AVCHD

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    • #46934
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      I am about to purchase four Canon Vixia HF-20s for my school. We will edit on FCE and FCP. We use iMacs, a MacBook Pro and one Mac Pro.

      The HF20 shoots AVCHD. I understand that AVCHD files are ten times larger when captured. Can anybody please tell me about their experience with AVCHD and and Macs.

      I’d also like to know if the quality of the video is maintained from what was shot to final output on DVD?

    • #193312
      AvatarRob
      Participant

      The image quality may actually degrade a little since AVCHD uses Long GOP compression. Once you start cutting that up, the video has to re-encode and therefore loses quality. You can avoid cutting Long GOP video by transcoding your AVCHD footage to Apple ProRes before you begin editing.

    • #193313
      AvatarOSD
      Participant

      I’m in the early stages of testing the Canon Vixia HF10 with a PowerPC G5 with 4GBs of RAM and FCP6. I searched a number of forums and the Internet to find out that because I have a PowerPC and not an Intel-chip Mac, I have to convert my AVCHD files using VoltaicHD to Quicktime (.MOV) and then import those files into FCP6.

      Like I wrote earlier, I’m working on some test videos right now and when I’m done with them, I’ll be sure to share them.

      I’m not a videographer, but I’m learning and have taught myself how to use FCP and, lest I forget, I’m making the transition from a life-long PC user to being a Mac-user!

    • #193314
      AvatarNormanWillis
      Participant

      I’m using a PC and Sony Vegas Pro 9.0a. I shoot with a Canon HF S10, and am so happy with it that I just bought another one (for multi-camera work). Vegas handles the .MTS files just fine, although all four cores run at about 95%. Playback on the preview monitor is choppy, but that’s just the nature of .MTS.

      If I first transcode the .MTS files to .avi using Cineform NeoScene ($99.00 at Videoguys.com), all four cores run at about 57%. Playback is still a little choppy, but not too bad if I leave it on Preview and Draft. Vegas 9.0 was crashing with AVCHD, but Vegas 9.0a seems to render it just fine. Cineform NeoScene vastly improves image quality and colorspace, and ‘relaxes’ the compression significantly, which will really be a major help if you are editing on laptops.

      I am very pleased with the transition from tape to tapeless. AVCHD is nowhere near the quality of P2 or SxS cards, but the cost is only a fraction of it, and unless you are burning Hollywood quality Bluray or going for the silver screen, chances are good that other factors (lighting, scripting, audio, etceteras) are going to be a much higher priority. I upload the finished productions to Vimeo and am continually astounded at how good of quality I get for a mere $1299.00 camcorder. It would not cut the mustard for Hollywood, but for Vimeo and online HD it is more than ample.

      I have found that the major thing is just to make sure you have a good system for backing up data. Multiple redundancy is the key. In addition tomy Drobo Ipurchased a couple of 1TBSeagate Free Agent external USB hard drives for $129.00 each on Tiger Direct. When I compared storage costs, it is way cheaper to go tapeless, and I don’t ever worry about ‘burning up a $7.00 HDV tape’: I just pick up the camera and shoot.

    • #193315
      AvatarNormanWillis
      Participant

      And I would run some serious tests before thinking to use your laptop for video editing with AVCHD. I know Mac uses some good materials (metal) for the laptop housing, so they would dissipate heat much better than my Dell (which uses some plastic: next time I am buying a Lenovo); but heat buildup is a serious issue for AVCHD, and a quad-core is pretty much a necessity unless one converts with Cineform (in which case one probably still needs at least apretty beefy dual core).

    • #193316
      AvatarNormanWillis
      Participant

      >>You can avoid cutting Long GOP video by transcoding your AVCHD footage to Apple ProRes before you begin editing.

      I do not know how Apple ProRes compares to Cineform. I know that both work on a Mac.

      >>I understand that AVCHD files are ten times larger when captured.

      Actually .MTS files are pretty small. The purpose of Cineform (and ProRes, I think) is to ‘relax’ the compression and improve color space at the same time, making it much easier for the processors to handle the files, while significantly improving color.

    • #193317
      AvatarOSD
      Participant

      So I’ve editing my first video using the Canon Vixia HF10 and thank goodness for VoltaicHD, because on the G5, which is not an Intel-chip computer, I would have been stuck.

      Here’s a my second rough cut for a sneaker event that I attended! Enjoy and please post comments or feedback.

      http://bit.ly/ToP1Y

    • #193318
      AvatarAnonymous
      Inactive

      Hey NormanWillis,

      How long does it take to transfer .mts files from your camera to the computer depending on how much footage you have? Also, when you convert .mts files to Cineform AVI…how long does that take for say 30 minutes of footage? I’m just trying to get a feel for what the workflow would be like with these AVCHD monsters. Thanks!

      flogonojo

    • #193319
      Avatarveruca182
      Participant

      I need help. I work in the Forensic Community and we recently purchased the Panasonic AG-HMC70P camcorder. These are used to film our crime scenes. I am trying to become familiar with everything but this is way over my head. I am using Nero 9 to add a title to the beginning of each video and I’m not sure which exporting format to choose.Obviously I need a format that will allow the least amount of compression. I need something that I can store on a server forever and burn to a DVD to be played on standard DVD players in court. This also needs to be viewed in Windows Media Player. I’ve been reading a lot about this AVCHD codec and I’m not sure if we will be able to do everything we want with this camcorder. Also I noticed a 16:9 and 4:3 option on the camcorder but no matter which one I choose it always records in 16:9? If anyone has any advice for me I would greatly appreciate it. We could discuss through e-mail or by phone because I may have a lot of questions.

    • #193320
      AvatarOSD
      Participant

      Flogonojo…Using a SanDisk MicroMate card reader, I can transfer files from the SD card to the computer, for a movie that is 10 minutes long, in about 10 minutes. Because the AVCHD files are so compressed, it does take some time to transfer them to my Mac.

      Once I’ve transferred my files to the Mac, I then have to convert the files in VoltaicHD and it does take some time too, depending on the size of the video clip. For example, I had a 16-minute video clip that took just shy of 30-minutes to be converted to a .MOV file.

      I know you directed your question to NormanWilllis, but I thought I’d jump in, just in case anyone with the Canon Vixia HF10 and a non-Intel chip Mac reads this post.

    • #193321
      AvatarNormanWillis
      Participant

      >>How long does it take to transfer .mts files from your camera to the computer depending on how much footage you have? Also, when you convert .mts files to Cineform AVI…how long does that take for say 30 minutes of footage? I’m just trying to get a feel for what the workflow would be like with these AVCHD monsters. Thanks!

      I usually record to the flash card, and then put the card in a Transcend SDHC/USB adapter (cute little thing) and plug it into the AVCHD port in the front of the computer. Then I transfer the files across to the D: drive using Windows Explorer.

      D: is in RAID 0, so I dunno, maybe it takes 3 minutes to transfer a 10 minute file. Then I call up Cineform and convert it to .avi. That takes maybe about ten minutes. In any event it takes about the same time as tape, but then you have top quality .avi files, rather than .mts files, which means you can handle them with a much less powerful machine; and the rendering times are also greatly improved.

      The .avi files are larger than the .mts files, but hard drive space is relatively cheap nowadays.

      I hope that helps.

    • #193322
      AvatarNormanWillis
      Participant

      Veruca,

      >>Obviously I need a format that will allow the least amount of compression.

      I did not understand everything in your post, but if you need a format that offers the least amount of compression, that will play in Nero, WMV and QT, try .avi. The files are larger, but pretty much every player will play .avi.

      I hope that helps.

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