• New Patreon Tier and Early Access Content available. If you would like to support AVForums, we now have a new Patreon Tier which gives you access to selected news, reviews and articles before they are available to the public. Read more.

Am going to take back my SD5 tommorow, what should I replace it with?

danni08

Standard Member
Have almost had a nervous breakdown with this camcorder! I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination but thought I would be ok with it. Managed to download the movies onto my laptop but as I used a USB cable the quality was not HD. Actually it was really poor as all the filming was done indoors. I thought that if I linked the SD5 with an HDMI cable to my laptop then it would be ok but it doesnt even recognise the conection.

So unless anyone can tell me where I am going wrong I will take it back for a refund. All I really want is a camcorder of a similar size to the SD5 (its a really nice shape) with the best quality possible which I can burn dvds.

Would really appreciate any advice!
 

DrMekon

Established Member
Wasnt aware of any laptop that had an hdmi connection...??? How are you actually connecting an hdmi to it...???

A usb cable would just be used to transfer the files from the cam to the laptop...

its a really nice shape

Is that really a reason to buy a cam?? lol...
 

DrMekon

Established Member
Maybe its a hdmi out.. to be connected to a hdtv/projector, and will not accept an input??

Ive not seen one on a laptop before.. but have on PCs and they are usually outputs...
 

nbkicker33

Established Member
i cant understand how you download the movie from the camera to computer and its not hd ???,its a 1080i camcorder so unless you havnt got settings right in what quality u recording on the sd5 or downloading as.it should be hd when it on yr computer
 

danni08

Standard Member
yes have just figured out that its HDMi output only!

When i use the pinnacle studio its shows the clips as HD resolution and when I start writing themovie it says Video: DV, 720x526, 25 frames/sec.

When I tried to use the pan software that came with it it saved the files on my computer as MTS files which Ive never heard of and cant open.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
MTS are AVCHD files
HDMI is not for video capture It is to output HD from the laptop to a suitable display
Using USB is right but Surely you can download your MTS files and then import them into Pinnacle Studio 11 plus
Writing the movie .. what Settings do you use? If you use DV PAL it will output as DV PAL which is what you get when you burn DVDs . SD DVD videos will not carry Hi def material capable of being played back ordinarily
You need to output as mpeg2 1080i to retain them as Hi def
Pinnacle Studio will not resave them during write movie as MTS which is how they were captured
IF you do want to burn DVDs with hi def you will have to
Make data DVDs
Make mini HD DVDs from normal DVD disc ( but play where?
Make Data DVDs but output the material to WMV-HD This will playback on an xbox 360
If you have a PS3 : you could burn mpeg2 Hi def or the mts files to a Data DVD , It will play them back
Any AVCHD camcorder you buy will give you similar issues ..I would persevere unless you dont like the camcorder itself
 

alpine101

Established Member
yes have just figured out that its HDMi output only!

When i use the pinnacle studio its shows the clips as HD resolution and when I start writing themovie it says Video: DV, 720x526, 25 frames/sec.

That's Pinnacle's fault, not the SD5's. Get Ulead VS11 Plus which, having tried most of the others (Except for Pinnacle since they don't do a trial version) is the best at present. And it does understand MTS files.
 

danni08

Standard Member
I have just played around with the settings and am trying to make a movie with the files as MPEG4 which is showing as 1280 x 720 which Im guessing is better than the original 720x526?

What I am ultimately confused about is how to get the HD quality camcorder movie from my SD5 to a DVD which can be played on the TV in the same quality. Is this actually possible? I dont have an Xbox or PS3.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
No it isnt possible in the way you describe. The DVD standard does not cater for Hi def playback. There are DVD Players ( with HDMI) which can "fake " it by interpolation (upscaling) but it isnt the real thing and the cheaper ones dont do it well at all
DVD discs can have Hi def material on them but they will not play as such via a DVD player. Mini HD DVDs can be made which will play via the HD DVD add on for Xbox 360, WMV-HD via the xbox itself and all other formats via PS3
Apart from the PS3 or Xbox360 ,there is HTPC or media streamers capable of playing back High Def
Rhubarbe is the man on here with an eye for such devices
Certainly a PC with large Display is an easy way to watch the footage but I agree that it often doenst compare to your 40" Samsung with "full HD " or indeed a projector capable of Hidef playback
This is not an SD5 problem it applies to all AVCHD camcorders and even HDV camcorders. The difference though is that you have the tape to play it back and it is possible to edit HD and put it back on tape. With AVCHD it is possible but only if unedited to playback via the camcorder
This lack of readily available playback format is often kept quiet during the marketing of these kit
There are Blu ray burners and discs but they are niether that cheap( they heve come down a lot) nor readily availble in the same way as DVD burners and disc
 

danni08

Standard Member
Well thats it then, its definately going back as I obviously have misunderstood the whole thing!

