Importing HD content in iMovie 08!
There is something very important about the way that iMovie 08 handles HD from cameras like the Panasonic HDC-SD1 and HDC-SD5 (and all similar 1080i consumer camcorders) that I didn't find mentionned in any iMovie documentation. There is a setting that lets you choose if you want to import that content into iMovie as full HD 1920x1080 or you want to down convert it to 960x540. The answer seems obvious, why would I want to lose quality when my Mac is so powerful? The truth is that you are considerably reducing the file size while not really losing much quality. The reason you are not losing much quality is because the full 1080 is 1080i and i means interlaced. So every frame only refresh half of the information. The problem with that is that you sometimes get interlacement lines when watching content with high motion. The down converted 540 is however progressive, meaning that every frame contains all the information about that frame. So the choice is still there in the iMovie preferences, but I personally prefer to reduce the file size while moving up to non-interlaced content, even though I am losing some pixels!