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Sony NXCAM / AVCHD Camcorders
Sony HXR-NX100, HXR-NX70, NX30, NX5, NX3/1, HXR-MC2500, HDR-AX2000, etc.


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Old March 19th, 2010, 04:35 PM   #1
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SD Recording

Can anyone comment on the quality of the SD footage. I shoot dance recital's with a canon xl2, but this year need another camera. I deliver on DVD but woulld like the option of Blu-ray
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Old March 19th, 2010, 06:19 PM   #2
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I use to shoot on XL2 cameras. The quality of the SD footage is excellent. I've never been able with my XL2 to get as closed to what I've got with the NXCAM.

One of the big difference is that the image is much sharper and that the colors are excellent. I could compare the color to what you would get from a Panasonic DVX100.

I did not try to convert the MPEG2 into a MOV for FinalCut. If I require this I would probably try it with MPEG-StreamClip.

99% of the time I only need to create a DVD from the clip I've produced with the camera. In using Toast with the "Never encode" option it creates a DVD ready to use in a player.

I hope it helps.
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Old March 20th, 2010, 11:31 PM   #3
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Shooting SD footage with the NX5U

Last weekend I shot 17-1/2 hours of SD footage with my NX5U camera for Dance Competition. Day one (Saturday) I shot three sessions using 16GB SDHC cards one for each session, worked great. Day two I decided to shoot to the FMU128 Solid State HD since this shooting started at 8:00am and stopped around 7:30pm.

I used a PD170 last year for this event. I found that with the NX5U this year the color was vivid and solid, the image was much sharper and the depth of field was great. At 0db I was shooting around f4.4 - 5.2. That was about 125ft - 150ft from the stage.

I first used Toast to do the file conversion from MPEG2 to DV stream since FCP does not support MPEG2 format. I found that Toast was truncating the files by several frames so I could not link the files up properly on the time line since I was missing frames. I found that Square5 - MPEG Streamclip, worked great. Thanks to Adam Wilt for recommending this program in his January review on the NX5U. I was able to combine the clips and convert using the batch function. I first copied the clips to my external HD and then set up the batch function of MPEG Streamclip to do the conversion and linking. Once done all I had to do is render the audio in FCP.

The end product I delivered was much better than what I produced last year with the PD170. The image was sharp and clean. I'm looking forward to using the NX5U for the rest of my dance season this year.

I own 3 of the NX5U cameras. No problems at this point.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:00 AM   #4
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Hi Steve

which version of Toast and Streamclip were you using with which Mac OS and version of Final Cut Pro?

Cheers

Adam
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:03 AM   #5
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Shooting footage with NX5U

Hi Adam,

Currently I'm using Toast Titanium 10 Version 10.0. I know there is an upgrade but have not had time to upgrade. I have used the feature in Toast to back-up the HD AVCHD files and bring them back into FCP from DVD Back-up disks. It works great. I have not checked to see if it is truncating the file length since most of my clips are short. I will be doing some tests on that later after I upgrade to the latest version.

I downloaded MPEG Streamclip 1.9.2. Streamclip gives me the function to batch and link clips. I downloaded it on Monday and within a short time I had 17- 1/2 hours of footage being converted. As the batches were finishing I was laying converted clips down on the timeline, rendering audio and editing.

I currently use a 3 year old, MacPro quad core 3.0Hhz with 9GB RAM, OS 10.5.8, FCP 7.0.1

So far the only problem I am having is the timecode from the NX5U is not transfering with the clips SD and HD footage. When I shoot multi-cam events, it would be nice to have the timecode come in. Setting the TC to free run and linking the cameras is a great feature that at this time I can't reap the benefits.

Steve
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Old March 21st, 2010, 08:59 AM   #6
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Thanks guys for your input, looks like I am putting a order in.
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Old March 21st, 2010, 11:57 AM   #7
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Hi Adam,


So far the only problem I am having is the timecode from the NX5U is not transfering with the clips SD and HD footage. When I shoot multi-cam events, it would be nice to have the timecode come in. Setting the TC to free run and linking the cameras is a great feature that at this time I can't reap the benefits.

Steve
Time code is recognized by Edius Pro 5.12 but Vegas Pro 9 starts all clips at 0 as far as I can tell.

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Old March 21st, 2010, 02:57 PM   #8
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If you record SD with the NX5, does it record the same SD as the Z5? I mean the same codec as the Z5?

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Old March 21st, 2010, 03:41 PM   #9
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No, SD on the Z5,S 270 etc is DV. The SD on the NX5U is 9Mbps MPEG2 with Dolby Stereo sound, 480/60i, 480/30p or 480/24p depending on selection for the HD selection( since they are paired). Audio is at 256kbps so the combines is at the max for DVD files and higher than I would use on a DVD normally. But of course it makes possible an AVCHD files and an SD files suitable for making DVD's without encoding for a quick DVD

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 04:12 AM   #10
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Thanks Ron for the reply. Does this mean that it's easier to capture this MPEF2 files instead of the AVCHD? I other words you don't really need a powerful PC if you are going to use the NX5 for SC only.

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 08:10 AM   #11
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The SD is MPEG2 just the same as DVD files. There is no capture involved its a file transfer(copy) from the card to the PC. Your NLE will need to be able to edit MPEG files if you want to edit and it will have the usual degradation if you do much except cut with any re-encode causing a loss in quality. I don't think the output is as useful as DV. However it works great if there is no editing at all and it goes straight to DVD and the NLE, if used, does not re-encode.

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:54 PM   #12
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The SD is MPEG2 just the same as DVD files. There is no capture involved its a file transfer(copy) from the card to the PC. Your NLE will need to be able to edit MPEG files if you want to edit and it will have the usual degradation if you do much except cut with any re-encode causing a loss in quality. I don't think the output is as useful as DV. However it works great if there is no editing at all and it goes straight to DVD and the NLE, if used, does not re-encode.

ROn Evans
OK. Sorry for all the questions. Last one. You are saying that if you edit MPEG2 files and then burn the outcome to DVD you will loose quality. Right? What about if you edit AVCHD and then burn the outcome to DVD (no bluray) do you also loose quality?

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:21 PM   #13
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If you do cuts only editing in a program that does not re-encode the MPEG there will be no quality loss. However most programs will re-encode the MPEG especially if there is any colour correction etc then it will have to be re-encoded. This is where the quality will be lost. IF you edit in HD and then encode to SD for DVD the quality will be as good off the SD cards. Staying in HD allows more opportunities to edit at high resolution and then final encode for DVD will be from a high resolution file. There is obviously a big difference between SD and HD so it depends what you mean by a quality loss from AVCHD.

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Old March 22nd, 2010, 03:00 PM   #14
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And why would be DV more robust for editing than MPEG?
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 04:02 PM   #15
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DV is CBR 25mbps where compression is on a per frame basis. MPEG2 at 9mbps is VBR GOP where only the I frames contain all the information for that frame and the other frames( B and P frames) are predicted based on the changes from frame to frame. To edit in an NLE the NLE has to reconstruct each frame from this data , edit and then encode again for output. For DV the NLE has all the data on each frame though may still change format to RGB or YUV for editing. Fundamentally there is just more data to play with for DV than MPEG at this rate. At rates higher than 9 mbps MPEG then it would be comparable to DV but in the NX5U the SD is 9mbps I am sure to have a straight match for quick DVD production. Like rushes for the days shoot to take a quick look. They will also work for the task that Daniel has of going straight to DVD for short programs. Editing at this rate will put about 1 hour on a DVD max.

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