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Canon ZR200 / Windows Movie Maker

Damn I'm writing quite a bit today. 😉

Even though I'm dealing with a bunch o' b.s. from Apple at the present time, I have been enjoying all the perks of my new Canon ZR200 camcorder. While this thing is tiny, the pic quality is very good, the interface is easy to use, the NTSC widescreen works great and miniDV beats the ever-lovin' snot out of VHS, VHS-C and Hi-8.

This is my first camcorder that has the following goodies that I didn't know modern ones have:

Time Code

I love the fact that all my video has time code on it. It makes it extremely easy to find stuff. It's "real time", not a counter.

Remote control via computer

With FireWire, whilst editing I can control the camera's playback functions with software. Very cool. Just about every software can do it. I don't know how it does it, nor do I care. I'm just happy to have it.


Because I don't have any pro video editing software for Windows (yet.. that's another story that I'll blog about at a later time), I've been using Windows Movie Maker that comes free with Windows XP.

I won't say WMM is anything other than basic, but I found out a few things about it that are kinda neat. It actually does have the ability to output in 16:9 NTSC widescreen.

Check this out:

See that 16:9 option? I found out how to do this on WindowsMovieMakers.NET, and whadya know.. widescreen on WMM. It was always there and I never knew it was. Now I have a quick dirty way to get video to Windows in native widescreen and export as such. Not bad a'tall for something that's free - but make no mistake, I have absolutely no intention of using this as my primary editing software. There's other software out there that has a lot more capability. More on that in the future.

Oh, I should mention that WMM is Sir Crash-A-Lot. I tried doing some moderately advanced pieces with it and crash boom bang.. Hot tip: If you use this, save often and use small video clips.

My biggest complaint about WMM is that you can't place video clips on specific parts of the timeline. All video clips must be directly adjacent to each other. My workaround is that I just add a black graphic and "stretch" it out. Kinda stupid I have to do this, but it works.

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