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Author Topic: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?  (Read 22686 times)

Magic_Randy

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Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« on: January 12, 2010, 08:59:12 pm »

I have a Canon EOS 7D which can take HD videos. The file format it uses is .mov files.

Any suggestions of software editing programs to take the .mov video clips made by the camera and create movies?

I need a PC based system (currently Vista). Hopefully I can find something that is a consumer application (e.g. $100-$200 price range).
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rjm

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2010, 10:27:03 pm »

I helped my son find a video editor for mov files produced by his camera. We had a lot of problems. Suggest you try Adobe Premiere Elements first, but make sure you test it before buying.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2010, 09:22:07 am »

I helped my son find a video editor for mov files produced by his camera. We had a lot of problems. Suggest you try Adobe Premiere Elements first, but make sure you test it before buying.

Thanks. I'll test it this weekend.
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Alex B

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2010, 09:42:57 am »

Premier Elements is a nice program. In addition you might want to try Sony Vegas Movie Studio.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #4 on: January 13, 2010, 10:50:34 pm »

Thanks Alex, I'll try Premier Elements and Sony Vegas Movie Studio.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2010, 09:41:45 am »

Progress report:

I'm currently testing 3 different packages.

Adobe Premier Elements 8
Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9
Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 14

I'll probably go with Adobe or Sony.

So far it looks like Pinnacle is the easiest to use, but the most limited in functionality. This is also the only package that plays without stuttering during editing.

Sony Vegas Movie Studio is the only one that supports 24 fps.

All 3 packages randomly crash.
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rjm

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2010, 08:52:55 pm »

Thanks for the update.

MOV video seems to be a challenge for all editors. We see stuttering as well. I think there is a an option to pre-render (which takes a while) but reduces the stuttering,
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2010, 09:40:32 am »

Thanks for the update.

MOV video seems to be a challenge for all editors. We see stuttering as well. I think there is a an option to pre-render (which takes a while) but reduces the stuttering,

Thanks.

This has turned out to be a challenge. I spent most of last weekend trying out the different options. I was pleasantly surprised at the level of functionality in the consumer packages. But to evaluate the packages you have to figure out how they work. I don't mind investing in learning the package I buy, but to evaluate them you have to invest in learning the other options as well.

I won't be doing any testing until the weekend. I'll try the pre-rendering then. If I can't eliminate the stuttering, I will probably try converting the format before editing. I heard Cineform NeoSCENE is good for this task. You can transcode the MOV files to AVI and then edit the AVI without stuttering.

I also need to figure out if 24P support is important. If it is, I think Sony is the only editing software that supports it.
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rjm

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2010, 12:42:43 pm »

If you have a choice, and don't mind having large temporary files (3.6 MB/sec), then you might consider converting MOV to DV for editing. DV is a very nice format for editing. When finished editing you then compress the DV to h264 or XviD.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2010, 04:29:11 pm »

If you have a choice, and don't mind having large temporary files (3.6 MB/sec), then you might consider converting MOV to DV for editing. DV is a very nice format for editing. When finished editing you then compress the DV to h264 or XviD.

Thanks for the tip. I don't really mind how big the temporary file is for editing. If I transcode I just want to go to a format that does not lose any quality. Would you recommend using Cineform NeoSCENE to convert from MOV to DV?

Also, do you have an opinion on 24P?
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rjm

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2010, 10:56:53 am »

Sorry I have no knowledge of NeoSCENE. I also have no experience with MOV to DV conversion. I just know that DV is very nice for editing because it does not rely on key frames and does not lose quality each time you save. A good analogy is doing photo edits using PS format and when done saving as JPG.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #11 on: January 23, 2010, 09:48:12 am »

Update:

I eliminated Pinnacle. Primarily because Sony and Adobe have more features.

I was able to eliminate the stuttering in Adobe by pre-rendering. The only problem is it does not save the results, so if I save a project and come back to it I have to pre-render it again. I have not figured out how to do the pre-rendering in Sony, so it still stutters.

I tried conversion from MOV to AVI using NeoSCENE. This works with both Sony and Adobe. The stuttering was eliminated in Sony. With Adobe one of my clips in the project stuttered, but when I pre-rendered it the stuttering went away. In this scenario the results are saved, so if I saved a project and came back to it I did not have to pre-render again.

Have not yet figured out how to convert to DV.

I've not yet formed a strong opinion on 24p. If this is important Sony is the only consumer grade editing software I've found that supports it.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #12 on: January 24, 2010, 12:45:03 pm »

Conclusion: at least for now

I went with Adobe Photoshop Elements 8 & Premier Elements 8 combination. If I need more later I will also get Sony Vegas Movie Studio 9.

