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Videos Of Light Show


t2gren
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I made videos of my light shows this year, and have a question for the group.

The videos were okay, I used my digital still camera on the movie mode, but I want to purchase a new digital video camera this year so that the quality is better. I noticed that the clear light strings appeared to have color in them, and wanted to reproduce the lights in a mor natural way.

Also, I just put my radio under the camera to reproduce the sound from my FM transmitter. The quality was good on some, but had background noise on others. What is best way to get sound onto videos without all the extraneous sound and noise?

Any suggestions would be appreciated, and will be used in my quest for a new camera for next Christmas.

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I just dumped my old digital 8 tape footage on my computer, converted it to a wma file, opened it in Moviemaker, incorporated the sound file, moved the sound file to match the music, and that's all she wrote! It seemed to work well for me. Good luck!

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pretty much the same thing.. I used a Sony DV Camcorder, put the disk in my computer, used Cyberlink Power Director to edit, strip off the sound track and laid a new track of music over it. I just wish that more of the color would have come out in the final cut. The colors seemed to have blended out..

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www.camcorderinfo.comwww.camcorderinfo.comTry camcorderinfo.com a great site for all thing camcorder and video editing (check the forums).
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Look for a DV camcorder with a 3CCD processor, not one that emulates it. You will get better color. Also, if the camcorder has a standard mic jack, you can plug the radio into it to cut down on editing.



Because my camcorder has a custom mic jack I could not plug the radio in, so I set the camcorder on a tripod in my car (clean window), used manual focus and used the car radio with the windows up to eliminate outside noise. Again, to cut down on editing.

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As Brad suggested, a 3 CCD camera will perform much better with more accurate color reproduction. The problem is they are much more expensive than the general consumer camcorder. I used an older Sony digital 8 camera and found the following helped in my case:
1. Use a steady tripod.
2. Use manual focus - flashing lights can wreak havoc with autofoucs.
3. Use manual exposure override if available. Cut the exposure down a few steps - especially if your display has a lot of white lights.


Mark

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My 3CCD is a Panasonic PV GS250, about two years old. I paid about $600 for it at the time. Cnet.com shows a Panasonic PV GS320 between $350 to $550. Also, I'm sure you could rent a real good camera for a day or two as long as you had your own editing software.

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HD, without 3ccd will give higher res, but not the color sensitivity of the 3CCD cameras. There are also HD, 3CCD cameras out there.

On typical CCD's, the filters for the three colors are painted onto the pixels of a CCD. With the 3CCD cameras, dichroic mirrors are used to separate the light into the three color spectrums, with each spectrum having it's own CCD. So, you both loose the offset between different colors of the same pixel, and how do you think the quality of the filters compares?

- Kevin

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Let me preface this by saying I’m by no means an expert in digital video. I’ve only dabbled in the hobby on and off for the last 8 years or so. I experimented a bit with a friend's Canon XH-A1 which is 3 CCD HD camera. I was very impressed with the color accuracy it delivered compared to my Sony digital 8. One of the highly-touted aspects of this camcorder is the myriad of manual adjustments available, so I'm sure I could have attained even better results given more time and experience. I'll try to grab a frame from each and post them later.
There are a few downsides to HD right now, at least for me:
1. Cost: this camera runs around $3400
2. Requirements for editing: to efficiently edit HD video, you need a high-end PC with a very good graphics card, lots of memory and disk space. If you happen to have a serious gaming machine in the house, this may fit the requirements. I built my 'editing machine' approximately four years ago with dual AMD CPU's, 2 gigs of memory and multiple hard drives. I recently upgraded the video card to a 512 Mb model and it continues to work satisfactorily for standard def video. However the HD material really brings it to its knees.
3. Lack out standard/affordable output media: This ridiculous dual-format fiasco has really slowed the evolution of high definition discs. While the Blu-Ray/ HD DVD war appears to be leaning toward Blu-Ray as the eventual winner as far as studio releases, it will be awhile before burners and blank media become reasonably affordable. And I'm sure it will be many years before you'll be able to send a high-def disk to your friend and relatives and have them pop it in their player to watch it. Until the prices drop substantially on players that support both formats, they won't achieve the commodity status of standard DVD players. For now, these HD media files can be shared online, although the files sizes can be quite large. But as bandwidth increases, this may be the distribution method of choice in the future.

Mark

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Also, once it is squished for youtube, you won't be able to tell that it was ever a HD image, but you may still be able to tell that it was 3CCD or not. On the video's linked below, Halloween was shot with a Canon ZR200A that I paid less than $200 for. I had to force everything manual. The Christmas videos were shot with a JVC Everio GZ-HD3U, a 3CCD HD, hard drive recorder that I paid around $1,000 for. On the videos of the house, I left it full auto. The videos of the fire house, I did have to switch over to manual to keep the auto focus from hunting in the brief dark gaps. I will say that the manual settings are not the friendliest on this camera, not that they are much better on the Canon..

I will say that even at the lowest recording quality, the video off of the JVC looks incredible played back on the PC as a mpeg... I will second that it takes a lot of PC to edit this video. The laptop I used wasn't really up to the task. I plan on taking it up to 2G of RAM, and I know that still won't get me where I really need to be..

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=kbraby

- Kevin

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I use a standard Sony Handycam. It has a white balance on it that allows you to get a truer white. Check your Camcorder and see if this is available.

I like to edit so I spent some time stripping off the soundtrack and adding a clean one onto the tape. This also helps if you want to change camera angles during the show. (next year I'll need to do some close-ups) Besides, I never seemed to be able to get through a peice of music without someone talking to me or a loud car travelling by.

My plans for next year: 1. I'm getting a tripod. The shakes were killing me! 2. I'll use manual focus.

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Ain't that the truth! I was very dissapointed in how my final product looked on youtube.

As far as editing goes, I don't edit HD yet but my gaming rig slices through rendering in nothing flat. I have a Core2 Duo 2.6 ghz with 2 gig RAM. I purchased Vegas Movie Studio 8 this year and was very happy with it. Very user friendly and as powerful as I need.

-klb- wrote:

Also, once it is squished for youtube, you won't be able to tell that it was ever a HD image, but you may still be able to tell that it was 3CCD or not. On the video's linked below, Halloween was shot with a Canon ZR200A that I paid less than $200 for. I had to force everything manual. The Christmas videos were shot with a JVC Everio GZ-HD3U, a 3CCD HD, hard drive recorder that I paid around $1,000 for. On the videos of the house, I left it full auto. The videos of the fire house, I did have to switch over to manual to keep the auto focus from hunting in the brief dark gaps. I will say that the manual settings are not the friendliest on this camera, not that they are much better on the Canon..

I will say that even at the lowest recording quality, the video off of the JVC looks incredible played back on the PC as a mpeg... I will second that it takes a lot of PC to edit this video. The laptop I used wasn't really up to the task. I plan on taking it up to 2G of RAM, and I know that still won't get me where I really need to be..

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=kbraby

- Kevin
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I believe this system is a T2400 dual core, 1.8Ghz system with 1G. Premier Elements 4 detects dual core, so I would expect it optimizes for it OK.. The 5 minute multi angle firehouse video being rendered directly to youtube format takes about 1 hour... (Starting From HD mpeg, so it has a lot of data to throw out!!)

- Kevin

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Not a bad system. I know that Premier optimizes for multiple procs so I would assume that Elements does as well. How do you like Elements? I used Premiere once upon a time and found it to be very difficult to use and didn't give me an on-the-fly view of my work like a cheaper program that I was using did.

HD must really throw a lot of overhead onto the rendering, my standard def 5 min video rendered to youtube compatible format in about 5 minutes! Still, it'd be nice to have a high def copy.

-klb- wrote:

I believe this system is a T2400 dual core, 1.8Ghz system with 1G. Premier Elements 4 detects dual core, so I would expect it optimizes for it OK.. The 5 minute multi angle firehouse video being rendered directly to youtube format takes about 1 hour... (Starting From HD mpeg, so it has a lot of data to throw out!!)

