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AVCHD Format Discussion
Inexpensive High Definition H.264 encoding to DVD, Hard Disc or SD Card.


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Old January 20th, 2008, 06:13 PM   #1
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Can someone please help????!!!!!

I am a stay at home dad looking to start into video for a hobby. I will most likely start with filming the family spending alot of time editing them to make them actually watchable videos. I would eventually like to start doing some shorts (not for the internet well ie:youtube). I was going to be using Vegas video for editing a friend had given me a copy awhile back not sure if it supports the format but I was thinking I could upgrade cheaper than buying another program somewhat descent. I really can't decide but I think I have narrowed it down, well here they are :

Sony Handycam HDR-SR12
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...ompareProducts

actually probably the hdr-s11 I don't think I need the storage that comes with the 12 I don't like the hard drive aspect and not really a fan of the overpriced memory sticks but love the thought of 10 mega pixel stills. I just have never been sure about Sony I have not bought anything Sony in a very long time. This one does do hd and sd views.Which would help for me because the computer I have right now will probably not edit HD. I was planning on editing on a double 3.0gig dual core server I have.


Canon Vixia HF100
http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/co...&modelid=16187

I think the HF10 is a stupid idea with the 16gb internal that will be out dated in no time. I have always had luck with Canon, the still pictures are I think 2.7 mega pixel which you can do that with a damn cell phone for Gods sake. I did want to buy a slr at some point though anyway. I have not been able to find this but I had heard on AOTS that you would not be able to transfer the video off the camera to a pc in full high definition. Not sure why or if it is true anyone know?

Panasonic HDC-SD9
http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/v...fications.html

Now this one I know nothing about Panasonic camcorders the price is awesome about $799 I think. It is 1080p uses sdhc and is priced really well. Not really sure if the 3 ccd on this one is a good thing or a bad thing can not get a straight answer from anywhere.


Really what I am looking for is the best possible picture, really good image stability and extreme flexibility in editing without losing quality. I know I should probably be doing dv instead of hdd or sdhc for quality but I really hate having the mini dvs. The biggest thing is transferring the footage from the camera to PC. I never had good luck with the tapes and recording over them. How much of a difference from hdv will these be? Also I would like to do audio externally I think I never liked how the audio comes out on camcorder mics what is the best way to do this? I know the Sony and Canon have mic jacks you do have to use there microphones though. Should I focus on editing in a different way from what I hear you need a major PC to edit HD anyway. If there is something under $1400 that would be better I am open to suggestions right now the most expensive one I have picked is $1099. I was initially looking at the GL1 but have not been able to find one for under $2000 but I was still wondering how these would compare to the GL1. Any help would be great. Thanks in advance.


I also was just looking at the jvc Everio GZ-HD7 which I read somewhere that it does 1400cbr which has a bit rate of 30mbps

One last question I would probably be compressing the video anyway because I store everything on hard drives for the most part anyway. So is the compression of avchd really a issue in my case since I would compress a hdv after editing anyway?

Thanks again
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Old January 20th, 2008, 06:59 PM   #2
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Whoa Tom...

First off, you've picked three cams that aren't even "on the street" yet, so no one is going to be able to comment with any certainty as of yet.

Personally I'm liking the looks of the Sony SR11, and I've got plenty of Sony accessories that will be plug and play. I'm using CX7's at the moment, and sometimes miss the viewfinder, but I too am a bit hesitant of onboard HDD... if a viewfinder matters, the other two cams are out of the running. Just ONE part of the equation, not to mention what amount of manual control you will have while shooting.

That said, the choices in the sub 1K price are pretty nice (allowing for some discounts off retail once these are actually available).

The 3CCD of the Panasonic is 3 SMALL sensors vs. one larger CMOS in the other cams CMOS color and overall quality is generally felt to be equal or better than "3CCD" - "3CCD" WAS important, not so much now... and small sensors may have low light issues, but until they are available... all speculation!

I too found the "10.2Mpixel" stills of the SR11 intrigueing, but it looks like that's interpolated resolution, so only hands on evaluation will tell - I like the 4-6MP I get with my current generation Sonys - it's not quite up to an SLR though, and it's hard to expect it to be, but as a "dual mode" camera you can stick in your pocket... tres cool!


AVCHD is a bit horsepower intensive with editing, but so is HDV - a dual core 3Ghx+ machine if otherwise properly spec'd should work, and you'll need either Vegas 7 or 8 to edit efficiently, 6 was a bit sluggish and later versions sped things up a lot.

