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Panasonic AVCCAM Camcorders
AVCHD for pro applications: AG-AC160, AC130 and other AVCCAM gear.


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Old January 15th, 2009, 06:06 PM   #31
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Martin, Edius V5 will not run AVCHD from my SR11 realtime. I need to convert to HQ then of course it runs just fine. However Vegas is my prefered for a single track AVCHD as the file can be played native on the timeline mainly because the preview runs at a reduced resolution. On auto on my Quad core it is about 1/4 resolution. I am sure the same would be true for Panasonic files. As to quality that I mentioned in my last post its a little difficult to compare like with like. The newer consumer cams from Sony and Canon of course record full 1920x1080i and I think this difference is noticable at times compared to HDV with non square pixels. Unfortunately of course the playback display will also play its part. Feeding 1440 anamorphic to a native 1920x1080 display means some scaling somewhere in the chain compared to native 1920x1080 over HDMI. Scaling of course goes in the other direction with 720 displays!!!! And then there is the issue of interlacing. My ideal would be a 1920x1080P60 and I just wonder how long I will have to wait for that.
To add to the advantages:-
Stopping and then starting means no over recording pieces one wants to keep!!! Its always a new file.
In camera editing( at least on my Sony I assume this is also possible on the 150, split/trim/delete etc)
Playlists of clips. Quick edit can be done in camera.
On my Sony and I think the Canon's these playlists can be copied to the flash card.
etc, etc
The issue of backup does not seem much of a problem once addressed with a process and the advantages are many. Just wish there were more pro style cameras than just the 150.

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Old January 16th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Martin Duffy View Post
Anyone out there using the 150 and Edius 5?

I am interested to know how long it takes to down load a 16gig or 32 gig card to my computer and would I then need to convert the file?

What device do I need on my computer in order to read the file?

I am running a 3 gig dual core PC with 2 gig ram. It flies.

thanks

Martin.
1. I use Vegas 8.0c with my HMC-150s footage. I edit native AVCHD files. I can also mix native HDV files and it works perfectly. Don't have Edius.

2. Card to computer download times seems pretty variable, based on the card, the reader and the computer. Im getting 16 GB in less than 10 minutes, but I honestly don't remember exactly. It's fast enough I don't have to plan for it or think about it. Getting a good reader is very important, I have had at least 15 readers, and one of my older ones turns out to be fastest for me. I have some new Extreme III cards I might test over the weekend. I normally use Transcend or Ritek.

3. To view native files without the NLE, you need VLC or something similar.

4. A dual core will be a little slow with AVCHD. Whatever you get with HDV will be 1/2 to 1/3 with AVCHD. Usable but slow. The only real problem is that native file playback stutters and is frustrating on a slow (any dual core) machine.
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Old January 16th, 2009, 02:06 PM   #33
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Jeff,
Could you describe your PC. I have a dual core Intel but was going to upgrade to a quad. It's kind of confusing trying to get up to speed & this would help.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 07:47 PM   #34
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As far as I can see, hard drives are clearly far cheaper than tapes based on a $10 miniDV tape. They are less than half, and that allows a redundant backup drive for each archive. That is better than tape, a non-backed up tape has no redundancy.
I don't know anyone who pays $10 for a miniDV tape: more like $4-5 for most folks and as little as $2.50 each if you shop around. That works out to about 20 cents/GB for a full tape, which is roughly twice the cost of hard drives at today's prices. But since hard drives are unreliable for long-term storage you have to make a backup of any critical data on drives, which negates some of the cost advantage over tape. Plus hard drives require regular testing and possible replacement to ensure data integrity, which is part of why major data centers often back up their hard drives on...tape.

No question that solid state recording and hard drive storage are becoming cheaper, but the cost comparison to tape is still debatable unless you would expect to use a whole lot of tapes. In a typical year I might use 100 tapes which cost me $250 and hold (say) 50 hours worth of footage I want to keep, which would require two hard drive archives costing a total of at least $150. If I was buying new cameras today I might consider that minor cost difference as a factor, but it's not a make-or-break issue.

What does get my attention is the long record times for AVCCAM on large SDHC cards, and that's a big point in favor of these cameras compared to HDV. I'd consider it a nuisance to have to deal with the current AVCHD workflow and don't expect that to change much any time soon, just as HDV is still best edited by converting to an I-frame intermediate. What really matters here is the quality of recorded images and things like low-light sensitivity, which appear to be fine with the AVCCAM cameras.

