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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 5th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Ken Ross View Post
Mike, a friend of mine is absolutely convinced we'd lose nothing by going to the Canonpus HQ codec. Since I've done that many times with HDV, I've never seen an observable loss. Canopus codecs are probably the best there is. Since I've done so many A/Bs between my SR12 and Canon HV20, I'm pretty convinced there isn't any significant difference in resolution between the two, so I doubt you'd lose it on that end. But to me the issue is exporting. If I went to this trouble to go 'tapeless', why do I want my final AVCHD product to go back to tape?

I really don't plan on doing much editing with my personal stuff...I never have. I guess I do enough editing for work and don't get overly enthusiastic about doing it on my personal stuff. Maybe once I retire I can make that one of my projects. ;)
Hey Ken, how are doing today? I don't plan on putting my finished product to tape, but rather to DVD (someday BR). Using one of the cheaper editing programs, like Pinnacle, Ulead, etc., I want to reduce the rendering time, but don't want to lose any of the quality of the original shoot on the final product(or lose as little as possible). About as much as I want to pay for an editing program would be $200.00, so my options are limited.
Gee, Mike, what do you do with your final programs. Well, I put in a few transitions, chapters, titles, and maybe some background music, as well as trimming out the bad spots.

Thanks.

Respectfully,
Mike
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #47
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IF you don't want to do anything really fancy stay with Sony Motion Browser and it can output to AVCHD or convert to a DVD for you. That is what i do with the family stuff. AVCHD to normal DVD-R, with simple menu like on the camera LCD, that will play on my PS3 ( BluRay player) and a DVD for everyone else. No quality loss as it is really a copy to DVD!!! IF you have a new Sony then the software that comes with it is all you need. Not the fanciest or fastest but able to do trimming and cuts editing etc.
My take on the Edius Vegas comparison. Edius for most DV projects will output realtime to tape and this is true for timelines with HQ tracks. Vegas can be setup to show realtime in the preview monitor just like Premiere Pro CS3 but reliable output to tape should be done through an export to tape which in most cases will render first to temp folder. I have Edius 4.6, Vegas 8 and Premiere Pro CS3. For DV and HDV Edius is the fastest to edit with , has the best multicam and excellent filters. Vegas is better for audio and keyframe control of everything, PPRo CS3 still has the best titler. Vegas is the slowest to render but for me has the better AVCHD at the moment.

Ron Evans
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:54 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Mike Burgess View Post
Hey Ken, how are doing today? I don't plan on putting my finished product to tape, but rather to DVD (someday BR). Using one of the cheaper editing programs, like Pinnacle, Ulead, etc., I want to reduce the rendering time, but don't want to lose any of the quality of the original shoot on the final product(or lose as little as possible). About as much as I want to pay for an editing program would be $200.00, so my options are limited.
Gee, Mike, what do you do with your final programs. Well, I put in a few transitions, chapters, titles, and maybe some background music, as well as trimming out the bad spots.

Thanks.

Respectfully,
Mike

Hi Mike...sounds like a plan. I think that's all you need to do for most of the family stuff. Let us know if you find any good programs for this kind of editing.

Ron, I agree, for really simple stuff the Sony software is probably all you need and as you said, you do maintain all of the PQ of the original.
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Old April 5th, 2008, 04:56 PM   #49
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Just to let you guys with the SR series know, you really need to see the results of using the 'photo' button on top of the camera and the results on a large screen plasma. In a word 'unreal'. I can't believe how good the color and clarity of these shots are! You can even zoom in a fair degree and still maintain clarity.

I'm just more impressed with this cam every day!
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Old April 5th, 2008, 09:49 PM   #50
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Just to let you guys with the SR series know, you really need to see the results of using the 'photo' button on top of the camera and the results on a large screen plasma. In a word 'unreal'. I can't believe how good the color and clarity of these shots are! You can even zoom in a fair degree and still maintain clarity.

I'm just more impressed with this cam every day!
Ken, 2 questions:

On the SR12, can the image stabilizer be made to stay active when taking a still?

I'm just curious, with the Canopus HQ codec, if it is lossless, in what ways is it better than other lossless codecs like huffyuv or FFV1? Since Edius is getting a lot of good press, I downloaded a demo version to try it out, but may not get a chance for a while now as my main computer died late last night :(
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Old April 5th, 2008, 10:11 PM   #51
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Ken, 2 questions:

On the SR12, can the image stabilizer be made to stay active when taking a still?
Dave, although I can't say for sure, it certainly appears to me the image stablilization is working since the results are so razor sharp. Now I suppose it's possible that a high shutter speed could also be contributing to this, but I'm not sure. What I am sure of is that the results are stunning.

