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Understanding HDV / DV tapes

by Mike Fargione / December 13, 2008 11:51 PM PST

I need to create a professional-looking video project using a Canon XHA1 high def camera. The project does not require high def filming and I suspect?? using DV format would help reduce file sizes and computer resource requirements. Is there any problem/disadvantage to using HDV minitapes tapes I already have or should I purchase and use only DV tapes?

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There is no...
by boya84 / December 13, 2008 11:59 PM PST

problem/disadvantage to using HDV minitapes tapes you already have for a DV format project. I would suggest you capture in HDV and downsample the finished editing project as needed. If you want it "professional-looking" and are using a camera as good as the XHA1, you might as well get the best video you can.

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You can, and I think you should use, HDV tapes in the
by Kiddpeat / December 14, 2008 9:58 AM PST

XH-A1. Whatever you use, you should always use that specific tape. Don't switch brands or the type of tape. Alernating tape formulations can cause problems with the camera. I always use Sony Digital HD Video tapes in that camera. They cost a bit more, but I would rather err on the side of higher quality.

With the XH-A1, you can record in HDV (1920x1080), SD (16:9) and SD (4:3). I strongly recommend that you try using HDV even for an SD project. That will provide the highest quality video even for an SD project. You simply need a video editor that allows the HDV image to be displayed in the desired SD format. You will not see the full HD width, but you can slide the video left and right as necessary to keep your subject in view. Sony Vegas can do this quite easily as can other editors.

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Correction: You cannot see the full HD width if your SD
by Kiddpeat / December 14, 2008 10:00 AM PST

project is using a 4:3 format.

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Follow Up Regarding Editing Software
by Mike Fargione / December 14, 2008 10:11 PM PST

Thanks to all for your helpful comments. I will record the project in HDV. This may not be the correct forum to ask, but is the suggested conversion of recorded HDV video to SD format done by the editing software during the capture process or at another step. Does Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 or Premiere Elements have this capability?

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Sony Vegas Pro does it when the video is rendered for DVD.
by Kiddpeat / December 15, 2008 12:37 AM PST

It stays in HDV until that final render is performed. The output format is selected when the render starts. The render can output one format one day, and a totally different format the next day.

I do not know if Premiere Pro can do this.

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