Working with Multiple HD Formats

Posted on by Larry

[ This article was first published in the April, 2009, issue of
Larry’s Final Cut Pro Newsletter. Click here to subscribe. ]


Sean writes:

Hey Larry, I just got footage from a music video that was shot with two different cameras (A2 and DVX 100b) – both using 60i. They also have some standard DV footage. I only have the DVX 100b as a deck. I was wondering what would be the best capture preset so I wouldn’t lose any information, and what would be the best sequence preset, knowing that I will be importing the standard def?


I have FCP6. There is no capture preset for 720 x 480 60i. I tried the different HDVs, but they would not recognize the camera, and I am afraid that DV NTSC might take away some of the quality from the 60i. Can you please recommend audio video settings?


The only research specific to this camera I can find is 24p related, not 60i. I’m sure the solution is something simple, but it’s my first time with 60i, and I want to make sure I can keep the better quality.

Larry replies: HDV is High-def only. Neither the DVX-100 nor standard-def footage will capture with that setting.

If you shot HD on the A2, then you will lose resolution when you bring it into standard-def — since HD and SD image sizes are not the same.

Your highest-quality SD preset is Uncompressed 10-bit. But DV doesn’t have that kind of quality.

So, if by 60i you mean high-def, then capture JUST the A2 camera using HDV 1080i/60. Then, change your sequence settings to DV NTSC to capture your SD footage. Then, edit everything in a single DV NTSC timeline. In doing so, however, you will lose all the additional image quality HD provides.

You can not switch between HD and SD quality in the same timeline. You can combine different formats on the same timeline, but they will all be rendered into the same format – either HD or SD.


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