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I'm just curious, with the Canopus HQ codec, if it is lossless, in what ways is it better than other lossless codecs like huffyuv or FFV1? Since Edius is getting a lot of good press, I downloaded a demo version to try it out, but may not get a chance for a while now as my main computer died late last night :(
Sorry to hear about a death of a loved one. May your old friend RIP. Hey, it's a good excuse for a quad core Dave...sure you didn't KILL it? ;)

Dave, the Canopus HQ codec, isn't lossless, but IMO it is 'visually' lossless. I've seen no difference between original HDV footage and conversion to the HQ codec. I'm sure something is lost, but as long as it's not visual I don't get too concerned.

I'm not sure how it compares with other codecs like huffyuv or FFV1 since I haven't tried them. I just know that Canopus has such an excellent reputation for their codecs.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 01:13 AM   #52
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Sorry to hear about a death of a loved one. May your old friend RIP. Hey, it's a good excuse for a quad core Dave...sure you didn't KILL it? ;)
Ken, you must be a mind reader (about the good excuse for a quad core)! But, alas, I didn't kill it - it died quietly in the middle of the night downloading the Edius demo (I hope that's not an omen). The old machine was a 3GHz P4 with hyperthreading, so it was no slouch, but it couldn't keep up with AVCHD very well, so the quad cores look awfully enticing, and by the time you look at the whole price for the mobo, processor, RAM, and new video card (new mobos don't take AGP), the quad cores don't really add that much to the cost over a dual.

Quote:
Dave, the Canopus HQ codec, isn't lossless, but IMO it is 'visually' lossless. I've seen no difference between original HDV footage and conversion to the HQ codec. I'm sure something is lost, but as long as it's not visual I don't get too concerned.

I'm not sure how it compares with other codecs like huffyuv or FFV1 since I haven't tried them. I just know that Canopus has such an excellent reputation for their codecs.
OK. I thought I'd read in one of the posts that it was lossless, but I must have mis-read. If it's lossy and has a good balance between loss, disk space, and speed, that can be hard to find and there could be a lot of value there.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 07:16 AM   #53
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Dave, let us know how a quad core works out if you go that route. It might be a good excuse to upgrade from my Athlon 64 X2 dual core 4600. It's very quick with Edius for my SD material, but AVCHD is a different ballgame...not much fun.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 12:35 PM   #54
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Dave, let us know how a quad core works out if you go that route. It might be a good excuse to upgrade from my Athlon 64 X2 dual core 4600. It's very quick with Edius for my SD material, but AVCHD is a different ballgame...not much fun.
No problem at all. I'll probably order the parts today or tomorrow (I like to build up my own systems) and may have it all working in a couple of weeks, as the next few weekends are fairly busy for me. My initial results will be for Linux, but I always install XP too, so I can do some benchmarking there.

I did some research into the price of Edius, and it's more expensive than I was anticipating. Being mainly a hobbiest who does only a small handful of real gigs, it might be out of my price range, but I will throw the demo up and let you know how it works on the new system. Hopefully the learning curve for just importing a few clips and attaching a few filters isn't too steep.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 03:42 PM   #55
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Thanks Dave. If you run in to questions on Edius, let me know.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:00 PM   #56
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Hello everyone,

THis is my first post here, so help a noob out.

I don't know if I should start a new thread or post this here. I am afraid of highjacking this one, but I will post here anyway. Hopefully it is the right thing to do. If not, let me know nd I will start a new thread.

I have been reading reviews on this site for a week now with much interest. This thread in particular is of interest because I need to pick up a cam for my honeymoon trip. Like Ken, my hobbies turn out to be analities of one sort or another! ;-)

I have never owned a cam and am not an expert by any means, but am an avid researcher. Any toy I buy gets about 40-80 hours of research and I am of a discriminating taste. I am an audio engineer and probably will be as critical with video as I am with audio (not that audio is THAT important in choosing a vacation cam.)

Getting to the point I am looking for a cam that gives me the best quality for under $900. Most of the cams discussed here, in fact all, can now be aquired in this price range. While I want something relatively portable, it is not the determining factor. Quality is(of course cost also factors in. For example if I can get 95% of the quality for 70% of the price I will go with the cheaper one, with all things being the same, which they never are). It would be nice to go to flash drives or Hard drives because of the ease of transfer, smaller size and savings in media costs but not to sacrifice quality.

Unfortunately, it seems that canon has not worked out its reported problems in AVCHD even with these new cameras, which is a shame because I like the smaller bodies of the HG10, HF10 and 100 and even HV10. It seems they all suffer from AVCHD problems and I don't know which has overcome them the most, though I assume it is the HF10 and 100. Please correct me if you have a differing opinion.

I have looked into the Sonys (especially the SR11) and will have to do some more research on them, but if they perform as nicely as the HV20/30 with a Hard drive based system, it definately is a contendor. I thought the images and films I have seen from the HV20/30 were wonderful so if a lot of enthusiasts here think that sony produces as nice or nicer videos I may go that route because the sonys seem more ergonomic. (I have no idea why Canon moved the joystick to the LCD on the HF series, it seems really short sided for a prosumer product.)

