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  • Dave from Holland
    Posts: 9
    Joined: Nov 18th, 2007, 03:26
    Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Hi, Now that the Logic Studio Tutorials totally boosted my artistic confidence. I'm seriously planning to make music videos etc. in Final Cut Studio. At the moment I have my eyes set on the Canon HG21. The company does not have an Mac OS supporting software program for this product. 1 Will I be able to import the AVCHD content from the camera's harddisk into final cut pro? 2 Will I be able to use the imported AVCHD files seemlessly in Final Cut Studio? 3 Will Final Cut Studio run like in the Mac Pro Video tutorials on my iMac 24" 2,33 ghz intel processor, 3 gb RAM, NVIDIA GeForce 7600GT 256 MB RAM? 4 Any suggestions about other camcorders that use harddiscrecording? I'm planning to start filming with a camcorder first. In several forums I've read totally contradicting stories about the possibillities of camcorders and camcorders using AVCHD!!!!!!! Help:)
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  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Hi Dave, Welcome to the forums! Why do you want to go the AVCHD route? Personally, I'd recommend tape based HD camcorders. The quality IMHO is better than AVCHD and storing your videos is easy with tape and capturing is seamless. I have no experience with AVCHD, but I've read other pro's recommending tape based... tape is relatively cheap, doesn't compress the video and you can easily store and capture it in FCP, iMovie etc. I think AVCHD is now officially supported by FCP 6.0.1. I use a Canon HV20 which gives fantastic results in HD or SD... So the big question, apart from why you want to record onto hard disk camcorders is what's your budget? Cheers Rounik p.s. here's a link to an apple support document detailing how to use AVCHD in FCP 6.0.1 and above: [url]http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305997[/url]
    Reply
  • Dave from Holland
    Posts: 9
    Joined: Nov 18th, 2007, 03:26
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Thanks for your reply Rounik!!!!! The reason that I wanted to record onto a hard disk camcorder was not having to carry around tapes. I've come to the conclusion that the AVCHD format is not the best format for me to use at the moment. What kind of cassettes do you use? Wich brand? My budget for a camcorder isn't really limited. I might go for the Canon HV30 to start with and then purchase a higher end camera later when I have devellopped some filming skills. Main goal is getting good footage to practise Final Cut Pro along with the Mac Pro Video Tutorials (and of course to work out my own creative ideas:)). The purchase has to feel good. Next week I will be attending Apple's seminar on Final Cut in Amsterdam. I'll be firing away questions there too. Any tips on formats and camera's are welcome. Dave
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Hi Dave, I think we use sony mini dv tapes for our HV20. The HV20 is absolutely brilliant. We've shot footage in full HD and edited in FCP for commercial presentations with great results. The only additions I'd make to an HV 20 or 30 is to get a good quality microphone and a good tripod too. For an idea on what the HV30 can do check out vimeo.com and search for HV30 and select "Most liked". There are some impressive videos on show. Here's a link to a vimeo Canon HV channel: [url]http://www.vimeo.com/channel707[/url] Cheers Rounik
    Reply
  • Dave from Holland
    Posts: 9
    Joined: Nov 18th, 2007, 03:26
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Well, I tested and purchased the HV30 today. Incredible!!!!! The HV link you gave me was also very helpful. Thanks again Rounik. Dave
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Hi Dave, Am really glad to hear you like it! Enjoy the HV30 (check out cine mode sometime). Take care, Rounik
    Reply
  • Cajypiu
    Posts: 400
    Joined: Oct 11th, 2006, 09:48
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Hi Guys, I think the HV30 rocks too especially for the price. There are certainly things to be said about sticking with tape and Rounik's right, having a backup is really important especially when working on lots of projects, it becomes impractical to hold on to the original footage on your hard drive or even an external for that matter. You can, however, get much better quality of footage when you don't record to tape. Tape does compress the footage quite a bit actually and the bandwidth of the tape is limited which in turn limits how much data can be stored on it. I know a few people who use the HV20 as their 'optical eye' and record the HDMI stream coming out of the back of the camera. I think the output is full 1080p as well so you can capture full resolution HD if you have an a video card to suite... and that footage is stunning. Wack on a lense adapter to allow the use of SLR lenses and you have HD footage with depth of field.... very nice.
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Cheers Yadj! So, what equipment would one need to do what your friends do with their HV20's for best quality HD?
    Reply
  • Cajypiu
    Posts: 400
    Joined: Oct 11th, 2006, 09:48
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    No probs.... well... they've gone about it a little backwards and I think in reflection they might do it differently.. in fact, I KNOW they are because they are getting a RED scarlet next year which will give you 3K resolution and let you use your own lenses... see here, http://www.red.com/epic_scarlet/, for top shelf techno action! It's modular so you still have to configure it to your needs. Hard drives, lenses adapters and lenses etc etc... but it's niicccceeeee! And will probably work out as being the same price as say a Sony EX3 which would be an equivalent I guess. As for the HV20. Well what they've done is for starters, they use a Beachtek, http://www.beachtek.com/dxa6vu.html, to get XLR shotguns in to the 3.5mm mic input. Be warned, the Beachtek website will rave on with Ray Vaughan at you. That covers the sound. They then connect the HDMI output with a blackmagic HDMI to SDI convertor, something from this range, http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/miniconverters/techspecs/. That enables you to run SDI cable as long as you like with naff all deterioration of the signal and minimal interference. They did try using a HDMI to CAT 5 converter as you can run CAT 5 cable for considerably longer than HDMI, but SDI is a lot more robust than HDMI. We were shooting on a beach using a generator to power everything and that gave us all kinds ground loops and interference in the audio when we didn't have the beachtek which has a ground lift on it. The SDI out then goes in to a blackmagic video card. Something like this, http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/hd/. They use a, carrroooggghhh tttt.... PC to record the footage and they use Cineform codecs but really, capturing with Apple ProRes would be just as good so you could do it in FCP still. The other trick bit of kit they have is a Brevis lense adapter, something like this, http://www.dv.com/reviews/reviews_item.php?articleId=196604148. It enables you to put SLR lenses on so you can a) use nice lenses but b) have a lot more control with your f stops and will even enable decent focus pulls including focus marking when you put something like this on, http://www.dv.com/dv/magazine/2007/October/focus1007_1.jpg. The other thing that became quite important was being able to frame things properly as the image that was coming out of the HDMI was nothing really at all like was seen on the viewfinder/ LCD. So they use a spare SDI output from the HDMI to SDI convertor to feed a 7" panasonic reference monitor. which is stuck to the overall rig... which as is pretty big at this point. So you need a good tripod to take the weight. They went this route to begin with because it was done on a budget but as things progressed, they wanted to get better and better results from it so in hindsight, I would say if you are starting of with a HV20 and you want to add to it, then this above will get you good results. However, if you are buying everything from new/ scratch, I'd probably advise a much simpler rig such as the RED scarlet because would you believe, that thing only costs 2 and a half USD!?
    Reply
  • Rounik Admin
    Posts: 8713
    Joined: Dec 16th, 2006, 08:13
    Re: Can I go crazy with AVCHD Files in Final Cut Studio?
    Thank you Yadj for the excellent info! That's a lot of equipment then. Sounds like a very sweet setup...
    Reply
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