HD Camcorders -- I'm confused

2

Comments

  • Reply 21 of 54
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    I hope that AVCHD goes away -- or, at the very least, doesn't displace HDV, so that people who give a crap about the quality and long-term viability of their recordings still have consumer options.



    You guys are not being totally fair to AVCHD its not worse than HDV. The cameras that currently use the format are not as good as the best HDV cameras. And has been mentioned earlier the software has yet to catch up.



    Quote:

    People were laughing at HDV a year or two ago just like people laughed at miniDV 12 years ago and said "it will never be used for professional use" but then it did.



    They are only used primarily when its advantageous. Such as in small cramped spaces but miniDV, HDV, nor AVCHD have not and will not replace professional betacam style camera formats.



    Most pro video shooting is going to either Panasonic P2 or Sony XDCAM



    Quote:

    HDV was never meant to be a permanant format. It was always just a stopgap format..



    The same as AVCHD is a stop gap for Blu-ray.



    Quote:

    Oh, and you might want to invest in a wide-angle lens if you plan to be recording the birth, and close-ups in cramped spaces.



    I would strongly suggest you do not use wide angle lens for close ups. They distort the image by stretching it out horizontally, especially the cheap glass used in wide angle lens for consumer cameras.



    Wide angle lens are good for wide shots in a small area, but not close ups.
  • Reply 22 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ecking


    Plus the hc1 is no longer on the market. Your basically stuck with the hc3 or canon hv10 if you want good consumer hd.



    HVR-A1U is still around, it's a pro variant of HC1, and you'd get pretty good audio, but costs twice as much. HV10 has bad audio, and I'm sure HC3 has bad audio. HV10 apparently has video stabilization issues.



    I really can't say for certain which format is better, but if you want to edit now, HDV is the way to go, NLE support is probably six months away, though there is a faint chance that the next iLife might support it in some way late January.



    Also, AVCHD is not replacing HDV. From what I understand, both will coexist for a good while.
  • Reply 23 of 54
    With regard to the Sanyo 720p cam, though, since it records to SD cards, how does that impact use with iMovie? I assume it works the same as with standard miniDV?
  • Reply 24 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DanMacMan


    With regard to the Sanyo 720p cam, though, since it records to SD cards, how does that impact use with iMovie? I assume it works the same as with standard miniDV?



    It won't work the same way but it might work. If Quicktime directly supports the format that the Sanyo saves, then you can probably "import" the video file, rather than "capture". Import and capture are different in subtle ways.
  • Reply 25 of 54
    Okay, perhaps I would be better off buying a nice standard-def camera like the DCR-SR80 and waiting for a year or so for Sony to get their HD Camcorders sorted out. It seems like things are still getting hammered out with AVCHD and HDV, iMovie editing, Sony proprietary software, etc.. I could easily spend $500 today, then flip it for $250 in a year and get a nice camera. In total, I'd be out about $250 and that's a small price to pay to get what I really want -- which is pro-sumer features in a $1000 package. Is that so wrong?
  • Reply 26 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midfat


    Okay, perhaps I would be better off buying a nice standard-def camera like the DCR-SR80 and waiting for a year or so for Sony to get their HD Camcorders sorted out. It seems like things are still getting hammered out with AVCHD and HDV, iMovie editing, Sony proprietary software, etc.. I could easily spend $500 today, then flip it for $250 in a year and get a nice camera. In total, I'd be out about $250 and that's a small price to pay to get what I really want -- which is pro-sumer features in a $1000 package. Is that so wrong?



    HDV works fine without any extra software packages. iMovie, FCE and FCP and pretty much any other NLE supports HDV. The difficulty lies with AVCHD, and that's where you would want to wait six months if that's the kind of camera you want.
  • Reply 27 of 54
    mr. memr. me Posts: 3,219member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midfat


    ... In total, I'd be out about $250 and that's a small price to pay to get what I really want -- which is pro-sumer features in a $1000 package. Is that so wrong?



