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Old May 5th, 2011, 03:54 PM   #1
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Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

I recently picked up a new Sony HDR-CX560 ... against my better judgement (I knew it was CMOS) I went with this camera for in-car video for my race car and to double as a good vacation camera. Image stabilization was supposed to be very good and that's exactly what one needs in a high vibration/bump environment like a race car.

Anyway ... it wasn't too expensive ($1000). It's low light capabilities are amazing and 1080p 60 fps is very good for a camera in this price range.

The camera is going to be a great "vacation" camera but for in-car racing video I think I'm going to need to find something else ... the issues:

1. Rolling Shutter effect is pretty bad -- see some of my video here: YouTube - Infineon 4-25-11 Lotus Session 7 Part 2 -- much more obvious when viewed at 1080.

2. The internal storage is 64GB but is some ExtFAT format so the file size limit is 2.13GB ... needless to say at 1080p 60 fps that's about 10 minutes of footage (AVCHD to .MTS files). This is a problem because when it starts a new file it doesn't record, so I lose about 1 second of footage ... for continuous shooting such as 25-40 mins in-car, this is distracting and screws up my data logging overlay (have to keep re-synching it).

So my questions:

A. If I buy a SD card for it and run a different Format (on the card) so that files sizes are 4GB limit rather than 2.13GB, will this work for my camcorder?

B. Any solution or help in rolling shutter issue? shoot in 720p or maybe do 1080 24 to see if that helps the image processor?

Thanks, Rob.
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:44 PM   #2
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

All the Sony cameras record to FAT 32 file format so they all have a 2 G limit for each file. Most other manufacturers use the same FAT32 file system too as it is economical for small memory sizes. Sony provides the Motion Browser software with the camera to transfer to the PC. This will join all the files together with no loss of any sync video or audio. It will also rename the clips by the start date and time of the clip recording and will also transfer all the metadata to the archive too. You will have clips( from pressing start to stop) rather than FAT 32 files. The camera decides on the file format so the cards need to be formatted in the camera. Using any other formatting will not work as the camera sets up specific files for video, stills and metadata. Read the manual its full of lots of information.

I shoot theatre so my continuous times are between 50 min and 1 hour and 30 mins with no sync problems on any of my AVCHD cameras. I run 4 cameras . Not sure what you view as rolling shutter in you video as I would think the worse situation would be the long corner with the fence which seemed to be Ok on my playback. There is some distortion of the lighting poles through the windshield which my be due to the windshield.

Ron Evans
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Old May 5th, 2011, 09:50 PM   #3
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Second AVCHD newbie today...

Use the PMB software to import the clips, they will be stitched together just fine, no loss, you can record until the battery or the memory runs out, and it will import as one file, no problemo...

I looked at your clip, and while there is a little bit of RS, if one looks carefully... it's not bad IMO considering the amount of vibration involved - did you use an SD camera before this? If so, you may just not be used to seeing the level of detail, which will, of course, also show more vibration effects.

Only other thing I can think of to suggest would be some form of vibration isolating mount - you might ask in the "special mounts" section of DVi and see, as I know lots of people are doing this and would offer more insight, as well as whether your footage is really all that bad... seemed pretty good to me.

Edit:
And I see Ron beat me to the punch, good observation that some distortion may be from the windows - only thing that I saw was a bit of jiggle/jello here and there, but it really wasn't bad considering, plus it adds to the energy of the clip!
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Old May 6th, 2011, 08:01 AM   #4
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

For 60p files from my CX700 I am also finding that it depends on what program the 60P is edited on and what preset used for output. I have found that with both Edius and Vegas I have needed to ensure that the program correctly identifies the files as 60P and that all processing is progressive too. There is no output choice for 1920x1080P60 so the only progressive HD format is 720P.

Putting 60P in a 60i timeline works but of course the output is now interlaced created by the NLE with all the interlace artifacts reintroduced !!!. Both for Bluray output and SD DVD I have now moved to 1280x720P60 for a much better result. Just waiting for the spec changes to include 1920x1080P60 !!!