I'm expecting AVCHD editing to get faster with another generation of software - HDV took 2 years to fine tune from what I observed, thus my "guess" that AVCHD will "mature" in a few more months, particularly with this new generation of AVCHD cams.

Spend some time reading on the forums, there's a wealth of information on current cameras (like the HD7), and editing and all the things you're struggling with.

It's sort of obvious from your post you're picking up bits and pieces of "information" from all over the place, and much of it is not too accurate...
for instance... AVCHD and all HD video is ALREADY highly compressed - unless you intend to launch your hard drives into a black hole, you're not going to get much more compression... and file sizes are BIG.

You've got at least a couple months before the new cams are out, so take your time and read up - DVinfo is a great resource, use the search function and many things will become clearer to you! Enjoy!


PS -The GL1 is SEVERAL years old now... and an SD cam... it's pretty safe to say the current HD cameras can blow it away once you learn to shoot with them, but that's a whole 'nother post!
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Old January 20th, 2008, 07:25 PM   #3
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thanks for the info

And I am sorry what I meant was that I already compress my non hd canon videos some what so it really probably would not affect me for viewing quality.
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Old January 20th, 2008, 07:42 PM   #4
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Hi Tom, I can only speak to the Canon camcorder as I had a little bit of time with the HF10 last week. None of the models you mention are shipping yet, so nobody has any real hands-on experience, but hopefully someone who knows the Sony and Panasonic models better than me will speak up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Sullivan View Post
I think the HF10 is a stupid idea with the 16gb internal that will be out dated in no time.
I don't understand what you mean by the 16GB internal memory becoming "outdated." It holds two hours of Full HD and that won't change as it gets older. If that isn't enough recording time between downloads, it also has an SDHC card slot so you can always add more memory.

Besides, if you don't like the idea of internal flash memory, then consider instead the Canon HF100, which is the exact same camera as the HF10 but without the 16GB internal, just an SDHC card slot. But then you'd have to buy a card, and the cost of the HF100 plus a 16GB SDHC card is just $60 short of the HF10 which can record two hours right out of the box, so to me it doesn't make sense not to go with the HF10 in the first place. The important thing to realize is that you have a choice... the HF100 which is card only, or the HF10 with 16GB internal plus a card. If you don't want internal memory then look at the HF100 and save $60.

Quote:
I had heard... you would not be able to transfer the video off the camera to a pc in full high definition.
It sounds like you're picking up a lot of inaccurate misinformation elsewhere on the web. Of course you can transfer the video off the HF10 to a PC in full high definition. That's one of its major strong points, that it records Full HD at 1920 x 1080.


Quote:
Not really sure if the 3 ccd on this one is a good thing or a bad thing can not get a straight answer from anywhere.
The straight answer is that the advantage of three CCDs used to be better color accuracy. But these days a single CMOS chip puts color together the same way as three CCDs, from primary color wavelengths (RGB: red, green and blue). There is no longer an advantage of three chips over one chip if the one chip is RGB (primary color), such as CMOS is. Some standard definition one-chip camcorders don't have RGB but all HD camcorders do. Currently I'll take one large CMOS chip over three tiny CCDs.


Quote:
I know the Sony and Canon have mic jacks you do have to use there microphones though.
Wow, you have picked up a lot of misinformation. Yes they have mic jacks but no you don't have to use their microphones when you plug into the mic jack. You only have to use their microphones if you're running audio directly into their accessory shoes, which then requires their own proprietary mics. But you can plug any mic into their mic input jacks, either directly (1/8" stereo mini) or with an adapter (XLR).

Quote:
I was initially looking at the GL1 but have not been able to find one for under $2000 but I was still wondering how these would compare to the GL1.
The GL1 is an antique... the GL2 is leaps and bounds better than a GL1, but we've already covered this extensively in our dedicated Canon GL / XM forum. Besides, I thought you wanted HD.

Quote:
So is the compression of avchd really a issue in my case since I would compress a hdv after editing anyway?
I'm not following you. Both HDV and AVCHD are compressed. But I hope my other responses helped you a bit. I suggest that you stop reading whatever other sites you've been to and stick with us. I think you should forget what you've picked up elsewhere on the web and start over here on DV Info Net. Everything you need to know is right here and it's accurate. Hope this helps,
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Old January 20th, 2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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The SD9 has really nice manual features, including focus ring and zebras, but the sensors are small. Then again CCDs don't have the rolling shutter problem, so that's a *potential* advantage. I saw the SD9 at CES, but didn't get to see the image. The SD9 supports true 1080p24.

