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Panasonic LUMIX GF / GH Series
1080p24 AVCHD on a Micro Four Thirds system camera.


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Old September 19th, 2012, 05:29 PM   #1
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GH3: H.264 vs AVCHD - editing workflows

Hello Lumix Heads,

I have been using the GH2 for about a year, and my main frustration with the AVCHD files it produces is how slow they edit in Premiere. At first I was really impressed with the fact that Premiere edited AVCHD files natively - but once I started editing really complex projects, the responsiveness of the software definitely starts to lag. And I am using a brand new Mac Pro with maxed out RAM!

I was about to purchase a nVIDIA Quadro 4000 - since the CUDA architecture is supposed to speed up Premiere. However, I am wondering if the H.264 files of the GH3 will edit smoother in Premiere, compared to AVCHD files.

Does anyone have an opinion on how the 2 formats compare when it comes to editing speed and software responsiveness. Video quality aside, will the new H.264 format be a reason to upgrade to the GH3 in this regard?

Thanks,
Angelo
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Old September 19th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #2
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Re: GH3: H.264 vs AVCHD - editing workflows

AVCHD is H264. AVCHD is a form of H264 with limitations in terms of bitrates. It was made as a subset so camera companies would have a somewhat standard to stick to.

You will likely not see a difference at all.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #3
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Re: GH3: H.264 vs AVCHD - editing workflows

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelo Ucciferri View Post
Hello Lumix Heads,

Does anyone have an opinion on how the 2 formats compare when it comes to editing speed and software responsiveness. Video quality aside, will the new H.264 format be a reason to upgrade to the GH3 in this regard?

Thanks,
Angelo
I'm guessing that the ALL-I codec (which is an intra-frame process) should be a lot easier to edit in Premiere.
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Old September 19th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #4
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Re: GH3: H.264 vs AVCHD - editing workflows

Maybe but it a bit too early to tell. You can convert AVCHD in Premiere to an intra format now to see how much better it works. On my 17" quad core MBP converted material doesn't enhance the editing experience as much as one would expect. Scrubbing through the timeline for me is a bit better but it is nowhere near the night and day experience I would have expected. Even converting to ProRes while smoother isn't as quick as I would have expected.

Even with native AVCHD, editing in Premiere has not been all that bad of an experience for me. It is mainly the scrubbing that drives me nuts. Playback is flawless even with layers of effects and CC. With my supported OpenCL graphics card I can playback native AVCHD with 2 to 3 layers in RT at full HD quality. The third layer does start to drop frames depending on the complexity of how those layers are blended together.
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Old September 20th, 2012, 01:03 AM   #5
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Re: GH3: H.264 vs AVCHD - editing workflows

Premiere was built to take advantage of the GPU of CUDA cards as well as processor and motherboard RAM. So if you are not currently CUDA enabled, yes, you will see a more difficult time just having the processor doing all the work. I would definitely buy as new and as much CUDA enabled video card as you can find and can afford. After installing I think you have to go into your preferences and set them to recognize your CUDA enabled card. After which you should see a remarkable improvement in how Premiere handles your workflow.
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Old September 25th, 2012, 01:55 PM   #6
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Re: GH3: H.264 vs AVCHD - editing workflows

I have found that AVCHD edits a lot smoother in FCP X than Premiere. It handles it better and there is less rendering at the end.
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