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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 July 18th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #16
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The link to the SR1 hard drive model seems to be missed:
http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...er-HDR-SR1.htm

The article does claim upto 24mb/s recording (phew, what a relief).
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Old July 18th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #17
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This thing sure looks a lot like the HC3 camera. If I had to make a guess I would say it is almost the same with only the recording media and format as the main change. The new cameras seems to use a CMOS chip and it makes sense that SONY might use the same chip to try and bring the cost down. Is there really a whole lot that could be done to make a 1/3" CMOS chip look any better than the current cameras? The lens is still small and it is still a CMOS chip and a single chip. Unless this chip has a native 3840x2160 pixel count that can be sampled back down to 1920x1080 for higher detail from a bayer filter I do not see this camera as light years ahead of the HC3.

Perhaps when SONY says 60 minutes on a dual layer disk they mean that is how much time you can get at the lowest setting. Kind of like how some DV cameras would claim to be able to record 120 minutes at LP on a 80 minute tape. Perhaps there are multiple bitrates and 24 is actually the highest but with very short record times.

Can a camera based DVD drive even run at 24 mbits/s?

Avid Liquid can already edit WMV files including H264 in realtime while mixing with other HD and SD formats. I'm not sure how much different AVCHD is to H264 WMV files but it shouldn't be hard for Avid to add support. Of course as of right now Avid has not joined the AVCHD group so who knows.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:19 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
This thing sure looks a lot like the HC3 camera. If I had to make a guess I would say it is almost the same with only the recording media and format as the main change. The new cameras seems to use a CMOS chip and it makes sense that SONY might use the same chip to try and bring the cost down. Is there really a whole lot that could be done to make a 1/3" CMOS chip look any better than the current cameras? The lens is still
Hopefully it is more like an improved HC1 (but I guess not) with separate independent better iris, gain, shutter controls.

Yes, 1/3rd inch can be improved. Their are various noise reduction, global shutter, fillfactory, and sensor circuit techniques (not to mention Foveon like three colored pixels) as well as micro-lensing techniques. We can guess that Sony is using some of these already to a good extent, but one that it vary important is multi-slope and per pixel dynamic gain, good for extending latitude and for using a faster lens without blowing out. I have seen an article (CC I think) where a Sony boss mentioned something that sounded like these latitude extending features, and some of the Japanese marketing blurb (haven't seen the English doco) seemed to indicate this.

Depending on what Sony is doing, it should be possible to get a number of stops noise sensitivity and latitude.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 12:37 AM   #19
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Well, if these things have true 24p on them, then things could get pretty interesting.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 01:33 AM   #20
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How big are the CMOS sensors and even though officially recording type has been announced will these cameras have the capability of recording 1080i and 720p at a touch of the button? are all the cameras capable of recording in 24p? I don't think they would, I bet you that Sony and Panasonic have a prosumer card up their sleeves. I am looking forward to seeing that, oh BTW AVCHD is GOP based right?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 01:53 AM   #21
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I bet it will have that crappy "Cinema Mode" (i.e. CineFrame). Which is pretty sad, because the technology is right there. CMOS sensors can do progressive scanning right? 720/24p is a part of the AVCHD codec parameters. So why would it not have 24p capability? I'll tell you why. Sony has never offered 24p as an option for any of there consumer or prosumer lines and I don't think they will start now.

Don't bet on Panasonic making a comparable product with 24p either. It will completely destroy any market for the DVX100 and it will cut into the profits of it's reigning golden boy the HVX200.

Your best hope would be that Canon uses there AVCHD license and makes a 24p prosumer camera. It would definitely fill a gap in there line. Or maybe JVC will purchase the license and do something, I doubt it though.

Just because consumers want something doesn't mean the companies will listen, unless of course it benefits them.

It's to bad, because it would make things interesting. Also it would give aspiring young filmmakers something they could use well within a respectable budget.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 04:00 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Curtis
Barry - I think 6 mbit is definitely in the ballpark - just running the math:

The biggest issue I see is this - OK folks....how are we going to edit this stuff? Native NLE support is how many months away at best?

-mike
Adobe as well as other NLE software companies have already signed on to the AVCHD camp, so native editing support should be available by the time the cameras are shipping.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 04:55 AM   #23
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Specs from Sony Japan

I found some interesting info on the new UX1/SR1 specs page on Sony Japan's website.

UX1: http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer...feature01.html

SR1: http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer...feature01.html

The 2 cameras are nearly identical except for the storage medium. Both appear to have the same sensor/lens combo as the HC3, in addition to a DD5.1 built-in mic (or DD2.0 when using the stereo mic input) and 3.5" LCD. Both have a manual control ring at the front of the lens, which can be toggled between control of focus, exposure, or AE/white balance shift (zoom was not mentioned). Both have USB2 but no Firewire. Both support only 1080/60i in AVCHD mode. There is no mention of Cineframe or any other progressive recording mode. Both also have an SD mode, recording 480/60i MPEG-2 at 9/6/3mpbs.

The UX1 (DVD version) records AVCHD at a max rate of 12mbps (HQ+) mode, storing 27mins on a dual layer DVD-R or 15mins per side on a single layer DVD-R/RW. The lower rate modes are 9mbps (HQ, 35/20mins), 7mbps (SP, 45/25mins), and 5mbps (LP, 60/32mins). The recorded discs can be played in a PC, Playstation 3, or other AVCHD-supporting player, but not standard DVD players.

The SR1 (hard disk version) records AVCHD at a max rate of 15mbps (XP, 4:00hrs), and also records 9mbps (HQ, 7:00hrs), 7mbps (SP, 8:30hrs), and 5mbps (LP, 11hrs).

