34 Replies Latest reply on Jan 6, 2009 5:16 AM by (elmu)

    New camera: HDV or AVCHD??

    Nicolaj T Level 1
      Hi

      b Q1: I am looking for a HD camera, I've used DV until now. I'll also upgrade to CS4. But which camera should I go for, or more specific, which format: HDV or AVCHD? Any camera suggestions (in the range of 1000-1500 USD (or about 10.000 NOK)

      I have read a lot about the time issues using AVCHD, as well as other problems using this format. But it seems that, at least for someone, it does work.

      About my usage:
      - editing is just a hobby for me, so long rendering/exporting time is not a problem, as long as the(simple) editing works fine (that I preview transitions, added text, and some other "simple" effects without need to render first)
      - for me would a HDD based camera be more convenient than a tape based HDV camera (that is why I "hope" to get a avchd camera instead of HDV)

      b Q2: I have a Core 2 Duo 2,4 GHz, 2 GB DDR2 ram three disk system now, but will do some upgrades if neccessary (eg. 3xRAID 0, Quad core, some more ram)

      b Q3 Which process is time consuming using AVCHD? importing to Premiere (but I guess you do not have to recode the files?), editing, and/or rendering/exporting to Blue ray?

      b Q4 For those of you using AVCHD, and are happy about how its works, what kind of camera and system do you use?

      Thanx
      Nic
        • 1. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
          Curt Wrigley Level 4
          HDV

          Today; AVCHD requires a super fast computer with tons of mem for mediocre results. Editing will be sluggish and frustrating. Unless you convert it to a more editable format. But in that case you have lost most of the convenience of AVCHD.

          Curt
          • 2. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
            Nicolaj T Level 1
            Thanx

            Is converting avchd to another format (DV?) troubblesome and/or time consuming (which will not be a problem for me) process? Does Premiere convert AVCHD files, or do you need to by another program to do this?
            • 3. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
              Curt Wrigley Level 4
              most avchd cams come with basic sw for basic editing which should allow saving to a better format. DV is not a choice since avchd is all hd resolution. ergo most likely conversion is to mpg2 which is another compression step and a small hit on quality.

              I dont know too many people happy with editing avchd video. perhaps a few will chime in.
              • 4. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                Level 1
                Nicolaj,

                If money is no object, go with the EX1. You can get one for 5500 Euros.

                If money is an object, stick with HDV as you can get top notch HDV cameras for 2 or 3 thousand Euros.

                Obviously it all depends on how much money you want to spend. Flash card cameras are the future but it still costs more.
                • 5. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                  > If money is no object, go with the EX1. You can get one for 5500 Euros.

                  That price is too high. Around 5K would be more accurate when including sales tax, which is deductible for the majority here, so quoting a price of around 4,2K would be more accurate. Secondly, why mention only the EX1, when the EX3 has major advantages?

                  > Obviously it all depends on how much money you want to spend. Flash card cameras are the future but it still costs more.

                  Compared to what? EX1 and EX3 are flash card based, as are a number of others. What do you mean by MORE? $ 60 per hour recording time is more than what?
                  • 6. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                    Curt Wrigley Level 4
                    If you read his post he is looking in the $1000 - $1500 range.
                    • 7. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                      Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                      Have a look at the Canon HV30.
                      • 8. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                        Level 1
                        Harm, where do you get an EX1 for 4200 Euros ? The best I've seen from any respectable retailer is 6000 Euros including VAT. As far as the major advantages of the EX3 are concerned, what are they besides the ability to change lenses (which nobody ever does) and a fancy viewfinder (which isn't essential)?
                        • 9. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                          Nicolaj T Level 1
                          The EX1 and similar cameras are far above what I am looking for, as I am just an hobbyist. I am looking at the Canon HV30, which I can get for about 900 euros (in Norway), and seems like a very good camera when considering the price.

                          But as I would like a HDD camera (seems more convenient), I need to decide whether AVCHD is something "usable" or not (as I am not going to build a new high end deskt top).

