Is AVC-HD well recognised ? Been stung by Sony before

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by DarkKnight, Sep 10, 2007.

  1. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight
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    Hi,

    I currently own a Sony IP-220E which uses Sony's proprietry Micro-MV format (remember them?!). This records in a format which is hardly recognised by most most capture / maninpulation software, so I don't want to make the same mistake again.

    Although I own a 720p Pioneer plasma, I would like to future proof as much as possible and purchase a 1080p Consumer Camcorder. However, I hear that the best I'll get is a 1080i. Ho Hum. My needs are to capture predomaintly indoor footage in low light environments. I'm just the average guy who wants some good family footage and breathtaking views whilst on holiday!

    HDD recording is a must as I'm a big Media Center fan, so I'm looking for simple drag n' Drop to Windows to play back my footage.

    I was considering the Sony HC3 / HDR-SR range or the JVC GZ-HD7, which record in AVC-HD and MPEG.2 TS respectivly. From what I've read, the image stability and general video capture are superior on the Sony, but having been stung by Sony's proprietry formats in the past and need to know how transferrable AVC-HD is.

    Is AVC-HD a well accepted format ? Is it easily transferrable to Blu-Ray and identified by most Codec packs ?

    Also, how true to HD is the capture resolution are these Camcorders ? I hear that some record in an aspect ratio which is not quite 1920 x 1080 so there are upscaling issues.

    Any advice, would be much appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    I'd recommend the new Panasonic HDC-SD5, or the Sony HDR-CX6. Both of these are memory stick camcorders, Pana does 1920 x 1080i, the Sony 1440 x 1080i (anamorphic pixels so it isn't actually scaled).

    Neither has a viewfinder. If you need a viewfinder then HDR-SR7 and the upcoming Canon HG10 are both HDD cams and are the ones to go for.

    AVCHD isn't the no-no it was a year ago but is still not hugely well supported by NLEs. Who is to say if it will prevail or disappear up its own tapehead.

    HDR-CX6 dovetails so well with a PS3 that all you do is take out the MS stick and bung it into the PS3 - job's a good 'un.
     
  3. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    HDC-SD5 is smaller than CX6. If you want really small there is the HDC-SD7 only available in NTSC as an import from Japan.

    That JVC you mentioned really has bad OIS issues to the extent it's being dumped at rock bottom prices - have a look on eBay.

    Then there is tape. But you said you didn't want tape. really though, it isn't a huge effort to transfer HDV (a mature format) to m2t files on a PC and transfer to your Media Center. That's what I (am trying to) do.

    Tape: Canon HV20, HDR-HC7 really.
     
  4. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Who knows what the future will bring, but it's not another "Micro-MV". AVCHD was co-developed with Panasonic and is now adopted by Canon as well. Editing support has been (or is in progress of being added) to all the major editing packages.

    As rhubarbe said some of the models use 1440x1080 anamorphic (as does HDV), but this isn't an issue.

    AVCHD DVDs (using ordinary discs) play on a Blu-Ray player.
     
  5. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight
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    Thanks for the info folks.

    Thick question : What's an NLE ?

    I need to delve further about the Anomorphic resolution.

    I expect this 1440 x 1080 resolution is native to the Camcorder and if I play back using the Camcorder's HDMI to my TV.

    However, if I capture the footage, and Tx to PC / DVD / BluRay, then surely this would play back a 4:3 image (instead of 1080p/i's 16:9) and my TV would attempt to zoom / overscan to compensate ?

    When you guys say it's not an issue, how do you mean ?


    AVC-HD certainly seems to have strong representation. If I understand, it's a derivate of H264 / MPG4 so I imagine all Codec packs should support it. I'm just concerned about Sony turning their back on it, as they did for Micro MV. My neighbour still moans about his Betamax video recorder!

    Would MPEG-2 Transport Stream perform superior capture (as it's less compressed)? And isn't this readily recognised by BluRay ?
     
