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Old Mar 29, 2009, 7:39 PM   #1
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I'm enjoying my new Pany FZ28, a great camera in many respects. However, I'm increasingly frustrated trying to edit videos and get them onto a DVD. There is no in camera editing on the FZ28 to shorten clips from the front or the back. There is not even a way to join clips.

When I try to make a "movie" with Windows Movie Maker, mixing stills and video, or video clips alone, it records everything as a still picture and just makes a slide show of sorts.

I'm certainly willing to buy a video editing program but want to stay away from anything complicated and agonizingly slow (like Movie Maker).

I'd like to be able to record stills and videos in the sequence I choose, shorten the clips once in awhile, and record these to a DVD. I don't need anything very fancy.

Above all, I crave simplicity,.....Thanks to any users that can give me some advice!
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 1:34 AM   #2
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The FZ28 stores video as QuickTime (.mov), which is a proprietary format:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motion_...igital_cameras
Hence, you won't find many, if any, freeware programs that will do the kind of editing you want, not legally anyway.

However, if you're willing to convert to a different format, there are plenty of freeware editors for avi and mpeg.

For frame-accurate mpeg editing, I first use Project-X to demux (demultiplex; i.e., separate the audio and video streams) the file, then Cuttermaran to edit and remux it to a useable .mpg file. It works quite well (e.g., I haven't experienced sync loss) and these are powerful, freeware programs. For frame-accurate editing, you'll need to download a separate codec for Cuttermaran -- it, too, is free. You won't find freeware programs that can frame-edit mpeg files w/o first demuxing them. Some commercial software supposedly can do this, but as I have not tried them, I can't speak to their efficacy at doing it.
http://project-x.sourceforge.net/
http://www.cuttermaran.de/Default.aspx?lang=en

For avi, I prefer VirtualDub, as it has lots of good filtering options. It, too, is freeware and quite capable.
http://www.virtualdub.org/

I haven't done much research into mov>mpeg converters, since I don't deal with mov that much, but I know there are freeware ones out there. Google is your friend here.

You'll also need to convert your edited avi or mpeg to vob files if you intend to playback your dvd on stand-alone players. There's a way to output to vob from Cuttermaran, also. Again, there are other freeware titles that do this.

It may seem like a pain to convert, demux, edit, remux, convert again, author the dvd and ultimately burn, but once you get the hang of using the programs it's actually fairly easy and quick to do. The learning curve isn't as steep as it may sound, although you will have to read a bit first or you'll probably be lost. You can even automate some of the process, if you're so inclined (and willing to learn how).
Not only will you end up with quality results and bragging rights for your hard work, but, perhaps best of all, you haven't spent a dime on software to pull it off!

You can, of course, purchase commercial software that can make life easier. There are many publishers of video editors. Some of them make lofty claims regarding capabilities and output quality, so beware. Google for reviews of the product you're interested in or visit video enthusiast forums, such as http://www.videohelp.com/ and see what those users think of the programs. These titles range from around $40 into the $100's to achieve what you want.
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 7:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for the suggested plan of action,......I followed everything you said, I think, but I know that doing something with that many steps would drive me nuts. Surely, there is a one stop solution for this situation, though I doubt that it is free. I'd rather buy something that's simpler and faster.

I don't understand why something is built and sold that has to be converted to something else before making a DVD. If it does, though, then it does. I guess I will just save my clips until someone comes up with a really easy way to work with them.

Canon videos, both HD and VGA can be trimmed and joined in camera and played right into a DVD recorder as a slideshow with stills intermixed. Pretty simple but wishing Pany was as simple won't make it so.

Thanks for the suggestion, though.
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Old Mar 30, 2009, 1:19 PM   #4
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QuickTime Pro may do some of what you want. I dunno if it will burn directly to DVD, though.
http://www.apple.com/quicktime/pro/specs.html

A simple solution which is known to work is to first convert to mpeg then use a product like VideoRedo TV Suite, which is well liked for its functionality and ease of use. You can edit the mpeg, author the dvd and burn all from within the same program for $80. Or, you can just use VideoRedo Plus for the editing and use your existing (if any) DVD author/burner software and save some coin.
http://www.videoredo.com/en/index.htm

I'm afraid there just aren't many choices available for editing mov files, at least not that I've been able to find. But the above will let you do what you want with two simple steps: convert to mpeg (freeware) then use VideoRedo for the rest.

I'm actually surprised to learn that Panasonic didn't include software for editing their QuickTime cam vids and sending to DVD (or at least exporting to a format that DVD authoring programs can use). They should know that's exactly what many users will want to do with video from this camera! This, like the poor (or relatively subpar) audio quality, demonstrates the low level of importance Panasonic attached to the video function of their camera(s).
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Old Mar 31, 2009, 8:37 AM   #5
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Just an informal update on the video thing in the FZ28,....

I went to my shooting preserve yesterday with the dogs, armed with the FZ28 and with my wife carrying the SX10. We both shot stills and videos.

The stills were fine from both cameras, though I need to put a tad more saturation into the Pany to suit my taste.

It's hard for me to judge the videos from the Pany since they play slightly herky jerky on my very powerful Vista laptop. The sound cannot be heard in camera and on the computer the volume must be cranked to almost full. Here's an upside,.....it was a windy day and for most of the clips the Canon picked up all the wind roar while the Pany did not, and unintended consequence of the poor microphone but an observation, in any case.

The most enjoyable part of the Z28 is it's weight and the very good burst speed. I got some good retrieving shots that would not have been possible with the SX10 due to the screen blanking out for so long. The Z28 is much faster in continuous shooting. It remains selected until you change it. On the Canon, each on/off sequence cancels the burst mode for most settings.

On balance, the playback and sound in the FZ28 make it problematic that I will use it for what I bought it for, a carry anywhere camera that will blend a group of stills and videos into a clip that eventually winds up on a DVD. The VGA video in the SX10 is actually excellent, sound, zoom, IS, dedicated button etc. I think I'm glad I have both cameras and will find a use for each.

I will say that the video in the FZ28 is frustrating me on playback, not so much on sound since I can crank it up.
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Old Apr 2, 2009, 3:06 PM   #6
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Valley Quail wrote:
Quote:
The most enjoyable part of the Z28 is it's weight and the very good burst speed. I got some good retrieving shots that would not have been possible with the SX10 due to the screen blanking out for so long. The Z28 is much faster in continuous shooting.
Thanks for the update. I've posted a new question in the Pan forum about memory card speed. Perhaps you'd have some input there, since you enjoy using burst mode.

Sorry to read about the Z28's difficult video. I don't mind tweaking the video clips, so I might be able to enhance the audio some. If not to my liking, I suppose there's always the option of using a separate, dedicated audio recorder and merging the audio/video streams via software. It's a hassle that shouldn't have been necessary, but it's doable anyway.
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Old Apr 2, 2009, 10:58 PM   #7
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I don't know much about what speed is required. I saw a sale at Adorama a few months ago and bought 3 8gb Extreme 3 cards. I think that's over kill but that's what I use.

I have a 2gb SD card around here somewhere that I will try and report on. My guess is that a fast card is required. They are getting more affordable every day.

Jack
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