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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Cineform and .M2t files

I need assistance I am thinking of buying the HVR-MRC1 Memory Recording Unit. If I use the unit and record to m2t file then convert to CF 1920x1080 is that the same as taking form the cam using HDlink and converting to 1920x1080? When it is on the tape is that still m2t?

Also Is AVHCD better than m2t?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 01:56 PM   #2
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AVCHD never lived up to the promise of higher quality. It has the resolution advantage 1920 vs 1440, but most AVCHD camera still compress more quality out of the image that the older HDV (M2T) cameras. It is still M2T on tape. Shooting to an HDV solid state recorder is doesn't gain you any quality, just workflow benefits.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Dave so your opinion is the M2T files leaves more quality in its compression.. What is your opinion of the Cinedeck I thnk is what its called. I have read a little bit about it?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #4
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No quality gains with M2T solid state as the camera is still compressing the same. A CineDeck will allow you to record at pre-compression quality (or so very near to.)
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Old July 12th, 2010, 03:12 PM   #5
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Thanks Dave I jusr checked the price. Ouch!
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Old July 12th, 2010, 04:50 PM   #6
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Or you can get an Intensity card for your PC for HDMI captures for the same quality, sub-$300.
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Old July 12th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #7
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Ok the Intensity card sounds like a good idea. Question if i take the video off the cam tape via HDMI to the Intensity card. isent that the same as taking th M2T files form the tape or is the camera compressing as it takes it off the tape via firewire?
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Old July 12th, 2010, 06:39 PM   #8
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It compresses to fit on the tape. Only live HDMI captures have extra quality.
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Old July 14th, 2010, 06:14 PM   #9
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Maybe we need to clarify a some things for the poster.

Number 1, I think there might be some confusion about using HDMI ports. There's a big difference between doing live feed from the HDMI port while shooting and using the HDMI port after you've already shot to tape. Feeding a live signal out the HDMI port is uncompressed video (assuming that your camera works that way; not all of them do.) When you have already recorded to tape, there's no real difference between what you get from the firewire and HDMI ports. At that point, they are just different pipes for passing the tape recording to the computer. If it is on tape, it is already compressed to m2t.

Number 2, the MRC units do not change any of this. The reason to get an MRC is that they record to a file rather than (or in addition to) tape, which means a much faster way of moving files to the computer for editing and also a way of avoiding the tape drop-outs which HDV cams seem prone to. If you want to record uncompressed video out of your camera's HDMI port, you'll need something like a Nanoflash, not an MRC. (And if you think an MRC is expensive, wait til you price a Nanoflash).

Number 3, you gain nothing by converting HDV camera tape or files to AVCHD. If your camera shoots AVCHD, then you might or might not have better video than you get with mt2 from another camera. It depends on the cameras and what you are shooting. Some of the newer AVCHD cams, which shoot 24 Mbps AVCHD (mpg4), can give better video than other cameras' mt2 (mpg2) footage. There have been several threads on DVInfo dealing with this and having with links to testing and comparisons. Here's one example of what I see as a possible improvement when using an AVCHD camera. When I pan with my NX5 (which shoots 24 mbps AVCHD) I don't see any of the motion artifacts that sometimes turn up when panning with my FX1000 (which records HDV to an MRC unit). Is this true of all AVCHD cameras? No.

Number 4: you asked about whether there is any difference between using HD Link to capture tape from the camera into Cineform files or instead doing a conversion on the files copied off an MRC's CF card. I would think not. You are still transporting the same bits from the camera to the processing software and you've only changed the pipeline that feeds that data. It's still the same data.

Number 5, if you are considering a live feed from a camera's HDMI port to a Blackmagic card, you also need to factor in the somewhat expensive and bulky RAID hardware that you need to make this not-very-portable solution work. If you've got the hardware, I've heard this set-up can work very well.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 04:45 AM   #10
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Hi Jay, I think you hit the nail on the head. I have a FX1000 and a Z5U the z5u says i can use the MRC but I never knew I could use one on the FX1000 also.. How are they working for you?

See I was not sure when recording to tape what format was coming off the tape before I converted it when I captured it to a CF file. everyone seems to be ranting and raving about AVHCD? I was looking to increase the speed of my workfow while still converting to a CF file.

I am not trying to do live capture at the moment..
So what you are saying is using the MRC gives you the same quality as capturing to tape and then converting to a CF file.

Thanks Bruce
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Old July 15th, 2010, 05:39 AM   #11
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Ok I have another question. Does first light work with M2T files? The reason I ask is if I work with M2T files in PP then export to master CF files will I gain or loose any thin other than time?

I do not want to loos the color corecting capibility of First Light..
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Old July 15th, 2010, 09:24 AM   #12
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FirstLight only works with CineForm files.
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Old July 15th, 2010, 06:49 PM   #13
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Just to clarify further.

For people coming late to this party, we've been using "CF" as an abbreviation for two different things: for "Compact Flash" (the recording medium used by the MRC units) and for "Cineform," the software we pass m2t (and AVCHD) files through. It willbe clear from context which way we are using the abbreviation.

Bruce, when you use an MRC unit, you get whatever your camera feeds out of its firewire port. If that is m2t, the MRC records that. If it is SD video, the MRC records that as avi.

You take that file and feed it through HDLink using the "Convert Tab." HDLink's initial tab is for capturing from tape and converting to a Cineform file as that process goes along. Instead of doing that, you copy files from the MRC to your hard drive (using Sony's RU_Util program that comes with the MRC) and then you have NeoScene or NeoHD convert your m2t to a high-def avi you can then work on with First Light before opening it in PPro for editing. When you bring that Cineform/FL file into PPro, the FL meta-data comes with it. Change it in FL and at it also changes in PPro. (However, changes you make in PPro do not affect your FL changes because the FL changes are part of the source file and PPro does not modify your source files.)

As David explained, you must convert the file to Cineform before you can work on it in First Light. You cannot open a standard m2t file in First Light.

Apart from the time taken to run these conversions, you only gain with this. Cineform files give you a more robust color space and avoid artifacts that can creep in when you apply too many PPro filters and effects to native HDV and AVCHD files, or when you compress and uncompress the files as you send them through several applications. (The things Cineform does to make the files more robust is what makes Cineform conversions larger than the source files.) Of course, if you only bring files from the camera, make a few simple edits and then burn to DVD, Cineform might not be much use to you.

When you edit and then render your edits in PPro, the First Light changes are baked into the rendered file. Again, the rendered file is not your source file. It is a new file. You can still go back and change the timeline files PPro and/or First Light but those changes will not affect the exported file. Well, it won't unless you are using the Adobe Dynamic Link as when, say, you import a sequence from your PPro project as a timeline or asset into Encore. In that case, changing the file in FL changes it on the Premiere timeline which, in turn, changes it in Encore.)

Oh, and when you pull files from the MRC (or other tapeless media), Cineform normally does not change the m2t original (unless you decide you want it overwriting the originals). Usually, the Cineform conversion will co-exist with your original m2t files. If something gets really screwed up in you editing, you've still got the original files on the system.
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