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Mike_Smith Registered since 14th May 2013Tue 14-May-13 01:07 AM
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"Nikon movie files unusable"
Tue 14-May-13 01:09 AM by Mike_Smith

GB
          

I'll try to lay out this problem simply in numbered points to make this clear. I don't want to rant and rave, though I feel like doing so right now.

1. Bought a Nikon D5200. STUNNING video footage, utterly amazing, cannot find the words to describe it.

2. Play back the files on two PCs and a laptop. All three computers have the wonderful K-Lite codec package installed which means they play any file, including the MPEG2 H.264 .mov files from the Nikon. Again, stunning stuff.

3. To edit them though, my computer is a little on the old and slow side. Decent enough (Core 2 Quad) and I learn it shouldn't be an issue if I convert the source files to something nice and efficient. ProRes is out as I'm not on a Mac, but Avid DNxHD also sounds great, everyone seems to recommend it.

4. To convert, I decide to use MPEG Streamclip. Everyone also recommends it, can't believe it's free! Even Nikon officially recommend it.

5. I follow the MPEG Streamclip instructions carefully. I may have the K-Lite codec pack, but I install the exact version of Quicktime Alternative as they recommend.

6. For the full process, I follow this handy video, which combines the use of MPEG Streamclip with the DNxHD codecs. Couldn't ask for more help in the process, an idiot could follow it! youtube.com/watch?v=6nBEK1AKiL8

7. My converted videos show up blank. Just a black screen. Audio, no video.

8. If I try to import a single video into Streamclip, it's just white. Pure white. Nothing else.

9. Neither the "converted" videos or the originals will show up in any Adobe software. I'm on CS4 (stuck on 32 bit hardware for the time being) so After Effects, Premiere or even Media Encoder (which would make me laugh in any other situation). All just black screens with perfect audio.

10. If I open the videos using the exact version of Quicktime Alternative (which plays files using Media Player Classic) I was told to use for MPEG streamclip, I get a TRANSPARENT video. We've had the lot now, white, black, invisible. As I've already said, if I use the K-Lite Codec pack (which plays files using Media Player Classic - Home Cinema), they work a treat.

I have NEVER been this angry with something related to computers, film, video, cameras, or any technology really. Last year I had quite a severe car-crash due to mechanical failure which I was lucky to survive and it didn't anger me anywhere near as much as this is. I have gone insane, I need answers, I have nothing left but posting this on every forum I possibly can. I promise to carefully read any replies and remain calm and patient in resolving this.

  

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Nikon movie files unusable
PeterBeckett Gold Member
14th May 2013
1
Reply message RE: Nikon movie files unusable
Mike_Smith
15th May 2013
2
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kj_fi Silver Member
15th May 2013
3
     Reply message RE: Nikon movie files unusable
PeterBeckett Gold Member
15th May 2013
4
          Reply message RE: Nikon movie files unusable
Mike_Smith
16th May 2013
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PeterBeckett Gold Member
16th May 2013
6
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barrywesthead Silver Member
16th May 2013
7
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Mike_Smith
17th May 2013
8
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barrywesthead Silver Member
17th May 2013
9
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kj_fi Silver Member
17th May 2013
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Mike_Smith
17th May 2013
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kj_fi Silver Member
18th May 2013
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PerroneFord Silver Member
23rd May 2013
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PerroneFord Silver Member
23rd May 2013
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25th May 2013
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26th May 2013
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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Tue 14-May-13 05:32 PM
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#1. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 0


San Jose, US
          

Hi Mike,
First, let me say that I think you would be better off if this were transferred to the Digital Video forum...

OK, now to your problem. My first reaction is that you should try loading the (free) Cineform codec. I have both this and the codec which comes with Apple's (free) Quicktime for Windows loaded on my Windows workstation.

Although I don't have a D5200, my expectation is that you'd be able to import your D5200's video files into Adobe's Premiere etc., without any difficulties.

I shoot video with my D800/E, both using internal storage and using an external recorder (allowing both ProRes and DNxHD to be recorded). I have no problem whatsoever when editing with Premiere Pro.

I realise that my comments don't reflect hands-on experience with D5200 files, but I definitely expect that you would be able to do the same as I describe if you load the codecs mentioned...

