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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old October 7th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #46
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Bruce,

The 7D sounds like a wonderful upgrade for the video photographer. I can fully understand why you would keep both bodies. The T1i is not capable of doing the video nearly as well, and the still camera features of the 7D also add a to what the T1i can do.

Dave,

Good suggestion which hopefully may allow Al to get PD8 working.

Larry
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Old November 17th, 2009, 09:26 AM   #47
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PD8 and Titles

This thread seams to be idle. There are a lot of PD8 (not happy) users out there. Anyone with more problems ?

I have one and it relates to using titles and rendering to AVCHD - PD8 often hangs on this. Anyone else having similar issues ?
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Old November 18th, 2009, 04:32 AM   #48
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Gave up on PD8

Hi Al, I had such problems with PD8 (and such lack of customer support) that I could bring myself to buy it, despite its fast rendering speed. One possible reason for hang on render is if you have >2 cores enabled on a 3+ core system. "Solution" is to tell Windows boot manager to use only 2 cores when you startup (!?).

In the end I bought Windows 7 and am doing a trial of Pinnacle Studio 14, which is now available (it wouldn't run on XP 64-bit because that OS is old/unsupported, but should work on XP 32-bit, or anything newer).

Studio 14 has great customer support; every time I've wanted to talk to someone (about the Trial no less) I go to the online support center and am talking with a rep in five minutes.

The new version has better AVCHD support. It shows me which parts are rendering preview in background. The motion titler is great. I haven't tried the sound features since I have my own music. It does get slow to render if a lot of f/x are enabled, but I can deal with that because it doesn't crash on render like PD8 always does. And I don't have to turn off one of my three cores. It crashes occasionally in editing, but it's stuff I can avoid, like: don't hit "undo" too many times in quick succession; don't try to do too many manipulations while it's rendering preview; save often (though its auto-save/recover is pretty good).

Some testing videos are posted on my blog (YouTube clips w/ HD links as well):
Dave's Photo & Travelblogue Climbing Zugspitze: Germany’s highest mountain (Part 1)
Dave's Photo & Travelblogue Climbing Zugspitze: Germany?s highest mountain (Part 2)

-Dave
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Old November 18th, 2009, 10:03 AM   #49
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Sorry to hear that PD8 continues to be an unusable program for you Dave. I assume that you have installed the latest PD8 release build 2220 posted about two weeks ago?

It is available at:

PowerDirector 7 ? Video Editing Software

I've not experienced the rendering problem you mention in any recent version of PD8, but I have had hangs / crashes during burning up until this 6220 new release. It is clear that Cyberlink is trying to get this product fixed, and yet they may still have unresolved issues.

Hope you find Pinnacle to be "the right" solution for your needs.

Larry
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Old November 19th, 2009, 03:05 AM   #50
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Hi Larry,

Haven't tried the latest build yet, actually. I decided to just buy one or the other software, and since PD8 not only crashed a lot but also has MISERABLE customer service, I'm going to buy Pinnacle 14. Based on the nice quality of videos I was able to get in a short time, Pinnacle should do for my purposes. If I need heavy effects like stabilize+lighting, I'll pre-render the sequences that need it. :-)

But if I run into more problems in the future, could be I'll give PD another chance someday...

Dave
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Old November 19th, 2009, 09:15 AM   #51
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I completely understand, Dave, and there is nothing more aggravating than trying to get a project done and getting a lot of work "finished" and then having the program crash. Lots of people have run into this with PD8, as well as many of the other NLE programs including some heavy hitters like Sony Vegas. There is a good reason why I personally started this thread and called PD8 a "train wreck"........!!

Ironically, I had to ultimately remove Pinnacle 12 Ultimate from my system since it caused me tons of problems, but not until I installed the update. The original version was very stable, but I seldom used it since it re-rendered everything, and created inferior output compared to the original camera video. I never did buy the latest V14 upgrade since they still do not offer smart rendering.

Maybe one of these days somebody will come out with a really good, fast, NLE program which handles AVCHD natively and handles it well. I am downloading and trying the very recent (late October) release of Edius Neo 2 with AVCHD Booster currently. At $229 it could be a nice solution.

Larry
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Old November 19th, 2009, 02:14 PM   #52
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Pd8

Unfortunately the current release 2220 has more bugs, but this time less obvious, and detectable only when actually views the AVCHD (OR Blu-ray!) results ! Frustration is high, production is low. They are on the verge of loosing a lot of die hard users because their claim of running i7 processors - they cannot. And dropping to 2 cores is not a solid solution. Poor code integrity and code house keeping - the software appears to run ahead of itself and looses total control. The data streams seem to go everywhere.
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Old November 19th, 2009, 04:59 PM   #53
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Al,

What bugs are you seeing in the AVCHD / BluRay output disks?

Thanks,
Larry
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Old November 19th, 2009, 06:19 PM   #54
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Larry,

The list is getting too long. And if I add the list from other users that I keep in touch with it gets worse. Essentially rendering is relatively trouble free if one keeps the effects to a minimum. Once they are added in the variability of the problems are diverse and often changing from one rendering to another WITHOUT one making any changes in the project. One needs patience to use this package. I also use Corel's VideoStudio 12 which is considerably more stable. BUT, it's editing features are not as good (especially on video) and it does NOT utilize all the cores of an i7 PC. I frequently use both to complete a project.
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Old December 29th, 2009, 09:13 AM   #55
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Argh. While Studio 14 works quite well with relatively few crashes, the stabilizer is not good enough for the snowboarding footage from my self-made helmet cam.