  6. senu

    senu
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    Non Linear Editing Software.
    Most PC and Mac video editing software do not need you to start your editing in any particular order with reference to how you took the footage unlike if you were doing it in an analogue medium

    It will play in widescreen without the need for the Set to compensate. It is recorded in widescreen despite the nos

    Why should transfer to PC change the recorded aspect? The 1440 is used to get it onto tape..when it gets back to the PC or HDD it "inflates" to 1920. One of Canons marketing claims to "true HD" is that thier camcorders dont need to do this but the results from all are braodly similar

    A stated above AVCHD is not Sony only and there is no consumer camcorder company that does not seem to have a stake in it ( Unlike Digital8, microMV or Betamax) .. The software companies.. Adobe, Canopus, Sony Creative Avid/Pinnacle, Ulead all seem to have a sufficient interest to suggest it is not a passing fad. It may however remain a purely consumer based format and not reach up to "Pro levels"
    Sony ( which champions BluRay) also has a stake in the continued adoption of m2t so I wouldnt be unduly concerned about that.
    Uleads DVD authoring software can make BD "movie" type discs with m2t as starting material AFAIK.
    The whole thing is still in a state of flux and you can buy now and be confident that there will be coexisting formats or wait indefinitely..There is no crystal ball to say how things will be in say 5 years time suffice to say that the Hi-def situations is unlikely to be a repeat of microMV or Betamax.
    Even mindisc refuses to die!:D
     
  7. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    We will probably reply at the same time...

    NLE = Non Linear Editor

    For those cams which do 1440x1080:

    Output from the camcorder to display will be 1920x1080.

    When editing on a PC, or playing the native files from the PC, the software knows the PAR (Pixel Aspect Ratio) to edit/play them at the correct aspect.

    HDV uses MPEG2; yes it is less compressed than AVCHD, but AVCHD uses more advanced compression, so in theory it could be as good or better even though more compressed. In practice the HDV cams generally perform a bit better, but the differences are small.
     
  8. senu

    senu
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    :D:rotfl:!!..but you type faster!
     
  9. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight
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    Well.. My theory .... and correct me if I'm wrong.

    Camcorder captures 1440 x 1080 which is 4:3. But it displays in 16:9. Which means the pixels are rectangular. [Yeh / Neh ? ] (This is common is 720p TV panels - that have a native resolution of 1024 x 768)

    So play back from Camcorder via HDMI should represent viewfinder aspect ratio.

    But if you transfer to PC / DVD, I imagine the pixel size is not transferred to PC. [Yeh / Neh ?]. So, the PC would play a 4:3 image to TV ?

    Have I missed a trick ?

    Certainly, this is what I've experienced when playing back 4:3 content from my PC. Either I deal with black vertical bars or zoom and live with cropped video.

    e.g. ITN news is broadcast in 5:4. I guess they do this as a compromise between 4:3 and 16:9. Do you not see black bars on the end of your Widescreen Panels ?
     
  10. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    The pixel aspect ratio (1.3333) is transferred. Editing and video playing software will see this and know how to handle it.

    It is not 4:3 content; it is 16:9 content. It is just that the pixels themselves are non-square. It is different than if you are watching 4:3 content on a widescreen.
     
  11. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    No, but I must have. I have heard of Nineveh, but never its apparent Mesopotamian Twin.... :D
     
  12. DarkKnight

    DarkKnight
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    I just found this article which explains AVC-HD vs. other recording formats :
    http://governmentvideo.com/articles/publish/article_982.shtml

    So, I've decided to take the plunge and invest in one! The Panny HDC-SD5 looks the most promising with Full HD resolution. (Any recommendations on where I can source it at a good price ?)

    One final question then : Is AVC-HD supported in codec packs ( say, CCCP) ?Will I readily be able to playback and burn AVC-HD footage without requiring any specialised software ? I'm just looking for Nero type simplicity.

    Thanks
     
  13. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Not sure about codecs; you could download some clips and have a play with them. Here is one sample (you can find others via a google search)
    https://oncourse.iu.edu/access/content/user/rtknapp/00003.MTS

    I can play this one in WMP (though it doesn't recognise the file suffix); but I don't get any sound...

    Here is another clip (this one from Canon HG10)
    http://file.meyersproduction.com/hg10/00011.MTS.zip

    The cam should come with basic software needed to copy the files to a PC and you can burn them to disc. To edit you'll need 3rd party software.
     
  14. rhubarbe

    rhubarbe
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    Well, if I wanted one, without doubt I would go to www.computeruniverse.net and type in HDC-SD5 into the search box. It shows up as 879 Euros, or £619.

    They take credit cards, you can pay with Paypal, they give a two year guarantee and if you don'ta like it they'll refund you the whole purchase price including the shipping you paid.
     