Currently I'm using a trial of Cineform Neo Scene to convert the .mov file to .avi for editing. I will probably license this product.
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glynor

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #13 on: January 29, 2010, 03:34:36 pm »

I wish I had seen this thread earlier... If you have any further questions, feel free to ask.

I would avoid transcoding to DV.  DV is a fairly old standard definition codec.  The main problem you'll encounter using it is the chroma subsampling (color space) conversion will lead to substantial quality loss.  It is generally best to keep the files in the native codec, and only transcode once at the end (unless you are using a professional NLE that comes with a good "working codec" like ProRes 422).  The way color is recorded in video is different than the way it is recorded in still images.  Instead of a RGB or CMYK color space, video uses a color space more similar to Lab Color (if you understand color spaces in Photoshop).  Basically, all the "resolution" is recorded in a black and white channel (called the luminance channel), and then color is recorded using two separate color channels (called the chroma channels).

However, because the human eye is more sensitive to light vs. dark (luminance) than it is to color (chroma), the codecs typically compress the color information in order to save space.  The level of this compression is described using a number like this: 4:2:2.  These numbers describe how much pixel data is recorded per-channel, relative to each other.  So, 4:4:4 is "perfect" chroma sampling (because for every 4 pixels of luma, there are also 4 pixels recorded for each chroma "color" channel).  Very few things are actually recorded in 4:4:4 though, unless you are using a $100k+ camera.  So, the way it typically works is that there is less color information than there is "black and white" information.

For a better real-world example, take the 4:2:0 color space.  This is what is used on DVDs.  Basically the way it works is this:  Imagine your video divided up into square blocks of 4 pixels each (2 tall and 2 wide).  The first channel is the black-and-white image of what you see (the luma channel).  Luminance isn't subsampled, so each pixel can have it's own brightness (recorded as 4 in the "number").  However, Chroma Channel A doesn't work that way.  For that, the 2x2 block can only be chopped in half.  Each pixel doesn't get it's own color.  You can only "color" in blocks of 2 pixels, so that 4 pixel block can only be shaded two different colors, not 4.  Even worse, the Chroma Channel B is actually turned off and there is no color data there at all (dividing the total number of possible colors in half).  Then, on the next frame, the two color channels reverse, and Chroma B has 2 "blocks" worth of color data, and Chroma A has nothing.  This works because the frames are coming so fast that the eye fills in the missing data.  Another example is 4:1:1 used by DV.  In this, there are still blocks of 4 pixels.  However, instead of alternating between Chroma A and Chroma B, DV requires that all four pixels be shaded the same color (but it allows you the full possible color gamut by allowing access to both channels simultaneously).  This is actually made even worse in practice because DV uses a line of 4 pixels for its blocks, rather than a 2x2 configuration, but you can ignore that and just know that converting to DV throws a TON of data away (unless you're already in DV to start with).

There are LOTS of possible chroma subsampling patterns.  The most common are 4:2:2 (many "pro" codecs), 4:2:0 (MPEG-2 and HDV), and 4:1:1 (DV).  The problem is that when you convert from one to another, you end up getting the "worst" of both worlds.  So, if you take 4:2:0 footage and convert it to a 4:1:1 codec like DV you actually end up with the equivalent of 4:1:0.  That's because when you convert, every other frame in the source 4:2:0 has either 0 Chroma A or 0 Chroma B.

If you are adding any overlay graphics or anything, you will have much better final quality if your sequence (the edited timeline) is in a codec capable of a 4:2:2 color space.  Otherwise you will likely see horizontal banding in graphics (especially anything moving) and "jaggies" around the edges of lines, like fonts.  This is because of those differences in how color information is recorded.  You can't always have a graphic "end" perfectly aligned on those 4 pixel blocks, so there is often "bleeding" around the edges of sharp lines.  If you aren't adding any graphics, then the best bet is to keep everything in the original source codec to avoid color shifts and loss of color data.  If you must transcode, always transcode to a codec with a LARGER color space (going from 4:2:0 to 4:2:2 is fine because no data is thrown away).

I don't know if any of this makes sense at all, but I thought I would try to explain...

PS: Here is a nice graphic that makes it easier to understand visually: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chroma_subsampling#Sampling_systems_and_ratios
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glynor

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #14 on: January 29, 2010, 03:39:44 pm »

Adobe Premiere Elements is probably a very good choice.  Another good tool to have (and free) that you can use for lots of simple edits and ESPECIALLY for format conversions is MPEG Stream Clip.  It is available here: http://www.squared5.com/

It's really awesome.

