For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test... at DVinfo.net

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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 August 21st, 2010, 04:39 PM   #1
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For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...

For those of you NX5U users trying to get the best quality encode from AVCHD to ProRes, I did the following test between the FCP 7's Log & Transfer using ProRes 422 and Adobe CS5's Media Encoder (also using ProRes 422).

Visual examples are posted below…

Results: The FCP version of the Pro Res encode was overall a sharper image and the Adobe Media Encoder version was slightly softer…as if the entire image was being filtered through a very slight Gaussian blur. I first noticed this when toggling between still frames on my HD display monitor.

And there is something else going on…when I blew up those same still frames in Photoshop, the Adobe Media Encoder stills all contained a CHROMA BLEED… a tearing effect which almost had an interlace look to it at times.

I checked all my settings and this was 1080 29.97p AVCHD footage as camera source and being converted to the same ProRes equivalent. I tried modifying the encodes on Adobe by going from 8 bit rendering to 24 bit rendering…but in each case the chroma tearing effect was the same. This effect has been observed by other users in previous months posts, but I wanted to confirm it here as it seems it has still not been addressed.

It could actually be that overall softening effect in Media Encodia may be caused by this chroma bleed.

As much as I want to use Media Encoder, because it preserves original source camera timecode, I also want to get the sharpest picture possible. And until there is an upgrade to fix this issue with Adobe Media Encoder, I plan on using either FCP 7's Log and Transfer, or Clipwrap…which in my tests had exactly the same sharp image as the FCP encode did.

I will be also posting this to the Adobe Forums so hopefully they will take note...John


The clips below are still frames transferred from FCP to a TIFF, then blown up in Photoshop, and then I excerpted a relevant portion.

Observe the brown wood border against the white cloth. In the Adobe Media version, you will observe a chroma tearing effect.

In the jester's face. observe the blue border bleeding edge versus the white, Also the red mouth shows some bleed in the Media Encoder version.

In the closeup of the eye, look at the facial detail on the cheek. FCP version is slightly sharper but you may have to expand the image to see it.

Red versus black…you'll note the horizontal red line has a wider bleed on the Adobe version.
Attached Thumbnails
For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...-brown-wood_white-cloth-ame-prores-422-500-percent.png   For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...-brown-wood_white-cloth-fcp-prores-422-500percent.png  

For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...-jester-ame-prores422-500percent.png   For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...-jester-fcp-prores-422-500-percent.png  

For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...-red-black-ame-prores422.png   For those NX5U users encoding to ProRes 422, check out the results of this test...-red-black-fcp-prores422.png  

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John Vasey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 23rd, 2010, 01:08 PM   #2
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It seems there's still no perfect workflow for this camera on the Mac if you need timecode. The drawback with Clipwrap is that there's no preview or in/out selection. And the ProRes quality with PP is unacceptable. It still surprises me that this chroma bug is rarely mentioned when people are touting PPCS5 for AVCHD editing (which is there even if you don't transcode). It's a shame because I love PP's metadata and transcription features. Maybe FCS4 will solve these issues.
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 10:48 PM   #3
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I appreciate your time and effort on posting this. My work has lately been AVCHD transcoded to ProRes on the Mac system for much of the time and never realized it's still the best optimized option for anyone who needs to work with ProRes on a Mac. Hopes ProRes source clips originated from FCP would work normally once imported and put in PP CS5's timeline, or wouldn't it?
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Old August 25th, 2010, 10:10 AM   #4
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BTW, I have posted my test results in the Adobe Premiere Pro Forum and have also submitted an official bug report to Adobe on this encoding issue.

As for your question, I would assume that if you encoded to ProRes using FCP....and then wanted to import that clip into Premiere Pro...that there "should" be no issues with the picture quality. As the problem seems to be focused on the encoding process only.

Matt makes the important note about timecode. Premiere Pro CS5 does retain camera timecode as it imports to ProRes...something that FCP in its current version is unable to do...but we all hope that will be corrected in the next version of FCP. I also tested Clipwrap encoding to ProRes...and picture quality is identical to doing it in FCP...and Clipwrap is working on preserving accurate timecode. In fact I submitted some test footage to Clipwrap a few weeks ago. If they issue an update soon, I'll use that over FCP's encoder. Whether they will offer a preview function and the ability to encode just a portion of the clip...I can't answer that as I did not bring it up with them. But hopefully it's been requested by users in the past and they are working on that.

And I agree with Matt, I don't know why this issue has not seen more visibility and attention by Adobe...but I've done my due diligence in posting it and writing a bug report. TIme will tell if they address it in an update. But I have seen no official acknowledgement of it on their end.

John
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Old September 8th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #5
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Nobody's mentioned it yet in this thread, but I've been using Toast to convert my NX5 clips for editing.
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Old September 8th, 2010, 02:50 PM   #6
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Hi, Alan...

Does Toast convert to ProRes or another codec? And does it preserve original camera TC? I do have Toast 10 so I would like to hear more about your experience with it...John
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Old September 12th, 2010, 07:50 AM   #7
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The problem I found with toast is, it was dropping frames in the beginning and end of the clips. If I tried to connect two clips that went together, there were frames missing. I went back to L&C.

Steve
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