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Old May 6th, 2011, 10:34 AM   #5
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Thanks for the responses.

I haven't installed the software that came with the camera primarily because of fear it'll screw up my MacPro and/or boot camped Vista install on my MacPro. All too often the "provided" software appears to cause conflicts and/or makes assumptions about one's computer that aren't valid ... so that's why I haven't installed from the DVD yet.

I copy the .MTS files from the Sony to my hard drive and use Toast 11 Pro to convert them to .MOV using Apple's Pro Res 422 HQ codec for use in Final Cut Pro 7. In FCP I export them to 1080p 29.97 fps using DivX 6.5 codec because that format is compatible with my TrackVision software that adds the data/dash video overlay but it's output is mp4 and reduced to 720p suitable for upload to YouTube. So basic flow is:

Sony MTS ---> to MacPro Hard Drive
Toast 11 Pro MTS ---> .MOV (Apple ProRes 422 HQ)
.MOV ---> .DIVX (6.5)
.DIVX ---> .MP4 (TrackVision)
---> YouTube

Here is some footage from my same race car (less the full cage) done with an older HD camcorder (Sony HDR-HC3 HDV MiniDV): YouTube - Infineon 3/5/11 Session 3 - 4 Laps

Exact same mount (only centered in the car, both attached to roll cage loop) and both cameras have Image stabilization enabled. The CX560 produces a more clear image, better color, and improved overall contrast, but it's Image Stabilization is terrible compared to the HC3. On the CX560 you can see RS most obvious in A pillar/roll cage bar on the right ... mostly on the horizontal axis ... also you can see some in the horizon (blue sky). It looks as if the Image Stabilization just can't deal with the vibration or is this more to do with CMOS and BIONZ processor?

Video on the HC3 is 1440i 29.97 fps but went thru the exact same conversion process listed above with the exception source is "Log and Captured" using FCP and HDV format and is converted from interlaced to progressive.

I'll try the Sony provided transfer software to see if it can put the clips together without a noticeable "break" in the footage ... but I hope the Sony software doesn't introduce additional compression during it's transfer process -- never used it so I guess I'll find out. Anyone know if the Sony provided software screws anything else up on OSX (Mac) based computers?

Thanks, Rob.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:39 AM   #6
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

The problem is that the software provided on the disc is not compatible with OS X. They never were.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:49 AM   #7
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Oh, so the provided Sony software on that CD/DVD is Microsoft Windows only, no OSX support?
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Old May 6th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #8
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Ainscough View Post
Oh, so the provided Sony software on that CD/DVD is Microsoft Windows only, no OSX support?
Always has been like this. :(
Worst of all, there is at the moment no streamlined solution to get the new 1920 60p clips out of the cam. Final Cut Pro does not support that. Maybe the new FCP X will (due in June).
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:20 PM   #9
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmin Serban View Post
Always has been like this. :(
Worst of all, there is at the moment no streamlined solution to get the new 1920 60p clips out of the cam. Final Cut Pro does not support that. Maybe the new FCP X will (due in June).
Yeah, I tried "Log and Transfer" (from FCP) direct from the camera's internal storage to no avail. Another option I have available is use the HDMI output on the Sony (which is of course medium sized hard to find HDMI connector, ugh) and capture using my BlackMagic designs card ... slower process ... not sure if there would be any quality loss.

But if I have to use Sony software for transfer, that would require boot camp into Vista, do the transfer, and then copy to an OSX formatted drive (so no file size limit) using MacDrive 8 ... so capturing thru Sony HDMI thru BlackMagic designs card might actually be faster and can all be done in FCP.

But I agree, I hope next version of FCP provides more support for Sony camcorders. I know Apple and Sony just don't get along ... hence no native BluRay support in OSX. Although I guess Sony have bigger issues right now ... like hiring a Chief Security Officer ... doooh! ;)

Rob
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:24 PM   #10
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

From what I know, even if you do transfer the 1920 60p clips via Windows, they will be downgraded to 1920 60i in FCP. I hope I'm wrong because I want to get this cam as well (upgrade from XR500).