I guess anyone who was expecting 24mbps or 1080/24p will be a little disappointed now. In theory, given an ideal encoder, 12mbps H.264 would probably look as good as HDV's 25mbps MPEG-2. But given the realtime requirement and size/power limitations of these consumer camcorders, I don't think it will beat HDV.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 05:12 AM   #24
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Jason thanks for the info, this is a very predictable move for Sony, ofcoarse there would only be one recording type, which is 1080i60 but when a prosumer camera using the AVCHD comes out, then more features will be available like 1080p24 or 720p24, there would be no way a camera for consumers and costing US$1500 will have most of the features discussed.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 07:00 AM   #25
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Jason Livingston,

Thatís very confusing when Sony promised up to 24MBPS. Either these articles need to be corrected by Sony or this only means that one more AVCHD camcorder is on its way that will have a compression of 24MBPS.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:11 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jemore Santos
Jason thanks for the info, this is a very predictable move for Sony, ofcoarse there would only be one recording type, which is 1080i60 but when a prosumer camera using the AVCHD comes out, then more features will be available like 1080p24 or 720p24, there would be no way a camera for consumers and costing US$1500 will have most of the features discussed.
How hard would it be to implement other frame rates and resolutions? I'm guessing not that hard at all. Nor do I think it would be expensive. The fact that Sony wont do it is lame marketing BS.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #27
 
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Originally Posted by Tony Tibbetts
How hard would it be to implement other frame rates and resolutions? I'm guessing not that hard at all. Nor do I think it would be expensive. The fact that Sony wont do it is lame marketing BS.
1. 24p is NOT considered at any stretch, a consumer standard. These are CONSUMER camcorders. They are distributed by Sony Electronics, not Sony Broadcast/Professional.

2. Implementing multiple clocks is very costly. Just ask any camera manufacturer, or manufacturer of any timed device. 48Hz, 50Hz, 60Hz clocks all come at a price. The point of these cams is to be high quality but inexpensive.

3. Why any other resolutions? Sony, like most of the broadcast world, knows it's a 1080 world on the broadcast and display-purchase side from a consumer standpoint. This is part of why many of their cams offer HDMI out as well, making it easier for consumers to connect the cams directly to their 1080-ready displays.

But the most important thing to remember that seems to be getting lost in the discussion of the AVC-HD camcorders, is these are designed EXCLUSIVELY and only for the consumer channel.
It's not usable for broadcast at all, IMHO.
AC3 in-camera? C'mon...you guys know better than to believe these are for broadcast. They're mom n' pop cams.
Disc or Disk-based, 4 Megapixel stills, single CMOS imager, great price point...great for consumers.
No one had kittens like this over the HC3, why are you having kittens over AVC-HD?
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:08 AM   #28
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Okay I get all that. I thought you could get a progressive image off of CMOS chips. However, If AVCHD is "EXCLUSIVELY" a consumer format and 24p is not (yet) considered a consumer option. Why waste time implementing 720/24p into the specs of AVCHD? The cheapy Samsung HD has 720/30p. I understand these cameras are not meant for broadcast, but for amateurs and enthusiasts, 24p would be a good selling point. When I was 14 years old I bugged my parents ad nauseum to get a Canon 8mm camcorder that cost $1k at the time. Granted I had to pay for half (okay maybe like a 1/3rd), but still they could see my enthusiasm for filmaking and relented.My parents nor I would have been ablre to purchase something in the price range of the DVX. My point here is that for upcoming filmmakers a camera with 24p in the price range of $1500-2000 would be a godsend. Not to mention a great B camera to compliment other 24p cameras.

As I stated in a previous post, I think it just reeks of marketing BS. I don't think there is a major cost prohibitive factor at work here.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 10:46 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Tony Tibbetts
How hard would it be to implement other frame rates and resolutions? I'm guessing not that hard at all. Nor do I think it would be expensive. The fact that Sony wont do it is lame marketing BS.
From a quality issue 1280 pixels does not divide into 1920 pixels. But 1920 divides (using binning) into 3840 pixels, as does 1280 pixels. So, the sensor needs to be at least around 8mp on a bayer sensor, to get exact pixels. There is some penalty in sensor pad area fill factor, effecting noise floor and latitude. To get 720p from a 1080p chip requires some form of interpolation/sharpening normally.
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Old July 19th, 2006, 11:08 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Livingston
I found some interesting info on the new UX1/SR1 specs page on Sony Japan's website.

UX1: http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer...feature01.html

SR1: http://www.sony.jp/products/Consumer...feature01.html
Jason, thanks for this, it has been strange people haven't been quoting all the details. I imagine camcorderinfo will have to take the 24mb/s claim off their site. This is what I suspected, that they might stratify the market, and why I was surprised at the large gap of 1 hour per dual layer disk for one camera, and 24Mb/s rating for the other.

Douglas, whatever they have told you, or have shown you, is probably only the short term information/outlook (for the next 4-6 months) meant to keep people limitedly informed and not interfere with sales of the new cameras, and I suspect that 24mb/s, 24p, and Tru1080 will be reserved for prosumer models, late this year or into next (hopefully not NAB). The question is, will we ever see the HVX AVC Intra, or will that be reserved for true pro models (hopefully not).

Will 15mb/s AVC compete with 25mb/s HDV? There are advancements over HDV's mpeg2, if they choose to properly support them, but even then I don't know. For instance, 15mb/s is still 15mb/s VS 25MB/s HDV, how will scene changes (low light noise and motion) suck this up and be rendered. These changes are the extremes that tax low bit rate codecs the most, can h264 make up the difference. I think if h264 implemented fully and well, it might win in scenes with little scene change, and not in scenes with massive scene changes (like low light and movement) in this camera. So, still consumer, now if it can only render pictures like the birthday scene picture on it's web pages.
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