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03-07-2011, 05:29 AM
mrblack mrblack is offline
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Newbie here. I need a bit of help understanding HDV and how much space / running time I would get on a standard DVD.

Iíve made short films before (SD on Mini-DV) and burned DVDs up to about an hour in length. My question is Ė if a get a really good camera Ė say the canon XF100, will I be able to fit an 60-90 mins worth of footage at high quality onto a normal DVD? Or will it require Dual Layer or Blu-Ray technology to do that? (my computer canít do that!!).

Basically I want to be able to produce films of about 60-90 mins, at the highest HD quality using my current machine (8GB RAM, Six core processor, Pinnacle studio 14HD). Is it possible to fit that quality onto a normal DVD disc?

Iím keen to buy a quality HD camcorder in the next few weeks and would welcome your views. Also, if the storage capacity of the camera is on flash cards or equivalent, does that mean you can insert that into the computer and upload immediately for editing???

Thanks for any help or suggestions!
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03-07-2011, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
My question is – if a get a really good camera – say the canon XF100, will I be able to fit an 60-90 mins worth of footage at high quality onto a normal DVD? Or will it require Dual Layer or Blu-Ray technology to do that? (my computer can’t do that!!).
I feel like giving the long answer this morning.

A DVD uses a fixed max resolution of 720x480 (or 720x576 for PAL). This is currently known as "full D1" standard definition. Refer to the following list, to better understand SD vs HD.

Standard definition:
  • CIF - Low Quality (LQ) SD - 352x240 NTSC, 352x288 PAL
  • Half D1 - Standard Quality (SQ) - 352x480 NTSC, 352x576 PAL // Half D1 exceeds most past consumer formats like VHS or 8mm
  • Broadcast DVB (non-DVD sizes) - 480x480, 544x480, 640x480 NTSC // Broadcast D1 exceeds past pro formats like S-VHS or BetacamSP
  • Broadcast D1 - 704x480 NTSC, 704x576 PAL
  • Full D1 - High Quality (HQ) - 720x480 NTSC, 720x576 PAL
High Definition:
  • HD - 720p - 1280x576 NTSC or PAL
  • HD (or Broadcast HD) - 1080i - 1920◊1080 interlaced (1920x540 active pixels) NTSC or PAL, visually same as 720p
  • Full HD - 1080p - 1920x1080 NTSC or PAL

The term "quality" only applies to resolution depth, and NOT the overall quality of the video
, which is affected by many more variables, such as source quality/specs, encoding format, bit rates, etc. A 352x480 video, for example, can be higher overall/visual quality than a 720x480, depending on other factors. Be sure to NOT confuse "resolution depth quality" with "absolute quality" as many novices (and sometimes even pros) tend to do.

So, no -- HD video can never be put into DVD-Video format, while retaining full HD resolution. It would have to first be downsized.

There is a cheat, however...

You can put HD content on a DVD, but using Blu-ray specs. This is sometimes referred to as BD-on-DVD, amongst others. Remember that discs are simply data storage devices. While most people who refer to "DVD" actually mean "DVD-Video format", you can treat the disc (the DVD) however you like. I'm sure you've burned data backups to disc? This isn't much different.

You'll want to use H.264 format, not MPEG-2, and you will (of course) only be able to fit about a sixth of the content on the DVD (as compared to a full Blu-ray at the same video encoding specs). And then the BD-on-DVD will only play on certain devices. I believe the Playstation 3 (PS3) works fine with this, whereas many standalone Blu-ray players do not.

Quote:
Basically I want to be able to produce films of about 60-90 mins, at the highest HD quality using my current machine (8GB RAM, Six core processor, Pinnacle studio 14HD). Is it possible to fit that quality onto a normal DVD disc?
The hardware is good. Not entirely certain that software is up to par for creating high quality HD videos. I know for a fact that it's DVD output is rather inferior -- outright craptastic, to be honest.

Quote:
I’m keen to buy a quality HD camcorder in the next few weeks and would welcome your views.
I know of good models from under $1k to more than $10k -- so what's the budget?
I know what camera I want! (In fact, there are 2-3 models that I've had my eye on, and I wouldn't mind snapping up one of them, if I came into some sudden excess money.)

Quote:
Also, if the storage capacity of the camera is on flash cards or equivalent, does that mean you can insert that into the computer and upload immediately for editing???
Yes.
Consumer cameras use SDHC cards, while the higher end professional video cameras will be using P2 cards (Panasonic) or the SxS cards (Sony). Those, of course, are more costly -- but faster and overall better, if not bigger. The other difference is a pro camera/card will have a more edit-friendly format, like EXCAM as MXF, while the consumer camera will shoot to a harder-to-edit H.264. Some older consumer HD cameras still do MJPEG or MPEG-2, which can honestly be superior to the H.264 for editing. In most cases, you'll have to convert first to an intermediary, before you can import the HD shot video into an NLE. Much of that depends on what you're using. For higher end video, you'll need something like Adobe Premiere Pro (Windows or Mac), Sony Vegas Pro (Windows), or Apple Final Cut Pro (Mac).

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