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Sony NEX-VG10 / VG20 / VG30 / VG900
Interchangeable lens AVCHD camcorders using E-Mount lenses.


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Old October 5th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #496
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It's a little weird how Sony has done this.
The cam is shooting 30p, but dividing each frame into 2 fields and outputting the file as interlaced.
Seems like there is some confusion as how it should be presented to the NLE- as 30p, or 60i, how the NLE and various player software are interpreting the frame rate, etc.
It is possible to get artifacts if the settings or NLE/player interpretation are incorrect.
For my workflow, trial and error have shown me that my best result is for Cineform to interpret the footage as 30p for conversion to CFHD.avi 30p, then edited on a CFHD 30p sequence.
For the moment, I am steering clear of doing anything much with the raw AVCHD. I am not happy with how they look on playback, on my system anyway. Watching the Cineform and Blu Ray versions was a revelation for me.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 09:27 PM   #497
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Sony has been using this method -- PsF -- since the days of CineAlta where 24p was placed in a 48i container -- which is 50i slowed down slightly.

The point is an interlace file can universally be used. It is INTERLACED video that has no time difference between fields. In the old world this could not cause problems.

Now it can if you don't treat it right.

Anything that needs to deinterlaced video will do so. However a good deinterlacer will notice there is no motion between fields and use Weave deinterlacing which combines both fields into one frame.

Software typically only uses the fastest method which is bob that cuts vertical rez. in half. As I said, who knows what the QT player uses?

With the exception of iMovie 09, NLEs these clips should pass through through either a 30p or 60i timeline. However, it's best to use a 30p Sequence.

With some NLEs you can batch change all clips to progressive. My iMakeFullHD software does this for a folder of iMovie 09 imported (AIC) clips.

PS: Attached are 2 pix of the long and short zooms fully extended. You can see how much rotating the zoom ring must force the long zoom to move in and out.
Attached Thumbnails
Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder-img_0346.jpg   Sony NEX-VG10 AVCHD E-Mount Lens Camcorder-img_0337.jpg  

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Last edited by Steve Mullen; October 5th, 2010 at 10:23 PM.
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Old October 5th, 2010, 10:15 PM   #498
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Originally Posted by Steve Mullen View Post
With the exception of iMovie 09, NLEs these clips should pass through through either a 30p or 60i timeline. However, it's best to use a 30p Sequence.
It does seem to be a bit tricky.
If I tell the Cineform software to identify the AVCHD footage as 60i, and put the resulting files on a 60i timeline, the images have artifacts which I associate with interlacing.
If I tell the software to identify the raw clips as 30p (not to "deinterlace" them, but simply to interpret the AVCHD as 30p), and put the resulting Cineform files on a 30p timeline, everything looks terrific.
I had expected this to not make a difference, but it seems to.
Go figure...
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Old October 6th, 2010, 02:21 AM   #499
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Which NLE are you using?

I'm as puzzled as you.

Finally worked-out a way to burn 1080 to a DVD-R as a AVCHD disc. My goal was to avoid the use of an intermediate codec as is needed on Macs. And, it plays on a Sony BD player.

WOW!

We are talking "pro" quality HD from a $2000 camcorder.

Nothing I've seen on the net prepared me for this.

PS: Begas Movie Studio can import ProRes 422 or DNxHD to which I add a 5.1 soundtrack and then make a BD. Because there is no way to monitor the mix -- I do the simple: stereo to L & R, narration to C, and stereo music to the rear. Crude, but fun.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:54 PM   #500
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Which NLE are you using?
WOW!
We are talking "pro" quality HD from a $2000 camcorder.
Nothing I've seen on the net prepared me for this.
I'm using CS5
VG 10 footage on BD...Priceless
Yeah, it knocked my socks off too.
I know it's an unpopular view, but I really think AVCHD sucks for anything beyond acquisition purposes.
I will continue to edit and do serious previewing in Cineform HD codec.
But I am finally well satisfied that the camera/lens can produce outstanding images.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 09:59 PM   #501
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Hi Steve,

Why are you interested in avoiding using conventional BDD disks?
And also, have you posted a review of this camera yet? Love to hear your evaulation.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 10:41 PM   #502
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I'm not sure why you use CineForm, but there is not only no QUALITY advantage to transcoding to an intermediate code there is a quality disadvantage.

When native editing is used, the AVCHD is decompressed in the NLE to RGB/YUV 422 just as each frame is needed.