Good luck,

Pete

  

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Mike_Smith Registered since 14th May 2013Wed 15-May-13 01:44 AM
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#2. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 1


GB
          

Thank you for the reply.

Will try the Cineform codec.

The fact this is footage filmed on a D5200 is surely irrelevant? I'm asking how to convert MPEG2 H.264 files to a "post-production" format such as Avid DNxHD. What the files were filmed on makes no difference surely?

Will report back after trying this.

  

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kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007Wed 15-May-13 06:55 AM
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#3. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 1
Wed 15-May-13 06:58 AM by kj_fi

Vantaa, FI
          

Hi,

I'm not a video expert but I would skip all unnecessary conversions and load the video file directly to Adobe Premiere (Pro). Then export it in a format suitable for you.

It is worthwhile to investigate options in YouTube. You can distribute them easily and privately using YouTube's private settings.

Processing video efficiently requires Big Hardware. I have an HP workstation z420 with 6 CPUs with hyperthreading and it still takes more than an hour to convert mere 20 minutes from D800 to 1080p HD for YouTube (about 1.2 GB file).

Best regards,
Kari

  

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Wed 15-May-13 12:50 PM
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#4. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 3


San Jose, US
          

Hi Kari,
That's exactly what he should be able to do, but appears to be missing the necessary codec.

FYI (and this is intended to make you smile), I do have "Big Hardware" with 16x 3.3GHz CPU cores and 32GB memory. Rendering is around four times faster than you describe but by FAR the biggest processing hog is the "Warp Stabiliser" function.

"Warping" an amateurish HH clip of only a few seconds duration can take tens of minutes to complete - but the result is a clip that can be used alongside others that are shot with a professional tripod + fluid head. The first time I tried this function, I was utterly amazed by its effectiveness!

Pete

  

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Mike_Smith Registered since 14th May 2013Thu 16-May-13 01:25 AM
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#5. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 4
Thu 16-May-13 01:33 AM by Mike_Smith

GB
          

I forgot to mention, mainly because it is totally irrelevant, that Premiere CS4 won't import the originals. I have to convert these files anyway.

All I'm asking is why this won't work. I have video evidence of it working, but it won't work.

I've posted this on loads of forums and it's starting to actually amuse me (even though I'm ready to start killing people this is such an annoying problem) that people are avoiding answering the question by talking about other things.

If you don't know, or haven't read the thread, just say so.

EDIT - Would also like to point out that this reply is a general observation, not aimed at anyone. The reason it is "in response to post *some random number* is because you use this mid-90's threaded layout.

Loads of video/camera forums do this. Is it because cinematography and even photography are scared arts (I agree that they are) and you want to put people off? Do people need to "learn how things were 20 years ago" like we're in a 19th Century Yorkshire coal-mine? The sharing of information which dilutes such an art must be frightening, look at what software did to dance music. Is using a 6 inch serrated-blade to saw through the ankles of everyone who attempts to use a camera by throwing a codec issue into the frame, just your way of keeping things "pure"?

  

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PeterBeckett Gold Member Nikonian since 04th Jan 2010Thu 16-May-13 01:42 AM
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#6. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 5


San Jose, US
          

Mike,
By the time I got to process Nikon video files, I was at PP CS5, so cannot make any informed comments about PP CS4.

Have you asked Adobe about your problem? If so, what was their response?

Pete

  

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barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Thu 16-May-13 02:01 AM
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#7. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 5


Kleinburg, CA
          

>
>If you don't know, or haven't read the thread, just say so.
>

Read the thread. I don't know.

  

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Mike_Smith Registered since 14th May 2013Fri 17-May-13 01:27 AM
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#8. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 0


GB
          

FOR #### SAKE.

This is not an issue with Premiere. What the #### is it with you people?

PUT SIMPLY:

HOW IN THE NAME OF CUNTING #### DO I CONVERT MPEG2 H.264 .mov FILES INTO Avid DNxHD FILES USING A PIECE OF SOFTWARE SUCH AS MPEG STREAMCLIP?

I've posted a video, showing someone doing EXACTLY what I want to do. It won't work. I was expecting a response such as "well, your videos play using the K-Lite Codec pack, so you just need to copy this file over to this folder".

