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Taking the plunge - HDV or AVCHD

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  • Ron Evans
    replied
    Shooting film and video has always been a hobby for me and now retired I look back on close to 45 years of doing this. Being in technology all my life I tend to look at the technology aspects of video too but the fact of the matter is content is number one and timeliness is likely number two and for most easy of use is likely number three. Your comments about DVD recorder are true for me too. I gave my second daughter a DVD 505 a couple of years ago knowing it was far from satisfying for my needs. She however had no interest in editing just wanted to show friends where she had been etc and being computer literate had no problems editing in camera and making full size DVD copies of the miniDVD's. She loves it though I can see the poorer quality than a DV camera would have given her. Likewise my other daughter who now has the SR7 has two little boys and just wants to pick up and shoot without wondering if there is enough tape in the camera etc. Both daughters are computer literate and have no problems with editing in camera and creating playlists etc, valid alternatives to NLE. And with DVD burners like the VRDMC5 from Sony can now burn these playlists to DVD, no PC required!!! True there will be no fancy titles, PiP's colour corrections multicam etc. But they are just not interested in this, just want the pictures!!!! When they want something fancy they always have dad!!!!
    For hobby projects I will stay with HDV for the time being but for family it will be AVCHD.
    Ron Evans
    Last edited by Ron Evans; 02-15-2008, 04:28 AM. Reason: corrected Sony burner number VRDMC5

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  • plasma_video
    replied
    Ron and Brandon -

    You know you are so right. I spend far too much time sometimes editing and tweaking when all my family wants to do is see the video.

    We gave a little camcorder that records to DVDs as a present to a friend for a very special occasion. I thought at the time that it was the wrong format as "she'll have a hard time editing that footage" but she loves it. She can instantly go to a scene from a menu on the camcorder and show everyone what she shot right then and there. Plus, she can pop the DVD out and show it on anyone's TV with a desktop player.

    We shoot exclusively on P2 at work, and tapeless is definately the way to go for news footage acquisition. THe photogs love it.

    One of the first church productions I shot some years back was a Christmas program. I edited the blasted thing for weeks trying to get it just perfect (pre EDIUS with multicam and using Rex Edit only) and by the time I got around to distributing it in February, folks had moved on and there was little interest in it. As time went on, I got better about being timely and this year I learned my lesson and had it buttoned up and done, including multicam, special openings and a photo montage (thank you, as always, Imaginate!) before most people had taken their decorations down. I had a lot of interest in it, and I'm still being asked for copies.

    I think I'm learning that it does not have to be a masterpiece for everyone to enjoy it. We are our own worst critics.

    Well, the Canon arrives today, so I'll have a better idea this weekend about it's performance. I will have 30 days to try it and to exchange it if I think a different format would be more appropriate. In any case, I think I'll check out one of the hard drive or solid state cameras for a family present later on. That would make my wife and daughter very happy, I think.

    Interesting discussion - thanks all!

    Tom
    Last edited by plasma_video; 02-14-2008, 03:47 PM.

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  • GrassValley_BH
    replied
    Ron, you make a fine point here. Often times "us professionals" get way too caught up in the technobabble, features, functionality, flexibility, etc and we lose sight of the object of the entire exercise - in this case, family just wants to see a "nice" picture!

    I forgot who it was, probably Sony or Canon - had a commercial about an ultraslim camera. A bunch of women were having lunch and some handsome guy came in. Drinks and purses flew as the other women struggled to get their cameras out while the one woman smoothly slipped her camera out of her pocket and got a good shot.

    I have a love/hate relationship with my camcorder (VX2000) because I can't fit it in my pocket. I don't shoot enough home video to justify getting a new camera... Maybe I need to get some Downey-size pants with pockets. ;-)

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  • Ron Evans
    replied
    All this talk of data rates got me watching a video I made of my grandson at the fun fair on Toronto Island last summer. I had made an AVCHD disc from the SR7 video using the Sony Motion Browser software. Nothing changed just let the software make the disc. I have played on my PS3 HDMI to my Panasonic Plasma with display data switched on to see the data rates. Audio is fixed at 448kbps and then I expect the total data rate is shown in the top right corner. In the 24 min, video rates varied between 8.6 and 20.3, as expected most varied close to the 15Mbps but frequently varied between 12.5 and 17.6Mbps. Thought this would be of interest to those who do not have an AVCHD camcorder. By the way this video is like looking through a window on the plasma( makes most cable HD look very poor), my wife actual prefers image to the FX1!!! My daughter now has the SR7 and I will be getting the SR12 when they come out.
    Once again for editing stay with HDV for family stuff I can recommend AVCHD for the convenience.

    Ron Evans

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  • drgagx
    replied
    I think I got carried away with 20Mbps; the Panasonic SD9 is rated at 17Mbps, see here
    http://panasonic.co.jp/pavc/global/v...fications.html
    The previous model, the SD5, topped out at 13Mbps and that hasn`t been out for that long. Product life seems to have shrunk to about six months on these cameras.

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  • Ron Evans
    replied
    We will have to see what the actual data rates are for the new cams as the quoted are likely average data rates. My SR7 video played back on the PS3 often shows 16Mbps but it is quoted as 15Mbps in the spec. It may well be that the newer Sony's stated at 16 may well be greater in peak data rate. AVCHD is VBR codec unlike HDV which is CBR. Typical scenes change from a low of 11 to over 16 for the highest quality setting which is quoted as 15Mbps average.

