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Canon XA and VIXIA Series AVCHD Camcorders
For the Canon XA25, XA20, XA10 and all VIXIA / LEGRIA Series AVCHD camcorders.


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Old September 23rd, 2013, 06:28 AM   #1
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MP4 vs. AVCHD

Any thoughts/comments on recording in one format over the other?

My impression from reading is that the main reason the go with MP4 is if you will be editing on a MAC or with another NLE that has some difficulty with AVCHD.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 06:43 AM   #2
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Re: MP4 vs. AVCHD

AVCHD is to all intents and purposes mp4 with added features. It uses the mp4-avc/h264 compression codec, but with added features such as menu recognition for compiling disc structures and various other things that I can't remember the technical details of.

So the video quality will be basically the same according to the settings you are using, but if you intend to write discs, then you will be better to use AVCHD, but for streaming I usually stick with mp4.

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Old September 23rd, 2013, 04:38 PM   #3
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Re: MP4 vs. AVCHD

Final Cut Pro has no problems at all bringing in the 50 fps AVCHD from the XA20.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 06:23 PM   #4
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Re: MP4 vs. AVCHD

I've also wondered what the purpose of the MP4 option is.
My clue from Canon's literature is that it's maybe to provide a "web ready" codec.
Surely there's more to it that that???
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 06:40 PM   #5
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Re: MP4 vs. AVCHD

Not sure where I read this, (or maybe I'm just making it up!!) But I thought it was a case of them both being H.264 but with different containers. The reason for the MP4 container is to break away from the restraints of the 28Mbps limit of the AVCHD version & end up with a slightly higher quality.
With that said, i'm not sure I can tell any difference between the two but I also haven't done any side by side tests trying to see which one is more robust.
Again, I am not sure where I read or heard that, so can't be sure it is in fact the case, so excuse me if I am leading anyone astray.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 01:51 AM   #6
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Re: MP4 vs. AVCHD

Here's some more info re use of MP4 vs AVCHD.
According to Phil Bloom ( The better late than never Canon C100 review PLUS video review of the Canon XA25! | Philip Bloom )
Setting the cam to 24 mbs MP4 slow motion setting will produce true overcrank slo mo.
The playback will be 1/2 speed at full 24 mbs data rate and no audio track.
Slo Mo techniques using AVCHD involve recording @ 60 fps, then reconforming to play at 30p with the data rate being halved, i.e,- 28 mbs being reduced to 14 mbs after conform.
For me, that's a big deal to have in cam production of true overcrank slow motion with full data rate.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 06:29 AM   #7
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Re: MP4 vs. AVCHD

Quote:
Final Cut Pro has no problems at all bringing in the 50 fps AVCHD from the XA20.
Which version of FCP? Is it edited native AVCHD or transcoded to ProRes or some other format?
Does it have to be imported from the camera/media or can it deal with stand alone video files only?

I've also read that AVCHD uses a different option within the H264 spec (CABAC?) that enables better display of motion, but also requires more processing power than similar bit-rate MP4 implementations..
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