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Thread: Canon HV20

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    Canon HV20

    I bought this camera yesterday and now have a few questions:

    1) Will using HD Mini DV tapes really make that much difference over using standard Mini DV?

    2) I can connect to the TV via the RBG cable (I don't know the technical names for them ) and the Audio cable, but I also have the option to use HDMI. Our TV has HDMI sockets, but would using this make the quality even better, or is it just for convenience, i.e. all all 1 rather than 5 different things to plug in.

    3) It seems I have to use a firewire cable to transfer to the computer. I was hoping not since I read before that it doesn't come with one, only with a USB cable. I thought maybe you can use USB, apparently not. So herein the problem arises. I have no spare PCI slots (well, I do, but that big thing you call a 7900GTX is so low, if I put anything in the slot below it, the fan would be blowing mm from the firewire card). The only thing I have are 3 PCI-E 1x (I think that's their name...gosh, I'm out of touch with the terms, I've forgotten everything!), but looking around it seems firewire cards for PCI-E 1x cost around £70 compared to a normal one at about a tenner!!! Does anybody know if you can get them cheaper than this?

    Also on this subject, I can use either 4-4pin or 4-6pin connector. Do either of these offer an advantage over the other? It also says "Output flow to a computer with a DV terminal or DV capture board". What's the difference? I assume a DV terminal is a standard firewire board?

    All this HD stuff is so confusing! I thought this camera was pretty good, but it seems 1080p is the future, and then ultra HD will be coming out! Oh well I hope I made the right choice. Cheers for any help!

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: Canon HV20

    1. I don't think so. I may be wrong on this point though

    2. Yes it is easier, but the video and audio also remain digital right until the image hits the screen. With the component video, the camera is convertiing it to analogue, the TV will then probably digitisie it again, so some processing on it (like scaling it to fit the screen properly) and then displays it. You may not notice the difference but if it was me I'd use the HDMI connection.

    3. how does £18.14 sound?
    Computer hardware and software at amazing prices, available online from Scan Computers UK

    4 or 6 pin, doesn't matter. The the extra two pins are for providing power to the device, but most Firewire devices are mains or battery powered anyway so don't need the extra pins. Watch what you are doing with the 4pin plugs though, they can slip out of the socket quite easily (terrible design).

    When they say "DV terminal or DV capture board" i think they just mean you can use it with a built in Firewire port on the motherboard or a seperate card. Bad wording if you ask me.

  3. Received thanks from:

    htid (17-02-2008)

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Cheers mate

    I did look on scan but in the wrong section, silly me!

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Just to make sure before I go buying it, this will work with the 4pin slot in my camera and the firewire board you gave the link to, right?

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    Re: Canon HV20

    yeah, no problem.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Hi,

    Following on from this I got the firewire port and cable, but now what? I never considered how you get tape onto the computer

    Is it simply a case of playing the video on the camcorder and having software capture it as it's playing, kind of like capturing online radio streams?

    What software can I use to do this? I've got both Premiere 6.5 and Combustion, but how do I record it as HD? Then what file do I save it as? I was pretty naïve, thinking you could just select the file then drag and drop it as you would from say a USB stick or a camera memory card.

    Any help appreciated!

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    Re: Canon HV20

    No doesn't work like that.

    You will need software that can handle the HD streams for a start. How old is Premier 6.5? I don't think it is HD at all.

    Have a look at Sony Vegas one of them should do it for you.

    Once the camcorder is connected to your PC and on, it can then be controlled by the capture software which plays the tape, saves the stream to a file, stops the tape, etc. It's a bit more sofisticated than recording internet radio streams, the software does have complete control over the camera while it is recording. For instance, you can usually set it to detect when you paused or stopped recording, so each chunk of video ends up as a seperate file or element in the video assets of the editor.

    This is actually one of the advantges of hard drive or flash based camcorders, they usually appear as mass storage devices on a PC and you can copy the video files off directly. DV over Firewire is a whole different beast. A bit like compairing and audio CD to a disk with a bunch of wav files on it

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Thanks for that

    Is there nothing cheaper though, I mean those Sony things seem like video editing suites. I'll be using Combustion for that so I don't need any editing whatsoever, I just need to get it from the camcorder to the computer. I suppose if not I'll just have to buy it, however does the cheapest one offer less quality than the best one, or is it just the feature set of the suite that means it costs more? (Of course you may not have a clue but thought I'd ask)

    Cheers

    *edit* Oh and what file type will it save as :S I hope combustion can read the HD files!

