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Old January 17th, 2012, 07:24 AM   #1
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Codec and What Camera Help !

Hey Guys, Not sure if this is the right place to post this so if it's not sorry. Any help on this subject would go a long way for me.

I have been looking to get a new camera and I feel as if I have out grown the AVCHD Codec. What I mean by that is I feel like at the end of the day no matter what type of glass we put on the camera(VG20 for example) and keeping our gain at 0. we are still going to have noise due to the avchd compression.

I almost pulled the trigger on the FS100 but the AVCHD codec with the 24mbps cap bugs me. I then looked at breaking the bank with the Panny HPX250 with AVC-Intra 100mbps but after looking at some RAW footage off the camera i noticed lots of noise not sure if it was codec or something else. The guy that tested the camera said his gain was at 0. I'm scared to risk the ass kicking from my wife on another AVC formated camera that might still have the compression artifacts.

I have read great things about the XF100/105 from canon and the 50mbps codec with 4:2:2 and the camera seems to be at a decent price point but it just looks a little small and toyish, IMO.

I guess what I'm looking for is a codec with the least compression and even though AVC intra 100mbps is higher the the MXF I'm thinking it has a higher compression still and that will cause the noise and artifacts.

If your still reading this long post thanks for sticking with me, we are moving away from web videos and producing content that many people will see. So I guess i'm second guessing myself. Any help really would be appreciated.

~mike
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Old January 17th, 2012, 11:47 AM   #2
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Re: Codec and What Camera Help !

Michael, I don't think I would discount the HPX250. It will probably drop in price some. The AVC-Intra100 codec is pretty robust. The camera is so new I think there is not a lot of footage out there yet to view. I researched the Canon XF300 and it seems to be a fine camera but the codec looks a little "weak" to me and costs more than the HPX250. I have been shooting DVCPROHD for two years now with the HPX170 so that is the baseline that I am looking to improve upon. My ideal camera would be the HPX250 form factor with a global shutter, improved auto-focus which I sometimes use, 10-bit, capable of shooting 1080/60p and under $4,500.
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Last edited by Mark Williams; January 17th, 2012 at 02:47 PM.
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Old January 19th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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Re: Codec and What Camera Help !

Mark,
I agree that the HPX250 looks like an excellent camcorder. 10-bit data and 4:2:2 color encoding is impressive. But where do you see it being sold for under $4500?

- Ken
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Old January 25th, 2012, 06:57 AM   #4
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Re: Codec and What Camera Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
My ideal camera would be the HPX250 form factor with a global shutter, improved auto-focus which I sometimes use, 10-bit, capable of shooting 1080/60p and under $4,500.
Mark don't we all ! I guess where I may have got confused is that the HPX250 can shoot both DVCPro HD and the AVC-i codecs. If It can I guess the DVCPro HD codec would be my codec of choice. Not really sure what the specs are but like I said I'm trying to get away from compression the most I can.
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Old January 25th, 2012, 10:31 AM   #5
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Re: Codec and What Camera Help !

The AVC-I codec is superior to DVCPRO HD, it's is still offered is for legacy purposes, such as recording to Firewire devices and so on. The difference is that DVC records 1440 pixels horizontally instead of 1920 and is 8-bit.

The reason you might seeing noise in AVC-I footage is that noise which would otherwise be smoothed over by high compression gets rendered as there are plenty of bits to spare. I think the footage from my 370 looks grainy at times too, but then again I'm looking at a 2560x1440 computer monitor, if you're looking at a TV and sitting at a reasonable watching distance the footage is as clear and detailed as you could want.
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Old January 26th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #6
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Re: Codec and What Camera Help !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Williams View Post
I researched the Canon XF300 and it seems to be a fine camera but the codec looks a little "weak" to me and costs more than the HPX250.
The XF300 uses fundamentally the XDCAM 422 50Mbs codec and that is anything but "weak". The EBU gave it the same status as AVC-Intra 100 - "quasitransparent" and suitable for unrestricted broadcast acquisition. It seems to be becoming the HD acquisiton codec of choice for the BBC, who have bought XF300s at the lower end, and Sony PMW500s at the higher end. That's good enough for me.

I would choose any camera primarily on the basis of the front end and other features, secondarily on codec - important though that may be. I'd expect overal performance to be primarily influenced by the front end, and if codec choice is particularly important for whatever reason you can always add an external recorder.

As far as the XF300 v HPX250 goes, then I'd consider the main negative to the HPX250 in this category to be that the lens is servo in relation to the operation of the focus and iris. I'd expect that as inevitable for cost reasons in something in the AVCCAM/NXCAM ranges - but not for the market the XF300/HPX250 are aimed at.

Yes, you're right that it is less than the XF300 in terms of cost - but when a reasonable amount of memory is factored in, the last I looked the difference becomes much smaller. (Don't forget that for the HPX250 you need twice as many GB for the same running time.)

As far as 10 bit goes, then at this price point it's irrelevant. The noise level of all cameras at this price point swamps any advantage that 10 bit recording may give.

And in the respect of noise the basic problem is 1/3" chips when you try to get 1920x1080 photosites onto that area. In this repect the EX cameras still lead the pack by a long way, and I'd also say that the 1/2" v 1/3" advantages are more significant overall than the codec advantages of the XF300 or the HPX250. (And a nanoFlash can always be added to an EX for full broadcast compliance.)
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