This is insane, mental. I've read my original post, all the info is there. But if it's too much, answer me this:

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO CONVERT MPEG2 H.264 FILES INTO DNxHD FILES?

I've actually gone mad now, so I don't apologise for my language and attitude here. It's only going to get worse too.

  

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barrywesthead Silver Member Awareded for his continued support of the Nikonians community, freely sharing his expertise, particularly in the areas of digital post processing and printing. Nikonian since 07th Nov 2006Fri 17-May-13 03:51 AM
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#9. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 8


Kleinburg, CA
          


Sir, it seems you may have come to the wrong organization.

Perhaps trying another group would afford you the kind of prompt service to which you are or would like to become accustomed.

  

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kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007Fri 17-May-13 11:55 AM
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#10. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 8
Fri 17-May-13 11:57 AM by kj_fi

Vantaa, FI
          

If you are running an old machine, it could be a problem with the video card or driver.

I have two displays. I used to see a symptom where a video running in a window in one of the the displays was dragged to another display, it turned to pure black.

Three questions:

1. You mentioned that no Adobe Program could show the video, not even from the original files. That sounds like the problem is not in the application software.

2. Why do you want to convert them to the DNxHD format? Having said that, I don't know that format.

3. Have you tried the video (original or converted) in any other (newer) machine? You could upload it to YouTube (e.g., as a private video) to see if their hardware make it visible.

Best regards,
Kari

  

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Mike_Smith Registered since 14th May 2013Fri 17-May-13 09:06 PM
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#11. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 10


GB
          

Right, I've answered all these questions but I know I've written a lot so I'll answer these questions again--

The original videos play just FINE using Media Player Classic Home Cinema, which I had installed already. So there's no issue with my hardware or software. The original files play FINE on both my laptop and my PC.

However - Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 DOES NOT SUPPORT the original files. This isn't a problem though, because even with a brand new i7 machine with 16 billion gig of RAM and a stupidly expensive graphics card, it's still more efficient to convert to an "editing/post-prod" format.

Two such formats are ProRes (Apple only) or Avid's DNxHD. If you're not familiar, here's a description of what it is - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNxHD_codec

These files, so I'm told/have read, will then load just fine in Premiere and I can edit as I wish.

This Youtube video (again already posted), shows EXACTLY what I'm trying to do - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nBEK1AKiL8

  

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kj_fi Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Jul 2007Sat 18-May-13 10:00 AM
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#12. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 11


Vantaa, FI
          

OK,

but you did write the following: "9. Neither the "converted" videos or the originals will show up in any Adobe software. I'm on CS4 (stuck on 32 bit hardware for the time being) so After Effects, Premiere or even Media Encoder (which would make me laugh in any other situation). All just black screens with perfect audio."

Sorry but the words "original" and "any Adobe software" in your first comment lead me think the reason might be in hardware/driver software.

Best regards,
Kari

  

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PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011Thu 23-May-13 05:06 AM
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#13. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 11


Tallahassee, US
          

Ok, try to stay with me here....

1. Try to calm down. The situation you are in happens a great deal to people who are inexperienced with video and codecs. Video is a HELL of a lot more tricky to deal with codec wise than photos.

2. The K-Lite codec pack is the devil incarnate. In most professional circles, it's regarded as a virus. I am not kidding.

3. MPEG Streamclip is a fine piece of software. On a Mac. I have it on a PC, and have used it on a PC. But it was never built for a PC, and is flaky as hell. I abandoned it.

4. Quicktime alternative is a joke and is likely what is hosing you as it is doing all the interpretations into the .MOV format.

I have not watched the youtube video you posted but will do in a few moments. I am an Avid editor and have over 10 years experience cutting PSA's, commercials, short films, and feature length films. I've been where you're at and I do understand how frustrating it can be,

I am knee deep in something tomorrow morning, but if you'll give me until tomorrow afternoon, I'll send you a link where you can upload one of the videos, I'll test a conversion on my editing machine with one of my software packages, and then see if I can get you where you want to go with freely available software.

Will that work for you?