EDIT: Tested with FCP and ClipWrap and FCP does indeed recognise the clip as 60p. See my later post.

Last edited by Cosmin Serban; May 7th, 2011 at 05:21 AM.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 12:38 PM   #11
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmin Serban View Post
From what I know, even if you do transfer the 1920 60p clips via Windows, they will be downgraded to 1920 60i in FCP. I hope I'm wrong because I want to get this cam as well (upgrade from XR500).
Pretty sure FCP doesn't downgrade to 60i ... I used Toast 11 Pro to convert .MTS files and it recognized them as 60p ... when converted to .MOV using ProRes 422 HQ file size was around 35GB (or was it 25GB) from the original 2.13GB MTS.

FCP shows the .MOV as 60p ... if they are being downgraded to 60i, then that must be the Sony transfer software doing that as the native .MTS are 60p. I never had to "de-interlace" at any point of my processing.

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Old May 6th, 2011, 03:48 PM   #12
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

You do know the HC3 is CMOS as well, right? So that rules out RS from a technical standpoint. I still think the increased detail may show flaws you might not have seen otherwise...

But that raises the difference in the two cameras stabilization methods - you might try turning off the "active" stabilization or whatever Sony calls it in the 560, and see if that helps any. The later 5xx (starting with tthe CX500/520) series introduced 3 way stabilization including the "roll" axis, so in theory that could introduce artifacts towards the edges if it isn't quite keeping up - don't have time to review your footage right now, but it's a thought.

As far as the importing, AFAIK PMB is Windows only, not sure if you can get it to work in with the boot camp Vista, but worth a shot I would think. NO loss is introduced by the software - it just stitches the .mts files together seamlessly.

I don't know if anyone found a solution to do it with Mac, but there was a small stitiching utilitiy someone put together for Windows if you search the DVi forums.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:09 PM   #13
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
You do know the HC3 is CMOS as well, right? So that rules out RS from a technical standpoint. I still think the increased detail may show flaws you might not have seen otherwise...

But that raises the difference in the two cameras stabilization methods - you might try turning off the "active" stabilization or whatever Sony calls it in the 560, and see if that helps any. The later 5xx (starting with tthe CX500/520) series introduced 3 way stabilization including the "roll" axis, so in theory that could introduce artifacts towards the edges if it isn't quite keeping up - don't have time to review your footage right now, but it's a thought.

As far as the importing, AFAIK PMB is Windows only, not sure if you can get it to work in with the boot camp Vista, but worth a shot I would think. NO loss is introduced by the software - it just stitches the .mts files together seamlessly.

I don't know if anyone found a solution to do it with Mac, but there was a small stitiching utilitiy someone put together for Windows if you search the DVi forums.
Ok rule out CMOS ... the HC3 doesn't use the same image processor ... since they are both CMOS would that point the finger at the image processor -- just too slow to deal with the resolution and 60 fps? Technically the HC3 only did 1440 and was interlaced.

The HC3 has image stabilization On/Off, the CX560 has Off/Standard/Active -- with my footage it was set to "Active" ... I'll try "Standard" next time out.

I did buy ClipWrap2 for Mac, but sadly it doesn't work with those .MTS formats ... I only get audio, no video when I convert/merge. But I think I should be able to get Sony software to work under boot camp, everything else does since it's NOT emulation like VMWare is and I have Intel based MacPro.
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Old May 6th, 2011, 04:51 PM   #14
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Sony's PMB software works on Mac under Bootcamp. Clipwrap under Mac should convert your .m2ts files to .avi for editing in FCP
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Old May 6th, 2011, 05:04 PM   #15
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Re: Sony HDR-CX560 rolling shutter and 2.13 GB file size limit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Junior Pascual View Post
Sony's PMB software works on Mac under Bootcamp. Clipwrap under Mac should convert your .m2ts files to .avi for editing in FCP
As per my response, sadly ClipWrap doesn't work with 60 fps 1080p video .MTS files -- produces audio only file, with no video.
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