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Old August 30th, 2007, 09:22 PM   #1
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Low-End AVCHD, Hard-disk SD, & Compression

As per my last post, I'm still looking for a consumer-grade video camera for my university department. We've decided to expand the search beyond MiniDV because of the dearth of midrange MiniDV products on the market at this point.

Looking at hard-disk based standard def cameras, it looks like everything compresses to MPEG2 which is a showstopper considering we'd like to actually edit what we shoot and would like to avoid re-compressing already-compressed video.

There are also some HD options -- I'm kind of liking the look of the Canon HV20 and HG10, for instance, or maybe the JVC GZ-HD7. These are marketed as AVCHD cameras, but B&H also lists them as compressing video with MPEG2.

What's the deal here? Will the HD cameras produce good-quality video that can be edited and recompressed without losing all kinds of quality?

I'm starting to get the feeling that I'm asking for something that no longer exists in the market, but I'm hoping against hope..
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Old August 31st, 2007, 11:54 AM   #2
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Join Date: Feb 2007
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I guess I'd wonder if indeed it ever existed in the market.

I'm a real newcomer to all this myself, but I believe that the DV standard has always used intra-frame compression and HDV has always been MPEG-2 inter-frame compressed.

A lot of this material is being edited with quite good results so not sure what your issue is with editing. If you could elaborate on it a bit, and perhaps explain the kind and scope of the editing you're contemplating, maybe someone with more knowledge and practical experience than me could respond more helpfully and make some constructive suggestions. Choice of codec/intermediate file format may affect the ability to do extensive edits without severe quality loss.

Also, what's your definition of "midrange"? ie is $5k midrange? Or $1k. Or $15k? Options will vary depending on the budget.
Jim Andrada is offline   Reply

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