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Old Monday 28th November 2011, 09:24   #1
senatore
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Recording format query.

I am a camcorder novice and am looking to buy one for videoing birds so forgive me if I am asking a stupid question.

I am toying with the idea of buying a Panasonic SD900 camcorder but I am told it's difficult to get decent editing software.

I see this camcorder recording format is MPEG 4.I have Windows Movie Maker on my computer already which handles MPEG formats and wonder if this includes MPEG4.

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Old Monday 28th November 2011, 12:39   #2
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When it comes to video there is no such thing as a stupid question - so don't worry. Up front I must be clear that I don't own this particular model, however:
All(?) AVCHD recording video cameras use derivatives of the MPEG 4 standard - so most modern editing packages will edit output from most video cameras. (Panasonic & Sony wrote the AVCHD standard) The exeptions are where someone has taken a lead and incorporated features that are brand new or unique to that manufacturer.
Each manufacturer has different interfacing software to allow the download from their camera to a pc. It is generally a very good idea to use it.
This software will provide (very) basic editing capability. So no matter what camera you buy you can at least carry out a basic edit.

Before we go any further the next problem you will hit in producing a high definition masterpiece is processor power - rendering an HD video uses all the power you can find. So before you invest in any software make sure that your computer meets the recommendations of the software manufacturer. I use a quad core processor and it is still slow.

I have a version (not the latest) of Windows Movie Maker and it wont touch my Panasonic AVCHD files with a bargepole.

I have just downloaded an AVCHD (1080i) file from a Panny HDC- TM700 and edited it in an old copy of Serif Movie Plus - so any modern editor will cope. When I got the camera, editing the enhanced 1080P format was a problem as it was brand new - however I don't need it and havn't tried it on a modern editor.
My guess is that your definition of decent editing software needs refining and that will involve time reading reviews on the internet as I am not brave enough to commit myself (I have tried most) - what some like others hate. It is all very different to still photo editing but I use the Serif SW a lot as it is fuss free. http://video-editing-software-review.toptenreviews.com/ is one of many reviews.

As I have mentioned elsewhere I now mainly use Sony video kit as I find it more intuitive (and it used to have IR capability), but Panasonic is meant to have the quality edge - so I guess its what meets your needs best.

Sorry for the length of this.

Best of luck - J

Last edited by iveljay : Monday 28th November 2011 at 13:18.
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Old Monday 28th November 2011, 12:47   #3
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Mpeg4 is the latest standard for video formats, it can handle full HD and is the format used by Blu-Ray. Most modern video editing software will handle it, but unfortunately Windows Movie Maker does not.

Windows Movie Maker is very much built around the Microsoft format .wmv, it is possible to convert .mp4 into .wmv but there will be loss of quality. Windows Movie Maker is very fussy about what Mpeg formats it can use, if it is the version that came with XP then you are stuck with Mpeg1 only, the one with Vista and 7 can do some Mpeg2 formats but not all. Video files are confusing things just because it says it is Mpeg2 does mean it is the same thing inside, also Mpeg1 and 2 both use the .mpg extension so it is even more confusing.

If you are looking to do a lot of video editing it may be worth using something like Adobe Premiere Elements.
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Old Tuesday 29th November 2011, 13:55   #4
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Thank you both for your advice.

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Old Saturday 16th November 2013, 21:09   #5
kelvin.dunford
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video software

Quote:
Originally Posted by senatore View Post
I am a camcorder novice and am looking to buy one for videoing birds so forgive me if I am asking a stupid question.

I am toying with the idea of buying a Panasonic SD900 camcorder but I am told it's difficult to get decent editing software.

I see this camcorder recording format is MPEG 4.I have Windows Movie Maker on my computer already which handles MPEG formats and wonder if this includes MPEG4.

Max.
i use a dedicated software editing package for my canon xl2.this editing machine is absolutely brilliant.it can store three one hour independant edits,massive storage,if you go to Dalco.co.uk website see whats on offer,or phone Martin Dalby on-0845 456 0734. First class service and advice, i spoke to martin and am very pleased with end results.
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