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4 Digital Imaging Thursdays

Digital Imaging Thursdays: February 12

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Digital Video Camera:

In the last 3 years or so, we have started to see the introduction of HD digital video cameras and the lowering of prices of video cameras in general. $2000.00 USD was the normal price range for a basic digital video camera. Now we are starting to see a number of choices in the $500.00 – $1000.00 USD price range. This certainly will get more and more individuals into purchasing a digital video camera to capture those important family moments.
One of the common problems with video camera users is the ability to immediately view the movies conveniently. Old technology involved a VHS tape that allowed you to easily remove the tape from the camera and insert into your video cassette player. Now we are dealing with an internal hard drive or a removable memory card which is not supported by standard video players. This means connecting the video camera directly to your TV each time you would like to watch the video. For some, this is as simple as plugging the camera into the AV jacks on the front of the TV. Unfortunately, many will have to deal with the connections on the back of the older TV which can be a real pain to reach.

There are a couple of options:

1: You can connect the audio/video cable to the TV and leave this cable connected to the back for easy connection whenever needed.

2: You may not have a spare connection if you have a video cassette player and a separate DVD player or gaming system. In this case you would normally disconnect one device and connect the camera. To avoid this, you can get an audio/video switch box. HERE is one just as an example for $27.00 USD that supports 4 devices.

Most of you reading this blog are certainly not videographers or professional video camera operators. This means our shots may not be perfect. There will always be issues with lighting, shaky pictures and just that shot that looks out of place. If you are like me, you will certainly take the camera with you to every possible situation and take some unrelated images. This means I create a string of 5 – 10 video segments that have  little to do with each other stored on the camera before transferring to the PC. In order to organize and separate these segments. I would edit the video file and create separate files on the computer. To do this, I would use a video editing program on Windows Vista. Real beginners can use what the computer has available for FREE like Movie Maker on Windows or iMovie on the Apple OS X. These are fine for simple edits and adding titles but can be very limiting once you start editing video files on a regular basis. What I would recommend for beginners and even seasoned videographers on a tight budget running Windows XP or Windows Vista is PowerDirector 7. Not available for MAC OS X.

PowerDirector 7

PowerDirector 7 will set you back around $70.00 USD for the deluxe version and $100.00 for the ultra version. For most users the deluxe version is all that is required to create some professional looking movie sequences. This is a great investment on top of the actual video camera equipment. I would certainly add the software cost to your camera purchase budget immediately before considering a camera. A good camera is only as good as the good editing software that is used together. Most cameras come with limited or trial software which I would skip if at all possible. The time spend can be better used by learning a good full featured editing software like PowerDirector 7.

BASIC SPECIFICATIONS:

Create Your Own Movie Masterpieces

  • From Capture to Produce—in High-Definition: Create high-definition videos with support for HD content including AVCHD, MPEG-2 HD, and WMV-HD formats.
  • 6-track Picture-in-Picture Effects: Design sophisticated image overlays, chroma-key effects, and masks, with up to 6 independently animated objects. Learn about using multiple PiPs.
  • Disc Menu Designer: Work with new designs featuring “select scenes” navigation and animated chapter thumbnails. Create stylish menus with subtitle on/off controls too! Output to Blu-ray Discs and DVDs. See our disc menu demo.
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator: Burn discs featuring surround sound audio that you can enjoy on your home-theater system.
  • Resizable Workspace: Adjust your workspace to make editing even easier. Drag to enlarge the timeline, preview window and effects libraries.
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Render and Encode HD Video Faster with CPU/GPU Optimization

  • Intel® Core i7™ Optimization: CyberLink PowerDirector 7 optimized for Intel Core i7 technology enhances overall HD video editing performance. Intel Core i7 technology harnesses the full power of the CPU to deliver higher performance and energy efficiency while editing HD videos.
    More details
  • NVIDIA® CUDA™ Optimization: CyberLink PowerDirector 7 optimized for NVIDIA CUDA technology delivers faster performance for encoding high-definition video into the H.264 format and rendering video effects. NVIDIA CUDA technology enables PowerDirector to provide an improved user experience by leveraging the power of the GPU to deliver significantly faster results.
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  • ATI® STREAM™ Optimization: CyberLink PowerDirector 7 optimized for ATI Stream technology ensures faster video transcoding for high-definition content. ATI Stream helps accelerate the conversion of standard and HD video into multiple formats for use on differing consumer electronics devices.
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Enhance Videos and Photos with Magic Tools

  • Powerful Video Enhancements: Transform some of your worst mistakes into your best video content. PowerDirector’s video and photo enhancement tools let you adjust the degree of each fix then automatically create the results your are looking for.
  • Automated Video Editing: Select a movie theme and let PowerDirector complete your video for you. No need to set a single edit point or add an effect. It’s totally automatic!
  • Professional Slideshows: Choose from 7 unique templates, including the new “3D” style and slideshows featuring beat-detection technology to automatically sync your photos to music. The “cell” style gives you complete control, letting you arrange each photo.
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Acquire Online Resources Easily

  • Direct Access to Photos on Flickr™: Retrieve photos you have already uploaded to Flickr™. Search for photos created by your contacts or available under common license agreements. Import directly to your PowerDirector projects.
  • Unlimited Audio on Freesound: Never get stuck for a sound effect again. Search by tags and import to your media library.
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Connect with other PowerDirector Users on DirectorZone

  • Your PowerDirector Community: Enjoy free access to DirectorZone, PowerDirector’s dedicated online community.
  • Download Effects: Access new effects created by other PowerDirector users for your projects.
  • Upload Effects: Share your effects and DVD templates with other users on DirectorZone. Learn about uploading your creations to DirectorZone.
  • Subscribe to Other Creators: Make sure you always get the latest designs from your favorites.
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NOTE: Output to Blu-ray Disc and support for AVCHD and other high-definition formats is available in the PowerDirector 7 Ultra version. Please check the version comparison for a complete outline of the features available.

Souce: Cyberlink

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