Ok, which camcorder should I get instead? High Def is no longer an option so whats the best quality I can get??
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Standard def.. not as nice. :(
Alot of folk(including myself) who have high def camcorders are living to live with this current limitation and those with HDV are happy to use thier camcorders and tapes but everyone else is in the same boat ATM
Im sure things will change but currently it isnt possible to simply burn hi def footage to a DVD disc and watch it as such on a Normal DVD player
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Cant you burn a DVD and watch it on an HD DVD Player? Is that not what they are for?
You can and it will play as an SD DVD or upscale to 1080i but this is just as easily possible in a normal DVD player which can upscale.
Either way you are using SD mpeg2 not the hi def variety

What you can do to watch Hi def with an HD DVD player is to use Ulead Movie Factory 6 + to make a "Mini HD DVD" which will take 20min of hi def footage from your SD5 , HG 10 or any other AVCHD camcorder or HDV camcorder to a normal DVD disc aurthored as HD DVD and watch this as hi def
In a way it makes a case for the PS3 ( which I too do not have!) I do have easy access to one though
 

danni08

Standard Member
Thanks for your help but I am going to stop posting on here now as I am so confused now and keep getting different advice from people. I think I will have to set up a new forums for dummies like me. Problem is if you ask for advice in a shop then all they do if try to over sell and not actually listen to what you want.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
Thanks for your help but I am going to stop posting on here now as I am so confused now and keep getting different advice from people. I think I will have to set up a new forums for dummies like me. Problem is if you ask for advice in a shop then all they do if try to over sell and not actually listen to what you want.

No problem, Im sorry you feel somewhat misled

Maybe if you say state specifically what is confusing you I can help as Im pretty clear about the issues

High Definition Camcorders HDV and AVCHD and HDTVs are commonplace. The formats are different although both Hi def
It is easy enough to play the footage back by conecting the camcorders to the HDTV by HDMI or component
Beyond that it is not as easy because unlike SD there is no straightfoward Burn to DVD and watch it in Hi def quality option
All the current options are workarounds to enable us enjoy the HI def footage
Tape has an advantage in that you can use your tapes, and edit back to tape.
HDD or flash card doesnt have that advantage. Also AVCHD seems to be a format to which you record to in the camcorder . It is less easy( not impossible ,mind you) to retain it as such after editing if desired.
The industry is a bit slow in the provision of Blu ray and HD DVD burners ,blanks and affordable players in the manner of DVD blanks, burners software and Players. It is probably due in part to a feeling that people will learn to copy original copyrighted Hi def software, and due to the inference that people just want to watch footage off the camcorder computer or internet.. What ever the reason they are not very willing to speed up the development of domestic affordable Playback media and burners
Perhaps you can say what advice you have got which is contrary to the above.
Im just a bit unhappy that when the kit is advertised or sold all this is not mentioned.
Have a think about it . if the hassle is too much you can return it for now keep an eye on events and then buy later when things are a lot less muddled as they seem to be now
 

chrishull3

Prominent Member
you can make two hour blue ray high def discs from hdv tapes but you need a laptop with a blue ray burner[ie sony vaio]and are prepaired to pay for one.
 

danni08

Standard Member
Right, I think i am going to get an HV20 as at least I can put the tapes to one side until i figure out what to do with them!
 

slowpoke

Established Member
Right, I think i am going to get an HV20 as at least I can put the tapes to one side until i figure out what to do with them!

You can store the saved material from your SD5 onto your PC until there are more adequate ways of making HD DVDs from it...same difference surely
 

senu

Distinguished Member
You can store the saved material from your SD5 onto your PC until there are more adequate ways of making HD DVDs from it...same difference surely
Not quite. You can always replay the tapes back now and are not reliant on HDD storage options
With the SD5 If you need to replay what you've saved to PC off the camcorder it has to be unedited.
Even in software that can output AVCHD Im uncertain if such footage can be watched off the camcorder
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
Yes, that is one of the advantages of tape; you always have the option of playing them on the camcorder. With a HDD cam, it will eventually fill up. With the SD5 you could buy a whole bunch of SD cards and save those but that is expensive. Sure you can move them to a PC, create discs etc... but that does require some effort.
 

danni08

Standard Member
Have had a closer look at the HV20 and it looks really bulky compared to the SD5 so thats putting me off a bit. Anyone have any suggestions to save me trawling the internet looking for one?
 

senu

Distinguished Member
The SD5 is the smallest HD camcorder around ( if you dont count the Sanyo xactis). This is possibly due to the absence of any other than lens mechanism
It would be hard to find anything smaller TBH. All the tape models ( which are small) are bigger given that they have to have a tape mechanism unlike the SD5.
Also the HDD models ( which use AVCHD and are similar to the SD5) also need space to keep an HDD:)
 

davisa

Established Member
Thanks for your help but I am going to stop posting on here now as I am so confused now and keep getting different advice from people. I think I will have to set up a new forums for dummies like me. Problem is if you ask for advice in a shop then all they do if try to over sell and not actually listen to what you want.

The problem is that the technology is complicated and confusing. IMHO HiDef isn't really ready for the average consumer yet.

I use my Panasonic SD1 (predecessor to the SD5) and convert to standard definition for burning to DVD. I found this far better quality than recording from a standard definition camera to start with, and I'm equipped to use full HD if and when enough of my friends/family have something to play it back on.

I've not had any problems transferring to my computer, but I use iMovie 08 on a Mac which although a bit light on features, makes it all very easy.
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
The problem is that the technology is complicated and confusing. IMHO HiDef isn't really ready for the average consumer yet.

I agree, even with HDV creating a high def disc is fairly leading edge stuff, and then many of your friends and relations will probably not be able to play it. Eventually the HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray war will end (looks like Blu-Ray winning), and there will be more options in future.

With any of today's high def cams you can shoot HD today and create SD-DVDs, archiving the HD for later. HDV tape just makes this a bit easier as the tape is an instant archive. But if you want an ultra-small camcorder, a tape based camcorder will always be larger than a similar spec memory card one. So if you want really tiny, stick with your SD5 and work through the issues.
 

The latest video from AVForums

CES 2023 Round Up: New TV Lineups for 2023 from LG, Samsung, Panasonic, Hisense & TCL
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom