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Which software for editing Canon G9 avi files


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#1 aczyzyk

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 06:34 AM

I recently realized that movies captured by current compact cameras look way better that what my Sony DV cam produces. I decided to get Canon G9 which I hope will replace Sony DV for me. I don't shoot many movies, just some short clips here and there.

Anyway, I tried to edit avi files from G9 with iMovie and the results looked awful. I guess because they were already compressed and iMove compressed them again. I cropped and merged the same clips with QuickTime Pro and just saved them as mov without recompressing. The result was good, but it is not very convient when you have many clips.

Is there a reasonably priced software (Mac) that would allow me to edit the clips and preserve quality (no recompression). I don't need any special effects, transitions etc. I just want to crop some clips, re-arrange order and save as one file (in a drag'n'drop style like iMovie). Maybe there is a away to force iMovie ('06) to do just that?
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#2 Empty V

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 09:15 AM

I recently realized that movies captured by current compact cameras look way better that what my Sony DV cam produces. I decided to get Canon G9 which I hope will replace Sony DV for me. I don't shoot many movies, just some short clips here and there.

Anyway, I tried to edit avi files from G9 with iMovie and the results looked awful. I guess because they were already compressed and iMove compressed them again. I cropped and merged the same clips with QuickTime Pro and just saved them as mov without recompressing. The result was good, but it is not very convient when you have many clips.

Is there a reasonably priced software (Mac) that would allow me to edit the clips and preserve quality (no recompression). I don't need any special effects, transitions etc. I just want to crop some clips, re-arrange order and save as one file (in a drag'n'drop style like iMovie). Maybe there is a away to force iMovie ('06) to do just that?


I personally wouldn't touch an AVI file with a 10' pole. To be honest, it's an outdated format and the main reason why it's used is because it's universal compatibility, not it's quality. It was originally developed by Satan himself(Microsoft) and you'll have a really tough time trying to get a decent editing program on your mac to work with it properly. http://en.wikipedia....ideo_Interleave

I have never seen video off of a still cam that looked better than any miniDV footage but I also haven't seen the footage that the G9 produces so it could look pretty sweet. You might be able to do it in quicktime setting your in's and out and just dragging and dropping but like I said it's not really the best format to work with. Good luck!

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#3 jeremypayne

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 10:20 AM

I personally wouldn't touch an AVI file with a 10' pole. To be honest, it's an outdated format and the main reason why it's used is because it's universal compatibility, not it's quality. It was originally developed by Satan himself(Microsoft) and you'll have a really tough time trying to get a decent editing program on your mac to work with it properly. http://en.wikipedia....ideo_Interleave

I have never seen video off of a still cam that looked better than any miniDV footage but I also haven't seen the footage that the G9 produces so it could look pretty sweet. You might be able to do it in quicktime setting your in's and out and just dragging and dropping but like I said it's not really the best format to work with. Good luck!

Billy

AVI is just a container, not a video codec or format.

I have gotten outstanding results using Windows Movie Maker (Vista) and Adobe Premier.

I almost always shoot in the "High Resolution" mode (1024x768 15fps) and they look terrific once tranferred to DVD and played on really big TVs.
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#4 Empty V

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 01:07 PM

AVI is just a container, not a video codec or format.

I have gotten outstanding results using Windows Movie Maker (Vista) and Adobe Premier.

I almost always shoot in the "High Resolution" mode (1024x768 15fps) and they look terrific once tranferred to DVD and played on really big TVs.


I guess being a Mac guy who has problems playing AVI's I'm totally against anything that MS has a hand in creating.

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#5 jeremypayne

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 02:05 PM

I would think you should be able to publish and edit the G9 files in iMovie. I haven't used it in a while, but I have iMovie as well (2007 I think). I'll try and play with some G9 files in iMovie and see if I have any advice.

What movie mode are you shooting? I think the loss of frame rate (15fps) in High Def mode is more than made up for in basic sharpness and image quality.
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#6 wagsy

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 03:17 PM

It captured at 15fps unless you used the 640/480 res setting @ sp rate.

Here are the specs
Movies €“ 640 x 480 @ 30 fps (SP and LP) , 320 x 240 @30 fps, 1024 x 768 @ 15 fps, 160 x 120 @ 15 fps

If you were on a PC and used EDIUS to edit with you would be still able to cut up the file no problems and even mix it with many other formats, but you are on a MAC..ha ha....

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#7 TheRealDrew

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Posted 31 January 2008 - 03:23 PM

If you were on a PC and used EDIUS to edit with you would be still able to cut up the file no problems and even mix it with many other formats, but you are on a MAC..ha ha....


When I saw you posted in thiss thread I just knew this would be here :)

#8 aczyzyk

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 03:15 AM

You might be able to do it in quicktime setting your in's and out and just dragging and dropping but like I said it's not really the best format to work with.


I need to lern more about quicktime then. I did not realize you can just drag clips and they merge automatically.

As for avi, I don't have a choice. It is all Canon G9 can produce.

I was suprised they look better than mini DV, but they do to me. Nicer colors and more details. Maybe the key thing is that I don't make DVDs to watch them on TV. I watch them on computer only.

I tried 1024 @ 15fps but did not like how it handled motion. It was not smooth enough. I guess I will stick to 640x480 at 30 fps.
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#9 jeremypayne

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Posted 04 February 2008 - 01:13 PM

I need to lern more about quicktime then. I did not realize you can just drag clips and they merge automatically.

As for avi, I don't have a choice. It is all Canon G9 can produce.