One worry I have is that, in digital cameras, IMHO, the canons are much better image capturers on average and the sonys have always been a bit too sharp and noisy, with very "digital", as in harsh, results. It surprises me that its cams do better jobs, but apparently, they do.

So here is my question: For a discerning hobbyist, who has used camcorder very sparingly up to now, but will be obsessive on movie quality; who is buying primarily to capture honeymoon videos in Italy and Greece, and plans on not upgrading for at least 3-4 years, which of these cams would you recommend. Please, don't refrain from giving suggestions, like only you can decide. I want your opinions, because you guys use these much more than I and have developed the eye I may have in a few months. Please help me so I don't regret my decision. Is sony that great, do the newer canons still suffer AVCHD problems that degrade their quality below the HV20/30 or even the AVCHD sony? Does the Sony capture as fluid, well balanced, sharp and less noise in low light images than the Canon HV20/30? Are there other contenders that I may be overlooking? Please let me know.

ANY input is GREATLY appreciated.

Regards,
Mario
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:11 PM   #57
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Hi Mario,
Research is good, it's the only way to minimize mistakes (not eliminate them, but minimize them). I still currently have both the Canon HF10 and the Sony SR12 and find the SR12 to produce the better image.

I thought your comment about Canons being the better digital still cameras was right on the mark! I too came to the conclusion the Sonys were overly-sharp and the Canons produced a more 'photographic' image. That's why I switched to Canons for this purpose. I've also got a Panasonic Lumix, but the Canon is probably still better for overall image quality.

However, what's interesting, is that with the current crop of AVCHD camcorders, this formula has been turned upside down! The Canon now produces the less 'convincing' image and appears to my eyes, more artificial. Colors are certainly not as true to life as the Sony SR12 and the contrast in the Canon is artificially hyped as the result of what appers to be a different gamma in the Canon. As a result of this, highlights are more easily blown out and detail is more easily lost in shadow areas.

For these reasons my HF10 is headed to Ebay and I'm keeping my SR12. In terms of comparing the SR12 to the HV20, it compares extremely well. I own an HV20 and have done quite a bit of A/Bs with those two units. It took me many days before I came to the conclusion I slightly preferred the image from the SR12...but man, they're close in quality.

You can get the same quality as the SR12 in an SR11 and only sacrifice hard drive space (60gig vs 120). Of course you still have the ability to record to a memory stick, so you should never run out of space.

At any rate those are my thoughts. Good luck.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:46 PM   #58
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Unfortunately, it seems that canon has not worked out its reported problems in AVCHD even with these new cameras, which is a shame because I like the smaller bodies of the HG10, HF10 and 100 and even HV10.
Mario, I'm not sure if this is where you drew that conclusion from, but be very wary of subjective statements you see on review sites. They tend to make big deals out of small differences. You have to just try the cameras out and see which you like the best. The general consensus seems to be that HDV still has a discernible but small lead in certain aspects of video quality, but with this year's crop of AVCHD cameras, they are very close, to the degree that you probably won't notice in most circumstances.

It's to the point where other differences between cameras, such as color balance, handling, AE characteristics, size, weight, media type, manual controls, image stabilization, noise, etc. will probably be more important factors in your decision than AVCHD vs. HDV.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 03:53 PM   #59
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Thanks Ken and Dave,

I am glad I am not coming off left field and have come to feasible conclusions. Ken you seem to suggest (as I read in this thread) that the HV20 or 30 outperforms the HF100/10 very slightly. The funny thing I realize now is that the prices between the HV30 and HF100 is not that great and the SR11 is only about $100-200 more. I may go with the HV20 if I can find a better deal because the only main difference between it and the HV30 is the 30i frame rate.

Speaking of which, it seems that the Sony only records in 60i. I have to research that. I have to say the HF100 would be a bigger contender if not for the stupid joy stick placement, but maybe I am making too big a deal of that. The sonys wheel is an attractive option. I just don't know how often people use manual focus and whether I am letting something small be a determining factor.

Lastly, while I have checked out some clips of both, some of the clips seem jumpy. I don't know if its the source or the download. Please let me know if any of these seem more jumpy than the other.

I am going to see if I can buy both and return one with no restocking, but that is not something I think will happen. I may buy media, pop it in and shoot in the store, but I don't know if I will be able to access the videos for the flash cards without the proprietary software. I know I will have no luck with a DV source because I don't have a player.


I am still stuck, but thank you so much for your input!

Warm Regards,
Mario
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Old April 8th, 2008, 03:55 PM   #60
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Also, I saw a review (I think I saw some clips of it in this thread) where the sony had that twin peaks/x-files green that was more emerald than true green when it was shooting foliage. Is this an accurate representation? I have also seen other review, but don't know if I should post them. I don't want to break the rules.
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