-P



>Right, I've answered all these questions but I know I've
>written a lot so I'll answer these questions again--
>
>The original videos play just FINE using Media Player Classic
>Home Cinema, which I had installed already. So there's no
>issue with my hardware or software. The original files play
>FINE on both my laptop and my PC.
>
>However - Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 DOES NOT SUPPORT the original
>files. This isn't a problem though, because even with a brand
>new i7 machine with 16 billion gig of RAM and a stupidly
>expensive graphics card, it's still more efficient to convert
>to an "editing/post-prod" format.
>
>Two such formats are ProRes (Apple only) or Avid's DNxHD. If
>you're not familiar, here's a description of what it is -
>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DNxHD_codec
>
>These files, so I'm told/have read, will then load just fine
>in Premiere and I can edit as I wish.
>
>This Youtube video (again already posted), shows EXACTLY what
>I'm trying to do - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nBEK1AKiL8
>

------
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PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011Thu 23-May-13 05:22 AM
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#14. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 13


Tallahassee, US
          

I have now watched the video in question. While the video is easy to follow, the person who created the video is rather inexperienced.

1. Anyone who mispronounced Avid, the largest and most successful video editing software company on earth, gets an immediate red flag from me.

2. He immediately selected RGB format for the video. This is not always the correct choice and he offers no explanation of this

3. He downloaded a VERY old version of the DNxHD codec. That was deprecated long ago. I am not sure which version of the codec YOU downloaded. The "bug" shown was squashed years ago.

4. He selected DNxHD 175 1080/24p for his conversion. This should have been 23.976 as these cameras have been shooting drop frame format for over 5 years now.

There's more, but that's enough for now. I am going to ask you to do something. Try to run one of your video files through MPEG Streamclip again. But instead of using the Avid codec, use the Apple Motion Jpeg A instead. There are two reasons I am asking you to do this. The first is that it will eliminate the known issue that MPEG Streamclip used to have with DNxHD. It's been ages since I've had to do it but I remember this being an issue. Secondly, Motion JPEG A is native to quicktime. ANY Quicktime player should read it. You do not need any codecs installed, or any codec packs as it doesn't rely on those codec packs to do the decode/encode. It all happens within quicktime.

Fundamentally, you've got some VERY dodgy free software that doesn't always work well, and most certainly doesn't work well together. The Black/White encoded video you are seeing is indicative of errors doing the encode/decode. Mpeg Streamclip is famous for this when used on the PC. It's FAR more reliable on the Mac platform for which is was written.

-P

------
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Mike_Smith Registered since 14th May 2013Sat 25-May-13 11:44 PM
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#15. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 14


GB
          

Perrone - Firstly I must thank you for your informative and rational reply. I asked this on a few forums and as you've seen here, it was sending me nuts.

I've actually solved it now, and on one forum I explained how I solved it and people were still saying my hardware is to blame, even quoting the post where I said I'd got it to work just fine! Madness, I've never seen or read anything like it on the internet, and that's saying something!

I got this to work by using various installs/over-installs of QTA. Installed 1.81 as required, then the latest version (3.something) then 1.81 again. Weird, but it works nicely.

I'd say the end result is good, I can't tell any difference between the original videos and the transcoded DNxHD ones, but crucially they now import into Premiere and they work well - nice and smooth, way better than AVI files I've used in the past.

I still suffer a little when applying heavy effects such as Magic Bullet Looks, but that's a limit of my computer, I do plan to upgrade at some point soon.

So to reply to your points (in no specific order):

1. Yes, I used the latest version of the DNxHD codec.

2. Was unsure about using 24 or 23.976, but I used 23.976 as this is what the original frame-rate of the video is.

3. What would you recommend instead of the K-Lite codec pack? I know it's not exactly pro, but it's always been one of the first things I've installed on a new computer or fresh windows install because it just plays everything. Like I say, it played the source files from my camera when Premiere and Streamclip couldn't. In short, I want to be able to just play files in a no-frills media player.

4. What would you recommend I use to transcode these videos? Given Streamclip now works, would you say I stick with it or leave it? What settings should I use?

Your advice is very helpful and you clearly know what you're doing. I'm more than happy/willing to uninstall K-Lite, QTA, Quicktime, iTunes, whatever, and start from scratch to get this working properly.

