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If I buy a high-definition camcorder, can I still output my home movies to standard-definition DVDs?
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Yes, if you use the capability of many high-def camcorders to convert the video down to standard def. Using a feature called downconversion, HDV-format camcorders can internally convert the video from high def to standard def; you can then import the standard-def video into any video editing application.

The HDV camcorder looks like a standard-def camcorder to the video editing app, so you can import the video, edit it, and output it to standard DVDs while still preserving your high-definition original on videotape. AVCHD camcorders can't perform this trick, but some of the software that comes with them (such as Sony's Picture Motion Browser) can convert the video to a standard-def version.

You can also downconvert in many video editing applications; in this scenario, you edit the video in high definition, and then convert it to standard definition for writing to DVD. But it's much quicker to do the conversion in the camera; converting video files on the PC can take a lot of time. If your video editing program can't handle this, MPEG Streamclip is a fast, free video-conversion program that quickly converts high-def video files to standard def.

Last update: 08:44 PM Saturday, April 7, 2007

 



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