                          b What is it that is so time consuming working woth avchd video in CS4? Rendering, exporting, or just simple editing and viewing "live" while editing? Any other issues with avchd than the time-issue?

                          I am going to upgrade to CS4 anyhow, so maby I'll try to edit some avchd files first (from a mate who has a flash memory avchd camera), then decide which camera/format to go for.
                          • 10. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                            Curt Wrigley Level 4
                            AVCHD format is more complex encoding (compression) than hdv. Ergo it takes a lot more processing power for your computer to display a frame of video. Because of that, pretty much ever aspect of native avchd editing is slower. Playback, editing, rendering, etc... The only editing advantage is its tapless, no capture time. But, if you need to convert it to another format to edit smoothly, this benefit goes away.

                            I will say that 2 years ago we were saying the same thing about editing MPG2. In that case computers have gotten fast enough and sw better that mpg2 native editing is now commonplace.

                            AVCHD exists because flash mem is expensive. If there were 100Gb flash cards for $50, they wouldnt bother with such a complex compression scheme.
                            • 11. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                              Nicolaj T Level 1
                              Thanx! The capture time for HDV is not a problem for me anyway.

                              b Will HDV be much the same to edit (when considering playback, rendering, editing etc) as DV, and is the same disk sizes required?

                              I plan to upgrade to RAID disks and maybe a quad core, if needed (I'll check my present system first).
                              • 12. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                HDV is much easier to edit than AVCHD, but not as easy as DV.

                                Ill put it this way: I have an old editing PC that is P IV 3Ghz, 2G ram. Editing HDV on it is painful, sluggish. On my new quad core; its very smooth; not as smooth as dv, but a pleasant experience.

                                Curt
                                • 13. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                  Harm Millaard Level 7
                                  http://www.globalmediapro.com/dp/A02I88/Sony-PMW-EX1-XDCAM-Camcorder/

                                  Since when is a viewfinder non-essential? There are people that use exchangeable lenses, there are people that use Letus or similar, there are people that find ergonomics a factor, etc.
                                  • 14. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                    Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                    Indeed. In fact i believe you will find most pro shooters will say interchangeable len's and a good viewfinder are mandatory.
                                    • 15. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                      Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                      > Have a look at the Canon HV30.

                                      I 2nd that recommendation for a cam in your price range. My son has one and its a good cam.
                                      • 16. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                        mickkeay Level 1
                                        I would go along with everything here EXCEPT... that I have just got my self (for xmas) a new intel i7 PC (asus p6t Delux mb)with 3G of DDR3 RAM with a GTX260 graphics card and I was stunned! It just breezes AVCHD on the timeline as if it were good old dv. I have been struggling with AVCHD until now (converting to HDV first) but I am just blown away
                                        • 17. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                          Curt, maybe we are at the dawn of that new age that you forecast with the new i7's???? Just imagine the dual Nehalem's in a few months.

                                          MickKeay, I am a hardware nut, what disk system did you put into this system the handles AVCHD so well? Are you using XP or Vista?
                                          • 18. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                            Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                            Quite possible. It wasnt that long ago it was considered lunacy to try to edit mpg2 natively. (actually some still do :) )
                                            • 19. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                              mickkeay Level 1
                                              Bill

                                              I am a hobbyist and still shuffling stuff but I kicked off with Vista (home premium - came with it) 32bit but ready to move to 64 or even back to XP. I have a long track record of watching AVCHD hang itself on the timeline. The disks were nothing special - infact most of the tests so far have been on an EXTERNAL USB2 drive which has all the AVCHD footage on it. It is just superb. I am currently trying to get my mercalli working - now that will give it a run. Will keep you posted
                                              • 20. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant
                                                Well I guess that answers others questions about what configuration it takes to properly handle AVCHD. Apparently it is strictly CPU intensive if MickKeay can use USB2, the slowest disk interface technology, and is delighted with the performance.
                                                • 21. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                  Nicolaj T Level 1
                                                  :) Seems like the new i7 CPU solves the problems with avchd (at least the time-issues). BUT for me, it demands an almost new desk top (MBO, CPU, RAM) ... an at a pretty high price as the needed equipment are pretty new, and therefore costs pretty much at the moment.

