HD video is not just for professionals anymore.
Because high definition video is so popular, video editing programs have adapted to accommodate it. If you have footage from an HD camera that you want to edit on your computer, you should have no trouble importing it in the same way you import your non-HD footage. Most likely, your computer program will recognize the video as high def and import it as such, though there are a few tricks for getting the program to import your footage with full fidelity.
1. Connect your video camera to your computer using a FireWire cable, if your footage is on a tape. If your footage is on an SD card or other external device, insert that device into your computer.
2. Open your video editing software and start a new project. Pay attention to any “Format,” “Aspect Ratio” or “Quality” settings that you are offered as you start a new project. For HD, you will want to make sure the aspect ratio is set at 16×9, not 4×3, and that your quality settings are set as “Best” or “High.” You may also see options for quality — if so, choose an HD resolution such as 720p, 1080i, or 1080p. If you are given a Format option, choose “HD” from the list of choices.
While all editing programs are different, some programs give you these options as you create a new project; others allow you to specify the settings for a particular piece of video as you import it.
3. Turn on your video camera and set it to “VCR” mode, if your footage is on a tape. When you turn on your camera, many editing programs will automatically open the Video Import window. If your video is on an external device or the Import window doesn’t automatically, click “File” then “Import” or “Import from Camera.”
4. Adjust the Format settings within the Import pane. Before you click “Import” to begin importing your footage, look around at the window to see whether you’re given any options such as “Quality” or “Format.” If so, choose the best-quality settings, and choose “HD” from any format settings shown. Click “Import” or “Capture” once you’ve made your format and quality choices. Wait for the footage to import to the Preview or Clips pane of your video editing program.
5. Drag your newly imported HD video clips to the Timeline of your project to begin cutting out sections of video, adding in transitions and music and laying titles or captions over frames. Each editing program is different, so check with your program’s Help menu if you’re not familiar with doing these basic effects.