the hunt for a laptop.
    My questions are:
    - When he transfers the video from the camcorder to his PC, will he then keep the HD quality?
    - What kind of specs should the laptop have? He's not interested in spending too much money, but is aware that the laptop needs to be a bit powerful if he's going to use it for video editing?
    - Is there an easy HD editing software out there, which even my Dad would be able to use (not too complicated)?
    - And how will he be able to transfer the edited video from the PC onto a media which allows him to see the video in HD format on an HDTV?

    Sorry, I know absolutely nothing about editing HD video, HD in general etc.
    Hope someone can help me.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    1. Yes.
    2. The fastest he can afford - editing hdv video takes lots of power. Two cores needed imho, either a huge internal drive and / or a big external drive for video storage.
    3. Yes, assuming your dad is computer literate, sony vegas platinum does hdv editing for about 100, as do other similar programs.
    4. Not so easy or cheap. Easy way is to use a long wire, next easiest is to record editied stuff back to the camera and play that into the tv, and finaly, making blu ray discs. This means getting a blu ray writer 300, some s ware that authours to blu ray, 300 and some blank media 5 to 10 EACH.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Marlborough, New Zealand


    Just one more question.
    Is it possible to edit HD video in Windows Movie Maker?
    Or are there any similar programs like Windows Movie Maker which allows you to do so.
    Sony Vegas might be a bit too complicated for my Dad.

    Also, would this laptop do a good enough job?
    Processor: AMD Turion 64 X2 TL-58
    Ram: 2 GB
    Hardddrive: 120 GB
    Graphic card: NVIDIA GeForce 7150M

    Or this one:
    Processor: AMD Turion 64 X2 Dual-Core
    Ram: 2 GB
    Hardddrive: 250 GB
    Graphic card: NVIDIA GeForce 7000M
    Last edited by dockerslund; 02-26-2008 at 10:31 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    Mark is certainly the informed responder and here are my added thoughts.

    I think HD video from a camcorder will require a firewire input to the PC.

    I think you will need more than a 120Gig internal hard drive.

    2Gig of main memory (RAM) is enough - even if he PC has Vista for the OS BUT I would suggest using XPPro - still available and, IMO, still better and more friendly to any older legacy software you might want to use.

    I don't think you can use an external hard drive for real-time file transfer to/from the cpu for editing/rendering due to data transfer rate limitations.

    I suggest other programs be trialed and Windows movie-maker not be used - just a personal prejudice but it just doesn't have the feature/functionality/power.

    Any reason why a laptop instead of a desktop? You will have a lot more options for the equipment and components you can add to a desktop and I believe that the PC dollar/pound spent much more cost effective with a desktop than laptop unless mobility is a hard requirement.

    For example, with a desktop you can have a more powerful video card and much larger internal storage like 500gig multiple harddrives. I would want a video card with at least 500meg of it's own RAM. For the cost of a low to mid power laptop your Dad could have a much better provisioned and performing desktop.

    I think that to record the HD edited content to a disc you need to subscribe to a format like BluRay if you want your discs to be compatible with others who want to watch the program. BluRay internal PC read/write drives are quite pricey right now.

    So far as playing the HD files on the PC and watching them on a separate HD TV you need either a video card that has DVI or HDMI output for a "hard wire" or cable link to the tv OR you can buy a wireless HD receiver that will work with your dad's wireless LAN (if he has one). My relatively inexpensive ATI video card has DVI outputs and I am about to buy and experiment with the D-Link wireless entertainment hub.

    D-link is an example of a manufacturer that makes such an entertainment device for around $150 US dollars that will transport HD playing on your PC via wireless lan/router to the hub device which has HDMI, component, composite and S-Video outputs to your HD TV or projector and optical and composite audio outputs to your sound system.

    Just my opinion - Vegas and Premiere are complicated editing programs to learn and their complexity not necessary for most consumer video editing projects.

    Have you dad download the free trials available from Adobe, Pinnacle and ULead. These programs should control capture to the PC and also editing with transitions, effects and etc and also render the completed program to a file type for both standard def dvd and HD dvd creation.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Marlborough, New Zealand


    Thanks again.
    Yes, I know a desktop would make more sense, but my Dad insists on buying a laptop, as he's not solely going to use it for video editing, and he wants to be able to sit in the garden and use it etc.

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