I'm thinking about buying a Canon Full HD camcorder (HFM 40 - anyone got any thoughts on it??!!), and editing with Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate but am not sure if my computer will be able to handle the editing so your thoughts and experiences would be valued. I've been using the programme to edit and burn with a Sony Mini DV camcorder with no problem but know nothing about HD editing and burning so will probably at a later stage come back with some dumb questions about it!
OS - Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit.
RAM - 4MB DDR 2.
Motherboard - Asustek P5KC.
Graphics - NVidia GE Force 8600GT 256 Mb ram.
Will I need an HDMI cable to download to my computer or still be able to use firewire?
Did you mean 4GB of DDR RAM? your computer sounds fine if so, and yes you'll still be using firewire. Not too sure about the Cannon workflow, but have a look on the Pinnacle website and it should tell you if it's all good or whether you need plugins.
Well it depends on your expected usage. For instance (and I have no idea at what level you're at so forgive me if I'm being obvious) if you're at a level whereby you're doing one small project every now and again editing in pro-res, say 5 minutes from about 50 minutes of footage, that could be an 20-50 gig project right there, depending on how you're manipulating the footage.
But say you have a couple of big projects coming up with hours worth of footage, at roughly 2 minutes per gig, you can see how your drive could quickly fill up and then you want to archive some of that footage because you can't afford to delete...
To give you an idea, I started editing a feature documentary and less than 20 minutes into it I was at around 200gig for ingested footage and project size and I had another big project on the go, I was less than a quarter way through the doc and my drives were filling up fast! I have over 4TB and I realised I needed another 5 otherwise I needed to start deleting projects and archived footage.
It's best to have a drive or two just for archiving if you have 2 2.5 TB drives that'll see you right for some time, unless everything you shoot is feature length. It's always best to have your boot drive as empty as possible, so that it can concentrate on keeping the program running smoothly. I haven't used Pinnacle, but with Final Cut with HD editing, you have to have your scratch disks (where your media is stored) on a separate drive from your boot, or it'll run like a pig.
So in summary 880GB is great if all you're using it for is storage as that'll store around 1660 minutes of raw HD footage (that's an estimate, but not knowing the Cannon it could be more or less). But of course if you're using that drive to also keep all your project files and render files and so on, it'll soon clog up, drives are relatively cheap these days so don't skimp on the drives.
As far as rendered footage on a DVD, it's the same as any other type of footage, a DVD's capacity is 4.7 GB so that's what you'll get, you can fit an entire feature shot in HD on a DVD, but of course the footage will be compressed to SD 720x586 standard. If you want the full quality, you'll have to burn a blue ray, otherwise the only way to keep a rendered full quality version of your project, is on a drive.
Internal drives are best for storing project media because they're faster, then use your externals for archiving.
Phew, I'm learning things fast! Level wise I'd say I'm definitely a learner, usually a couple of 1 hour totally finished, rendered,burnt to disc projects a year. You're right, I'll have to get another one, possibly two hard drives, I do tend to take way more footage than I actually use, guess that improves with experience. Once again, thank you for sharing your knowledge with me, it's much appreciated.
No worries tophook, there'll always be something new to learn! It sounds like if you get a 2.5TB drive, with the amount you shoot, that should see you OK for a while, especially if you don't keep everything you shoot.
Good luck with it all and if you have anything else to ask, don't hesitate.