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Trying Premierer pro CS6 with Sony HXR-NX5E and JVC GY-HM600E camcorders

Apr 22, 2013 7:45 AM

I recently had the opportunity to test the Sony HXR-NX5E and the JVC GY-HM600E camcorders, to see how they worked with Premiere CS6.0.3, so I thought I would share my findings with you all. I only had one working day to do the tests and I had to share the time with a colleague, so I could not test the camcorders as thoroughly as I would have liked. I made a long continuous recording and also a set of short clips.

 

For the Sony, I only tested 1080/50i FX 24 Mbps AVCHD (not tested SD) and for the JVC I tried the following; (again SD not tested)
MP4 (MPEG2) 1080/50i 35 Mbps VBR HQ
QuickTime (MPEG2) 1080/50i 35 Mbps VBR HQ
AVCHD 1080/50i 24 Mbps HQ

The computer used was a HP Z400 6 core CPU, 6GB Ram, Nvidia Quadro 4000, HDD – internal SATA 6Gbps (Not the boot drive)

 

Summary (The long version is below)
------------

Sony
Short files replay OK in Premiere. A long recording, which the camcorder recorded as spanned clips on the card(s), was imported by Premiere as a single clip per card. Dragging one of the clips to the New Item icon (bottom of Project panel), resulted in a new sequence with AVC-Intra 100 1080i 50Hz settings. Using an AVCHD sequence, scrubbing a sequence can cause the image in Premiere to freeze, taking a few minutes to recover. Even if you use Sony software to combine all the spanned parts into a single AVCHD file, this still causes Premiere to freeze the image. The only option seems to be to use Prelude to transcode the AVCHD clips into another format. (Prelude can combine all spanned files in a card, into a single output file.)

 

JVC in AVCHD mode.
A long recording is imported by Premiere as a single clip. Each card has to be dealt with separately (as it was with the Sony). Dragging one of the clips to the New Item icon (bottom of Project panel), resulted in a new sequence with AVC-Intra 100 1080i 50Hz settings. When the two parts (one from each card) are joined in a sequence, the audio cuts out for a second at the end of the first clip. Maybe JVC has software to join the files into a single clip? No freezing of the image – unlike Sony.

 

JVC recording in MP4 mode.
No problems. In fact if the card’s JVC folders are re-named JVC1 and JVC2 (probably other names are usable), then all spanned files across both cards are combined into a single clip in Premiere.

 

JVC recording in QuickTime mode.
In Media Browser, clicking on the JVC folder only showed the folders in that folder – no video files. Only when clicking on the Clip folder (the folder path being JVC > CQAV > CLIP) were the video files shown. The spanned clips were not combined – you can only import each 3.6 GB clip separately. (Maybe this format is only really for Mac systems?)

The New Item icon, produced a custom sequence, so I used that. There were no playback problems.

 

The complete story. (Long version)
--------------------------

Sony HXR-NX5E
I used two 8GB cards to do one continuous recording of 68 mins. (Split across the two cards.)

I copied the AVCHD folders from the cards to the HDD and renamed them as AVCHD1 and AVCHD2.

Using the media browser, Premiere recognised the video file as soon as the AVCHD1 folder was clicked and it combined all the spanned files on the card into one clip of 44 mins. R-click, select import and it imported OK. I waited for conforming to finish.

Repeat for card AVCHD2. There are now two clips called 00000.MTS in the project window. It won’t combine the files across two cards into one clip.

Dragging one of the clips to the New Item icon (bottom of Project panel), resulted in a new sequence with AVC-Intra 100 1080i 50Hz settings!

I added both clips to an AVCHD sequence and played the sequence. If I played a bit here and a bit there – jumping about in the 68 mins of the two clips, sometimes the image would freeze but the audio would play. Same result when scrubbing through the sequence. Pausing playback and waiting a while was normally enough to allow Premiere to “catch up” but not always.

 

Adobe knows about the freezing issue with spanned clips.
http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/kb/audio-video-glitches-avchd.html

Using Prelude to transcode the AVCHD files, I decided to try DNxHD. This resulted in the original files going from a total of 13.6 GB to a single 91 GB file! I did not realise that DNxHD was Avid’s version of Apple’s Pro-res codec, hence the high bit rate. This was more than my single SATA drive could cope with – I got quite a bit of frame dropping. I then tried transcoding to XDCAM. The end result was OK.

