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Pro and consumer versions including PXW-Z150, PXW-Z100, PXW-X70 / FDR-AX100


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Old February 15th, 2015, 04:27 PM   #1
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xavc vs avchd

for those shooting with the 70, is the quality difference obvious between these 2 formats in the footage?
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Old February 16th, 2015, 01:21 PM   #2
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Re: xavc vs avchd

I would say it really depends on what you are doing with the video. For my part I have only shot in XAVC because I am doing greenscreen and color correction in post, which I would not attempt with AVCHD.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 07:22 PM   #3
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Re: xavc vs avchd

I haven't actually tried the AVCHD on the X70 because... why. But I used AVCHD a lot with the FS700 (and FS100, NEX 7, ...), and I have to say the XAVC on the X70 looks miles better to me. In fact embarrassingly better, given how much cheaper the camera is. It looks way nicer, more organic, richer... well I can't figure out exactly how to describe it, but I know it when I see it... ;-)

One thing that's clearly different is gradeability. Pushing a clip from the FS700 was something I generally learned not to do; on the X70, it's a different story due to the 10-bit.

So I'd say yes, the XAVC is well worth it. I mean, it makes sense; it's double the bit rate with otherwise the same codec (H.264). So if you have the choice, definitely pick the XAVC. Yes, it's a pain if your NLE doesn't support it, but transcoding is available.
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Old February 16th, 2015, 09:38 PM   #4
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Re: xavc vs avchd

supposed to be obvious but it's not. they look the same, exactly. even grading. and that's suspicious.
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Old February 17th, 2015, 07:53 AM   #5
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Re: xavc vs avchd

My final output is HDV 720p60, and YES, it looks better. The colors "pop" a bit more, even without grading or color alterating.

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Old February 18th, 2015, 07:04 AM   #6
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Re: xavc vs avchd

Here is my take. Showed two clips to a client. Both the same exact scene.

. One was XAVC while the other was AVCHD at the highest Bit Rate.

.Client choice the AVCHD scene with the word "Wow,"

Go figure.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #7
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Re: xavc vs avchd

^If you don't do grading, (AKA baking in a look with a picture profile) that's okay. But as soon as you start shooting flat, you'll need the extra bitrate XAVC provides.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 06:23 PM   #8
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Re: xavc vs avchd

Shooting with an AX100 I tell you that the avchd looks cheap along side xavc
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Old February 18th, 2015, 08:12 PM   #9
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Re: xavc vs avchd

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Originally Posted by Bruce Dempsey View Post
Shooting with an AX100 I tell you that the avchd looks cheap along side xavc

yes definitely, I agree. but that's XAVCS and most likely real on the AX100 . On the X70 the so-called 50mbps 10bit 4:2:2 of the XAVCL gives the same exact output of the AVCHD once transcoded. Even grading. Dunno where others get the idea that holds the color better.
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Old February 18th, 2015, 09:10 PM   #10
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Re: xavc vs avchd

AVCHD also microblocks in fast action scenes. That was my main complaint. Not enough data to hold a fast changing shot.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 12:03 AM   #11
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Re: xavc vs avchd

As I tend to do a lot of available-light shooting indoors at 1080p60, I'll add that the difference is VERY apparent to me. Where grain creeps in, the XAVC keeps up where the AVCHD gets blocky. Outside, or otherwise in good light, I'd have a hard time picking a winner.
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Old February 19th, 2015, 06:30 AM   #12
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Re: xavc vs avchd

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Originally Posted by Aaron Holmes View Post
As I tend to do a lot of available-light shooting indoors at 1080p60, I'll add that the difference is VERY apparent to me. Where grain creeps in, the XAVC keeps up where the AVCHD gets blocky. Outside, or otherwise in good light, I'd have a hard time picking a winner.
that's with the AX100 , no questions hands down.XAVC-S is much better than AVCHD for many many reasons, and it's obvious looking at the footage with or without glasses.

But the OP asked about the XAVC-L of the X70 , and that's where things get complicated. As you know the footage needs to be "converted", or "tranbscoded" (basically you run a software that will read the files and writes other files 5times bigger for the same XAVC). Right there you already "smell" something funny, no?
In the end the difference between the "manipulated" XAVC-L and the "native and ready to go" AVCHD are none. the output is exactly the same. same definition, same colors, same everything.

So XAVC works beautifully on AX100 and it's some sort of joke on X70.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 10:26 AM   #13
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Re: xavc vs avchd

Sorry if you cannot work with the XAVC files from the X70 natively, but there are programs that can handle it (Adobe Premiere, AfterEffects) and I have had no issues doing so. Regardless, transcoding either format to ProRes will not result in identical output since it is coming from the data in the original codec. It is essentially re-quantifying the data into a less compressed space to make editing easier. The more data you start with the better the output can be. Of course for some types of scenes the extra data might not be practically useful, and you may be better off using AVCHD if that better suits your workflow.
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Old February 20th, 2015, 11:53 AM   #14
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Re: xavc vs avchd

just tried XAVC-S at 60p from a Sony RX10 and it opens and plays in PP on a PC directly from the card. next will shoot some motion at 120p and see how it does slowed down....
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Old February 20th, 2015, 01:00 PM   #15
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Re: xavc vs avchd

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Originally Posted by Mike Buckhout View Post
Sorry if you cannot work with the XAVC files from the X70 natively, but there are programs that can handle it (Adobe Premiere, AfterEffects) and I have had no issues doing so. Regardless, transcoding either format to ProRes will not result in identical output since it is coming from the data in the original codec. It is essentially re-quantifying the data into a less compressed space to make editing easier. The more data you start with the better the output can be. Of course for some types of scenes the extra data might not be practically useful, and you may be better off using AVCHD if that better suits your workflow.
With Vegas (made by the same Company) you have to "transcode". No other way. and what you say makes sense if it wasn't for the fact that the "more data" are added by the software (Catalyst, also made by the same Company) after the fact. you start with (say) 100MB mxf and end up with 500MB mxf (same XAVC). then it takes forever, it will write the 100MB mxf again into the hard drive somewhere, plus the new 500MB. Result? the same as the AVCHD. Makes sense? no.
and the same is happening to the XAVC-L of the FS7.
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