                                                  I've come to this conclusion about which format to choose:

                                                  i - an AVCHD camera

                                                  i ...but I'll wait to upgrade my PC a coupple of months until the prices as dropped a bit for the i7, MBO, DDR3s (and I'll also get a SSD for the OS (if that will improve performance), and reuse my 3 SATA II drives in RAID 0 array + a big external disk for backup)

                                                  b Q: But while waiting for my deks top upgrade, I'll have to use my curren system (Dual core 2,4Ghz, 2 GB ram) to handle the video. Is converting the AVCHD to HDV/mpeg2 (to get a format my system can handle (?)) an easy task, and do Premier CS4 do this job, or do I need a diffenet program?

                                                  Does this sound like a "good" solution/conlusion?

                                                  b Q2: which avchd camera to by, in the same price range as the Canon HV30?

                                                  Thanx guys, and a happy new year!

                                                  Nic
                                                  • 22. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                    Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                    >new desk top (MBO, CPU, RAM) ... an at a pretty high price

                                                    I suppose that's relative. I've priced those three components at about $700 recently. Compared to the $2,000 to $3,000 one can easily spend on a full blown editing rig, that's a pretty cheap upgrade.

                                                    >reuse my 3 SATA II drives in RAID 0 array

                                                    I'd recommend against that. RAID isn't really needed at the HDV or AVCHD levels. Most single drives will be more than fast enough to handle the data rates, which are the same or below that of simple DV media. You'd be better off keeping them separate and using them for separate functions - Projects, Scratch, Exports, Media, ISO Images, etc.

                                                    >which avchd camera to by, in the same price range as the Canon HV30?

                                                    Take care here. From what I've read, HDV cameras will have superior picture quality to AVCHD cameras in this price range. The first AVCHD camera to really use the full bitrate, and thus achieve a better picture than HDV, costs upwards of $4,000 - the Panasonic HMC150.
                                                    • 23. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                      Jim, the Canon HF11 uses AVCHD and has a data rate of 24 Mb/s, which is almost the same as HDV. This camera costs much less than $4,000.
                                                      • 24. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                        Curt Wrigley Level 4
                                                        > HF11 uses AVCHD and has a data rate of 24 Mb/s, which is almost the same as HDV.

                                                        Dont assume same data rate mean same ease of editing. Within that data rate is a much more complex encoding scheeme which means it takes more horesepower to edit it.
                                                        • 25. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                          Level 1
                                                          Qualitywise AVCHD.
                                                          Keen on editing issues? AVCHD.
                                                          Want no problems with editing? HD
                                                          I'm using a Sony HDR SR11 with AVCHD, so I have some experience.
                                                          Rob
                                                          • 26. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                            Jim_Simon Level 8
                                                            >the Canon HF11...has a data rate of 24 Mb/s

                                                            Good catch. I wasn't aware that the max bitrate had made it into consumer models yet.
                                                            • 27. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                              Nicolaj T Level 1
                                                              Anyone with some experiences of, or knowledge about, the Sony HDR CX11E? How is this camera compared whith Canon HF11?

                                                              The Sony-camera has 5.1 Dolby Digital sound, while Canon "only" has 2.0 Dolby Digital? But does Sony's mic actually record surround sound - which will correspond to the 5.1 sound layers in Premiere? Sounds cool if this is true ...

                                                              Nic
                                                              • 28. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP
                                                                You can get 5.1 into Premiere no problem. But to get it out again you have to purchase Surcode.
                                                                • 29. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                  Nicolaj T Level 1
                                                                  About 5.1 sound in Premiere - why is it a problem getting 5.1 sound burned on a DVD or a BR disk? Isn't there a setting in Premiere and Encore to burn 5.1 sound from the projects?