I don't know how the rendering works in Premiere Elements (I'm a Final Cut Pro guy, but I do also occasionally use Adobe Premiere Pro).  Generally, HD video is VERY CPU and disk throughput intensive.  I'm not sure what source codec the Canon cameras use, but it is probably a fairly good quality one (maybe HDV).  Your likely culprits with the stuttering are probably:

a. Slow disk access or busy disk.
b. Not enough RAM or 32-bit system/application isn't making enough RAM available
c. raw CPU speed

There probably isn't much you can do without decreasing the quality of what you are dealing with, or transcoding to a codec that is "easier" on the system.  The problem is that the simpler the codec, generally the larger you need the files to be to maintain the same quality.  My DVCProHD camcorder records at around 1GB per minute, and that even has the holy-heck compressed out of it.  Raw HD video is just unbelievably huge.
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glynor

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #15 on: January 29, 2010, 03:51:26 pm »

I should also say this...

MOV is just a file container, the same as AVI.  It is completely irrelevant (aside from a support point of view) what "file type" a video is in.  The only thing that matters is what format the video itself is inside the container.  MOV and AVI (and MP4 and MKV) are like FOLDERS.  They contain a video "track", an audio "track" or two (or 10), and some other data streams for metadata, tagging, timing, subtitles, and other things.

Saying "I have a MOV" is like describing a ZIP file only by it's extension.  That tells you nothing about what is inside the ZIP file.

The reason converting from MOV to AVI is helping isn't because of the file type conversion, it is because you are converting the video to a different codec.  Now it could be that your software isn't as good at handling MOV file types, but this is unlikely since Premiere is a Quicktime-based editing application.  It uses Quicktime as it's native internal file format.  I don't know about Elements, but it is probably the same basic architecture.

So, the conversion you are doing is helping because you are CHANGING the video itself (probably reducing quality).  Not because you are changing from a "MOV" folder to an "AVI" folder.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #16 on: January 29, 2010, 07:26:51 pm »

glynor,

Thanks for all of the information. I'm not sure I understand it all, but that will come over time.

I'm not sure what Cineform Neo Scene does when it converts from the .mov to .avi. It does increase the size of the clip by 350%. From the specs it looks like it puts the file into their proprietary format (10-bit CineForm Intermediate (4:2:2) with AVI wrapper).

Do you have an opinion on using Cineform based on this information? If this is not the correct approach I can try to solve my stuttering problem by attacking the hardware I'm using. It's only a 32-bit Vista system with 2gb of memory. I could double the memory for the cost of Cineform. I could also upgrade to Windows 7 if that helps at all. Beyond that I probably need a different PC.

Neo HD Workflow Features

    * OS Compatibility: Windows XP, Vista, or Win 7 (32b or 64b) or Mac OS X 10.5 or later
    * Files created: 10-bit CineForm Intermediate (4:2:2) with either AVI (Windows) or MOV (Mac) wrapper.
    * Spatial resolution: Up to 1920x1080
    * HD camera support: HDV, AVCHD, Canon 5D Mk II, Canon 7D
    * Chroma Interpolation: 4:2:0 → 4:2:2. Background: Most HDV and AVCHD camcorders record chroma (color) in a format known as 4:2:0. Without boring you with details, 4:2:0 chroma is half the color resolution of more professional 4:2:2 formats. When Neo Scene detects 4:2:0 chroma it properly interpolates the source chroma to 4:2:2 for more accurate color processing during editing and effects work. And if you ever "key" your material, CineFormís chroma interpolation will substantially improve your resulting visual fidelity.
    * NLE Compatibility:
          o - Windows: Adobe Elements, Adobe CS3/CS4; Sony Vegas or Movie Studio
          o - Mac: Apple Final Cut Pro or iMovie
    * File Compatibility: Because CineForm files use industry-standard AVI or MOV wrappers they are compatible with virtually any video application that supports standard interfaces, including from Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, and Sony.
    * ProRes Support: Neo Scene will create ProRes files as the destination format if Final Cut Studio is installed on your Mac.
    * Image processing during conversion:
          o - telecine removal (24p extraction from 60i)
          o - deinterlacing (30p/25p from 60i/50i)
    * Importer: for Adobe CS4 on Windows (importer for CS4 on Mac later)
    * Sharing Media: CineForm offers a free decoder available for both Windows and Mac to allow you to easily share your CineForm media with others.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #17 on: January 29, 2010, 07:30:25 pm »

glynor,

Another question. Using windows explorer I cannot get a thumbnail for my .mov files. I do get them in MC, but not in explorer. Any idea how I can fix this? Would Windows 7 fix this?

Randy
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #18 on: January 30, 2010, 10:57:06 am »

Using Adobe Premier Elements for a real project does not really work on my 32-bit Vista PC. 2gb of memory is not enough. So I'll upgrade to 4gb and try again.
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Griff

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #19 on: January 30, 2010, 11:11:17 am »

Hi Randy

Just a quick insert:

Glynor is right.