When you use an intermediate codec, first AVCHD is decompressed to RGB/YUV 422. Then it is recompressed. No matter the claims, this second recompression can NOT improve quality. It can NOT even preserve quality because it is a second cycle of compression. You are ediing second generation video. Moreover, the file has now greatly expanded. So more storage and a decrease in quality! In the NLE, the intermediate codec is decompressed in the NLE to RGB/YUV 422 just as each frame is needed.

All NLEs work with RGB/YUV 422. In no way is quality lost by keeping the source files as AVCHD until the instant each frame is needed.

Likewise, it makes NO difference when 4:2:0 is converted to 4:2:2. In fact, it is better to wait and do a direct conversion from 4:2:0 to 4:4:4 rather than do it in two steps.

If rendering is needed, no good NLE ever renders to AVCHD, HDV, XDCAM EX, etc! This is one of the big myths. Folks worry their graphics will be compressed to AVCHD, HDV, XDCAM EX, etc. Nope.

FCP and MC force a render to ProRes 422 or DNxHD or uncompressed.

Moreover, FCP NEVER EVER uses rendered files during export. Every frame starts with the AVCHD source. MC can use renders, but not if you delete them before export.

This is why I'm checking quality with Vegas. Each AVCHD frame is decompressed to RGB/YUV 422 and recompressed to AVCHD.

You use Premiere and its code base is old, so it MIGHT render to AVCHD -- but I can't believe it does. Adobe lacks its own Intermediate codec so perhaps it uses DVCPRO-HD which cuts horizontal resolution and is only 100Mbps. Buying CineForm's codec to use within Premiere makes sense.

Having said all this, Premiere can NOT play AVCHD on an 2.53GHz I5 without audio stuttering and never has been able to do real-time transitions -- unless you have an Nvidia board.

Vegas does a better job, as it slows down on transitions.

Bottom line, there is VERY GOOD reason to use an intermediate codec -- performance!
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:01 AM   #503
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I'm not sure why you use CineForm, but there is not only no QUALITY advantage to transcoding to an intermediate code there is a quality disadvantage.
I use Cineform for HD editing because in my personal experience with CF (beginning with Premiere Pro 1.5) it does the best job of preserving the original image quality throughout the editing process, including (and particularly) all the way to any and all of the final delivery formats required.
I have never experienced a quality decrease as a result of using the CF DI.
It also often provides better quality previewing during editing, and does increase the NLE performance/speed compaired to editing highly compressed acquisition formats.
For me, there is no real downside.
Conversion of the raw files is quick and automated, and that's really the only extra step.
The rest of it is simply the ordinary workflow of editing, and rendering out to delivery format.
An awful lot of commercial productions, including many Hollywood movies utilize CF DI.
I am using CS5 on a Win7 64, 12GB Tri RAM, Intel i7, nVidea CUDA GPU system. There's no question that it's dealing with native formats impressively these days. But I have a bulletproof workflow with CF that produces terrific, consistant results at the delivery end.
So far, I remain unconvinced that native format editing would be an improvement in any way
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Old October 7th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #504
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Quote:
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I am using CS5 on a Win7 64, 12GB Tri RAM, Intel i7, nVidea CUDA GPU system. There's no question that it's dealing with native formats impressively these days. But I have a bulletproof workflow with CF that produces terrific, consistant results at the delivery end.
So far, I remain unconvinced that native format editing would be an improvement in any way
You're using CS5 on an i7 system with CUDA.....and you don't edit native?? I'm sure CF is great, but surely you don't need it anymore? Have you tried native edit, I'm looking to go to CS5/CUDA because it seems like it can chew through AVCHD with multiple tracks and all kinds of color correction like butter......is that not the case?
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Old October 7th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #505
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I was a big fan of CineForm and know the folks well. They provided an real-time engine to Premiere that was NECESSARY. The fact it used a great codec was fine with me.

