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Thread: A few proper newbie questions ...

  1. #1

    Default A few proper newbie questions ...

    Ok, well the first thing that I have to admit is that I'm very new to this. I've only filmed some clips using a little camera attachment that I've currently got for my jukebox, but I had so much fun editing it that I'm thinking about taking this further. That and the fact that I've got a few friends who would like some recording doing for various reasons.

    Anyway, on to the point of the e-mail. I've been browsing the forums trying to get an overall feel for this, and I've got a couple of questions to ask:

    1. What's a CCD camera? What does CCD stand for and why is it so good?

    2. What are the advantages of having an analog input on your camera? Somebody was advised to make sure that their new camera had an analog port on it, but I would have thought in a digital age, that anolog ports might have been past it now

    3. I noticed in one post, that someone suggests that you should "always use firewire" when transferring your footage across to your computer for editing. Is Firewire just a cable or do I need to buy a firewire "port" for my machine? And if so, are they expensive?

    4. What is interlacing? While recoding a few clips, I've had the option to turn interlacing on or off. How does it affect the quality of a clip ... and the file size?

    And that's about it really. Sorry if some of the questions seem rather basic. I'll get the hang of all this in the end

    Thanks,

    Morty
    Pentium 4 3.2GHz - 2x512MB RAM - 120GB Hard Drive - Plextor PX-712A 12x4x DVDRW - Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Ultimate 256MB - Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 - Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore(v1) and Audition (v1.5)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A few proper newbie questions ...

    Quote Originally Posted by MortimerJazz
    1. What's a CCD camera? What does CCD stand for and why is it so good?
    Actually I'm not sure off the top of my head what it stands for but the CCD is the chip, inside the camera, that 'picks up the video image'. I.e. it is the bit of the camera that replaces film. A higher resolution CCD will produced a better quality image. All digital camera have these. The prosumer models tend to have three, presumably RG & B.

    2. What are the advantages of having an analog input on your camera? Somebody was advised to make sure that their new camera had an analog port on it, but I would have thought in a digital age, that anolog ports might have been past it now
    Many of us still have home movies residing on analogue devices like VHS tapes. Modern camcorder are digital but if they have analogue-in ports then they can be used to pass an analogue signal straight through them with a digital signal coming out the other end. i.e. the camera can be used as a A2D converter saving you buy a purpose built card or box. There is a price premium to pay for this feature though in Europe because of EU tax laws.

    3. I noticed in one post, that someone suggests that you should "always use firewire" when transferring your footage across to your computer for editing. Is Firewire just a cable or do I need to buy a firewire "port" for my machine? And if so, are they expensive?
    If you have a MiniDV camera then, absolutely you should always use firewaire for the transfer. Anything else effectively degrades the quality of the video. You will need a firewire port on you PC. If you do not have one already. I would expect any PC bought in the last year or so to have one tbh. If not, you should be able to find a PCI card for firewire for about a tenner (10 UKP).

    4. What is interlacing? While recoding a few clips, I've had the option to turn interlacing on or off. How does it affect the quality of a clip ... and the file size?
    An essay in its own right here. Interlacing is where your TV displays 25 frames per second as 50 frames per second by redisplaying every other line on each of the 50 frames. PC monitors are non-interlaced devices and if your aim is to display on the web then the chances are you will want to de-interlace your video are you will see 'the jaggies' on fast movement. Plenty of talk on this in tons of threads, many with pictures shoing what an interlaced pictures looks like on a non-interolacved monitor.

    Deinterlacing will improve the quality of the image on the PC. If however, like me, you typically aim to build a DVD for viewing on your TV then there's no need to de-interlace. Certainly, I tend not to bother.

  3. #3

    Default

    Wow - thanks very much for the in depth (and very quick!) replies. I wasn't expecting all the questions to be answered so soon.

    Anyway, thanks Millsy ... I owe you a pint
    Pentium 4 3.2GHz - 2x512MB RAM - 120GB Hard Drive - Plextor PX-712A 12x4x DVDRW - Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Ultimate 256MB - Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 - Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore(v1) and Audition (v1.5)

  4. #4
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    Default

    Nice reply Millsy

    Can I just chip in on the CCD question? It actually stands for Charge Coupled Device and is essentially a photo sensitive device which, as Millsy states, effectively captures your images. The resolution only affects stills images as NTSC and PAL are defined resolutions and no amount of additional pixels have any bearing on the quality. 3CCD is much better as your colours are more better represented. Always go for 3CCD if you possibly can.
    Lloyd

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

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  5. #5

    Default

    Thanks for the help LJR - just one quick question though ...

    Quote Originally Posted by LJR
    The resolution only affects stills images as NTSC and PAL are defined resolutions and no amount of additional pixels have any bearing on the quality.
    So does that mean that CCD only improves the quality of still images or does it help with moving video too? Having had a look around, I don't think I can justify buying a CCD camera beacuse (a) They're a lot more expensive and (b) I'm still very new to this ... so is there a big difference between a CCD camera and a non CCD camera?
    Pentium 4 3.2GHz - 2x512MB RAM - 120GB Hard Drive - Plextor PX-712A 12x4x DVDRW - Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Ultimate 256MB - Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 - Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore(v1) and Audition (v1.5)

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    Default

    They all have CCD's as this is the device they use to capture images. The only cameras which don't have CCD's are film cameras which cost 10's of thousands of pounds.

    The resolution of the CCD (i.e. the value which reads something like 1.1 mil pixels) only affects still images. The format you would record to for your TV has a set resolution which cannot be changed and so this value doesn't mean anything to your film quality. The 3CCD I mentioned earlier gives you a much better representation of the colours captured during your filming. However, a single CCD camcorder will suffice for most home video making (of the family, hobbies, etc). You do get good single CCD cameras too.
    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

  7. #7

    Default

    Ahh ok ... slowly getting the hang of it now.

    The more expensive cameras I saw must have been the 3CCD ones you were talking about. I assumed that a CCD camera was just another type to go alongside a Mini-DV, DVD, VHS-C and all that kind of stuff.

    Thanks for putting me straight!
    Pentium 4 3.2GHz - 2x512MB RAM - 120GB Hard Drive - Plextor PX-712A 12x4x DVDRW - Sapphire ATI Radeon 9800 Pro Ultimate 256MB - Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 - Adobe Premiere Pro, Encore(v1) and Audition (v1.5)

  8. #8
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    Make sure you go for a miniDV camera. Any of the others you mentioned are really old hat and are being phased out. I'd be surprised if you could still pickup VHS-C camcorders. MiniDV has the widest support in editing programs and gives good quality results.
    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

  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by LJR
    Make sure you go for a miniDV camera. Any of the others you mentioned are really old hat and are being phased out. I'd be surprised if you could still pickup VHS-C camcorders. MiniDV has the widest support in editing programs and gives good quality results.
    Totally agree. It's got to the stage wher I've forgotten about all the other standards, and assume anyone buying a camcorder would use minDV anyway!

  10. #10
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    ... and do NOT be tricked into buying a camera that records straight to small DVDs because they are "the latest thing" either.

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