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Digital Video Forum Discuss camcorders, HD video, HD DSLRs, video editing, DV software, and video techniques. Your DV forum moderator is Skyman.
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  1. #1
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Convert Video Before Editing?

    I'm getting more into the video thing now. I've been sort of flying by the seat of my pants for a while, using whatever camera is in the house for testing and editing each video differently. But I just bought a Canon EOS 7D and I need to start understanding things better and develop a solid, bulletproof workflow.

    I was browsing another video forum and someone who appears to be very experienced said they always converted video clips before they edited them. They explained that the video from a camera like the 5D Mk II or 7D (and every camera, for all I know) is compressed and too much processing power is required to dynamically process and preview it. That would explain why my raw clips and videos I'm editing are stuttery. The jerky video makes it very hard to edit and slows the whole process down. So, is this guy correct? Am I better off converting my EOS 7D .AVI clips to something more Adobe Premiere Elements-friendly? And if I do comvert them, how much danger is there that I'll be noticeably degrading the video quality?

    By the way, I'm exporting a Canon EOS 7D video sampler right now. It's got little bits of a whole bunch of subjects and lighting situations. I'll post a link when I get it posted on YouTube. If the quality is worthy, that is...
    Photo-John

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  2. #2
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Video Before Editing?

    meh, you wouldn't run photoshop CS4 on a PII with 256mb of ram and you really shouldn't edit video on anything less than a a core 2 duo with 4gb ram and a separate data drive for the swap files (not a partition) as and a goodish graphics card helps as well. really except for the hard drive none of that stuff is over the top. I have also heard pro's say that they only work with wmv files as everything else has too much contrast etc. but these arguments have always struck me as being a little bit like saying never use a tiff file only a jpeg. Also this depends a lot on your editing software. Adobe offers native support for a huge range of video file formats now and this really helps things as the programs don't need to decode / recode mpeg files. That jerky video you describe isn't coming from an encoding process but from the huge file sizes you have and your big swap files. if you are really worried upgrade your graphics card (most video editing applications leverage the GPU nowdays) or if you really really want buy a video render engine from the likes of matrox or canopus. (these are like a GPU but specifically for video rendering)
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  3. #3
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Video Before Editing?

    Thanks for the reply. Since I made that post I have experiemented with converting my .MOV files and then editing them. Adobe Premiere Elements is very much designed for consumers. There is a sort of wizard-style save area labeled, "Share." There's an option in there for saving to a format specificall for editing. Seemed like a good idea and the files were a lot easier to edit - at least the previews were smooth and easy to work with. However, the final output was crap. So toss that idea. I'd rather suffer with the difficult previews in editing and a high quality final product.

    My machine is getting a little long in the tooth. It's it's a 3 Ghz Pentium 4, maxed out with 4 GB of RAM. And when I built it, I never intended to use it for video. So the video card was the cheapest one I could get. So maybe upgrading the video card would be a quick fix will I milk this machine for another year? Got a video card recommendation?
    Photo-John

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  4. #4
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Video Before Editing?

    Adobe publish a list of recommended graphics cards... this isn't to say you must use on of the ones they recommend, but they garuntee stability on them and in some cases provide their own drivers for them as well.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  5. #5
    Captain of the Ship Photo-John's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Video Before Editing?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skyman
    Adobe publish a list of recommended graphics cards... this isn't to say you must use on of the ones they recommend, but they garuntee stability on them and in some cases provide their own drivers for them as well.
    Thanks! As I find myself more and more mired in the video muck, I am appreciating your presence here more. I'm not used to being so ignorant. It's good to have someone around who knows this stuff.
    Photo-John

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  6. #6
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
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    Re: Convert Video Before Editing?

    lol, I just wish I still worked in a camera shop, then I would be able to post reviews of various video cameas as well.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


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