11975 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Aug 10, 2007 8:44 AM by Race Proffitt
.. I am new at video editing and the lingo..
well, new techniqués, new lingo needed..
iM is meant by concept to work with miniDV camcorders.
miniDVs store on tape and use a 'codec' to make colorful pictures into digits.. that codec is called 'dv' ...
iM copies (=lossless transfer) the bits of a dv straight into a new project, via a firewire connection..
now, your device uses a harddrive, AND uses a different codec.. which iM isn't made for.. >> needs conversion.
unfortunately, your codec is lossy, means, a converison will add a drop of pic quality .. that's not iM fault, that is a .mod problem...
plus, iM is made for TV-delivery.. you are not able to judge the final quality of an iM project on a computer! (use the live playout feature of iM, playback to miniDV tape, or burn with iDVD a disk...)
a well known 'all purpose' converter tool is the combo of Apple mpeg2 plugin (19$) + Streamclip (free)
it will convert your mods to dv, for usage in iM ... and, as said, the conversion add a quality loss, plus it 'looks' in iM more ugly than it is..
iM = miniDV ... ask dealer for swapping your device into another type ..
I bought a JVC Everio GZ-MG21 last year. I couldn't get the included software to work at all - it reported "A necessary Library is missing" - the helpdesk was useless.
Anyway searched the WWW and the consensus seems to be the included Mac software is poor and some users report that it renders the pictures badly (but maybe they used it incorrectly).
Of course, you want to convert without loss of quality. My Web searches indicated you get the best results by using "Mpeg Streamclip" which is a free download, but you also need Apple's "MPEG-2 playback" which is $19.99 (or 14.99GBP for me) - inc. taxes, no delivery charges - you download it.
That worked great for me.
Here are the notes I made for myself:
FastImport of Everio Files to iMovie
1. Create a New iMovie Project for DV (this matches the Everio quality)
2. Create an alias of the Media component of the iMovie Project
in the Movies folder
3. Use MPEG Streamclip Batch Convert files to DV (DV25) 720 x 756 aspect ration 4:3 (16.9 ?) deinterlace at Zoom 100% X/Y=1 Center 0,0 (not selecting FrameBlending/BetterDownscaling/RsampleAudio/SplitDV/Cropping), putting (via an alias) the results in the Media component of the iMovie Project
[Note: 4:3 is the normal format for the GZ-MG21.]
4. Close the iMovie project and re-open it - iMovie should then report the DV files are in the iMovie trash.
5. Move (drag) the files from the iMovie trash to the timeline or clips.
6. Save the iMovie project!!
This method avoids re-encoding the files twice. This is almost as good as iMovie supporting the .MOD (that is MPEG2) format. Otherwise if you create the .DV files first and then reimport them into iMovie you end with two copies - one in the iMovie project and one outside - taking up twice as much space.
I am not sure the deinterlace is needed, but seems to avoid jaggies on individual frames - though I think it increases (doubles?) the .DV file sizes.
Other things worh noting.
The 4:3 Movies from the camcorder are 768 x 756, but the 'DV' setting says 720. Dont be fooled by this: the re-encoded Movie is 'DV, 720 x 576 (768 x 576), Millions DV, Stereo, 48.000 kHz' with 768 x 576 pixels (Actual).
You can change the extension to the .MOD files to an MPEG-2 Playback File Type (.mpg, .mpeg, .vob(2), .vro, .m2v, .m2a, or .m2s) and open the files in QuickTime Player, but in that case you seem to loose the sound (at least I didn't get to to work). MPEG Streamclip produces a .DV file with the sound included.
Summary: I can't understand the reports of poor video quality for these cameras - it seems very good to me. Maybe there is an issue with the software supplied which then ruins what the camera captured. JVC would best advised to ship software that allows import into iMovie without loss of quality.
Note: When I posted this before, someone commented that you can't "import without loss of quality" because MPEG2 compresses and therefore loses quality. This is nothing to do with the import process and will happen when the file is recorded. It should be possible to import the MPEG2 file without loss of quality (compared with the MPEG2 recording). The MPEG2 quality will depend on the degree of compression used when the original recording was made.
Well, Candinimo, you're doing better than I am!!
Also Macbook, also just bought the GZ-MG130U. Would be a great camera ... but I can't get it to recognize my Macbook (and/or vice versa). Plug it in via USB and ... nada. mod files or anything would be progress at this point; the software that came in the box is marked PC only (and does, indeed, work on my PC), and there is no indication where JVC might provide tech support to mac users.
Know what to do or should I just take it back?
Maybe this will help? I copied it from another website...
"Yesterday I posted under a different forum about complications converting Everio .MOD hard disk files into a format that can be used in iMovie, but today I found a pretty easy solution based on Quicktime MPEG-2 Player, DVDrop and iMovie.
BACKGROUND: JVC Everio camcorders use hard disk media to record video files which is great for navigating directly to the video you want to edit. The camera stores the video in a .MOD file in an MPEG-2 format. JVC provides software called Capty MPEG Edit EX for Evario, but it is not quality editing software and not worth the time to learn.
PROBLEM: iMovie can’t access the camera directly to import the video and Quicktime Pro doesn’t even understand the MPEG-2 format.
a. dowload and install DVDrop. This converts the .MOD MPEG-2 formatted video into standard Digital Video (DV) for iMovie. (see www.dropdv.com)
b. Optional - dowload and install Quicktime MPEG-2 player so you can preview clips before you burn disk space and time converting them to DV and importing to iMovie. (see www.apple.com/quicktime/mpeg2)
a. Create a folder on the desktop and download the entire SD-VIDEO folder the camera hard disk to your new work folder
b. open the new folder in Finder and using the search function find all the .MOI files. Then highlight all the .MOI files and drag them to the trash. These are files that contain junk the camera faluted on and not real video data.
c. Next use Quicktime to preview the imported clips to verify which ones you want to convert. Delete any files that you don’t want in your movie. NOTE: You may need to change the name of the file from .MOD to .mpeg. Also, you won’t have audio because of a long technical discussion dealing with the codec for MPEG-2 and demux’ing it etc.
d. Now highlight all the files the folder, which after deleting the .MOI’s and reviewing in Quicktime will only contain the desired files for the movie. Drag all these files in one group onto the DropDV icon and it will convert to DV and create a folder on the desktop.
e. Open the desktop folder and click on the “imovie project” folder. This will launch iMovie and all your desired clips will be there including the audio you couldn’t hear in Quicktime."
I found this link to a video that goes through the steps to connect the JVC to the Mac and convert the files so they can be imported into iMovie.
Very good detail.