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Well it's all in digital, so the quality will be the same, it's just the features. You might have to go for the middle one because the basic doens't look like it understands UD (have a proper look at the specs first though). There are loads of free capture apps that can deal with SD camcorders. It is HD that kind of throws a spanner in the works.

    DV streams and tapes weren't meant to hold HD footage, so to get it to work they compress to MPEG-2 and encapsulate that in a DV video stream. Whether normal apps will be able to capture this footage and store it even if they can't inderstand it I really don't know.

    Capturing DV over Firwire usually results in an AVI file (but that is just a container for the DV video and audio streams). I don't know of capturing the HD footage will result in an MPEG-2 file (as that is what the footage is recorded in) or an AVI with MPEG-2 audio and video streams contained within.

    Good luck

    EDIT: what about the "Digital Video Solution Disc" that should have come with it?
    Last edited by Funkstar; 21-02-2008 at 04:46 PM.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Quote Originally Posted by htid View Post
    I bought this camera yesterday and now have a few questions:

    1) Will using HD Mini DV tapes really make that much difference over using standard Mini DV?
    Bit late now, but for reference and Googlies, none whatsoever. It's a marketing gimmick.

    Apparently HDVSplit can capture footage, but whether Combustion will read it or not is the bigger question. I can't really help on the capturing as I use OnLocation to capture live (via Firewire and straight to an external hard drive connected to a laptop) in the first place rather than to tape. Use Premier Pro to edit, but this combo is neither viable for everyone or possible.

    It's an awesome camera for the money.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    Bit late now, but for reference and Googlies, none whatsoever. It's a marketing gimmick.

    Apparently HDVSplit can capture footage, but whether Combustion will read it or not is the bigger question. I can't really help on the capturing as I use OnLocation to capture live (via Firewire and straight to an external hard drive connected to a laptop) in the first place rather than to tape. Use Premier Pro to edit, but this combo is neither viable for everyone or possible.

    It's an awesome camera for the money.
    Good job I didn't buy any then

    I've read about HDVSplit but it seems to make M2T, not sure what they are. I'll download a demo of Vegas, see what it's like. I know Combustion can handle AVIs so if I can get them in that without losing (much) quality, I'll be happy.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    MPEG Transport Stream.

    Any uncompressed AVI will be massive given the resolution. Obviously if you start compressing before editing you're going to be compressing twice at least when you output, so quite a visual hit I'd imagine.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    M2T sounds like it may be an MPEG-2 Transport stream.

    Regular MPEG-2 streams (such as any videos you download, or on a DVD) are know as Program streams.

    don't know what the specific difference is, but many apps can read both thithout issue, but if a program can't read a Transport steam (also known as a .ts) then you can get little freeware/OSS apps that can losslessly convert between the two.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Quote Originally Posted by this_is_gav View Post
    MPEG Transport Stream.

    Any uncompressed AVI will be massive given the resolution. Obviously if you start compressing before editing you're going to be compressing twice at least when you output, so quite a visual hit I'd imagine.
    Doesn't really matter for the output too much. Well in a way it does but it doesn't need to be HD. The thing is I do Post Production and need to do a fair bit of rotoscoping*. The better the quality the easier it makes my life and the better quality the rotoscope is.

    *In case you don't know, rotoscoping is cutting an image from another, basically like paths in Photoshop, but for eeeeeeeevery siiiiiiiiingle fraaaaaame and at 30fps, that's a bugger

    As for the size of the avi, depends what size we're talking. I'll only be working with at most 5 seconds of footage at a time and have just bought a 500gig hd just to store HD footage so I should be OK.

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    Re: Canon HV20

    So I've tried Vegas out, it seemed rubbish! It captured the video alright but it was no way 30fps as it was when recorded, however it said no frames dropped :-S Also the interlacing was ridiculous, but I assume both of these are things that can be changed in the options, didn't have time to read through them yet.

    As for HDVSplit, have you used it gav? I tried yesterday and couldn't make it work, but I won't explain the problem if you've never used it as there's no point wasting your time

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    Re: Canon HV20

    Never, nope. It's a recommended program on the HV20.com forums. Highly recommended reading if you want more info on things unless someone else can help. As I said, my situations are pretty unique.

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