Video Capture Differences Between iMovie and Final Cut Express

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
In short..

iMovie - Imports my DV footage fine (JVC GR-DVL805U). However, the picture quality is quite grainy.

Final Cut Express - Import my DV footage fine. The picture quality is sharp and crisp.

Is anyone else noticing this. Is there a significant differences in video capture between iMovie and Final Cut Express?



  • Reply 1 of 5
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    It could be interlacing. Is there a difference after you output the different streams?
  • Reply 2 of 5
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member

    Originally posted by bunge

    It could be interlacing. Is there a difference after you output the different streams?

    My imported movies are outputted to iDVD and not my camera. I have not used Final Cut Express to iDVD yet (so I have nothing to compare to yet). I was shocked by the capture difference. Throughout the editing process, there is definite difference between iMovie and Final Cut Express.

  • Reply 3 of 5
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    My thought is that while playback on the computer during the editing process might look worse in iMovie, the final output might be the same. iMovie is consumer and probably doesn't have the ability to deinterlace video for playback on the computer screen.

    I would guess that the DV files you capture in the two programs are actually essentially the same. All the information is still there, but iMovie is just crappy at playing it back.
  • Reply 4 of 5
    trumptmantrumptman Posts: 16,452member
    I think iMovie also plays it in a much larger window than you typically use for previewing on FCE.

    What I would do is have the program play it back through the camera and hook the camera up to a video monitor or just a television. Then you can tell if there is any difference with the video on the source it is intended to be watched on.

  • Reply 5 of 5
    the only time i've ever had a problem with imovie quality looking grainy was the one time i was having major problems with my whole prject file, and i had to export at sub-dv quality. you gota remember too that it takes a trained eye and a high def tv to notice the difference between fce and imovie. and for the record, i do tons of video-editing, so i say this with a lot of experience behind me.
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