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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old October 28th, 2007, 05:52 PM   #1
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AVCHD Sony CX7 bug?

Hi - doing some testing with the CX7... may have found a glitch - hoping if anyone else has a similar config they can replicate.

CX7, Sony 4 and 8 G MS duo (both tested, both show same prob)

Record a file that will fill the stick in HQ - half an hour is enough.

Transfer files via a reader to the computer - long video is divided into files a little over 2G long.

Drag the first file to vegas 7, crash... to vegas 8a, only get front or rear audio (not sure which), even though file size indicates should be audio and video...

Not sure if this is a Vegas bug or a camera issue, so I'm posting here in hopes that I can rule out the camera...

Anyone?

THX
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Old October 29th, 2007, 03:11 PM   #2
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OK, anyone else with a CX7 that can test this?

I've now tested with XP and HQ settings, and getting the same results - the file size of the first file in the series is correct (CX7 breaks a long video down into files about 2G @ in size), but when dragged into Vegas will only show up as a single stereo track. The rest shows up beautiful with 5.1 sound...

Going to try Sony support, but trying to figure out WHERE in the chain the file is breaking down... beginning to suspect the camera firmware does something odd with the first file...
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Old October 29th, 2007, 11:55 PM   #3
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Dave,

I have this camera coming from B&H in a couple of days, so I will test. I'm a mac guy and my test will be using Final Cut Studio 2, but perhaps I can add some additional perspective on your question.

Will let you know.

Cheers,
Chuck
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Old October 30th, 2007, 01:50 AM   #4
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Thanks Chuck -
Sony support is supposed to be following up with me, so hoping to get to the bottom of it. My suspicion is there is something odd about the way the cam flags the files, causing the "first" file to not read correctly...

Other than that, this is an amazing cam!
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 07:12 PM   #5
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Dave,

So far I've only had a couple of hours to play with the CX7, which I'm very impressed with. I have imported video and audio files into FCS2 on the Mac and they seem excellent so far.

A few notes:

I've recorded in 5.1 but have brought the audio in as 2 channel, mixed down stereo - sounded great on both channels.

FCS2 is transcoding the AVCHD files into PROres (Apple's HD lossless format) which takes about double real time on my Intel MacBook Pro 2.4gig. Everything looks great, plays great and sounds excellent.

I have not filled up a memory stick - due to lack of time - but will give this a try and report further. I will also bring in audio as 5.1 to see what happens.

Finally, I believe Vegas does natively edit AVCHD, which FCS2 does not, so perhaps my results will not be the same as yours. I've heard native AVCHD support is coming to FC but have no idea when.

I'll give you another update in a few more days. I just LOVE this camera and am not missing dealing with tape at all! I was going to buy the Canon HV20, but this is so much more practical for my needs with almost as much image quality.

Cheers,
Chuck
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Old November 4th, 2007, 08:42 AM   #6
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Have you tried letting Sony Motion Browser software register the files and analyze first, THEN take these files from the My Pictures folder into Vegas? The Motion Browser software will create a folder of all your clips in chronological order for you a nice feature if you have enough hard drive space. You can then make backup DVD's from this software. IF you want to edit in a fancy way by all means use Vegas etc but simple DVD's in AVCHD or SD can be made from Motion Browser. For the SR7 which I have its necessary to use Motion Browser to get the files into the computer. Vegas or Edius can then use them.

Ron Evans
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Old November 8th, 2007, 02:20 AM   #7
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Hi Ron -

Thanks for the suggestion, I'm going to try to find a copy of the handycam utility software that comes with the CX7 (and I presume the SR7/8?) - the picture motion browser from my HC7 won't even detect the .MTS files... so looks like I need that "utility" for AVCHD... at least I hope that will be the "fix".

I'm just used to editing and whatnot in Vegas... so it is sort of a "requirement" that I can read the longer files if I want to use this for either business or even for "family" event type stuff.

I noticed today that Vegas 8a reports the properties of the "first" file as audio only in the project media, the rest are reported as video and audio... very strange, but almost as though the first file lacks the necessary flags to tell Vegas what all is in the file. I can only guess this is introduced when the camera records, since all the other files read just fine... maybe the utility "reconnects" the fiirst file to the rest?? This still leaves the mystery of why ALL the subsequent files read perfectly...

Worst case I guess I just take a few passes to determine the time when the file "rolls over", and stop and start the cam just before that point!
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Old December 9th, 2007, 03:02 PM   #8
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Just to finalize on this - got the software, and as long as you download from the camera using that, it stitches the 2G files together to make a single "full size" .mts that edits just peachy in Vegas.

Sony has apparently had to get software specific with different versions of their picture motion browser for each cam type... but at least now I can shoot longer clips and edit - still stuck with using the cam for the download device as I've given up on any external reader properly reading the 8G sticks, but the downloads are quite fast.

I'll also note that not all of my USB ports worked with this cam - now it runs through a dell USB hub on my monitor, works perfectly, another port direct to my MB reported an I/O error - strange... but it's working, and the more I use it (which is way more than any tape based cam I've owned), the more it makes "sense" - manual control isn't great, but the touchscreen isn't bad, and I still hope to poke that A/V port and see if a LANC can be adapted!

SO, anyone considering the cam - you need the software and dock if you use anything over a 4G stick, or shoot clips over around 15-17 minutes... other than that, this has to be one of the coolest cams ever - it's like a shiny new steath fighter or sports car!
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Old December 16th, 2007, 07:04 PM   #9
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Correct me if I'm wrong

I'm new at videography, and perhaps I'm not quite understanding what's being said. Anyway, I did a test to find out if long video clips are segmented into smaller ones. I let my CX7 run for approximately 55 minutes, a bit short of a full 8gig card. I hooked up the camcorder on the base and downloaded the video onto my PC using Picture Motion Browser. It downloaded and saved it as one file. It did not break it up into smaller ones. The end result was a file just short of 7gigs. I don't know if what I did is redundent, but I got the feeling that some were saying that a long file gets broken up into smaller ones when downloading onto your PC.
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Old December 17th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #10
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If you use the PMB software, it stitches the files on the MS Duo together - take a quick look at your file structure on the MS while your camera is hooked up - you'll see that the largest .mts file is just over 2G in size, and the first one won't work right in any program I tried (and the Vegas team tried everything too...).

This probably isn't a "big" deal, as long as you don't record clips longer than that 2G limit (around 15-17 minutes long), OR as long as you use the dock and the PMB software.

My original plan was to be able to record, swap sticks, and download via a card reader... seemed fast and convenient for a longer shoot, but obviously not the workflow Sony envisioned... 8G sticks seem to need the camera to read right, and so the dock and PMB software are a integral part of the package.

Just a handy thing to know if you were contemplating the same workflow I was! Even having to use the cam/dock/software is not a real inconvenience, but (in theory at least) it would be easier to just dump files from the sticks.
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