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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:23 PM   #1
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AVCHD: is this the wave of future?

I just got two Sony hdr-hc3's and will sell them after not even using them because of lousy steady shot.

I'm now leaning towards getting the Canon V20.

My quesiton is:
I've read that the Sony HDR-Sr5,is a tapeless format that has no need for tapes, or even capturing, you can simply drag files to computer.

Only thing is that Editors (I work with mostly FCP people), cannot edit this yet.

Will this change and by when? Anyone have any estimates on this? And if it changes, will this be as good as it sounds? Will it live up to the hype. If so, maybe I'll hold off on buying two V20's and just get one and wait for the editing software to catch up and later get the this camera the Sony HDR-Sr5 .
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Old August 23rd, 2007, 05:34 PM   #2
 
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Two very different questions, but the first answer I've got to offer is that the HC3 does not have lousy steadishot. It's actually very, very good, and the quality is why the camera was chosen for many world aerial competitions. PM me if you're serious about moving them. I've used them on SciFi channel crash locations, skydiving (national commercials) motorcycle shots as footcams, and other silly mounts that require steadishot.

Second, yes...AVCHD is the wave of the future, in the future. It's here now, but it's very much bleeding edge.
Yes, AVCHD does not use tape. The format will never use tape. HDD, memcard, compact flash, DVD, Blu-Ray, P2...but not tape.

it's a bear to edit on any computer, even behemoth systems.
By the time computer systems have caught up to natively edit AVCHD, the SR5 will have been long discontinued. Same with any other current AVCHD camcorder.
You can edit AVCHD now using iMovie, convert it, or wait for FCP and a converter to come along, which should be reasonably soon.
In a couple years, AVCHD will be the new DV.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 11:24 AM   #3
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I had the HC3 and I was not impressed with the steadyshot either. It doesn't correct much (probably to retain image quality). With my mini-dv I can still get a fairly steady picture when walking but not with the HC3. However this is also true of other camcorders nowadays with OIS (HV20 is no better).

Workaround is to use tripod and try not to shoot while walking (but sometimes it's just a nice effect to do so).

Regarding editing I think it's just a matter of time. Wild guess would be in about a year most have updates for this. You still need a more powerful computer for it though.

PS you can see steadyshot correction % on that camcorder review site. I noticed HG10 and also HC7 look pretty decent there. But I understand you probably also scarifice some image quality with it.

Last edited by Chris Hurd; August 24th, 2007 at 11:28 AM. Reason: typo
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Old August 24th, 2007, 11:34 AM   #4
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OIS was *never* intended for "shooting while walking."

OIS is intended to dampen vibrations within a particular range of frequencies, such as those vibrations caused by the blood pumping through veins in the palm of your hand, and in some higher-end cameras, vibrations from a moving vehicle which are transmitted through a person's body to their hands, such as Super-Range OIS from Canon.

You still have to work *with* OIS by doing your best to hold the camera as still as possible, and not *against* it (such as a on a tripod) or in *spite* of it (such as shooting while walking).

If you must shoot while walking, get a monopod and use it as a poor man's pseudo-steadicam. OIS isn't meant to help in that situation. In fact, try to avoid shooting while walking whenever possible, since the idea is to create watchable video.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 05:56 PM   #5
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I understand but for vacation videos it's fun to be able to walk and don't get seasick watching the video afterwards. Most mini-dv camcorders have a more aggressive digital steadyshot and they work quite well (albeit with slight reduction of picture quality).

I wish there would be such switchable option on the Canon.
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Old August 24th, 2007, 07:00 PM   #6
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thanks again Doug:

Hmmm, maybe I'll wait to see how this footage recently shot on hc3 comes back from editor before deciding then. But on the lcd playback and on computer, did see bit jumpy, and on travel trips, if I'm not conentrating real hard to hold it steady, thing come out very rocky.

Now on this new topic: what is your verdict then be to continue using miniDV -- I mean, my final cut editors will not be able to deal with AVCHD until about when?

I'ts a real drag having to sell off camera you have not used too much, but that's reality I guess.

Luc, you first paragraph was bit confusing. what "mini dv camera" are you referring to that does a good job? hv20 is no better? did not understand what you mean there.

more powerful computer? my editors will new new computers? G5 wont do it?? Luc, hc7 is not steady shot. Sony finally got optical for that model.

Chris: what is opinon on the hc3's steady shot vs having optical that Canon uses and now the hc7 seems to have. I mean for just handholding conversations shots with people
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Old August 24th, 2007, 09:07 PM   #7
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Kevin, I haven't handled any of the Sony AVCHD camcorders yet, so I can't offer an opinion.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 11:46 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Carter View Post
thanks again Doug:

Hmmm, maybe I'll wait to see how this footage recently shot on hc3 comes back from editor before deciding then. But on the lcd playback and on computer, did see bit jumpy, and on travel trips, if I'm not conentrating real hard to hold it steady, thing come out very rocky.

Now on this new topic: what is your verdict then be to continue using miniDV -- I mean, my final cut editors will not be able to deal with AVCHD until about when?

I'ts a real drag having to sell off camera you have not used too much, but that's reality I guess.