But, then they started pushing that MPEG and AVC had to be transcoded to keep quality. which simply is not true. So performance was the key. But with CUDA there's no need since -- as you point out -- it screams thru AVCHD!
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Old October 7th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #506
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Originally Posted by Mike McKay View Post
You're using CS5 on an i7 system with CUDA.....and you don't edit native?? I'm sure CF is great, but surely you don't need it anymore? Have you tried native edit, I'm looking to go to CS5/CUDA because it seems like it can chew through AVCHD with multiple tracks and all kinds of color correction like butter......is that not the case?
Yes...
That is indeed the case, but all of that simply has to do with the editing experience being more smooth, fast, and capable.
It has no bearing on the inherent problem with AVCHD of maintaining final image quality as you apply effects, complex graphics, color correction, maybe apply a Magic Bullet Looks "look" to an entire sequence, etc.,and then finish it off by transcoding to a variety of delivery formats.
I have used native AVCHD edit on short, simple "trim & stitch" pieces, then out to web format. Looks fine.
But, even Adobe "World Wide Evangelist" Jason Levine quickly mumbles some caviets about native editing when discussing the "no need for DI anymore" topic.
Certainly, the bottom line is that if whatever you are doing looks good enough to you, then it's as good as it has to be.
But, my view is that AVCHD is a lossy codec, and Cineform, ProRes, etc. are substantially less so.
Steve Mullen is the first person I have ever heard make the claim that editing in AVCHD actually provides BETTER final image quality than Cineform. Even Adobe has not gone quite that far with their enthusiasm.
I should add that a lot of what I do ends up being delivered on DVD. The Cineform workflow to get from interlaced HD to DVD is excellent, and has consistantly provided me with the best looking DVDs I have ever made.
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Last edited by Robert Young; October 7th, 2010 at 07:05 PM.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 07:46 PM   #507
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It has no bearing on the inherent problem with AVCHD of maintaining final image quality as you apply effects, complex graphics, color correction, maybe apply a Magic Bullet Looks "look" to an entire sequence, etc.,and then finish it off by transcoding to a variety of delivery formats.

But, my view is that AVCHD is a lossy codec, and Cineform, ProRes, etc. are substantially less so.
Steve Mullen is the first person I have ever heard make the claim that editing in AVCHD actually provides BETTER final image quality than Cineform. Even Adobe has not gone quite that far with their enthusiasm.
I should add that a lot of what I do ends up being delivered on DVD. The Cineform workflow to get from interlaced HD to DVD is excellent, and has consistantly provided me with the best looking DVDs I have ever made.
Well this is very interesting, I'm no engineer, but I'd sure like to know what the best workflow is. It's one area that has always caused confusion. What Steve is saying makes sense if the AVC is decompressed into RGB/YUV 422 anyway....not sure that recompressing again makes any sense? Especially with the massive transcode files that get created and eat up tons of disc space. Guess I need to experiment more.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 08:14 PM   #508
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Well this is very interesting, I'm no engineer, but I'd sure like to know what the best workflow is. It's one area that has always caused confusion. What Steve is saying makes sense if the AVC is decompressed into RGB/YUV 422 anyway....not sure that recompressing again makes any sense? Especially with the massive transcode files that get created and eat up tons of disc space. Guess I need to experiment more.
I'm not an engineer either, but
AVCHD is a highly compressed acquisition codec, never intended to be an editing format.
It is very lossy and if you beat up on it in post with effects, color correction, transcodes, etc. it will show it.
Storage is dirt cheap. The larger file size for CF is not a big deal at all.
If you are doing simple editing (trims with an occasional crossfade, etc), or if it's all going out to the Web, it's not a big deal to edit AVCHD in CS5.
It's all in the eye of the beholder. If you are happy with the results of your AVCHD edit, how does it get any better than that?
It's not rocket science, you can use your own judgement :)
IMO, the "ultimate truth" of these things is elusive. People have different opinions and experiences. A lot of different approaches work well for different things. Which is REALLY better- 30p or 60i, P.C. or Mac?- answer: all of the above.
At the end of the day, it's about finding out what you like and what works well for the things you are doing.
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Old October 7th, 2010, 09:44 PM   #509
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I avoid doing anything with raw AVCHD footage in Premiere, and use CFHD instead, because of this: CS5 and AVCHD chroma bug
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Old October 8th, 2010, 01:38 AM   #510
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I avoid doing anything with raw AVCHD footage in Premiere, and use CFHD instead, because of this: CS5 and AVCHD chroma bug
Interesting.
I haven't followed that particular issue, but I have certainly had the impression that CS5 AVCHD previewing does not look quite as good as the Cineform.
It's not that the AVCHD looks bad, it's more like: Hmmm... looks pretty good, vs. Wow... Oh, yeah!
Not a very scientific analysis, but enough to convince me for the time being anyway.
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