The only operational question I have is in regards to an external mic input. The brochure says it doesn't have it. The rep at the booth said that it did. I've asked the question of a friend of mine at Panasonic. He promised to get the skinny and let me know...
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Old January 20th, 2008, 09:11 PM   #6
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hi tom,

i am a stay at home dad/ videographer...lol

have a canon xl1-s and a sony hc7.
at the time i am not in favor of hard drive cameras, since i do a basketball and soccer season. i tape 1-3 games a day, (10-14 games a week )and the coaches want/ need a tape right after the game to go home and review.
the hard drives are not big enough, i can't blog my camcorder hard drive, or have to upload......the very best way is tape.

what i like on the smaller sony camcorders, they have a lanc out for tripod remote control and are easy to work with.
the hc 7 was a little over 1 k
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Old January 20th, 2008, 10:50 PM   #7
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Well I was not very clear about some of the things so I will try again.

1. The built in memory to me seem pointless why would you want 16gb non removable memory like Chris said you can go out and buy it for considerably less.I would like the option of 2 slots in the hf100 and when I said obsolete I meant size with 32 and god only knows what after that with nanotechnology. Plus I personally have had issues with SD cards in the past.


2.The full hd to PC was from g4tv at ces which I thought to be a somewhat reliable source more so because canon was at the show. I do apologize for jumping the gun the funny part is even canon contradicts themselves their press release from the website says April and then the website says march on the hf10 page. Who really knows definate specs about it I contacted canon directly and they said they didn' t have a sheet on it. How? Is the thing in production?

3.the mic I have no idea what I was talking about it was late I think I was just mixing things up in my head with the fact that the panasonic got rid of their jack. You can use an adapter for just about anything today I really do not know what the hell I was talking about sorry I am an idot.

4.GL i meant GL2 the GL1 you can find all over the place for a lot less that $2,000.


5.Now the compression thing I did not know that hdv was compressed it actually never occurred to me to look it up. (put the ass in assumed there.)
I was just saying everyone had told me not to do avc because of the compression making it inferior to hvd. I compress the videos somewhat anyway to save a little on hard drive storage with the camera I have now. I am looking for comparable to hdv if it is close I would be happy. Any of them will be a lot better than my elura 65 which I paid almost as much when it came out as the hf100 is going to be if I remember correctly it was $799 the hf100 has a $899 preorder price.

Hope I may have redeemed myself a little. There is a ton of crap info out there though and this does seem to be the best I have found yet.

Thanks to everyone for all the help everyone has been great I have learned more here in the past 2 days then I have for about a week everywhere else.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 11:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post


The straight answer is that the advantage of three CCDs used to be better color accuracy. But these days a single CMOS chip puts color together the same way as three CCDs, from primary color wavelengths (RGB: red, green and blue). There is no longer an advantage of three chips over one chip if the one chip is RGB (primary color), such as CMOS is.
Chris:

Why not address the issues associated with a rolling shutter utilizes by a single CMOS chip?

Those issues do not appear with 3-CCD global shutters
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Old January 21st, 2008, 12:24 PM   #9
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David:

There seems to be a lot of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt regarding the "rolling shutter" effect with CMOS chips. The reality is that for most folks, it's not an issue. Shoot properly and the rolling shutter effect is avoided altogether (don't whip-pan the camera, and choose the right shutter speed for the frame rate).

The single most popular consumer HD camcorder of last year (the Canon HV20) uses a CMOS sensor. If the rolling shutter effect was a significant issue, the camera would not have sold... and all five consumer HD camcorders made by Canon are now CMOS. If rolling shutter was a real problem under *normal* shooting conditions, they never would have done that.

See these threads for further reading about the rolling shutter effect in CMOS:

Wes Vasher: "If you are going to be shooting a lot of flashing light you'll just want to get a camera that doesn't have a CMOS in it."

Rick Llewellyn: "In all fairness, this (rolling shutter effect) does not show up under most shooting conditions."

James Bresnahan: "this might be of interest to anyone shooting events where flashes or strobes occur, but I also don't want to get too overtly focused on a technical limitation that is invisible 97.5% of the time."

Ken Ross: "Let's face it, if this (rolling shutter effect) was anywhere near as severe as you think it is, people would be screaming bloody murder. Instead you just see people raving about picture quality."

Hope this helps,
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Old January 21st, 2008, 12:36 PM   #10
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I was just saying everyone had told me not to do avc because of the compression making it inferior to hdv.
I don't think you will find one expert on video codecs who will say that MPEG-2 is universally superior to MPEG-4/AVC/H.264. So the practical question becomes is HDV implemented in a superior method than today's current crop of AVC cam's. Perhaps, but there is some evidence from information provided on this site that both technologies are pretty equal today (Canon HV20 vs. HG10) and that AVC definitely has more room to develop based upon what is written into the spec.