                                                                  What is Surcode?
                                                                  • 30. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7


                                                                    i "I reserve the right to call anyone a noob. Especially if you haven't read the ******* manual!!"

                                                                    i "The two most abundant things in the universe, are Hydrogen......and Noobidity!"
                                                                    • 31. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                      Just "SAY NO" to avchd. It's evil. I'm using a Sony HDR-SR1 and for editing I have a strong machine (vista 64-bit, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 Kentsfield processor, 8GB ram and a good video card 8800 gt) and it still struggles with scrubbing through the timeline. How about 5 hours to transcode 44 minutes of avchd into SD windows media? Sound like fun with CS4?

                                                                      If you really want to go this route get Sony Vegas. It works, much, much better and uses less system resources. I just didn't want to learn a new NLE...
                                                                      • 32. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                        Hi,
                                                                        my inputs are:

                                                                        Q1:
                                                                        if you like a nontape workflow --> Go for AVCHD
                                                                        Why not using Premiere Elements 7 for your hobby? everthing is perfectly supported in the first round..

                                                                        Q2:
                                                                        With a reasonable Q6600 system you can play 2 AVCHD streams nearly readtime today, i.e. editable both in PPro CS4 and APE7
                                                                        Q3
                                                                        In my case to apply/render a redgiant filter to a clip is even more time consuming as to generate a BD, never was a problem for me
                                                                        Q4
                                                                        AVCHD isn't evil, it's only another animal to tame.

                                                                        I use a Sony CX6E camcorder (memorysticks up to 32 GB), a monopod, a Zoom H2 for audio (forget the 5.1 ideas with cameras which even don't have limiter for the internal mic). If you would like to have some manual control I would suggest to look the Panasonic AVCHD consumer line.

                                                                        My next investment will be most probably a Panasonic HMC151E (AVCHD)or a Sony FX1000 with a recorder attached --> both at least 200 % of your budget; in any case you touched only the surface of all components needed for this "new world" :-))

                                                                        hber

                                                                        __________________________________________________________________
                                                                        SW Vista Ultimate 32 bit, Cubase SX 4.5.2, Triton Le, Adobe Master Collection, Izotope Ozone 3, Reason 4, Native Instruments Massive, Battery 3, VSL Vienna Suite, HW Intel D975XBX2, RME HDSP9632, Quad Q6600, 3 GB memory, Marvell 61xx 1 TB Raid 0 storage, GeForce 7600 GS silent, ext equipment MX200+166XL, Yamaha N12digital 5.1 mixing studio
                                                                        • 33. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                          Nicolaj T Level 1
                                                                          Elmu, I have had a look at Elements 7 (trial), but I still consider Premiere CS4, because:
                                                                          - would like to get the updated Encore CS4 which is delivered in the boundle (I did not find anything like premiere in Elements 7 - where multiple movies (projects) can be burned to one DVD/BR)
                                                                          - I like the features in Premiere, and it's work processes

                                                                          As I have concluded to buy a AVCHD camerea (most probably Canon HF11 w/ 24 Mbps 1920x1080), and I therefore consider a greater upgrading of my desktop to make it work properly with the avcdh.

                                                                          About Vegas: does this program handle avchd with less CPU-power than Premiere? (and I would not either learn a new program)

                                                                          Nic
                                                                          • 34. Re: New camera: HDV or AVCHD??
                                                                            Level 1
                                                                            Nic,
                                                                            agreed, Encore is the way to go.
                                                                            HF11 is an excellent choice too, only the Canon specific adapter doesn't allow you to add 3rd party micros, lights, etc.
                                                                            I used Vegas 8.c. before CS4 for some AVCHD/AVI conversion tasks but I never was a fan of the not so intutive workflow --> now everthing I can do within PPRO. As the preview in Vegas 8 is done with a smaller display resolution per default some could get the impression that this is smoother, less CPU-power consumption, etc. My personal feeling is that Vegas 8 is consuming less (10-20%)CPU power and the before mentioned conversion AVCDH/AVI was 1-2,5 times realtime.
                                                                            elmu