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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Is a dv camcorder with 'dv in' worth it?

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Mitcherooney's Avatar
Member Since: May 21, 2006
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I have dabbled with iMovie and iDVD a little since I got my iMac 12 months ago. What I am wondering is: If my iMovie file is 39Gb, clearly there must be a great loss of quality when rendering it to fit a DVD. I do understand the value of being able to distribute a DVD easily, but for a quality archive, or just simply playing one's creation at home, is it worth my while saving to tape for the benefit of a decent film? Essentially, should I replace my camcorder with a model that supports dv in? Cheers Mitcherooney
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Joe Redifer

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The loss of quality isn't huge, or at least it shouldn't be if it's compressed to fit on DVD properly. I don't know much about iMovie and iDVD, but when working with the DV settings in Final Cut Pro the resulting DVD file can actually look better than the DV codec if you have applied effects or visual changes (such as titles) since you can use Compressor. For example I had a movie where I had some red titling. The DV codec absolutely hates the color red, and as a result you could see blockiness on the titles. Rendering through Compressor bypassed the DV phase and the title ended up being more readable on the DVD. I don't think that iMovie can work that way, though.

Anyway, why not try to compress a test DVD and check it out on the TV and judge for yourself? Doesn't hurt to try.
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Like Joe said, the quality loss isn't really noticeable. Typically home video cameras have poor-mediocre lenses/image sensors, so you're not getting all the image data that DV was meant to hold in the first place... you can easily compress it and not lose any real image detail.

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