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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old October 11th, 2005, 01:58 PM   #1
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12-bit to 16-bit

Ultimately, what do you loose in terms of quality when recording on either of these settings?
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Old October 12th, 2005, 03:08 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh Woll
Ultimately, what do you loose in terms of quality when recording on either of these settings?
Josh,

Do you HAVE a manual for your camera? My DVX-100A contains info regarding this issue on pages 44-45.

I would suggest to everyone here to read your camera manual. This combined with the excellent info on this site and experimentation will allow you to approach every shoot with the utmost confidence that only the intimate knowledge of your camera will provide.

I learned that lesson once again this weekend after posting my 24p question. Did I read the manual, yes, did I read the posts, yes, did I experiment with that function, no. And I got to the shoot clueless, scared to death and totally without confidence in handling the director's 24p request. Thankfully I knew enough to show her a preview of the stuttering and non-stable effects of 24p and she agreed to go with 30p. Otherwise, I would have been totally screwed.

Again, read your camera manual over and over again, experiment with your cam and use this forum, (as incredible as it is) as an additional resource only.

Wishing you all the best in all of your future endeavors. Stephanie
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Old October 12th, 2005, 04:55 AM   #3
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12-bit vs. 16-bit audio? With 12 bit you lose a bit of potential frequency response (due to the lower sample rate of 32 kHz vs. 48 kHz (probably on the order of 15kHz at the high end vs. perhaps 22 kHz high end) and you get a bit more granularity in the dynamic range.

Most listeners using home TVs will not notice a difference in the final product, especially if the material is mainly voice, but if you are using excellent mics, recording music, and playing back the audio on a good Hi-Fi system, someone with golden ears can hear the difference.

I would not worry about it much unless you are doing serious music recording. But the proof is in trying both modes to see how it sounds to you. The 4 channels available in 12-bit mode are valuable for some situations.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 06:13 AM   #4
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Just to add to what Don says, the 12 bit format uses non-linear coding for the audio, so if you can maintain healthy recording levels the degradation due to fewer bits is not usually apparent. The sampling rate of 32 KHz can be more noticeable, but in general, the recording environment, microphone type and microphone placement have a bigger effect.

Richard
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Old October 12th, 2005, 02:41 PM   #5
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This site is truly amazing

You all have given me wonderful information and I appreciate it very much!
I do wedding videography and I think using the 12-bit audio during the ceremony will suffice because this last wedding I tried to switch back and forth. I'm thinking now it wasn't such a good idea because I'm going to have a lot of audio editing to do because of the noise in the front mic picking me up from switching front to rear, rear to front.

I have not tested so much with 30p function on the camera. This guy I spoke with doesn't care for the 24p feature on the XL2 because of the issues you mentioned Stephanie, but I think the picture looks amazing (yes, more so when the camera is not moving), but when it all boils down to it, pick and choose, pick and choose because there will always be good and bad choices along with unexpected situations on every shoot.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 03:43 PM   #6
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more questions about 16bit??????

I read somewhere where if you use "16bit, 48kHZ" recording that it uses all of the audio space available on the DV cassette. (Or something to that effect). Anyhow, if you do "fill up" the audio storage space on the cassette, does this mean that you "cannot" add more audio (quality sound music, effects, narration, etc) in post? I know that some NLE programs boast a high number of audio tracks to add sound layering so I am having a hard time understanding this. If the answer is "yes you can" add more audio to your projects in post, then when (if at all) will audio "quality" begin to be compromised? I mean with the overall limit for storage space on final completed DV projects you can only expect so much quality in sound when you keep adding more and more, right? And maybe other parts of the project (video tracks, etc.) would be compromised ??? I have no experience NLE experience "yet" and these kinds of details are probably making me "overthink" things.
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Old October 12th, 2005, 08:46 PM   #7
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DV tape standard format provides a fixed amount of space for audio tracks. Turns out that 2-channel 16-bit 48 kHz uses the same space a 4-channel, 12-bit, 32 kHz audio!

If you use 48 kHz, 16-bit you use all the audio space on the tape.

But if doing NLE, you can do what every you want on the PC, limited only by the capability of your NLE software and computer speed/storage. Once edited, you could dump the edited video and audio back to tape.

Note that many NLE program do not support firewire capture of 4-channel audio

When DV cam out many camcorders had the ability to record 12-bit audio to the second pair of channels later, if you used 12 bit audio for the initial recording. However, with the growth of use of NLE this feature is of limited to no value to most people.
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