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Old October 18th, 2009, 09:32 PM   #16
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Well here's a surprise

Hi all

Well, tonight I was fiddling with the Panny yet again. I re-formatted the card and did some more test shots. Popped the card into my computer's card reader and tried the MainConcept transcoder again. And it worked! I didn't change any settings on the camera, simply re-formatted the card and shot new footage.

I transcoded to AVI because that's what I'm going to need for quickest camera-to-web workflow in Premiere. Files look good, didn't see any moire (I shot some rooftops in bright sun)...Yay! Things are looking up!
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Old October 19th, 2009, 02:50 AM   #17
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Next time you have trouble, try using the AVCHD restorer utility. I have recently heard of some people having problems with the transcoder and after running the restorer on the card they were able to transcode.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 07:23 AM   #18
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Hi Sherri

I found also that it's critical to do all your card formatting in the camera.!!! It's easy to decide to use the computer to delete files but it seems to mess up the format!!

You can also transcode from your HDD BUT you have to copy the entire folder structure from the card to the computer, not just the MTS files. MainConcept expects to see the folder as it is on the card.

Nice to see you are winning!! I transcode all my footage to AVI 16:9 Anamorphic and the results are excellent. Even on a brand new 42" TV it's very hard to tell the difference between footage on a DVD that has been rendered directly from the AVCHD and that from the transcoded AVCHD. Of course rendering the transcoded footage is way faster too!!!

Chris
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Old October 19th, 2009, 04:25 PM   #19
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I believe it even states somewhere in the manual (or maybe the FAQ) that formatting of the card must be done in camera.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 11:31 PM   #20
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Yes, it says it in the manual, and I put it in bold in The HMC150 Book too -- always format the cards in the camera.

It's a hard habit to get into, because the cards come pre-formatted as FAT32, but -- too many reports of issues, hassles, glitched frames, all that stuff, and it usually all goes away if you format in-camera. So -- bold, underlined, and highlighted, always format your cards in the camera, especially before first use.
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Old October 19th, 2009, 11:47 PM   #21
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Not to worry, my friends. I always format in the camera.

I had a compact flash card flake out on me several years ago after I had erased all of its contents on the computer and put it in my Minolta 7D without re-formatting. Right in the middle of a shoot, the card just stopped dead in its tracks and the files I did manage to record were corrupted. So I learned the hard way that the format button on the camera is your friend!
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:43 AM   #22
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Hey Sherri,

I'm using Adobe Premier CS4 on all these videos using the H.264 codec. I'm not trying to hijack your thread, but maybe it will help to alleviate some of your problems...not sure.

I just realized to my surprise that all of these low light videos I posted were shot with the gain set at 24db. To me, from the statements I've read, you don't want to go above 12db, so after reading the manual and figuring out how to change it, the rest of my videos were shot with the max at 12db. But, the following videos were shot in full auto, auto gain control, and because of the low light I'm suspecting all at 24db:

YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Low Light Test #1
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Low Light Test #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 30p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 24p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 30p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 24p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HA1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HG1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 50 & 25% Slow Motion Raining Car Action #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 50 & 25% Slow Motion Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 75% Slow Motion Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Shutter Speed & Slow Motion Test
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Handheld Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HE1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog

I don't think the above videos look bad at all at 24db, personally. What do you guys think?

Here's the rest of the videos shot with the gain maxed out at 12db, but these aren't all shot in the dark like the above ones. These you'l notice are tests of the gain, shutter speeds, auto gain control vs. manual gain control, digital zoom, white balance, and chroma levels, as well.

YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/2000 Shutter, Manual Gain 0-12db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/1000 Shutter, Manual Gain 0-12db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/500 Shutter, F7.2 - 12db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/250 Shutter, F11 - 0 db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/120 Shutter, F11 - 0db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Full Auto, Manually Adjusting Iris Dial
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - AGC Vs. MGC 1/2000 Shutter
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - AGC Vs. MGC 1/1000 Shutter
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/2000 Shutter Speed, High Gain to 34 db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Auto White Balance Presets
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Digital Zoom Test
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Chroma Levels from -7 to +7 = Saturation

All of the above videos are being uploaded here: UTV REPORT for download if you want the uncompressed files to watch on your computer versus YouTube. The dates of 10/12, 10/14, and 10/15 are all shot using 24db gain. And, 10/18 are the ones listed immediately above this text.

