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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 May 29th, 2011, 06:46 PM   #16
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Re: Camera settings

Please forgive me for taking so long to get back with all of you and thank you for your suggestions. You guys have given me so much to check and test that my feedback may be sporadic. I have two editing computers running, testing things on several TVs and other computers so I have about a dozen things going on at once. With that said here is where I am so far:

Thank you Jay for setting straight about the Component vs Composite connections. I have been using the composite connections from my DVD player to connect the camera to the HDTV. And at both Ron and Jay's suggestion I went back and used the HDMI connection and changed the output settings of the NX5 and miracle of miracles both the SD and the HD looked wonderful (of course the HD looked more wonderful) coming from the camera. This tells me that my video files are OK and thank God I do not have to sell the camera or send it back (I hope).

Both of my projects are using two camera shots. One is the NX5 for close up and the wide shot is shot with a Canon XL2. So I hooked up the Canon camera using the composite cables and the video looked pretty good ( I also switched out composite cables to make sure there was not a problem with the cable).

I thought there may be an issue with using both a SD video and the NX5 compressed video together, so I burned each one alone to a DVD to test each separately in the DVD player that was hooked to my HDTV through composite cables. Both had the pulsating blurry problem. I hooked my laptop up to the HDTV using HDMI and it looked better but there was still some pulsating. Checking it on my Desktop computer there was a strobe effect when people moved sideways but the pulsating blurriness was not present.

I went to my HDTV and turned off all of those special effects (smooth motion, real cinema mode, etc.) just in case it was the TV to no avail. I tested older DVD projects and they looked fine.

I have been using the same computers and the same editing system for a year. The only change has been the installation of the CMU for the NX5. Before I go to the trouble of uninstalling it for testing purposes, can someone tell me that there is no way that the install of this affected my rendering or burning through Vegas? I know it sounds crazy.

For twenty years I designed, built and marketed scientific educational products, mostly in the physics area. But when I started working with video, codecs, HD, bit rates and all of that, I became a complete idiot!

It is getting late but I will continue my quest tomorrow.
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Old May 29th, 2011, 08:30 PM   #17
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Re: Camera settings

David, glad to know that your source files are good as I expected. There is a lot to learn moving from SD to HD. For the NX5U. The SD recording is DVD compliant MPEG2 so does not need to be encoded and will go straight into an authoring program. Downside is that its at the max DVD rate and thus will only fit about 1 hour on a disc. After looking at the quality once I haven't used it since !!! In fact I just use the FMU now at max rate .

Next is downsizing from HD to SD. You will find lots of posts on that subject and I can only tell you my work flow that I am very happy with. As I have said I edit in Edius so export a HQ fine file of the HD program. Canopus HQ is essentially an i frame only program that increases the file size about 5 times, makes editing easy for the PC much like Cineform or ProRes on the MAC etc. The finished HQ file is downconverted/encoded for DVD in TMPGenc 4Xpress ( newer version is T5) that I find to give the best quality. Authoring for SD DVD I use DVDLab Pro 2. The same HQ file I use in Vegas to encode a Bluray complient file for DVD Architect for Bluray authoring. I do all my audio in Vegas.

Editing on the PC is heavy on the processor so you will needed a modern Quad core, lots of RAM and hard drive space. Much more than you were used to for SD. Less will work but if you want trouble free editing a lot more will be needed.

The CMU should have changed nothing important. What are you system spec so that we can give you our opinion on suitability for AVCHD editing and what NLE do you use? If Vegas10 is your main NLE an uncompressed output file will also work great in TMPGenc and you should be able to edit native files..

Ron Evans
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Old May 29th, 2011, 10:28 PM   #18
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Re: Camera settings

What Ron said.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #19
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Re: Camera settings

Ron - Once again you have given me a lot to digest. I want to go take a look at the programs that you mentioned.

Both of my editing computers are duel core 2.67 GHz with a 500g SATA second hard-drive and 4g of RAM. I know that this is not powerful enough for AVCHD but it is plenty for the duel camera, two hour Dance Recitals and similar work we do that is SD. The plan has been to slowly change over to HD starting with one Camera (the NX5) and then buying another and upgrading our computers after becoming familiar with the new work flow. One of the reasons that I got the NX5 was that it allowed us to slowly make the transition by being able to record in SD as well as HD at the same time. This way we could continue to use the SD files as we have always done and this would give us time to play with the HD before switching over completely. Keep in mind that most of our clients still use standard DVD players. It never dawned on me that working with compressed files would cause so many problems.

Back to my current situation, after trying to eliminate many more variables I am beginning to think that my problems are not from my NX5. If that is the case then I probably should move any remaining comments or questions to a different post as I don't want to break any rules here on the forum.

Because I am in the middle of changing things over to HD, I am having to re-learn several things. Without a doubt there is a huge difference on my HDTV when the NX5 is connected through HDMI rather than composite cables. Take note to any HD newbies out there. I didn't realize it would make that big of a difference.

I am still concerned about the pulsating blurring affect in the small details I see on the HDTV however. I see it when I hook up both my Canon XL2 and my NX5. I also ran the test on two completely different HDTV's. That pulsating blurring effect is noticeable in the tiny details on both TVs and with both cameras which tells me there must be some issue with HDTV. Please correct me if I am wrong. When these files are burned to a DVD the effects are even more noticeable. Things do look very good on a standard TV.

