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TomBow

DIY Home Video & still pics

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Howdy,

I've recently been bitten by the urge to DIY Video my bowhunts and some fishing. I'm running an older HI-8 Non-Digital Sony Camera and am looking to upgrade some time in the next year. My questions are directed to those who have a pretty good handle on this hobby already.

1. What format (Mini DV, DVD, Hard-Drive) camera allows the most ease of use, ie: transferring to computer, editing and putting together DVD for my own private use or sending to friends?

2. Computer system requirements: How big and bad does my system need to be to be able to edit and produce video on DVD?

3. What editting programs do you use to capture, edit and write to DVD?

4. Still cameras: Megapixels are going up all the time as prices go down. Doesn't this increase the size of the picture file? Can I save the pictures in a smaller file size by changing to a different file type without losing quality? I have not gone digital (yeah, yeah I'm WWAAAA--HHAAAAAYY behind the times) but would like to and am concerned that I will have huge picture files which will be difficult to e-mail, etc.

As you can see I need the tech talk without the tech speech, Please Dumb it down and bring this cavement further out of the cave. Thanks,

TomBow

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I have a hard drive digital vid camera and you just connect it to a usb port to get it on the computer. As far as computer speed, the faster the better. You can get by with whatever, but I prefer at least a 2 gig processer with 2 gigs of RAM. You will also need a lot of Hard Drive storage space.

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Which camera do you have? I've been thinking mini-DV or hard drive but my knowledge is severely limited when it comes to the ins and outs of editing, burning to DVD, etc.

Thanks for the info.

Best of Luck,

TomBow

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I can't remember it off hand. Just a little thing. I went with one that takes the digital tapes. Works pretty good. I do like the hard drive ones, but then if you go on vacation and don't take your laptop with to download them you might run out of space. The mini-dvd's are nice, but are pricey. I just kinda weighed that all in. I use a program called Nero for making vids. Pretty easy to use, you won't win any awards with it, but it's simple and effective.

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I have a Sony Digital that I bought last Summer. Hard drive with 60 Gig I think. (Holds about 8 hours of video, depending on quality). Battery that comes with camera lasts about 3-4 hours, I purchased an additional battery that lasts about 7-8 hours($100).

I just prefer the harddrive, because the thing I don't like about the disks and tapes is; you have to buy DVD's or tapes and have them with you all the time. I don't know about the tapes, but I do know that typically each DVD holds about 2 hours of video. I have also heard, but can't comfirm that the Disks and tapes, the video burns or writes onto disks and tapes as you record. Transfering the video to the computer and editing it (supposedly) you loose some quality, where as if you save to a disk drive it's a different type of media so you don't loose any quality. Again, with the technology that we have today, I can't really see any difference other then not having to carry DVD's and Tapes with you all the time. I have never used these two options so I can't say...

I use Adobe Premier for video editing...It runs best on my laptop...a Dual Core 2 2.08 GHZ, 2 MB RAM.

Like it's been said above, the faster the computer, the larger the hard drive space the better when it comes to video editing.

I've tried Pinnacle Studio but it runs really slow, even on my Laptop.

Premier is much better and if you can afford the whole CS3 Video Suite, you can use all their programs to make a great video.

Let me know if you need more info.

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Depending on your needs, some of these “portable” video cameras work pretty darn good.

I just recently have been using a small hand held camera called The Flip Video camera.

I’m very impressed with the quality and ease of use. It operates on standard AA batteries and even has a built in flip out USB connector (no more looking around for that thing)

It’s all flash memory and you can get 1 HR of pretty good quality video.

Basically turn it on and hit the red button. Doesn’t get much easier than that.

It doesn’t have the 500X zoom like some cameras, but for subjects within 30ft it works good.

If I get a chance I will post a short clip I took with it.

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If you want to share video electronically (youtube, email, etc...), the flip cameras with flash memory will be fine, but if you want to make higher quality DVD's for archiving memories with family and friends, then I would go with a miniDV, DVD cam, or Hard Drive cam. My opinion... I would go with the MiniDV system (small tapes). I would definitely stay away from the DVD cameras. The only knock I have against the hardrive cameras are durability. If they get bumped around, you may lose your footage. If you are like me (lazy) and leave the footage on the camera, then you might lose an important event.

Definitely, definitely, please stay away from Pinnacle Studio. I have shed many tears using that system. Adobe Premier Elements ($100) is a great application. You can also find it packaged with Photoshop for about $150. I have seen Premiere Elements in action and have heard many great things about it. That being said, I am a Mac guy when it comes to video editing. If you are serious about video editing and you need to upgrade your computer, then seriously consider a Mac. It's all in one packaging will cost you about the same price after you purchase the DVD burners, firewire ports, and video editing software for the windows machine. Plus, you don't have to buy Vista! In terms of video editing only, I have edited on both and the Mac is way better. But... if you can't do Mac, then the suggestions above will work very well too.

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