All of the videos aren't uploaded to the server yet, but I think all the 10/18 ones are already. The others are uploaded as we speak. You'l also notice that the videos on 10/18 are much larger than the rest. The reason for this is I outputted them from Adobe Premier at full 21mbps, instead of 6 mbps for all the rest. I can't tell much difference...can you guys? I'm not sure it's worth the extra size, download and upload time personally. I've found too that the best way to play these to see issues is at full screen, not the standard YouTube size.

I hope this helps...if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. These were things I wanted to know before buying the HMC40, but I couldn't find out there, so I bought it. :)

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2009, 11:12 AM   #23
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Hey Chris,

Thanks for the video links, you saved me a lot of work. I normally go through those kinds of tests on new cameras but haven't had the time with the HMC-40.

After spending the weekend reviewing old footage, shooting new footage and scrutinizing the final results, here's what I came up with as my "problem." And since I am not as technically proficient as some of my forum-mates, I'd welcome suggestions on how to fix the problem or maybe it's something that can't be fixed at all.

I took my worst moire-laced clip from last Thursday - the green wavy roof - and watched it in several times in several different programs: VLC, Elecard, Windows media player, PowerDVD, etc. Played the clip at nearly full screen. Saw the waves in some programs, others played the clip fine. (yes, I know that the programs could be tweaked for interlacing, de-interlacing, etc., but I left them on default settings for comparison's sake.)

Since the clip played fine in some of the programs, I deduced there was nothing technically wrong with it. But when I dragged the player windows down to 576x324, which is the size of our web site's player online, suddenly there was moire all over the place. I realize compression (we use h.264, VBR of .065 to 1.5 mbps) is going to degrade the video quality, but this was before compression was added. I've never seen such moire and artifacting at that size as the Panny clips exhibited. The widescreen size is proportional so what's causing the degradation?

OK, still assuming there was nothing wrong with the original clip, I brought it into Premiere Pro CS4. Playback in PPCS4 showed the dreaded wavy roof lines. After rendering in the Adobe Media Encoder, the lines were still there. I haven't delved into the AME to see if I can set new encoding parameters, but that will happen with my new round of testing.

The interesting thing to note here is that the Panny HMC-40 is the ONLY camcorder I've had this moire problem with. I've had Sonys, Canons and an earlier Panny consumer AVCHD camcorder that have given me great video and never a problem in Premiere, even sized for the web.

I'm really stumped here as to what's going on.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherri Nestico View Post
Hey Chris,

Thanks for the video links, you saved me a lot of work. I normally go through those kinds of tests on new cameras but haven't had the time with the HMC-40.
Yeah, I totally understand. I wanted to see these sorts of things before buying it, but I couldn't find it, so I just sprung for it and tried it out. I like it so far...
Quote:

After spending the weekend reviewing old footage, shooting new footage and scrutinizing the final results, here's what I came up with as my "problem." And since I am not as technically proficient as some of my forum-mates, I'd welcome suggestions on how to fix the problem or maybe it's something that can't be fixed at all.

I took my worst moire-laced clip from last Thursday - the green wavy roof - and watched it in several times in several different programs: VLC, Elecard, Windows media player, PowerDVD, etc. Played the clip at nearly full screen. Saw the waves in some programs, others played the clip fine. (yes, I know that the programs could be tweaked for interlacing, de-interlacing, etc., but I left them on default settings for comparison's sake.)

Since the clip played fine in some of the programs, I deduced there was nothing technically wrong with it. But when I dragged the player windows down to 576x324, which is the size of our web site's player online, suddenly there was moire all over the place. I realize compression (we use h.264, VBR of .065 to 1.5 mbps) is going to degrade the video quality, but this was before compression was added. I've never seen such moire and artifacting at that size as the Panny clips exhibited. The widescreen size is proportional so what's causing the degradation?
I wonder if this has anything to do with the difference between square pixels or widescreen pixels. I've been wondering this myself. In Premier when I start a new project, it has square pixels or widescreen pixels for 1080/60i. In 720/60P is just square pixel progressive.
Quote:

