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Old January 2nd, 2010, 02:38 PM   #1
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Is it possible to smart-render AVCHD from the AG-HMC40?

Is there any software that will allow me to smart render the AVCHD from this camcorder? With the Cacnon HF100 I'm able to do that with the bundled software, Pixela Imagemixer, but that software won't accept files from the HMC40, probably because of the higher bitrate that is not consumer grade AVCHD.

The consumer AVCHD Panasonics came with HDWriter, which was awful but at least allowed smart rendering. The AVCCAM Viewer is even more pathetic than HD Writer, it barely allows to put clips together but it won't even allow cutting parts of them.

The only NLE that I know has AVCHD smart rendering is Cyberlink Powerdirector 8 but it also doesn't allow it for the HMC40 footage.

Last edited by Sebastian Alvarez; January 3rd, 2010 at 08:46 AM.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 11:38 AM   #2
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I don't really know of anything yet. AVCHD is still pretty young, and software tools for handling it aren't nearly as plentiful or robust, as for handling HDV, at least not yet.
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Old January 3rd, 2010, 07:58 PM   #3
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Sony Vegas will as long as you don't alter the clips in any way. Just drop on the time line so they touch each other and render out to Sony AVC M2ts 1920 x 1080 50i. Two 1 min clips will render in under 5 secs. I just tried it to make sure with HMC 152 and Canon Hf10 footage.

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Old January 4th, 2010, 04:49 PM   #4
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Sony Vegas will as long as you don't alter the clips in any way. Just drop on the time line so they touch each other and render out to Sony AVC M2ts 1920 x 1080 50i. Two 1 min clips will render in under 5 secs. I just tried it to make sure with HMC 152 and Canon Hf10 footage.
I don't know how it works in PAL footage, but for NTSC footage Vegas' AVCHD smart render is pathetic. It will smart render part of the timeline, but at some point it's going to start recompressing way more than the few frames around the cuts that are necessary, even if none of the events have filters or pan/crop applied to them. Also, since the Sony AVC encoder included in Vegas doesn't support more than 16 Mbps, the parts that it recompresses would be at that bitrate instead of the 21 Mbps VBR of the Panasonic. Vegs is my favorite NLE, and its HDV smart render is perfect, but its AVCHD smart render is terrible.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 05:14 PM   #5
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Fortunately, at least with full bore AVCHD, smart render isn't nearly as significant as it is with HDV. I'm pretty sure Barry Green did some careful testing and found that in-camera AVCHD (again, at full bore) is very close to as good as the 35Mbps MPEG-2 from an EX1 (about the same), which essentially tells you that there just isn't going to be a whole ton of visual fidelity lost on a single generation of re-compression (not even close to as much as with HDV, 24Mbps MPEG-2). You can even tweak up some compression settings (if you are willing to slow the encode down a bit), to get compression that's a bit more efficient (same bitrate, while achieving slightly better image quality fidelity) than the camera likely can do in real-time. You probably wouldn't want to use AVCHD for multiple (several) generations of re-compression though.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 05:36 PM   #6
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For what it's worth, visually i cannot tell the difference between the smart rendered footage and original. You could also try Tsmuxer to join the clips almost instantly, you have more options for AVCHD selection there. I use this to join clips for playback in WD Media player hardware box direct to HDTV.

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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:25 PM   #7
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You could also try Tsmuxer to join the clips almost instantly, you have more options for AVCHD selection there.
Yes, but with TS Muxer I can't trim edges of each clip, I can just join them together, which is good, but still not what I want. I want a frame cutter such as VideoRedo works for MPEG2, which allows me to just cut what I want and still will recompress only a few frames around the edges. Obviously this is not for any professional project, but just for travel and family videos that were shot with the right settings and don't need any color correction.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:38 PM   #8
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Fortunately, at least with full bore AVCHD, smart render isn't nearly as significant as it is with HDV. I'm pretty sure Barry Green did some careful testing and found that in-camera AVCHD (again, at full bore) is very close to as good as the 35Mbps MPEG-2 from an EX1 (about the same), which essentially tells you that there just isn't going to be a whole ton of visual fidelity lost on a single generation of re-compression (not even close to as much as with HDV, 24Mbps MPEG-2). You can even tweak up some compression settings (if you are willing to slow the encode down a bit), to get compression that's a bit more efficient (same bitrate, while achieving slightly better image quality fidelity) than the camera likely can do in real-time. You probably wouldn't want to use AVCHD for multiple (several) generations of re-compression though.
Yes, but also there's the issue of time. If I just want to trim edges of clips, I don't want to have to waste the time and electricity that comes from the processor running at 100% all night long. If I edit the footage from my Canon HF100 with the Pixela software, it takes me longer to edit than with Vegas, but when I save the movie it takes only a few minutes even if it's one hour of footage. Not meant for professional jobs, but great for some travel and family videos.
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Old January 4th, 2010, 08:49 PM   #9
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Yes, but with TS Muxer I can't trim edges of each clip, I can just join them together,.
TSmuxer has a trimmer function so you can trim the edges and join the clips without rerendering.

This is the version i use.SmartLabs tsMuxeR

Rambo
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