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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 April 10th, 2008, 12:32 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lee View Post
I have a HDR-CX7 and use iMovie (Version 7.1.1) or Voltaic to import the AVCHD clips to Apple Intermediate Codec. The new .mov files are about 3 times the file size but can be easily edited in iMovie or FCP with sufficient RAM.

Voltaic is a $20 app. iMovie was free.
Three times the size?

Does that mean an AVCHD-file would be larger than an HDV file?

How long does the conversion of an hour's material approx. take?

By the way: do you have to convert HDV to the Apple Intermediate Codec, too, or can HDV be edited directly?
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Old April 10th, 2008, 01:27 PM   #32
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Yup. Averages 3 times.
e.g. I have One 15 sec clip recorded at highest quality 1080i. The AVCD file is about 30MB. The final .mov file is about 130MB. (ok. thats 4 times).

When you import the AVCHD, you have the option to import at 540,720 or 1080. The 540 setting lowers the file size considerably.

I find Hard Disks really cheap nowadays, so don't mind the larger file sizes at higher quality.

Haven't shot any hour long footage... but i would assume about an hour... which would be the same should you capture from tape... minute for minute.

You can edit HDV directly on Mac, as you would DV.

I would assume AVCHD to be as easy to work with as HDV within the year...
AVCHD cams are popping up everywhere now.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 04:20 PM   #33
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transcoding should equal about a 4X increase in file size, BUT it also will virtually eliminate the problems editing the compressed files because you don't have to decompress on the fly.

HDV was much the same at first, transcoding was a viable option so you could edit more smoothly. AVCHD should be ready for prime time native soon, if it follows the HDV curve.
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Old April 10th, 2008, 10:40 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Lee View Post
Yup. Averages 3 times.
e.g. I have One 15 sec clip recorded at highest quality 1080i. The AVCD file is about 30MB. The final .mov file is about 130MB. (ok. thats 4 times).

When you import the AVCHD, you have the option to import at 540,720 or 1080. The 540 setting lowers the file size considerably.

I find Hard Disks really cheap nowadays, so don't mind the larger file sizes at higher quality.

Haven't shot any hour long footage... but i would assume about an hour... which would be the same should you capture from tape... minute for minute.

You can edit HDV directly on Mac, as you would DV.

I would assume AVCHD to be as easy to work with as HDV within the year...
AVCHD cams are popping up everywhere now.
Thanks, Kevin. That cleared up a lot for me.

So, at this point in time, capturing HDV or AVCHD takes the same amount of computer time. In one case, the tape drive is running, in the other, you're converting.

Only, for AVCHD footage you have to convert twice it seems. Once to ProRes or Apple lossless, and then back into .H264 for burning on a Blu-Ray disc or downconverting to SD.

That means now, that, at this very point in time now, HDV and AVCHD are equally pracitcal to use.
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Old April 15th, 2008, 11:34 PM   #35
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I don't think you'll have any problems using an SR11 or SR12 with a Mac.

I just picked up an SR11 to try out, and iMovie '08 v7.1.1 imports the AVCHD files directly, as does Final Cut Pro 6.0.3.

No Sony software required. It's all plug and go. Apple must've fixed this on a recent update. It's all REALLY easy and automated... just as easy as HDV.

The only problem I see is not nearly as fast as I expected. I thought it'd be faster than HDV ingestion times, but it's not. Tape is faster to import, even with a beast of a computer (a 2008 Mac Pro with 8 2.8ghz cores, and 16 gigs of ram)

iMove '08 seems to only use 2 cores when encoding, making it 3 to 5 times slower than real time ingestion. Final Cut Pro seems to only use 5 of the cores, which ends up going about half of real-time ingestion.

I'm a complete and utter Final Cut newbie, so maybe I have something set wrong?

Anyway, at least the Sony is compatible and as easy to use as any HDV cam (I also have an Canon HV20, HV10 and Sony HC1). Once the footage is ingested, it's in AIC or ProRes format, so it's just as fast to edit and apply fx as anything else. The only major difference to me (besides the above speed issue), is that I can now shoot over 7 hours of 1920x1080 video without dropouts or changing tapes.
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