  15. senu

    senu
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    AVCHD is not supported in all Codec packs. You dont need any specialised software to burn it to DVD as a Data disc but you do need a codec on your PC to play it back
     
  16. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    You could always see it as an excuse to buy a nice Mac :) AVCHD is natively supported in all applications out of the box and editing tools are provided free of charge :)
     
  17. GrizzlyHippo

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    Does anyone know the answers to the following:

    1 - Will AVCHD burnt to a DVD disk play in a normal DVD player or do they have to play through a Blu-Ray player?

    This would limit being able to hand out DVD's for people to watch at home as none of my family have Blu-Ray players or PS3's.

    2 - This is probably a very stupid question, but will an AVCHD movie on a DVD disk play in a PS3?

    This would be a good excuse for me to buy a PS3 :)

    Thanks guys,
    Tom
     
  18. senu

    senu
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    ...or PS3 but not a normal DVD player.. they cannot decode H.264 mpeg4 files ( AVCHD)

    Well you can turn them to SD DVDs by importing them into suitable software and exporting them to SD format ( mpeg2)

    Yes..it will

    Note however that AVCHD has to be used as obtained off the camcorder. If you import it for editing you will have to export it as anything but AVCHD as no software as yet exports AVCHD
    However if you export it as an HD mpeg2 (1080i/50) it can still be burnt to disc and played off a PS3

    HDV has the advantage ( over AVCHD) in that you can edit it and return the edit to tape and play it off the tape directly.. Also m2t files burned to disc will play off a PS3
    Hi def converted to WMV _HD will play off an HD DVD player or Xbox360 Hd DVD add on
     
  19. Bl4ckGryph0n

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    Except for iMovie and thus nearly everything on a Mac that is :) Easy to export as AVCHD
     
  20. senu

    senu
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    THIS
    should make you smile.
    Att any rate , Im not getting a Mac ..yet I do have one at work.. I make it stay there;).. It is incredibly lonely among the clones of "black" Dells :rolleyes:

    As it happens , for all its good quality in small size ( on HDD and flash) I dont think AVCHD is "all that" .. yet:)
     
  21. chrishull3

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    mark none of the avchd clips will play for me.you say in practice hdv cams generally perform a bit better than avchd is this from hands on use or from film clips online,i find the only way to tell camera performance is by watching on a large hd set.all the best chris
     
  22. senu

    senu
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    Like you I own HDVs but have only played with AVCHD for 2 or 3 days or so
    By coincidence , I got to play with another one last night and was able to view footage on a New Samsung 46" " 1080p 100hz ( F86) stunning model.:smashin:
    I think the HDV and AVCHD looked pretty similar ( mind you everything looked good.. even Sky HD.:rolleyes:) .
    Mark may have been reffering more to handling of motion and Low light performance, AF ect
    These are relevant to the Camcorder user .
    If ideal light is used and the motion captured is very sedate, and a tripod used a lot I would describe the IQ as near identical
     
  23. redsox_mark

    redsox_mark
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    Chris my main experience is with HDV as that's what I own. I have tried out an AVCHD cam, I've also watched clips on a large HD set (my PC can play them, just no audio!). I can't really tell the difference; to really compare you'd need to shoot with both the same subject in the same light. My opinion that the HDV is probably slightly better mainly comes from reviews and tests I've seen done (e.g. on camcorderinfo). My opinion that HDV edits a bit easier comes from editing both.
     
  24. rhubarbe

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    I had an HDV cam. Well, actually I had two, though I never saw any footage from the HC1.

    To compare the AVCHD and HDV is quite simple. If the subject is moving fast AVCHD shows motion trails and if and the videographer is panning (even quite slowly) AVCHD "tears". HDV in my experience doesn't.

    For my money, with the rapid increase in capacity of HDD and memory card, cams producing HDV saved onto these media would make a compelling argument.

    OTOH, the software writers would be wringing their hands at the thought of the AVCHD induced upgrade path being denied to them.
     
  25. senu

    senu
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    I agree that playing, and editing ( at least on my PC with Vegas 7, and Pinnacle Studio 11 ) supports an easier time with HDV .

    As for footage I used yesterday. the clips from the SR5 and HC1 were near identical but as they were night shots ,neither camcorder was "at its best"
     

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