Finally, would you say that once I do get an upgraded system and Premiere CS6 (meaning I can just edit with the source files), would you say it is totally pointless to transcode to a "post" format like DNxHD? Does no-one use DNxHD or Prores anymore?

Thank you again for your replies and taking the time to help me.

  

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PerroneFord Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Apr 2011Sun 26-May-13 07:46 AM
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#16. "RE: Nikon movie files unusable"
In response to Reply # 15


Tallahassee, US
          

>Perrone - Firstly I must thank you for your informative and
>rational reply. I asked this on a few forums and as you've
>seen here, it was sending me nuts.

Totally understand. Been there.


>I've actually solved it now,

Good to hear.


>I got this to work by using various installs/over-installs of
>QTA. Installed 1.81 as required, then the latest version
>(3.something) then 1.81 again. Weird, but it works nicely.

Ugh... #### like this is why I abandoned freebie software.


>I'd say the end result is good, I can't tell any difference
>between the original videos and the transcoded DNxHD ones, but
>crucially they now import into Premiere and they work well -
>nice and smooth, way better than AVI files I've used in the
>past.

DNxHD is one of the best editing codecs on the planet. And one of VERY few that can roundtrip between PC and Apple without color shift. Practically EVERYTHING else shifts gamma. Not a concern for you most likely, but was a HUGE concern for me when I was cutting and color grading films since I was a PC user and was usually working with editors using Final Cut on a Mac.


>I still suffer a little when applying heavy effects such as
>Magic Bullet Looks, but that's a limit of my computer, I do
>plan to upgrade at some point soon.

That's why I have hot nVidia Quadro's in my desktop and laptop. MBL is a resource HOG.

>So to reply to your points (in no specific order):
>
>1. Yes, I used the latest version of the DNxHD codec.

Good.

>2. Was unsure about using 24 or 23.976, but I used 23.976 as
>this is what the original frame-rate of the video is.

Correct call on your part. It's not a BIG deal unless you need to go to broadcast.

>3. What would you recommend instead of the K-Lite codec pack?
>I know it's not exactly pro, but it's always been one of the
>first things I've installed on a new computer or fresh windows
>install because it just plays everything. Like I say, it
>played the source files from my camera when Premiere and
>Streamclip couldn't. In short, I want to be able to just play
>files in a no-frills media player.

I don't install ANY packs. I simply install the codecs required as needed, and direct from the company that makes them. Generally, that's Cineform, DNxHD, and the codec from whatever company made the camera. I have Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic cameras, and codecs loaded for each.


>4. What would you recommend I use to transcode these videos?
>Given Streamclip now works, would you say I stick with it or
>leave it? What settings should I use?

I use Sorenson Squeeze because it comes bundled with Avid, but it's EXCELLENT. I haven't kept up with the free stuff in a long time. I would imagine something similar would come with Premiere these days if you get the suite.

>Your advice is very helpful and you clearly know what you're
>doing. I'm more than happy/willing to uninstall K-Lite, QTA,
>Quicktime, iTunes, whatever, and start from scratch to get
>this working properly.

If it's working, leave well enough alone until you have a week or two to play. No point tempting fate twice.


>Finally, would you say that once I do get an upgraded system
>and Premiere CS6 (meaning I can just edit with the source
>files), would you say it is totally pointless to transcode to
>a "post" format like DNxHD? Does no-one use DNxHD or
>Prores anymore?

Transcoding to a post source is important depending on what you are doing. If you are multi-tracking, layering effects, etc., yes transcode. If you are doing quick in/outs and some splicing, I wouldn't bother. Avid let's me cut native VERY quickly and I usually do that unless I am doing something complex. The other thing Avid will do is let me begin my edits on the native format while doing DNxHD conversions in the background or overnight. That's a heck of a nice feature. Perhaps CS6 has something similar. I don't know the current state of Pro Res because I don't use FCP and likely never will even though I am Mac based at home now. I have Avid at home and at work so that's what I will keep using.


>Thank you again for your replies and taking the time to help
>me.

Making the jump to video is HARD. There's a ton of stuff, and sometimes you don't know what you don't know. Feel free to ping me privately in the future if you like. If I don't know the answer, I can probably point you to a resource to get you a quick, professional answer.

------
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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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