 

If you import each individual file from the cards and put them together in a sequence, there are other issues at the join points.

Sony has downloadable software available that I thought might fix some of these problems. I could not use the Sony Content Management Utility V2.1 as it required the camcorder to be connected to the computer during software installation. (The camcorder had gone back.)

I got a free password to install Content Browser v2.01 and used that to install the software. To work in this software, you require ALL the folders on the card, I.E. from the root of the card (PRIVATE and the hidden file AVF_INFO). Using the software, I managed to combine both cards into one folder, but they were still spanned files. Premiere did import this folder as a single 68 min clip though. It did not fix the image freezing problem. Later I found how to combine the files into a single AVCHD file. When this was imported to Premiere, the freezing still happened. The freezing issue is not just related to spanned AVCHD files. What the maximum duration an AVCHD clip can be to work in Premiere without freezing is, I don’t know.

 

I also recorded 21 short clips of approx. 40 seconds each. (LPCM and Dolby audio) These were put in a sequence again and again until there was more than 60 mins of time in the sequence. You could scrub about freely in the sequence playing back anywhere without any problems.

Attempting to play the AVCHD files in Windows media player resulted in no sound, only the vision in the AVCHD files, I.E. the clips were mute. VLC player played the AVCHD files OK.

 

JVC recording in AVCHD

Again I recorded over an hour split across two cards. All spanned files in a single card were imported by Premiere into a single clip, but not across cards.

Dragging one of the clips to the New Item icon (bottom of Project panel), resulted in a new sequence with AVC-Intra 100 1080i 50Hz settings.

 

Using an AVCHD sequence, I added the two long clips (73 mins). When played across the join, the audio cuts out for a second at the end of the first clip. Maybe JVC has software to join the files into a single clip? (Same results with an AVC-intra sequence.) No freezing of the image – unlike Sony.

 

JVC recording in MP4

I copied the JVC folder from each of the cards to the HDD, renaming them as JVC1 and JVC2. In Media Browser, as soon as I clicked on the JVC1 folder it recognised that there were spanned files on both cards and it combined all the files into one clip.

 

The New Item icon, correctly identified the MP4 files as XDCAM EX (HQ) and there were no playback problems.

 

JVC recording in QuickTime

 

I copied the JVC folder from each of the cards to the HDD, renaming them as JVC1 and JVC2. In Media Browser, clicking on the JVC1 folder (or JVC2) only showed the folders in that folder – no video files. Only when clicking on the Clip folder (the folder path being JVC > CQAV > CLIP) were the video files shown. The spanned clips were not combined – you can only import each 3.6 GB clip separately. (Maybe this format is only really for Mac systems?)

The New Item icon, produced a custom sequence, so I used that. There were no playback problems.

 

====================================================================== =========

So from the above, long Sony AVCHD files can cause Premiere problems, JVC AVCHD files don’t cause Premiere to freeze but there is an audio problem where you have a join between cards. If using JVC, use ONE large capacity SDHC or SDXC card to stop problems.
OR use MP4 format (which is what I use with a JVC GY-HM700 camcorder.

 

Bye Andrew

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 22, 2013 8:59 AM   in reply to Andrew_S

    Later I found how to combine the files into a single AVCHD file. When this was imported to Premiere, the freezing still happened.

     

    If you're wiling, I'd be interested in testing that here.

     

    https://www.depositfiles.com/en/

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 24, 2013 8:51 PM   in reply to Andrew_S
     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 26, 2013 9:35 AM   in reply to Andrew_S

    The PM was blank.  Click on my name for my email.  Try that instead.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 29, 2013 8:45 AM   in reply to Andrew_S

    I need the link.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 29, 2013 9:06 AM   in reply to Andrew_S

    No, when you finish your upload to Deposit Files, they give you a link to your uploaded file so other people can download.  I need that.  The link I gave is just the Home page, not to your specific files.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 29, 2013 11:43 AM   in reply to Andrew_S

    I have a Gmail account.  Click my name to get it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2013 11:37 AM   in reply to Andrew_S

    I'm not having any troubles with the combined file.  It plays and scans just fine for me.  In fact, with the new Don't Stop Playback feature of CS6, it's playing right now as I type this.

     
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