    There is nothing pro about AVCHD. It is strictly a consumer format. If you want to edit your videos, then stick with HDV or miniDV. If you want direct media-to-display video, then AVCHD is probably OK. It you try to edit it, your transcoder will substantially reduce its quality.
  • Reply 28 of 54
    Hi sorry to jump on this thread.



    After Macworld I am going to get an imac. My husband and I would like to get a camcorder for Xmas. Something simple. Perhaps do some things on it with imovie. There is a huge difference in price so will probably not go for the HD format yet. What is the best format for me to get. I am thinking miniDV.



    Cheers J.
  • Reply 29 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mr. Me


    There is nothing pro about AVCHD. It is strictly a consumer format. If you want to edit your videos, then stick with HDV or miniDV. If you want direct media-to-display video, then AVCHD is probably OK. It you try to edit it, your transcoder will substantially reduce its quality.



    In all fairness, miniDV and HDV was never intended to be pro formats either, it just turned out to be popular. The difference though is that there were a few low-end pro HDV camcorders released right away, I think before there were consumer HDV camcorders, but there is no such counterpart for AVCHD yet.
  • Reply 30 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Poppet


    Hi sorry to jump on this thread.



    After Macworld I am going to get an imac. My husband and I would like to get a camcorder for Xmas. Something simple. Perhaps do some things on it with imovie. There is a huge difference in price so will probably not go for the HD format yet. What is the best format for me to get. I am thinking miniDV.



    MiniDV is probably your best bet, though there may be some DVD or hard drive writing camcorders. I know miniDV will work with Apple's video editing software, I don't know about DVD or hard drive units.
  • Reply 31 of 54
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    There is nothing pro about AVCHD.



    Oh really......



    At a press briefing in New York City today, Panasonic showcased the new shoulder-mounted AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD camcorder, supporting the new AVC-Intra codec, which aims to make the solid-state recording format more attractive by effectively doubling the capacity of each P2 card. The AJ-HPX2000 holds up to five hot-swappable P2 cards, and is slated to ship in January at a suggested list price of $27,000.



    The AVC-Intra codec runs at two data rates. At 100 Mbps, the same rate as DVCPRO HD footage, Panasonic said you get 10-bit 4:2:2 images at both 1920x1080 i/p and 1280x720p (480i and 576i are also options), comparing the image quality to the D-5 HD format. But the efficiency becomes as compelling as the quality when you run AVC-I at 50 Mbps, matching the quality of existing DVCPRO HD footage while doubling the capacity of your pricey P2 media. (Look for enhanced capacity announcements next year to make this an even more attractive bargain.) Representatives from Avid and Apple were both on hand to pledge support for AVC-I in future versions of their NLE systems.



    To underscore the point, Panasonic displayed examples of footage compressed over multiple generations using both MPEG-2 and AVC-I side by side on a large flat panel. The results portrayed MPEG-2 artifacting in a poor light indeed. (Still, it's unclear what direct implications the relative shoddy appearance of footage that's been compressed over five generations might have on working shooters.)



    Interestingly, Panasonic executives did not take the opportunity to directly slag the rival codec, which is used in Sony's similarly tapeless XDCAM line-up, which records images to optical discs. Instead, that task fell to an actress on-stage during the presentation, playing a dingy but bubbly blonde newscaster who declared, loudly, "It's toodle-oo to MPEG-2!"



    (For its own part, Sony has stressed the maturity of MPEG-2 solutions over their more cutting-edge H.264 counterparts.)



    The AVC-I introduction comes at a time when broadcasters are considering upgrading their newsgathering systems. Cox Broadcasting, for example, now plans to convert news operations at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, and WSB-TV in Atlanta, Georgia, to P2 starting in January.



    Also on offer from Panasonic is the new AJ-HPM100 P2 HD mobile recorder, with its six P2 card slots, which is now shipping at a suggested list price of $12,000. Next July, an AVC-Intra board will be available as an option.