I was suprised they look better than mini DV, but they do to me. Nicer colors and more details. Maybe the key thing is that I don't make DVDs to watch them on TV. I watch them on computer only.

I tried 1024 @ 15fps but did not like how it handled motion. It was not smooth enough. I guess I will stick to 640x480 at 30 fps.

I just cut the first underwater footage I have shot with my G9.

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I loaded the native files - stills and video - into Windows Movie Maker and output an uncompressed AVI which I imported into Premier and added sound. Used Soundbooth to make a clean loop of "bubbles" to add a little underwater feel.

Frm Premier, I exported it straight to Flash and uploaded it to YouTube.

I need to learn how to work with stills better in Premier and then I can dump the intermediate step using Movie Maker ... but the uncompressed output from Movie Maker looks great - I think the effects rendering and transitions from Premier would likely look better and removing one whole step from the workflow can't hurt.

Video is a new thing for me, but I had a lot of fun shooting video underwater with the G9.
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#10 Taxgeek

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 01:42 PM

Hi aczyzyk.
I'm in a similar boat.

I have been shooting .AVI video on an old little Canon S1 IS for several years. I like the quality, and I don't have a "real" uw video rig, and not gonna buy one. Yet. :)

Assuming you are playing on a 640x480 (regular not HD) tv set, the 640x480 avi file is just fine. Looks a tad fuzzy on HD tv set (esp if you're looking at it right after some HD movie plays!), and worse on large sharp computer monitor. :-) [And imho, I'd rather have 30 fps and smaller file size, at least for fish, whose smooth motion is paramount to good videos.]

I've been using Pinnacle Studio 9 (it's up to v. 11 now) on my PC, and although buggy (you have to know some insider tricks), it works well with the .avi files and gives lots of choices about recompression, burns nice dvds, etc.

Unfortunately, I'm moving to Mac, and they don't make Pinnacle Studio for Mac. So I'm shopping around for a replacement program, or considering keeping my pc just for the video.

The software you get depends on what type of videos you make. If you want to edit your video clips together, then just lay a simple soundtrack behind them, you don't need a very fancy program. iMovie might actually do it if you can figure out how to avoid the recompression problem. If, however, you want to make more of a music video, where the sound and the audio are synced together to compliment each other, it gets harder to find a good program without spendng $$$.

So far I've determined that iMovie isn't the right program for this. Trying to figure out if Final Cut Express is. Apparently Sony Vegas doesn't work on Mac? (not sure yet about that). Adobe Premier Elements might be an option too. I haven't looked into those seriously yet.

If you don't get an answer off here (shooting movies with still cameras isn't real popular among uw photogs it seems), you might try searching or posting a question on the Pinnacle Systems forums - people over there are pretty knowledgeable about different editing options.

Hope that helps a bit.
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#11 TheRealDrew

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Posted 06 February 2008 - 02:15 PM

Unfortunately, I'm moving to Mac, and they don't make Pinnacle Studio for Mac. So I'm shopping around for a replacement program, or considering keeping my pc just for the video.


Actually you are fortunate to come to the good side :) Also The MacIntels run Windows either via Bootcamp or things like Parallels. I run Windows on my MacBook Pro from time to time with good results. Not sure how well it will do with all software out there, but I do run Cinema Craft Encoder and ProCoder (both the "lite") versions from time to time.

iMovie might actually do it if you can figure out how to avoid the recompression problem. If, however, you want to make more of a music video, where the sound and the audio are synced together to compliment each other,


FWIW iMovie and Garageband are a strong combo and come with all new Macs, you may want to try it as a start. Not saying that it is the same thing as the Final Cut Studio (which has alot of cool things) but for many things you can squeeze alot of those two apps. On the recompression side, do you mean for output or format conversion so iMovie works with it?

Edited by TheRealDrew, 06 February 2008 - 02:16 PM.


#12 aczyzyk

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 01:02 AM

Thanks for all advice.

Qualitywise I'm happy with 640x480 @30 fps edited with Quicktime Pro and saved as .mov. It's nowere near HD coverage but enough for what I need (replace my old DV cam).

Feauturewise (and ease of use) iMovie is more than enough for me.
If there was a way to force iMove not to recompress but just merge the clips...
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#13 jeremypayne

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 06:10 AM

Thanks for all advice.

Qualitywise I'm happy with 640x480 @30 fps edited with Quicktime Pro and saved as .mov. It's nowere near HD coverage but enough for what I need (replace my old DV cam).

Feauturewise (and ease of use) iMovie is more than enough for me.
If there was a way to force iMove not to recompress but just merge the clips...

I 'm not sure what you are asking for is possible.

The files are MPEGs wrapped in an AVI container. The underlying video has been compressed via key-frame compression.

When you open the file in any NLE application, it uncompresses and renders every frame into some intermediate format so you can edit it ... very few apps can edit directly on key frame compressed formats - if any. If you trim or do anything to change the file in any editing application, it is forced to re-render key frames and re-compress the video in order to resave the file and therefore loses something in translation. The only way to avoid some level of quality loss would be to output into an uncompressed format.
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#14 aczyzyk

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Posted 07 February 2008 - 12:27 PM

I found what I was looking for. It is called Movie Funnel ($19.95) and it does exactly what I need.
It does not recompress clips it just wraps them into .mov when you select Full Quality Selfcontained Movie on export. Works fast and lets you add chapter track as well so that you can navigate within longer pieces when you watch them in QT or if you export them to iDVD.
Andrzej Czyzyk

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