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Standard User Basenji
(fountain of knowledge) Fri 12-Aug-11 16:38:23
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iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


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Hi all,

I've been "nominated" to video my mother's upcoming birthday party at the end of this month, but right now, I'm a little confuddled as to what the output files of any camera I get should be. crazy

I'm planning on using iMovie '09 to edit the footage and possibly burn onto DVDs for distribution amongst the family members, or failing that, upload the footage to my FB page post processing.

Most of the cameras that I've been looking at output as either .MOV (H.264) or .AVI files.
Are these going to be compatible with iMovie, or am I going to have to mess around with converting the files to something else, before I can edit in iMovie?

The main cams currently on my radar are Toshiba Camileo H30 and the JVC Everio range.

Any help/advice would be appreciated greatly. laugh

Nothing to see here.. Move along, please
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Standard User Aliturk
(experienced) Fri 12-Aug-11 18:05:39
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: Basenji] [link to this post]
 
Certainly if you get a camera that produces the AVCHD flavour of H.264, iMovie will handle that by transcoding the footage into a sensible editing format. Try doing a search for iMovie camera compatibility including the makes you're thinking of. I'm not sure if Apple produces a list
Standard User ian_c
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Fri 12-Aug-11 19:29:56
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: Basenji] [link to this post]
 
iMovie will take footage from pretty well any DV camera.

Firewire FTW.


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Standard User jchamier
(knowledge is power) Fri 12-Aug-11 21:29:35
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: ian_c] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian_c:
iMovie will take footage from pretty well any DV camera.

Firewire FTW.


Great for standard def smile

Since HiDef camcorders are around £300 now, Firewire is unfortunately no use on these as they record to solid state storage instead of tape. (I think the only AVCHD tape camera is no more?)

James - be* pro - on THFB - sync about 17.2mbps - BQM
Standard User ian_c
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sat 13-Aug-11 00:27:50
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: jchamier] [link to this post]
 
Really? That's a bummer.

Standard User jchamier
(knowledge is power) Sat 13-Aug-11 10:55:41
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: ian_c] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by ian_c:
Really? That's a bummer.


Yeah, its a shame. My Dad had a sony standard def mini-DV camera, and we were able to do good things over Firewire.

the DV codec is compressed but non-lossy.

With HD, there are multiple codecs in use, the most popular is AVCHD a version of H.264. Depending on make, it can be stored on optical(DVD), hard disk, internal memory, and removable memory (SD and sony memory stick etc). AVCHD is compressed and lossy (like JPEG for stills) but still very impressive, supporting 1920x1080p resolution.

AVCHD is a set of files, so all the HD camcorders I've seen you can either use a card reader, or a USB2 port to copy the files. Usefully my PS3 plays back the footage without hassle from my friends camera. Quality of image is stunning.

James - be* pro - on THFB - sync about 17.2mbps - BQM
Standard User Aliturk
(experienced) Sat 13-Aug-11 11:33:48
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: Basenji] [link to this post]
 
Another problem is that if you're going via the iDVD route to make a DVD from what was hi def footage, I have found that iDVD makes a pig's ear out of it quality-wise, and Toast not much better. Others might be able to suggest an HD to DVD work flow that looks good.
Standard User Basenji
(fountain of knowledge) Sat 13-Aug-11 17:03:52
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: Basenji] [link to this post]
 
Thanks all for your input so far - It is appreciated. smile

Will have to look into more cameras to see if the mentioned AVCHD format is supported. £300 for a camcorder is a little steep, considering the usage it's likely to get, so will converse with the rest of the family to see if we can share the initial cost. blush

Again, thanks to everyone who's piped up. laugh

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Standard User bosie
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 14-Aug-11 08:54:03
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Re: iMovie '09 acceptable file formats


[re: Basenji] [link to this post]
 
When buying a new cam just note AVCHD 1080p 50/60 is not yet part of the AVCHD spec and therefore neither iMovie or FCP X will recognise it for import. You can use Toast or my favourite Turbo.264 HD to import these files as a Quicktime movie at the same frame rate and be compatible with iMovie and FCP X. For most purposes, recording at 720p is more than sufficient - you won't see any benefit using the higher bit or frame rates unless the footage is projected onto a very large screen - and editing those files requires a lot of computer power! Exporting any HD footage to DVD will of course lower the quality noticeably to standard DV format so when recording in HD, it's best to keep things digital.

Wikipedia
In 2010, Panasonic introduced a new lineup of consumer AVCHD camcorders with 1080-line 50p/60p progressive-scan mode (frame rate depending on region).[19] While this mode is not compliant with current AVCHD specification, it uses the same compression schemes for video and audio, the same container files and the same folder structure as AVCHD-compliant recordings.[20] Panasonic advised that not all players that support AVCHD playback could play 1080-line 50p/60p video.

Edit: cams that record AVCHD to SD card are generally easier to deal with than cams that record to disk - if you're looking for opinion. Just pop the SD into a reader (probably built-in if you have a newer Mac) and off you go.

bosie

Edited by bosie (Sun 14-Aug-11 09:09:20)

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