Latest post Mon, Mar 22 2010 5:10 PM by butterfly. 16 replies.
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  • Thu, Feb 18 2010 8:57 AM

    • butterfly
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    AVCHD for dummies

    Hello,

    I have been reading many threads about AVCHD editing in MC, but the info is rather complex (for amateurs like me).

    I have been shooting HDV with the Canon tape systems, but now I think of purchasing a Canon which does AVCHD in 24 Mbps (either a Legria or maybe a DSLR). And I fear the complexity of editing, as it seems not te be as easy as getting HDV to work.

    Would it be possible to describe a (as simple as possible) workflow for a dummie like me? I mean a workflow for MC software only. Have things changed in MC 4.0 as opposed to 3.5?

    Many thanks,

    Rob

     

    Media Composer First software only, Windows 10 Home, P5Q Mbo, 16 Gb RAM, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 3.70GHz, nVidia Geforce 200 [view my complete system specs]
  • Thu, Feb 18 2010 5:14 PM In reply to

    • BobRusso
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    If you must buy an AVCHD camera, at this point, I can only recommend a Panasonic AVCHD camera so you can use their free AVCHD to P2 utility. Its fast, high quality and easy to use.  Any other AVCHD format is difficult at best to deal with.

    https://www.youtube.com/avidevangelistbob [view my complete system specs]

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  • Fri, Feb 19 2010 3:18 AM In reply to

    • Cagey
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    There is an older version of the Panasonic utility that is probably still available that will work with any AVCHD footage.  It's fast and allows you to attach to the resulting directory as if it were a P2 disk.

    Personally I prefer Neo Scene.  It creates 24p files in 4:2:2 colorspace.  I then convert them using Sorrenson via the DNxHD codec.  The resulting files FAST IMPORT into Avid.  The results are very good all things considered.

    Someday I'll buy a real camera and never look back.

    Keith

    MC8.6.1, Z420 Xeon E5-2670, 32GB RAM, GeForce GTX 1080, DIGI002, Win 10 Pro 64-bit [view my complete system specs]

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  • Fri, Feb 19 2010 10:18 AM In reply to

    • butterfly
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    I suppose there are several ways to get AVCHD (converted/transcoded in some way or another) in AVID, but will I get quality comparable with HDV?

    Media Composer First software only, Windows 10 Home, P5Q Mbo, 16 Gb RAM, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 3.70GHz, nVidia Geforce 200 [view my complete system specs]
  • Fri, Feb 19 2010 1:24 PM In reply to

    • BobRusso
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    Cagey:

    There is an older version of the Panasonic utility that is probably still available that will work with any AVCHD footage.  It's fast and allows you to attach to the resulting directory as if it were a P2 disk.

    Personally I prefer Neo Scene.  It creates 24p files in 4:2:2 colorspace.  I then convert them using Sorrenson via the DNxHD codec.  The resulting files FAST IMPORT into Avid.  The results are very good all things considered.

    Someday I'll buy a real camera and never look back.

    Keith

    The 1.1 version of the Panasonic AVCHD to P2 software will convert Some Canon AVCHD. It won't work with Sony at all.

     TMPGenc is the best options on Windows. It will convert AVCHD to a DNxHD QuickTime file in one step that will fast import.

    The operative word in the original post was for a simple process. At this point a Panasonic AVCHD camera with their free software is the easiest process. The P2 cards are natively supported and don't require an import.

     

    https://www.youtube.com/avidevangelistbob [view my complete system specs]

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  • Fri, Feb 19 2010 8:22 PM In reply to

    • Cagey
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    Strickly looking at the two formats, yes.  The HDV frame is 1440x1080 while for AVCHD it is 1920x1080 (full raster) when shooting 1080.  HDV is 25Mbit/s while AVCHD maxes out at 24Mbit/s.  However when you start looking at cameras, HDV has the edge.  AVCHD is considered prosumer at best, while HDV has many cameras that are in the professional realm.  They have increased color space and 3 imagers that are also larger and much better lenses.  But dollar for dollar, I think you can make a strong case for AVCHD in the prosumer lines.  There are significant challenges when working with AVCHD files, but hopefully Avid will provide some relief here in the future.  Until then find a program that converts to an Avid native format.  There are several good candidates.

    Keith

    MC8.6.1, Z420 Xeon E5-2670, 32GB RAM, GeForce GTX 1080, DIGI002, Win 10 Pro 64-bit [view my complete system specs]

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  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 11:25 AM In reply to

    • butterfly
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    Thanks Keith,

    I have greatly appreciated shooting and editing HDV with the canon HV series. Brilliant picture quality. I just hope with AVCHD I am not stepping backwards. I waited for the moment that it would go at 24 Mbps. If anybody can see or show a difference in image quality at this rate compared with HDV I would like to hear it. I can't judge what the conversions to AVID native format do with the basic quality.