I am going to buy a Blue Ray player today with built in up-convert and test my DVD's. I am also going to render my DVD files with a higher bit rate before burning to see if there is a change. I read that many HDTV's will try to bring the quality up if the quality of the signal is below standards and this can cause distortion or pixelation. I have been rendering my files with a max bit rate of 9,500.00 bps, avg 6,000,000 bps and min of 192,000 bps in Vegas 9. My DVD's are burned at 8mbs with Sony DVD Architect. So I am going to try and raise the minimum of the rendered files.

I think what keeps me thinking that it is my camera is that I have never read about this issue before concerning HD or HDTV.

One problem that is coming from the NX5 is the ghost or strobe like effect as people are walking across the screen when burned to a DVD. This is not present with the Canon XL2. Perhaps my next batch of changes will take care of that also.

Thanks again to all of you that have taken the time to post and to contact me directly. I can not tell you how much you have helped me.
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Old May 30th, 2011, 11:52 AM   #20
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Re: Camera settings

David, downconversion of HD to SD is very critical. Most of the NLE's do a poor job straight from the timeline so I, as do many others do not use this method for downconverting. This is why I use TMPGenc and others use VirtualDub for the downconversion. I do not want to discourage you too much but the SD of the NX5U is not DV quality at all but the max rate of a SD DVD encode. Using this in an edit with the XL-2 DV and then encoding again for SD DVD may well introduce a lot of artifacts. The SD of the NX5U may work well for those who want to make a quick DVD of the shoot but in my estimation it is of lower quality than shooting HD and downconverting. So to me not of much use. You may want to try the trial of TMPGenc and do a downconversion to DV of the NX5U HD output and then use that to edit with the XL-2 DV video in your standard SD editing program timeline. TMPGenc have a 30 day trial I think.

HD TV's have to upscale an SD signal that will create all sorts of artifacts since they have to both upscale , deinterlace and scale for the pixel dimensions of the TV. For example you will see a difference between a full 1080P set and a 720P set. Feed a 720P set a 1080i signal and it will have to deinterlace and scale the 1080i input to a 720P60 display. Same goes for a 1280x720P60 input to a 1920x1080 display. You will only really see the real picture feeding a display the exact input !!!! Otherwise what your are seeing is the quality of the scaling/deinterlacing circuits in the TV. More expensive sets work better !!!! Most of the Bluray upscaling DVD players do a better job and then feed the display exactly what it wants but only over HDMI.

As to computer you are correct in that it is marginal for AVCHD but should manage one track in Vegas OK.

As a guide I now think my PC is out of date for the multi track I do ( 4 camera theatre and dance shows all AVCHD) It is a Q9450 Quad Core 2.66Mhz, 8G RAM, 500G boot, 500G temp drive, 2T RAID 0 for editing files, 2 x2T for video storage and I backup to a Quantum HH LTO3 data tape drive. I will upgrade to a SandyBridge processor later in the year when the new motherbaords and "E" processors come out.

Ron Evans
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Old June 20th, 2011, 03:01 PM   #21
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Re: Camera settings

Although this posting has probably died off, I felt like I owed it to everyone who helped me out by letting you know about the conclusions I finally came to about the NX5 and my previously mentioned issues.

I have spent the last two weeks burning about a hundred DVD's, testing everything and every setting and what I discovered was the biggest problem had to do with "Field Order" and a setting in my "Project Properties" that somehow got out of whack!

All my AVI videos are Lower Field First. The NX5 delivers mpg video that is Upper Field First. I could go into detail on all the things I tried, all the programs I downloaded and tested, all of the re-rendering I did but I will cut to the chase. Somehow my settings got screwed up in my "Project Properties" so I had now idea what they should be. A big part of the problem was fixed by setting the Field order to "lower field first" (I tried upper and it did not make that big of a difference), changing the "Deinterlace method" to Blend Fields and making sure that the box was checked that said "Adjust source media to better match project or render setting"

When I rendered a MPEG 2 file for Sony Architect I changed the field order back to the default which was lower field first ( I had changed it to upper field because everyone told me that mpeg2 video had to be upper field). Somehow this worked out all of the bugs.

I was working with so many variables that several things were happening and it was hard to trace down the exact causes so one by one I would render and test one variable at a time. I recently bought a new HDTV which had its own quarks. I went out and bought a Blue Ray player during all of this. Of course a new camera and mixing two different formats didn't help matters either.

One conclusion that I have come to and I passed this along to all of our customers was to either use a Standard DVD player with a standard TV or use a Blur Ray Player with a HDTV. Using a standard DVD player with a HDTV although will work , gives the worst results.

Finally to wrap this up. I was so impressed with the quality of the NX5 after I figured all of this out, that we went and purchased and complete second unit including external flash drive. We were eventually upgrade to HD products anyway, I was just trying to do it slowly as the budget allowed. However the time savings and quality upgrade simply proved once again that I was being penny wise and pound foolish. Now we have to upgrade our computers.

One last thing. For those of you that use Vegas, in my testing I discovered the technique of using proxy videos if your computer is not powerful enough to edit HD. For those of you who are not aware of this you need to check it out. It is awesome.

Thank you once again to everyone that chimed in. You guys helped get me out of a real jam and I owe you.

David Allen
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