13 Replies Latest reply on Apr 6, 2009 10:45 AM by jimclark1947

    Working with H.264

    jimclark1947 Level 1

      I am looking at a new HD Sony camera.  The specification states that the file format is HD: MPEG4 AVC/H.264; SD: MPEG2.

       

      I have just upgraded from Premiere 6.5 and I know from experience that compressed file formats are not tolerated well.  I have research the question of whether CS4 will work well witht his HD format and have not found a conclusive YES or NO answer.  One source I found states that CS4 will work fine in everything from capture to edit to export, while another says it will not work.

       

      Can anyone please confirm for me whether the HD format for this camera will work with CS4??

       

      Thanks,

       

      Jim

        • 1. Re: Working with H.264
          Curt Wrigley Level 4

          AVCHD video will work natievly in Pr CS4.   But unless you have a lightning fast machine, it will be slow and jerky to play and edit.

          • 2. Re: Working with H.264
            jimclark1947 Level 1

            Thanks Curt.  I just built a new machine and so far it has exceeded every expectation for speed.  So perhaps this will be the ultimate test for me

             

            Jim

            • 3. Re: Working with H.264
              Curt Wrigley Level 4

              If you are not happy with the speed; an alternative is to convert the video to a less compressed format.   But I would certainly try editing it natively first.

              • 4. Re: Working with H.264
                jimclark1947 Level 1

                I'll plan to do that if necessary.  My biggest concern has actually been capture.  The camera I am looking at used a hard drive for storage so it will need to be recognized by PPro if it is to work.

                 

                For many years I've been using Scenalyzer because of the scene detection.  When I saw that CS4 has that feature I was very happy, and have used that several times now.  But if the PPro capture function doesn't work with the camera and file type I am trying to use then I end up transferring one long video file to the hard drive and from there, whether it's in PPro or some format conversion program, the result is not pleasant.  If I can at least get the video and audio into the computer as a batch of clips then that will be a happy start.

                 

                Thanks again,

                 

                Jim

                • 5. Re: Working with H.264
                  Curt Wrigley Level 4

                  As you have already deduced, capture will not work with your camera.  But it doesnt need to.  The main point of HD or flash storage is no need to capture video any more.    Just copy it to your workstation via usb.

                  • 6. Re: Working with H.264
                    jimclark1947 Level 1

                    Curt Wrigley wrote:

                     

                    As you have already deduced, capture will not work with your camera.  But it doesnt need to.  The main point of HD or flash storage is no need to capture video any more.    Just copy it to your workstation via usb.

                    Curt - Ok, you lost me on that one.  If not video, then what am I capturing?  Forgive me if I am not up to speed on the transition from my tape based DV camera to the newer technology yet.

                     

                    Whatever it is that I am "capturing" or "copying" to my workstation will still be one long sequence, right?  Is there a way to automatically scene detect that once it is on the workstation, or is that going to be one of those happy features of CS4 ?    I might have 45 minutes of footage with 30 scenes and it is sure a big help to have those scenes as separate clips.

                    • 7. Re: Working with H.264
                      Curt Wrigley Level 4

                      I think we are hung up on terms.  Your cam will recod video directly to a file on the hard drive of the camera.   So, there is no need to capture the video.  It is already "captured".

                       

                      All you need to do is copy that video file from your cam to your PC.  Typically via USb.

                       

                      Once on your PC, Pr can just  import that video file.  So there is no capture process.

                      • 8. Re: Working with H.264
                        jimclark1947 Level 1

                        Ok, yes it is a problem with terms.  I got it now.

                         

                        Thanks

                        • 9. Re: Working with H.264
                          jimclark1947 Level 1

                          I've been reading comments about editing AVCHD and although it may be compatible with CS4 there is some strong opinion about not doing it.  That leads me to a general question about format conversion.

                           

                          I've been using AVS Video Converter to get files that will import and edit properly in Premiere.  One of the output file type choices is Uncompressed Original; PCM audio which make an AVI file that will work in Premier just fine.

                           

                          If a converter is used on an AVCHD file to produce a more editable file then is there anything lost in the translation along the way?  Presuming all the project settings are for high def with the proper aspect ratio, ect. then can one expect the final output video to look as good as the original AVCHD files?

                           

                          This isn't a question about the AVS converter so much as the general concept of conversion.  After all, the whole idea of shooting in high def is to end up with a high def video with all the quality advantages over standard DV.

                           

                          Any thoughts?

                          • 10. Re: Working with H.264
                            Harm Millaard Level 7

                            You start with a dozen apples, you compress them heavily and you end up with apple juice. Nothing wrong with that if you like apple juice. Same with AVCHD.

                             

                            Now you want to try to uncompress the apple juice. What do you get? Diluted apple juice, but no apples. Same with AVCHD.

                             

                            AVCHD is meant as a delivery format and not meant to be edited. During compression a lot has been thrown away and nothing you do can get it back. Like apple juice. No way to get the original dozen apples restored.

                            • 11. Re: Working with H.264
                              jimclark1947 Level 1

                              Thanks Harm.  Yeah, I sort of figured that but needed to ask in case I was missing something.  So it appears then that the only way out of the delima of shooting HD with a desire to edit it, and then burn to Blu-Ray is to either start with a higher end camera that will produce editable files, or live with whatever I get when trying to edit the AVCHD file.

                              • 12. Re: Working with H.264
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                That sums it up nicely.

                                 

                                Either a costlier camera and a lesser PC, or a cheaper camera (AVCHD) and a beefier PC, or if your wallet permits a costlier camera on a beefy PC.

                                • 13. Re: Working with H.264
                                  jimclark1947 Level 1

                                  Haha - yeah, I've just spent a nice sum building a (hopefully) more than adequate computer so going over the top on a camera as well might wreck the home life, if you know what I mean.  I just wish there was a way to get my hands on some AVCHD files to give it a try.  Perhaps that will be my next mission before making a final decision on the camera.