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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 05:22 AM   #1
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AVCHD Lite :(

my first experience with AVCHD and am getting pretty frustrated! got a panasonic TZ7/ZS3 recently, it records in 720p 30fps..

while visiting friends in spain had no problem editing in FCP converting to ProRes..
back home with PP CS3 or even trying CS4 have been having a nightmare with it..

importing natively in CS4 doesnt seem like an option as the footage is way too slow (have a dual core laptop, 4gb ram)

trying with neoscene, transcoding and importing to CS3 i set the project manually (custom settings) as there are no cineform presets, to HDV 720p, 29.97 fps..

the neoscene transcoded avi files show up as 50fps in premiere?? the video playsback fast and the audio seems almost correct (maybe a little fast?) if i manually choose 'interpret footage' i can change the frame rate to 30 or 29.97 and the clips look to play at the right speed but the audio is slow..

am i missing something? or is this format not supported by neoscene? any suggestions for a workflow that should work appreciated thanks!
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 07:03 AM   #2
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I've had a ZS3 in the Amazon cart about 5 times and haven't pulled the trigger because of the difficulty I hear of AVCHD sluggishness in editing. I'll be watching with interest on this thread to see how you fare. My understanding is the ZS3 records in 60P, but evidently it is really 30P with duplicate frames. If not, you may have to treat it as 60P and live with the duplicates to get your timing correct.

This post around #39 talks about the issue a bit: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/photo-hd-...-format-3.html It sounds from this post you can shoot in mjpeg in 30p and make the processing easier, but I may be misreading the intent.

The footage I've seen looks really good from this camera and the reviews are outstanding. Hope it works out for you.
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 08:57 AM   #3
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thanks for that.. the mjpeg really isnt an option, its very low quality and suitable for playing on a phone at most i'd say..

i got the camera just for fun as something to keep in my pocket when travelling etc or for a b camera but the footage is really good (small film playing around here Granada 9/08/09 on Vimeo )

i'm quite shocked at how painfree it was to work with on FCP, everything went quite quickly and smoothly, and transcoding is all within the application, compared to with Premiere/Neoscene..

maybe i'm just doing something wrong though..?
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Old August 22nd, 2009, 09:59 AM   #4
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ok so seems like the TZ7 pal version is 25fps with each frame doubled which would explain why neoscene transcoded to 50fps.. so for now my clips, even if i fix the frame rate and speed up the audio will miss half the audio track (i think?) so i guess i need to find another setting or way to transcode?
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Old August 24th, 2009, 04:27 AM   #5
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since the last post i've tried 'Procoder 3' from Grass Valley that doesnt seem to recognise the MTS files to import at all.

i also downloaded a trial of a programme called 'AVCHD Upshift', it converts clips to MPEG format and set at the maximum output of 60mbps to my untrained eye the transcoded files look the same as the original MTS file. The transcode time is fast (1-2x realtime) and the interface is simple (just select source and destination folder). The output filesize is also pretty small compared to neoscene.

the files all transcoded at the correct audio and video framerate without having to change any settings.

for now i will probably go with this, Premiere handles the files really easily, no rendering in the timeline necessary.. unless anyone has a reason why the MPEG route is not a good one??
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Old August 24th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #6
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Manus, I ran into the same problem with my Samsung HMX-104. However that camera films a genuine 720p60 ... actually 720p59.94 .... so it doesnt have pairs of identical frames that you say yours has.

Anyway, NeoScene and ProspectHD (i.e. HDLink) both produced 25fps output for some reason. I filed a trouble ticket with Cineform ... in reply they said it wouldnt get fixed for a while as they were "waiting on new AVCHD components". Hmmm.

Their suggestion meanwhile was to interpret footage as 59.94 in Premiere. A better solution, I think, is to run the freeware program AVIFrate which lets you losslessly reset the framerate from 25 to 59.94. Thereafter the audio will be in sync when you pull it into your editing app - Premier, Virtualdub, or whatever.

Thanks for the tip about 'Upshift' though.
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Old August 28th, 2009, 03:51 AM   #7
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quick update: cineform tech support were able to email me a reg file that fixed the audio timing and neoscene seems to work fine now, on second look the results are somewhat better than upshift etc.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 04:21 AM   #8
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I'm using Free AVCHD Converter

It works, but I'm not really happy with workflow. I've only found converting to MP4 to work. If anybody else has found software that works with the native Panasonic files I'm ready to spend.
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Old September 13th, 2009, 05:18 AM   #9
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worked ok for me..
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