Personally, I think HDV will be supplanted entirely by AVC in the near future. The merits of solid state & HDD capture easily trump that of tape. And for anyone complaining about lack of archiving with AVC, here's the best solution: DLT. Go out and buy a Quantum V4 (160/320GB) DLT tape drive and use that for your archiving. A single $40 cartridge equals ~25 MiniDV tapes (assuming ZERO data backup compression with AVC footage) and the robustness of DLT's tape mechanism is infinitely superior to that of MiniDV's. The technology has been around for 15 years and has proven itself to be far more reliable than anything else in its class (DDS/DAT, 8mm, etc.).

I've got one and love it. The other day, I was getting >2Gig/min during verify. Couple that drive with a nice RAID 0 array of 3Gb/s SATA-2 NCQ drives or 15k SAS drives and you will be SET!
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Old January 21st, 2008, 01:05 PM   #11
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Excellent points all, Aaron... gee I sure wish you would post more around here.

For the original poster, Tom: to summarize Aaron's thoughtful considerations above, I think it all boils down to a question of workflow: do you prefer tape (HDV) or tapeless (AVC). That's it in a nutshell.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 02:15 PM   #12
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I'll chime in with the HDV vs. AVCHD question... and say they are DIFFERENT.

I shot my kindergardeners play (stay at home dad here too...), HC7 and CX7 side by side... HDV vs. AVCHD... I'd be hard pressed to say either was superior (well, downloading the CX video in 1/3 the time was SUPERIOR to me!).

Both cameras looked quite good, the CX might have been a tad softer, but it was also wide the whole time, as it was the first outing with it and I wanted just to test it as a backup (I've since added a second, as the first outing went quite well).

I thought the color of the CX was maybe a bit more accurate, but the lighting was typical kindergarden play stuff - horrible, so the cams did great considering - they both handled bad lighting rather well I thought. Colors were vibrant and pretty accurate (shot in x.v. on mode), translated well to SD DVD. I used WB presets, which seemed to be ever so slightly different.

Noise is one area I'm sort of intrigued by - the AVCHD seems to have a different noise signature, and to me it almost seems "cleaner" than HDV - it's subtle, and probably varies depending upon shooting conditions and settings, but that's my impression. It might be just the lower bitrate masking "detail", but I'm not unhappy with what I see on screen, it looks good to me.

All technical spec aside, you need to check the ergonomics of the cam you choose - is it comfortable to shoot, are the controls easy FOR YOU (I LIKE TOUCH SCREENS! There, I said it!! PFFFT! <wink>), and are you happy with the workflow? AND of course, are you happy with the picture and audio quality... this is HIGHLY subjective.

If you don't jerk the camera around, rolling shutter is a NON-issue for the most part. If you're shooting high speed events, well you may have some problems with the CMOS refresh not coinciding to the millisecond to the event... physics is a barrier here, not much you can do about it. if you could blink 30x a second, you'd see the problem...

HD in general requires good camera technique, you have to learn to live with it, or go shoot stills!

Tapeless is likely the future, at least judging from where the manufacturers are putting their product lines - for CES, 2 HDV tape cams, basically last years models in black, with minor "improvements", and almost a dozen HD flash based cameras from the majors and some new players...
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Old January 21st, 2008, 08:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
David:

There seems to be a lot of Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt regarding the "rolling shutter" effect with CMOS chips.

Hope this helps,
It does, and I wasn't being argumentative, but merely pointing out that this CAN be an issue depending on your shooting environment.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 08:30 PM   #14
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Hey Dave Blackhurst would you happen to have any of that footage or shots of the side by side online to check out. Does anyone know of where there is some side by side of avchd and hdv? I have not really been able to find any.
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Old January 21st, 2008, 10:07 PM   #15
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Hi Tom,
Nothing posted, and I'm not sure how good the final mix would be - I did a lot of cropping and tweaking in the mix, school play, live shoot, you get the idea...

Maybe I can shoot some test footage side by side before I "retire" my HC7 - will depend on how crazy things are - and if Chris maybe can host some footage - it won't be much, but I can shoot some comparison stuff and post the raw .mts and .m2t files.

I'd rather shoot a few minutes of "fresh" footage with the two cams mounted side by side and shooting the exact same thing so you get a "real" comparison.
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