    Quote:

    My husband and I would like to get a camcorder for Xmas. Something simple.



    Go with miniDV. Its mature, simple, and easy to use.
  • Reply 32 of 54
    almalm Posts: 111member
    I read it carefully and cannot find where AVCHD mentioned. I guess AVCHD and AVC-I are not the same.
  • Reply 33 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ALM


    I read it carefully and cannot find where AVCHD mentioned. I guess AVCHD and AVC-I are not the same.





    AVC-I has a data rate of up to 100. AVCHD is limited to 25Mbps, and the current recorders are actually limited to less than that, the HDR-UX1 is 12 and and HDR-SR1 has a 15Mbps cap.
  • Reply 34 of 54
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    I read it carefully and cannot find where AVCHD mentioned. I guess AVCHD and AVC-I are not the same.



    The names are marketing semantics. They both come from the exact same codec, H.264/MPEG-4 Advanced Video Coding.
  • Reply 35 of 54
    Sooooo, I will be able to edit AVDCH on my iMovieHD shortly?



    Also, are you saying that the current 25mbps AVCHD is sub-par? This is quickly getting even more confusing...
  • Reply 36 of 54
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by midfat


    Sooooo, I will be able to edit AVDCH on my iMovieHD shortly?



    Also, are you saying that the current 25mbps AVCHD is sub-par? This is quickly getting even more confusing...



    At 25Mbps, it would be better than HDV, but there is no AVCHD camera that saves at that data rate.
  • Reply 37 of 54
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    AVC-I is better for editing.



    With AVCHD you're compressing the video using Long GOP (Group of Frames- Interframe) this is efficient but it means you don't have the same frame accuracy that you have with something like MiniDV or a Professional codec.



    What Panasonic has done with AVC-Intra is utilize the better compression of AVC but maintain individual frames (Intraframe ). When it comes time to edit having clearly defined frames makes the chore a lot easier.



    You also have a colorspace improvement with AVC-I which supports 4:2:2. AVCHD is limited to 4:2.0 which is the same as HDV but likely better than MiniDVs 4:1:1.



    I'm thinking about ..or rather hoping that I will have access to a HDV camcorder sometime next year that is newer than today's models. The Sony HC3 is nice but I'd love to Canon to do a little better
  • Reply 38 of 54
    tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Quote:

    With AVCHD you're compressing the video using Long GOP (Group of Frames- Interframe) this is efficient but it means you don't have the same frame accuracy that you have with something like MiniDV or a Professional codec.

    What Panasonic has done with AVC-Intra is utilize the better compression of AVC but maintain individual frames (Intraframe )



    Right, AVCHD is geared more towards enabling HD shooting for the consumer resulting in small video files. AVC-I is geared more towards professional HD shooting which will create larger video files. They use different compression schemes but the underlying technology for both is exactly the same.
  • Reply 39 of 54
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,125member
    Truth be told once you've seen the video from a 4:2:2 with large CCDs this consumer stuff kind of pales in comparison.



    I'll gladly accept the higher rez though. AVCHD is going to require a pretty beefy computer to edit smoothly.
  • Reply 40 of 54
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TenoBell View Post


    The same as AVCHD is a stop gap for Blu-ray.



    Blu-ray is a physical format, AVCHD is a codec. You could put AVCHD footage on a blu-ray disc. Not sure if you could play it back but that's another story.



    I personally don't understand why everyone here is so HDV happy. HDV is kind of a clusterf*** of a format. No HDV seems to be same as another. There is no solid ground in the format. Both Sony and Panasonic are supporting AVCHD and they are the two power players in the industry. So there is no doubt this will become "the" format. It's just a matter of time before you start seeing it everywhere.

    Yes HDV will still be around for years, as will MiniDV and VHS. But the focus will grow stronger on AVCHD. So why deny it. Just because you can't edit it yet in imovie? Give it a few months and you won't even remember that time you couldn't.
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