    The only reason why I would switch to AVCHD is because the DSLR's are getting increasingly interesting. And some camcorders with flash memory have features not possible with tape.

     

    Rob

    Media Composer First software only, Windows 10 Home, P5Q Mbo, 16 Gb RAM, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 3.70GHz, nVidia Geforce 200 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 11:47 AM In reply to

    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    butterfly:
    The only reason why I would switch to AVCHD is because the DSLR's are getting increasingly interesting. And some camcorders with flash memory have features not possible with tape.

    Technically speaking, the DSLR cams don't shoot "AVCHD". They shoot H.264 with AAC audio (or some audio like that anyway).

    There are only 2 types of avchd (not including avchd lite)... Main profile avchd and hi profile avchd.

    The new Sony line of avchd cams (in particular xr500, 550v) have some pretty amazing low light abilities, check them out..

  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 3:21 PM In reply to

    • butterfly
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    John Fielding:

    Technically speaking, the DSLR cams don't shoot "AVCHD". They shoot H.264 with AAC audio (or some audio like that anyway).

     

    Would that make any difference regarding editing in MediaComposer?

     

    Media Composer First software only, Windows 10 Home, P5Q Mbo, 16 Gb RAM, Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 3.70GHz, nVidia Geforce 200 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 4:17 PM In reply to

    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    Well, I'm not actually a MC user as of yet... just kind of poking around seeing if it's worth getting into. But as to your question... probably not since MC won't deal with H.264 on any direct level and must be converted anyway.

    "AVCHD" is actually a format with a folder structure... a set of rules... etc, and it just happens to use the H.264 codec. It's much like HDV in that it's a format that just happens to use the mpeg2 codec. The ex for example uses the mpeg2 codec, but it's not a HDV cam.

    AVCHD in its native form is actaully not all that hard to edit anymore. With the NLE that I use at present I can run it on the time line at full frame rate. What comes out of the DLSR cams however is a bear to edit in its native form and does not play nicely on the time line so most of the time it has to be converted anyway.

  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 4:45 PM In reply to

    • sasha1
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    other than ease of editing, it will be interesting when the new sony nxcam camera can be tested against the current Z5. they apparently have the same chip and lens but mainly differ in recording format -- AVCHD vs HDV. I'd love to see a side-by-side test of the same footage from both cameras - after editing - shown on a big screen. 

                             - sasha

    Avid 1: HP Z420. Quadro 4000, Motu, MC 7.02. Avid 2: Dell T3400 - Core 2 Quad 2.83 - 8GB RAM - Quadro K2000 - Matrox Mini - MC 7.02 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 4:59 PM In reply to

    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    Personally speaking I like the avchd better mainly because there's a bit more flexability in audio types used and the fact that you can shoot full 1920 as opposed to 1440.

    Ideally speaking though I think an ex type cam (mpeg2 codec) at a NXcam price level would serve better. HDV i find simply too restricting when compared to today's cam line up. The avchd and ex cams don't have the same restrictions (due to media-type limitations) that HDV cams do.

  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 7:16 PM In reply to

    • sasha1
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    John Fielding:
    The avchd and ex cams don't have the same restrictions (due to media-type limitations) that HDV cams do.

    just wondering what restrictions you mean. sony hdv cameras use CF cards which today are 64GB (almost 5 hours of HDV). the ability to also use tape for it's proven archival qualities is also a plus, for me at least.

    Avid 1: HP Z420. Quadro 4000, Motu, MC 7.02. Avid 2: Dell T3400 - Core 2 Quad 2.83 - 8GB RAM - Quadro K2000 - Matrox Mini - MC 7.02 [view my complete system specs]
  • Sun, Feb 21 2010 7:41 PM In reply to

    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    The HDV standard was set by (among other things) hardware limitations. That's why you have 1440 for example as opposed to 1920.

    As for tape archival abilities.... I'm not so sold on that either. That's not to say that tape doesn't archive well (because it does). But archiving has more to do the ability to predict failures before they happen, because EVERYTHING fails sooner or later.

    Hard drives have not only gotten better, but they also now come with S.M.A.R.T. systems that will to a certain extent predict a failure before it actually happens. They're also cheap enough so that you can keep multiple back up copies without breaking the bank.

    Now tape DOES archive well but it's a bit more expensive and there aren't too many ways to predict a failure with them.

  • Mon, Feb 22 2010 9:23 AM In reply to

    • DIESELE
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    Re: AVCHD for dummies

    Seriously, check out cameras using AVCi.  The 'i' stands for intra and it means it records individual, self contained frames (rather than mixing up a long group of frames).  Editing is then easy rather than a pain  I would hope Panasonic will have something affordable out soon - they already do a camera called a HPX301 for about $10k.

    D

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