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kbireckiFlag for United States of America

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Video quality converting 1080/60p video to WMV and low-light video quality

I need to replace my camcorder and I am considering the Panasonic HDC-TM700 with its ability to record in 1080/60p, which according to most of the "expert" reviews I've read, is very high quality.  But I'm wondering about the ability to edit the video.  I currently use Pinnacle Studio (this and many other video editing apps can't currently edit 60p video) and I've seen that there are converter utilities that can convert the 1080/60p video (usually in .MTS or .M2TS format) to WMV, but I want to find out if that reduces the image quality of the video.

The alternative cameras I was considering that don't use 1080/60p are the Canon HF S20 and the Sony HDR-CX550V.  My goal is high quality video under normal family types of events, and ideally the ability to get decent low-light video as well for my daughter's performances.  I've read conflicting information about these three cameras: most "expert" reviews say the Panasonic has the best quality in normal and low-light conditions, but some user reviews say they feel the Sony has better low-light quality, and the Canon has better daytime colors.

Does anyone have any experience with converter software for 1080/60p software to WMV or other formats?  Is 1080/60p problematic for editing?  Can anyone offer advice based on their experience with any of these three cameras?
Avatar of jusgre44
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I'm a big fan of the free DownloadHelper plugin for Firefox, and its companion ConvertHelper (roughly $30.00).  While it is optimized for downloading and converting flash-based web content (YouTube, Facebook, and so on), it also does an excellent job with locally-stored content.  There is a myriad of options for conversion format, resolution, and bitrate.

I cannot speak to the specific camera models you mentioned, as I have no experience with them.
If you are paying extra for your camera to do 1080/60P then trying to convert it back then you are defeating the purpose of that camera's Feature.
Why don't you save money and get something that does the more common 30p or 60i? That way you don't have to convert anything. Remember every time your video goes through some rendering process it looses quality.

At the same time Adobe Premiere should be able to do that with its custom profile where you specify the video parameters. The presets might not have that 60p, but when you choose Custom sequence you should be able to do it.
I'm a Pinnacle User myself and Pinnacle does most everything for me, but when it's time to do advinced stuff I have Adobe Premiere
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@jusgre44 - thanks for the suggestion.
@emilgas - I wasn't sure if "converting" is necessarily "degrading", is it always?  I know the end product is best with Blueray disc's, but is that 30p, 60i, or 60p?  The other aspect is that if converting degrades the content anyway, starting with the highest possible quality would give the best result, correct?  So if I start with 60i and have to "convert" somehow to do editing and then burn to BR, wouldn't 60p necessarily give better output?
Your last statement confused me. Don't forget that 60p (60 Frames per second progressive) is sharper than 60i (interlace). But if your Editor doesn't accepts 60p then you don't have choice but to go to a bit lower which is either 60i or 30p. I personally would go with 30p, but if you have fast movement in your frames then go with 60i. I think quality should be the same for both. Do some search on google and make your own decision. Here is an example discussion on the subject:

Start with the highest possible quality your editor accepts. Do your Editing and final output in one shot. Now sometimes people don't want to use Pinnacle for the final output to the Disk. For example if you want to edit in Pinnacle but would like to finalize the DVD/BluRay disk in Adobe Encore then Make sure to save the Edited Clip/Video in a higher quality than your original video so the rendering would not Degrade the quality.

emilgas, your statement about rendering degrading video is interesting.  I suspected that simply by my own observations of some of the output on DVD's that I've put together in the past, but wasn't sure.  (I am keeping all my newer HD content I have so that I can convert to BluRay as accurately as possible.)  I read through a number of the threads on that site, that was helpful.

One last question: why would anyone want to edit on one app, like Pinnacle, and then do the final output in something else if that app already has the capability?  At that point isn't it just burning to the disc?  Or are you talking about compiling the edited video and writing it out to some cross-app format like WMV and doing a menu, etc. in something with more capabilities than Pinnacle?
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