/blushes and bows/
Brobin, I hope we're getting closer to that you need mate, there may be some fiddling around left to do, but we'll get there - maybe Friday or more likely Saturday
Axeman and Tarn, bless you fellers
Remember... "Friends don't let friends use flash card cameras", there's a reason they're cheap...
Edit: I sound like such a luddite and so many people post on these forums asking for camera advice, and when I can be bothered I try to steer them away from the hard-drive or flash card cameras they've set their hearts upon because they're cheap and packed with toys and gismos to distract you from their weak spots. Let me expand here and probably end up just copy/pasting into future threads as I know it won't get red in this forum backwater thread...
DV has 2 subformats, but otherwise is the same across all cameras and computers/NLE's. Camera companies want to sell more cameras, so they invent perverse things like 24f mode, which sortakinda looks more progressive, but isn't, and may limit your compatibility with your NLE - remember the camera companies don't care about your NLE - that's another company's problem, they just want to sell cameras by promising the moon on a stick and piling on the toys.
Memory-card and hard drive formats have a lot of advantages, and absolutely are the future, but they are not ready yet. DV has 2 substandards, but there are hundreds of permutations of standards of the file-based camera files. They use all sorts of containers - TOD, MOV, AVI, MP4, MPG, etc etc, so different programmes can open them (and your NLE may or may not be among them). That's the first problem. To make it worse, each container may contain one of many codec-encoded video (and audio) streams, including H.263, H.264, MJPEG, DIVX, RAW, SV3, Cinepac, WMV, MPEG2, Thedora, VP6, all sorts. Audio can be wav 16 or 32-bit, little or big-endian, mp3, Vorbis, some other mpeg stream, etc. The video and sound may be synced (like most DV) or can easily be independent streams whose running length happily usually turns out to be about the same, but will sometimes drift over the course of an hour until all sync is gone. And that's just the containers and encoding! Now consider the bitrates they encode to (universally low) and the quality impact of that (ewwww!)
Now figure the different screen ratios and whether they use square or nonsquare pixels to achieve them. And resolution, are they running at a standard resolution. Interlacing can cause mountains of problems, does the cheap camera interlace its image? Probably, but try finding that on the box and getting any deeper and they simply don't say. So you buy a cheap camera, find the bundled software a disaster (always is - camera companies don't write programmes, Vegas excepted, and even that's a totally separate division), and try to use your favourite software with dodgy results. Your poor regular software is trying to work out all of the crazy combinations that cheapo manufacturers like to use, and sometimes they just give up, and now you can see why. Remember, they want to sell you hardware, they don't care if you have to jump through hoops to edit it. Most people will only ever play back through the tv anyway, and after all it's a cheap crappy camera, why care?
I make an exception here - the P2 ans SxS formats of memory-based recording are excellent and robust and supported natively by Avid and some other NLE's. They're expensive because they're not toys, they have to work for a living, so must interoperate perfectly. They are closed standards, but standards nontheless, so work. But this is why I always steer people away from memory-card cameras - we're left trying to pick up the pieces of the mess they got into by buying cheap and saving a few quid here and there - not realising they'll make up for it with time and frustration!
Lecture/rant over (for now), I hope that clarified why I sound like a luddite and recommend poor old-fashioned and slow DV...
Last edited Thu, 1st Oct 2009, 9:55am; edited 1 times in total.