OK, still assuming there was nothing wrong with the original clip, I brought it into Premiere Pro CS4. Playback in PPCS4 showed the dreaded wavy roof lines. After rendering in the Adobe Media Encoder, the lines were still there. I haven't delved into the AME to see if I can set new encoding parameters, but that will happen with my new round of testing.
I'm wondering if it either has something to do with the initial setup of of Premier, either (non-anamorphic) square pixels or anamorphic widescreen pixels. Or, have you tried a faster VBR. Default Youtube HD settings in Premier is 6 mbps, so maybe when you do it at 1.5 mbps, it's not able to catch up quick enough. I have no idea...just throwing out ideas.
Quote:

The interesting thing to note here is that the Panny HMC-40 is the ONLY camcorder I've had this moire problem with. I've had Sonys, Canons and an earlier Panny consumer AVCHD camcorder that have given me great video and never a problem in Premiere, even sized for the web.

I'm really stumped here as to what's going on.
Hopefully we can figure it out...maybe I'll go out and shoot some video of white picket fencing and screens too to see if our output settings or something is different and fixes the issue. Can you tell me or give me the links to these "bad videos" you're mentioning where it's really bad, and maybe I can duplicate the same problem to help you fix it?

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #25
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Hey Sherri,

I just made the video you have at the beginning of this thread full screen and it's very pixelated, unlike my videos I've uploaded to Youtube. Do you have to resize your videos manually for your site or does it operate like Youtube? Even my lowest light at 24db gain don't look like that...I'm wondering what your output settings are that are causing that.

What setting are you shooting in? 1080/60i?

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2009, 04:02 PM   #26
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Hey Chris

That was shot in 1080/60i then downconverted to SD 720x480 mpg (1.2121). SD files were imported into Premiere then output for the web via Adobe Media Encoder at 576x324 (h.264, 29.97fps, progressive, vbr 1 pass target 0.65/max 1.5 mbps).

Note, the AME settings for the bitrate are a corporate standard and I have to use them to keep bandwidth costs down. But even so, I've never had a really noticeable problem until I started using the HMC-40.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:31 PM   #27
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Here's some videos I went out and shot quickly today to try to replicate your aliasing:

1080/60i: YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 White Fence - Panning PH1080/60i
720/60P: YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 White Fence - Panning - PH720/60P
Just a random drive back handheld while driving my truck, trying to reproduce the jello effect everyone talks about with cmos sensors: YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Handheld driving on center console

I've got another one uploading now that was the same fence zoomed in closer, and the aliasing seemed to diminish. Anyone know what's causing this?

Chris
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:51 PM   #28
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Hey Chris love that scenery. I'm moving to Tennessee!! :)

I see you were able to somewhat replicate my picket fence situation in those two videos. I shot one snippet of the fence from across the street and the other right at the park entrance. And, as you can see in my case, the moire didn't diminish the closer I got - I think it actually got worse. I was panning faster than you were, too, which made the "blooming" of the picket fence more prominent.

Grrr. I hope there are no picket fences in Cozumel, Panama or Costa Rica, which are the stops on my upcoming cruise.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:12 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sherri Nestico View Post
Hey Chris love that scenery. I'm moving to Tennessee!! :)

I see you were able to somewhat replicate my picket fence situation in those two videos. I shot one snippet of the fence from across the street and the other right at the park entrance. And, as you can see in my case, the moire didn't diminish the closer I got - I think it actually got worse. I was panning faster than you were, too, which made the "blooming" of the picket fence more prominent.

Grrr. I hope there are no picket fences in Cozumel, Panama or Costa Rica, which are the stops on my upcoming cruise.
Hey Sherri,

No doubt it's frustrating to have a nice new camera that's not performing as expected. I'm hoping that we can figure it out via codec or something that fixes it. I think my raw files had the problem, though, too, so unless there's some way of doing it with the iris or something along those lines, I'm not sure how to fix it. Maybe Panasonic will come out with a fix internally via firmware upgrade or something like that. Has anyone else had these problems? I don't normally shoot white fence rails, so I'm not as concerned, but I'm mainly concerned about panning fast with it, non tripod, so I bought a Bogen 561B monopod to help steady the shots and help eliminate any inherent cmos problems.

Chris

Chris
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Old October 21st, 2009, 07:34 AM   #30
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Here's the zoomed in version: YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Zoomed In Aliasing - Moire shot in full auto, then 1/2000 shutter speed and the rest in full auto.

Chris
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