I'm using Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD Platinum. I have a friend out of state who has 1,500+ MiniDV tapes to capture / edit. They are from 2 non-hd cameras, one is about 10 year old and one is about 5 years old. She has a Mac with iMovie that she uses to capture / edit. Most of the videos will likely be heavily trimmed, but there is still a huge amount of footage. We would like the quality to be good, but have concerns over the files sizes. The final destination of most of the video material will be online. Some of the video will be uploaded and transferred to me so I can further edit it in Vegas.


1. What capture settings are we likely to find are an acceptable quality / size trade off? For the majority of projects, I have found movies rendered at 640x480 from Vegas look very good and are very suitable for our purposes. (These are animal training videos for professionals that range from speaking to live demonstrations, most have some action / movement). I've read what the standard maximum quality capture settings are for Mini-DV, but my guess is that something smaller will end up being acceptable and much more friendly on space.

2. What format should I have her capture / save the videos in so that they are compatible with Sony Vegas? Is there a way for her to do destructive editing with imovie? As mentioned there is a lot of footage and we only are likely to need a fairly small potion of the video captured and the amount of raw video we end up with a is a real concern.

So I looked at some of the videos I have created in Vegas, most of them were created from a combination of footage from HD cameras and high res stills. Most are output at 640X480 in Mp4 format. The quality looks pretty good on the ones that are about 10MB to 15MB per minute of footage, (about 1500 kbps to 2250 kbps). However, I realize this is the final compressed / rendered rate.

So with that final / output rate in mind; what could we manage to get away with in terms of a capture rate / size? I've read of some capture sizes that are absolutely huge, some around 15GB to 20GB per hour from MiniDV.

Any guidance on where the size / quality trade off should land?

Thank You;

Jamie Dolan
Neenah, WI USA