    Ron Evans

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  • vienna1944er
    replied
    thx "ken7" ....my words ...my words.. I would love to see 20Mbit\sec on a consumer-cam, before the "summer-hliday time" starts

    old (but not dead) Hans ;-)

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  • ken7
    replied
    Originally posted by drgagx View Post
    I am following the evolution of AVCHD cameras as it is my intention to get one as my next upgrade. Looking at the specs, AVCHD is rated up to c25Mbps (this is the highly compressed version - not the pro intra version). The latest generation of AVCHD cameras operate at c20Mbps. AVCHD should be approaching or reaching its full potential within the year. The AVCHD vs HDV comparison probably will need to be re-examined then.

    I also spotted that, for the consumer market, Panasonic is to offer a small, stand aloneburner that burns from AVCHD cards into DVDs in HD.

    Your're right about the max datarate of the AVCHD format, but the newest units will max out at 17Mbps (Canons). The Sonys will top out at 16Mbps.

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  • ken7
    replied
    Originally posted by AJL14 View Post
    Ken,

    Would LOVE to know where you got that info on the new AVCHD 1920 x 1080 info. Now we ARE talking about the direct recording, are we not? There are a slew of small cameras that will OUTPUT 1920 X 1080 to an external recorder, but the internal (HDV, BluRay, HDD, Mem Cards) aren't up to recording that kind of bandwidth yet. We (the "movie" industry techies), usually get advanced info - rumors they're called - and if you have sources that bring this kind of info to your doorstep, then I applaud you and your connections! Keep us posted!

    Cheers,
    Alan
    Yes Alan, most definitely 1920X1080 to either the hard drive or media stick depending on which camera you're discussing. Canon has 2 new models, the HF10 and HF100. These will both record 1920X1080 to an SDHC memory card. Data rate will be 17mbps. Sony has three units coming out that all have hard drives and Sony memory stick capability. These units will be bigger than the Canons due to the hard drives. The only difference between the 3 is hard drive size and a smaller imaging chip on the lowest model of the three. Unlike the current slew of AVCHD units, these are true 1920X1080 to whatever media is used.

    These are no secret and all the info is on the respective websites of these two manufacturers. The Canons and Sonys are due out in March.

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  • Ron Evans
    replied
    Originally posted by drgagx View Post
    I also spotted that, for the consumer market, Panasonic is to offer a small, stand aloneburner that burns from AVCHD cards into DVDs in HD.
    Sony has had a burner for some time and Canon has also announced one. The Sony one is VRD-MC5, http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/...8&tab=Features
    Has some nice features for most video formats.

    Ron Evans

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  • vienna1944er
    replied
    The latest generation of AVCHD cameras operate at c20Mbps
    hmmmm ....... what for cams did you mean ???

    I know only 16 Mbit\sec on the Sony SR11\12 with (1920x1080)
    and 17 Mbit\sec on the Canon F10\F100 (with 1920x1080)

    and this is not much better than the older 14-15 Mbit\sec for the 1440 cam-generation

    friendly greetings from europe\austria\viena..... old Hans

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  • drgagx
    replied
    I am following the evolution of AVCHD cameras as it is my intention to get one as my next upgrade. Looking at the specs, AVCHD is rated up to c25Mbps (this is the highly compressed version - not the pro intra version). The latest generation of AVCHD cameras operate at c20Mbps. AVCHD should be approaching or reaching its full potential within the year. The AVCHD vs HDV comparison probably will need to be re-examined then.

    I also spotted that, for the consumer market, Panasonic is to offer a small, stand aloneburner that burns from AVCHD cards into DVDs in HD.
    Last edited by drgagx; 02-12-2008, 10:43 AM.

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  • Angelo
    replied
    I have the HV20 and I'm quite surprised with it's PQ at it's price point.

    As for AVCHD, I haven't used any myself but the consensus is that HDV still is a better compressor for low cost cams.

    My take on HDV (MPEG2) is that MPEG2 has had many years to get the hardware MPEG2 compressor tweaked to give great HD performance. AVCHD is still very young and has great potential to produce better HD images at lower data rates; that said AVCHD still has a way to go to surpassing HDV in image quality at lower data rates.

    ...Angelo

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  • AJL14
    replied
    Ken,

    Would LOVE to know where you got that info on the new AVCHD 1920 x 1080 info. Now we ARE talking about the direct recording, are we not? There are a slew of small cameras that will OUTPUT 1920 X 1080 to an external recorder, but the internal (HDV, BluRay, HDD, Mem Cards) aren't up to recording that kind of bandwidth yet. We (the "movie" industry techies), usually get advanced info - rumors they're called - and if you have sources that bring this kind of info to your doorstep, then I applaud you and your connections! Keep us posted!

    Cheers,
    Alan

    Leave a comment:


  • ken7
    replied
    The new generation of AVCHD camcorders coming out soon, may well give HDV camcorders a run for their money. The Canon HG10 is already fairly close to the HV20's picture quality, although I'd still give the edge to the HV20.

    However the new units that are soon to arrive will have increased bitrates as well as a full 1920X1080 resolution. This should, in theory, provided the sharpest picture yet in a consumer camcorder. Of course it may also be more difficult to edit due to the larger file sizes.

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