Luc, you first paragraph was bit confusing. what "mini dv camera" are you referring to that does a good job? hv20 is no better? did not understand what you mean there.

more powerful computer? my editors will new new computers? G5 wont do it?? Luc, hc7 is not steady shot. Sony finally got optical for that model.

Chris: what is opinon on the hc3's steady shot vs having optical that Canon uses and now the hc7 seems to have. I mean for just handholding conversations shots with people
I generalize here but in the past majority of mini-dv camcorders (and I had several Sony mini-dv camcorders) used a digital steady shot which was much more aggressive in reducing camera shake (at cost of resolution typically).
Digital steady shot typically got rid of extra pixels to correct position of the picture within that frame to even out movements. So you lose some of that resolution.
Most HD camcorders use OIS instead (no digital processing) to retain resolution but the correction is also not as big.

I don't know what your needs are but mini-dv doesn't have the quality of HD. Also there are many ways to get a better steady picture. I added extra battery and heavy wide-angle lens which adds weight and makes it slightly easier to hold it steady. Then there are also options to get cam more steady (like steadicam solutions). Or you use a tripod if possible (or lean against a wall...).

I do all my editing myself and I'm not familiar with Apple computers so can't tell you much about that. There are ways to workaround AVCHD (convert it first). Are those professional editors?
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Old August 25th, 2007, 11:49 AM   #9
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Chris: what is opinon on the hc3's steady shot vs having optical that Canon uses and now the hc7 seems to have. I mean for just handholding conversations shots with people
One thing to add is that I would recommend just watching posted video's. You often can see how the steadyshot works (not a scientific method of course). There are several sites like watch impress reviews.

It seems that SR7/CX7 has slightly more aggressive correcting than the HD tape based Sony camcorders but my guess it's still not like most digital steadyshots.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 12:32 PM   #10
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Please forward sites that review stabilization with examples. thanks.

the steady shot on my hc3 is horrible. I'm hoping the optical hc7 is better. have you tested these 2?

I think I just read yesterday that quality of AVCHD is not as good as HD

BTW, my mini DV shooting HD are not HD?
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Old August 25th, 2007, 01:56 PM   #11
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Please forward sites that review stabilization with examples. thanks.

the steady shot on my hc3 is horrible. I'm hoping the optical hc7 is better. have you tested these 2?

I think I just read yesterday that quality of AVCHD is not as good as HD

BTW, my mini DV shooting HD are not HD?
I meant with mini-DV the non-HD camcorders, so sorry about the confusion.
Tape based is pretty much the same. Looking at these numbers it seems the SR7/CX7 and also in some degree the HG10 have slightly more correction. But still not comparable to mini-dv digital steadyshot SD camcorders. So I don't know if that would make much of a difference to you.

I think you'r probably better off looking in some stabilization methods.
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Old August 25th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #12
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Sorry, Luc, I think when you write HD, you are referring to Hardrive, (maybe I'm wrong) which of course, is highly confusing with HIgh Definition. What a bummer that HD can refer to either of those.

BTW, I retract-- the steady shot is ok with hc3 after all.

So....may hang onto this until.... I hear that AVCHD is just as good quality, and Final cut etc it ready to go on it.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 12:06 AM   #13
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Sorry, Luc, I think when you write HD, you are referring to Hardrive, (maybe I'm wrong) which of course, is highly confusing with HIgh Definition. What a bummer that HD can refer to either of those.

BTW, I retract-- the steady shot is ok with hc3 after all.

So....may hang onto this until.... I hear that AVCHD is just as good quality, and Final cut etc it ready to go on it.
That's called HDD not HD.

Opinions differ on AVCHD. Imho most AVCHD are not quite as good with fast moving scenes but the latest generation that offer 15mpbs come very close and most would have a hard time to see a difference.

HC3 is not AVCHD so no worries I guess for editing. I found the HC3 myself not quite as sharp but I'm very picky (especially since I compared it to the HC1/HV20 in daylight).
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Old August 26th, 2007, 10:29 AM   #14
 
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sharpness may be adjusted on the HC3.
BTW, comparing HC3 with CX7, which has the same front end, HC3 is still a better option for image quality, IMO. Encoding each of them to flash and comparing, encoding them to MPEG2/SD DVD and comparing...AVCHD isn't quite there. Looks good, but the compression difference is fairly obvious when they're side by side.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 11:25 AM   #15
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sharpness may be adjusted on the HC3.
BTW, comparing HC3 with CX7, which has the same front end, HC3 is still a better option for image quality, IMO. Encoding each of them to flash and comparing, encoding them to MPEG2/SD DVD and comparing...AVCHD isn't quite there. Looks good, but the compression difference is fairly obvious when they're side by side.
I tried higher HC3 sharpness settings but there was still a distinct loss of resolution comparing it with the HC1 (and certainly HV20). It always had a fuzzy look but I might be very picky since I view it on a 133" screen.

CX7 may not be a better option indeed. I only saw video clip comparisons between HV20 and CX6/SR7 on http://www.fxsupport.de/24.html.
So I don't know how it compares to HC3. If you already have the HC3 I would wait before buying another one.
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