- Kevin
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With one or two two HD video tracks, it does a reasonably good job of providing real time preview, though there was usually a brief gap in the audio after starting. The one with 5 HD tracks it tried, but, I couldn't call it successful. Especially with more content, you have to be a bit patient, as it occasionally gets unresponsive, and it is not a native windows look/feel application. I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of it's capabilities with the four videos I did with it.

- Kevin

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I have the Roxio Creator 8 which also hadles video. Has anyone used this, and what has been their experience?

I tried to edit a video but it is not very user friendly and i gave up.

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As far as the format the camcorder uses stick with a tape format..... How many of us still have 8 track tapes, cassette tapes and Beta/VHS tape that are still good??

Hard drive cameras you have the problem of archiving your video... Do you buy terrabites of storage or copy the video to a DVD???? DVDs are not sutiable for long time storage... CD rot sets in....

DVD cameras you have the same problem of long time storage.... CD rot

Also what is used the most for long term storage of computer data..... TAPES


http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/2004-05-05-disc-rot_x.htm

CDs and DVDs not so immortal after all

By Peter Svensson, Associated Press
Dan Koster was unpacking some of his more than 2,000 CDs after a move when he noticed something strange. Some of the discs, which he always took good care of, wouldn't play properly.

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Thanks to those "lightheads" that recommended the MovieMaker program that was already on my Windows XP machine. I used it yesterday to manage all my videos that I made this Christmas. Was able to mute the audio from the camera video and add the song from my PC. Worked great and the sound is so much better. Now on to getting a new digital camcorder for better video.

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melwelch wrote:



Love this quote at the end of the article:

"I'm hoping they'll hold out till that next medium gets popular, and everyone gets to buy everything over again," he says.

Something similar to a line in the movie MIB (men in black).

A few of my older CD's got rot. Bummer.
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Guest wbottomley

I'm use to editing on high-end systems. I tried Windows MM and let me tell you, I gave up. Went ahead and bought Avid Xpress Pro and now I'm back in business.

When I exported my movie out, I used quicktime codec configured to 720x486. My video's didn't turn out bad on youtube.

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Mountainwxman wrote:

I'm use to editing on high-end systems. I tried Windows MM and let me tell you, I gave up. Went ahead and bought Avid Xpress Pro and now I'm back in business.

When I exported my movie out, I used quicktime codec configured to 720x486. My video's didn't turn out bad on youtube.


William,
I saw your videos on YouTube and I agree - the quality is pretty good. Just curious as to how large your files end up when exporting? I experimented with different output format and it seemed Quicktime files were much larger than wmv files with approximatey the sames settings. I'm using Avid Liquid (base edition). From reviews I've read, the interface is a little quirky as compared to othe NLE's. But it works fine for me with the limited amount of editing I do. When I finally make the jump to a hi-def camera, I'll probaly upgrade to something like you have.

Mark
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Guest wbottomley

Mark... my files were pretty large. Silver Bells: 872 meg, TSO Christmas Eve: 397meg. Avid Liquid pretty good. I have the older version 5.5 which was Pinnacle Liquid.

Decided to jump into Avid Xpress Pro so I can edit HD later on and it has the same interface as the newscutters at the TV station.

The problem with those large files, it took forever to upload them but the quality is outstanding.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Regarding YouTube video quality, I discovered a video hosting site that allows you to upload your video as HD, currently, only 720p, but the quality looks a lot better than YouTube. Richard H. recorded one of his videos in HD and uploaded it to the site as well (that's where I found out about it). The only issue right now, is you are limited to 500MB of uploaded video a week, so you may run into the bottle neck, if you try and upload all your LOR sequences at one time. It may have to spread across 2 or 3 weeks, depending on how large your videos are.

This video was limited to 2000kB/s, and is an AVI or MOV file, if I remember correctly. It was recorded using a Sony HDR-SR1 camcorder, and the video was deinterlaced, and scaled to 720p, prior to uploading.



You'll notice that the video does have a slight grain to it, which I think is due to this camcorder not being 3CCD, it also could be due to the compression, since it is AVCHD to begin with... This video file is around 150MB, IIRC.

Here is Richard H's video.

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