Optical stabilization sucks when you have a high-vibration or high-G environment. I'll have to try out PD8 again, even if just to prepare my clips for import into Studio 14. That is, IF the PD8 stabilizer plugin does a good enough job...

Any tips for a better stabilizer plugin (or external software) that I could use with Studio 14?
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Old January 5th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #56
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Larry,
Slightly OT from this thread, but in the past you said that Corel VS Pro X2 did a reasonably good job with AVCHD. Do you still think so? Looking at their forums, it appears that they still have issues with glitches appearing at transitions. Also, the recently released "SP2" update appears to do nothing more than provide Win 7 compatibility, so it appears that no other fixes or improvements were made in the year that elapsed between SP1 and SP2. Disappointing.

PD8 still has issues as discussed in this thread. Still no smart rendering in Pinnacle 14. Sigh. I guess we're still waiting for a good consumer-level editor which provides smart rendering?

Something that would be really handy in this forum is a sticky post that summarizes some of the benefits and known issues of the various AVCHD editing programs. I have really appreciated the info and experiences that you have shared. Thanks!
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Old January 5th, 2010, 10:43 AM   #57
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Bob,
I am in a bit of a hurry so my apologies for being brief. (My normal posts are way too verbose anyway...)

I have used most of the AVCHD programs on the market, and would recommend Power Director 8 as the best of the bunch. It still has issues, but the newest release from late 2009 is really stable, works well, and seems to do all I ask of it.

Corel has dropped the ball with VideoStudio Pro X2 as far as I can tell. The transition of ownership from Ulead to Corel has taken their two AVCHD programs (VS Pro X2 and Movie Factory) and slowed the update and improvement cycle down to a dead stop. They were never too great when Ulead owned them but they seem much worse now. The glitch at transitions is still an issue for some, but it is visible or invisible based on whether you are using 60p or 30i content, and only shows under some conditions. I can think of no good reason to prefer using it to PD8.

I have also been using Vegas 9 with some success, although it is also filled with problems. Much to Sony's credit, they have released several updates since it was released in September, and have fixed many bugs without introducing too many new ones...... You could also take a look at Edius Neo 2 with AVCHD Booster, a really nice editor with a pretty lame authoring capability. Still a good value in my opinion, and worth downloading the trial version before you buy anything.

Please let us know your experiences here as this is an ever-changing situation. In the last 6 months AVCHD has been coming on really strong, with many new still digital cameras now using AVCHD-Lite as their encoding format for video.

Maybe it is now finally time for SOMEBODY to get this AVCHD thing right. It's been over 2 years that I have been struggling with a lot of total crap software offered by companies that pride themselves on selling the software and then disappearing when it comes to make it work correctly. Hopefully there will be some major improvements now that the AVCHD format is clearly dominant in not only small pocket point and shoot digital cameras but also on the DSLR end of the market as well.

Larry
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Old January 5th, 2010, 04:43 PM   #58
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Thanks Larry! Excellent info as usual, and it is greatly appreciated. No need for a more lengthy reply.
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Old January 5th, 2010, 07:15 PM   #59
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PD8 is improving and needs more improving.

I've been advised by the Cybertechs (as I like to call them) that a new release of PD8 is about to occur. Whether it addresses the various crashes of PD8 only time will tell. However, the good news is that via an ex-PD8 user and now a Sony Vegas user an interesting fix to a good deal of the rendering problems associated with i7 processors, larger system memories and 64 bit Win7 has cropped up. By using a script editor one can turn ON the ability of PD8 (and any other 32 bit application such as Vegas running on a Win7 64 bit system) to utilize more than the 2 MB allowed for a 32 bit application. In my case PD8 crashes which were related to the handling of very high def images (>7 MB per image) have been totally eliminated. In addition, the processor utilization of i7 has gone from 45-50% to 75-90% with total memory usage easily exceeding 4.0 MB when previously (in crash mode) it rarely reached 2.5 MB. I'm a happy camper with PD8 as is, even if their upcoming fixes don't do anything for me.
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Old January 6th, 2010, 02:48 AM   #60
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Hi Al, what is the process for this script editor turning on the >2GB limit for an application? Do you have a link where you found that? Maybe I'll give PD8 another try if I can use my 3-core system without constant crashes.

For those with very shaky video, as mine was (helmet mounted, optical-stabilized camera), I found a pro-grade (but free) solution. AviSynth=>Virtualdub=>Deshaker plugin=>XviD=>(normal editing program). It was tricky and required a lot of playing around with settings, file formats, etc (Virtualdub really only supports .avi). But the result is almost steadycam-like output from what was at first unwatchable. Neither Pinnacle 14 nor PD8 could improve the shaky footage at all. See result (final edit in Pinnacle 14):

YouTube - Testing the Helmetcam: Hintertux, Austria
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