Quote
Another good tool to have (and free) that you can use for lots of simple edits and ESPECIALLY for format conversions is MPEG Stream Clip.

This has been the best Conversion/edit prog. on the freebe end, that I ever found.

On the Paid end, I use Magix Movie Edit Pro 15 Plus.

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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2010, 12:22:29 pm »

Thanks Griff...
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glynor

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2010, 03:15:41 pm »

Cineform's 10-bit 4:2:2 codec is certainly a fine option option for a "working space" codec, if you have the disk throughput to handle it.  For your purposes, a 10-bit 4:2:2 codec is overkill.  If you can set it to use an 8-bit version of their codec, you'll get smaller file sizes and it'll be easier on your hardware.  I looked around on their website for NeoScene, though, and didn't see anything for it there.  Looks like they're trying to keep it simple.

Editing video is hard on hardware, even now (especially if you plan to edit HD video).  That's why I have a 8-core Nehalem monster of a machine with 16GB of RAM, and it even feels slow occasionally when rendering out 1080p video with a bunch of effects.

If you're going to do editing a lot, and you want to be serious, there's really only AVID and Final Cut Pro as serious choices (maybe with Adobe Premiere on the side as a "second tier" choice).  Like I said before, I'm a Final Cut guy.  A lot of the industry is moving over that way too.  All the rest of the NLEs are toys.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2010, 09:02:02 pm »

Cineform's 10-bit 4:2:2 codec is certainly a fine option option for a "working space" codec, if you have the disk throughput to handle it.  For your purposes, a 10-bit 4:2:2 codec is overkill.  If you can set it to use an 8-bit version of their codec, you'll get smaller file sizes and it'll be easier on your hardware.  I looked around on their website for NeoScene, though, and didn't see anything for it there.  Looks like they're trying to keep it simple.

Editing video is hard on hardware, even now (especially if you plan to edit HD video).  That's why I have a 8-core Nehalem monster of a machine with 16GB of RAM, and it even feels slow occasionally when rendering out 1080p video with a bunch of effects.

If you're going to do editing a lot, and you want to be serious, there's really only AVID and Final Cut Pro as serious choices (maybe with Adobe Premiere on the side as a "second tier" choice).  Like I said before, I'm a Final Cut guy.  A lot of the industry is moving over that way too.  All the rest of the NLEs are toys.

Thanks glynor...

I appreciate all of the tips. For the short term I think I'm now on the right track. I've worked out a 'consumer' grade solution that kind of works. It's now obvious to me that a proper solution for editing HD video will require a retooling including new hardware and professional grade software. If I go that way I will probably go with a Mac Pro. I would then have the right hardware to use Final Cut Pro.

For the near term, this is what I came up with.

My PC is really low end for this type of work. It's a 32-bit Vista with 2gb of memory. So I upgraded the memory to 4gb. Of course less than 3.5gb is addressable.

I gave up on Cineform Neo Scene. It worked fine for my tests, but when I tried to load up a project of 92 HD clips it took an enormous amount of disk space and Adobe Premier would crash due to running out of memory. The crashing occurred before and after my memory upgrade with this size project.

Now that I upgraded my memory I did find that I could edit my HD MOV files using with Adobe Premier without stuttering if I rendered everything ahead of time. The downside is this takes many hours on my PC configuration to do the rendering, but it looks like it works.

A better option appears to be Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection 14. With this software I'm able to take the same project of 92 HD clips and edit it directly without stuttering. I was even able to do it before I upgraded the memory. I also noticed that the AVID web site points you to Pinnacle for consumer grade video editing software.

So for now I'm using my existing PC with upgraded memory and Pinnacle Studio. I'll continue to also work Adobe Premier in parallel.
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glynor

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #23 on: February 02, 2010, 01:01:36 pm »

Adobe Premiere is renowned for crashing often.  That's actually why I abandoned it for Final Cut many, many years ago.  Pinnacle is owned by AVID, so that's why they recommend them.  Pinnacle is supposedly a good product, though I've never used it.
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #24 on: February 02, 2010, 09:24:47 pm »

glynor,

Another question. Using windows explorer I cannot get a thumbnail for my .mov files. I do get them in MC, but not in explorer. Any idea how I can fix this? Would Windows 7 fix this?

Randy
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2010, 08:50:54 am »

FYI...

I upgraded to Windows 7. I now get thumbnails for all of my video files. This is out of the box (e.g. no CODECs other than those in Windows 7).
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Magic_Randy

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Re: Any suggestions for software to edit mov files?
« Reply #26 on: October 01, 2010, 07:58:49 pm »

Anyone try the new Adobe Photoshop & Premiere Elements 9?

They claim "Optimized HD Editing" which may help when I edit the movies from my Canon 7D.
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