By the way, my point about using multiple recording solutions with a tape-based camera is that you can't necessarily do the opposite with a solid-state camera. With HDV I can record to tape and a hard drive simultaneously and walk away with both the tape master and live data at the end of the shoot, which has some advantages depending on your needs. Different strokes for different folks, but there are still some benefits to tape-based cameras. Solid state cameras are starting to look pretty good, but not necessarily for cost reasons.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #35
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as crazy as this sounds, the HMC-150 really appeals to me, as an EX1 user. I love my camera, but I HATE HATE HATE CMOS. I am almost thinking of selling it and my Z1
and pick up a pair of 150s and be totally tapeless. now that is VERY appealing.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 10:20 AM   #36
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as crazy as this sounds, the HMC-150 really appeals to me, as an EX1 user. I love my camera, but I HATE HATE HATE CMOS. I am almost thinking of selling it and my Z1
and pick up a pair of 150s and be totally tapeless. now that is VERY appealing.
Hi Scott,
What kind of PC or Mac do you have? It seem that most are saying that you really need a hi speed CPU (duo core or quad) to work effectively with AVCHD. When I had a Z1, file conversion was necessary (CinaForm in Vegas) to edit. Do you find this to be true as well?
Thanks, George
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:21 PM   #37
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I am running FCP 6.0.5 on a mac pro 2.66 quad. transcoding to pro res not a big deal for me, since i start my footage import when I get home from each shoot, even if it's 1am :-)
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Old January 19th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #38
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Hello Martin,

I have an HMC-150 & use Edius 5

My workflow is:

Copy the AVCHD files to my hard drive
Rename them in sequential order (001,002 etc...)
Back up the AVCHD files
Convert the orginal files to Canopus HQ format
Delete the redundant AVCHD files
Import the Canopus HQ files into Edius

If I ever need to recover a project, I will re-spawn the Canopus HQ files from the backed up AVCHD files.

This way I am backing up the smaller files original files and using the HQ files for editing which play like DV inside of Edius.
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Old January 27th, 2009, 02:03 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Hello Martin,

I have an HMC-150 & use Edius 5

My workflow is:

Copy the AVCHD files to my hard drive
Rename them in sequential order (001,002 etc...)
Back up the AVCHD files
Convert the orginal files to Canopus HQ format
Delete the redundant AVCHD files
Import the Canopus HQ files into Edius

If I ever need to recover a project, I will re-spawn the Canopus HQ files from the backed up AVCHD files.

This way I am backing up the smaller files original files and using the HQ files for editing which play like DV inside of Edius.
So Tom, if you are doing multiple shoots on a weekend, that you can't get to edit right away, are you them simply dumping the AVCHD files on a hard drive (and back these up) and then reuse the card again for the next shoot?

Then when it's time to edit you transcode the AVCHD files into Canopus HQ files for editing?
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Old January 29th, 2009, 11:40 AM   #40
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If you're used to editing HDV in FCS2 then AVCHD won't seem as plug'n'play.
Transcode to a file seven times the original size.
You better make sure your computer can handle ProRes before you go AVCHD.
Oh, and your computer needs to be an INTEL mac or FCS2 won't let you play....
This is a great camera to get your system ready for the new RED Scarlet camera.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 02:10 PM   #41
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I'm very excited about this camera and workflow. I can see myself doing quite a bit of in-camera editing and saving a huge amount of HD space and P*ssing around time looking through bad takes.
The sample footage on a 42 inch LCD TV at the Earl's Court Video Show last week was stunning.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 02:18 PM   #42
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It did look good, didn't it Dom? I see they all had the 151 in its 720p mode, where it performs at its best.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #43
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I'm very excited about this camera and workflow. I can see myself doing quite a bit of in-camera editing and saving a huge amount of HD space and P*ssing around time looking through bad takes.
The sample footage on a 42 inch LCD TV at the Earl's Court Video Show last week was stunning.
Hi Dom,

The HMC150 has three assignable user buttons. You can select one of them to delete the last clip. When you select it, it has a safety so you do not accidentally delete a clip. It's a great feature and I thought of it when I read your post.
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Old March 16th, 2009, 05:46 PM   #44
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Those are recording format specs, and don't necessarily reflect the resolution of the camera as a whole. In the case of the HMC150, the chips are 960x540, but pixel shifting makes it effectively around 1200x650 for luminance. That's not bad, but it isn't 1920x1080 overall.

The EX cameras are top of the quality tree for under $5,000, but they are more expensive than such as the 150. I'd look long and hard at the new JVC that's just been announced, which is expected to compete head on with the 150 for price. The main advantage it seems to offer over the 150 is using the same codec as the EX, rather than AVC-HD. That should be much easier to edit and not need transcoding as AVC-HD generally does.
The imager resolution differences concerns me. I have a XHA1 which has a 1440x1080 sensor and the HMC150 960x540 is closer to 720x480 SD (pixel shift magic notwithstanding). Does the HMC150 look real soft compared to the A1 on a 40" HD monitor?
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Old March 17th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #45
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The imager resolution differences concerns me. I have a XHA1 which has a 1440x1080 sensor and the HMC150 960x540 is closer to 720x480 SD (pixel shift magic notwithstanding). Does the HMC150 look real soft compared to the A1 on a 40" HD monitor?

I had XH-A1s before converting over to the HMC-150s and did a lot of comparison shots.

I have a 40" LCD and 50" Plasma HDTVs. On the 40" size, the difference is not very significant but is visible. On the 50" size, the reduced detail is much more pronounced.

The real question is what do they look like in 720X480 NTSC DVD Widescreen on the 40" or 50" HDTV. Answer; they are about the same sharpness wise.

Also, I don't agree at all with David Heath comparing the new JVC camera with the HMC-150. The JVC is a 1/4" sensor compact camera vs. the HMC-150 being a 1/3" sensor full size camera. Totally different animals.
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