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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #1
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Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

Hello everyone,
I bought a SONY HXR-MC50E camera 9 months ago, and have discovered what seems to me to be a major design flaw - given that the camera is so lightweight and inexpensive it is clearly targeting the low budget documentary maker - usually a guy (or gal) working alone in the field.

there is an automatic setting which breaks up your footage after 10 minutes, and creates a new file to avoid overly large files (4GB limit for FAT32 compatability). After rereading the manual several times, I can find no way to override this. This in itself, is not a problem. However, when the files are put back to back, there is a gap, about one second with no visual or audio - if the gap happens to fall mid sentence in an interview, there is no recovery. can be disastrous if the interviewee has just said something important. as I work alone often, I can't monitor the camera and stop and restart at 9 mins 50 seconds each time!

but, more worryingly when I leave the camera running on a tripod while i'm conducting an interview, the footage i get after the 10min 'jump' is unstable. sometimes its fine, but about half the time, what I get is shaking/vibrating visual footage. UNUSABLE. and I have yet to find any way to fix it. the audio is fine but the visual is bizarre.

has anyone else experienced this? did you find a solution?
look forward to hearing from you. and apologies to the administrator if this is posted in the wrong heading - I couldn't find a general sony camera section, or one for this particular camera... cheers.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 11:51 AM   #2
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Re: Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

Are you using Picture Motion Browser (PMB) or Content Management Utililty (CMU) to import your video data?
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Old May 5th, 2011, 01:14 PM   #3
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Re: Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

Use the Sony CMU and it will join the files together for you and rename them using the date and time they were shot together with all the other camera data including the GPS.

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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:45 PM   #4
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Re: Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

It's a function of AVCHD - file sizes cannot exceed roughly 2G, thus the file "splits", HOWEVER, you will be able to play back the whole clp in the camera, without glitching, AND if you use the Sony PMB software to download it will re-stitch the files together into one contiguous file, without glitch.

There also was a small utility to do this that someone cooked up here on DVi many moons ago.

It's not a design flaw, you need to learn how the camera works, and then you'll find there's no problem! Don't feel bad though, Almost everyone new to AVCHD files (myself included) hit this "snag", don't panic, the solution is easy enough, and then you'll be quite happy with the results!
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:51 PM   #5
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Re: Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

As Dave says, all the AVCHD cameras use a FAT32 file system because it is economical on memory use for small flash memory sizes and is compatible across lots of computer platforms. Using a more advanced file system would use more of the memory for the file system itself leaving less available memory to record the video and audio. Using the PMB or CMU makes this invisible for normal use. However they are Windows only products.

Ron Evans
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Old May 6th, 2011, 02:42 AM   #6
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Re: Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

there's the rub... i work on mac, using final cut pro for editing. none of the sony software is for the Mac. any mac-based alternative solutions?
I'm also using clip wrap at the moment to convert them into AIC codec (as I'm working on an old macbook that wont allow upgrade to FCP7 which recognises avchd codec)
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Old May 6th, 2011, 07:50 AM   #7
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Re: Design flaw in the sony avchd HRX-MC50?

Can't help with the MAC but you may want to try posting in the MAC editing section as there are lots of MAC users using AVCHD and if you provide your system spec and FCP version they may be able to help.

Ron Evans
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