16 Replies Latest reply on Jul 19, 2011 3:17 PM by Harm Millaard

    What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?

    lupaie Level 1

      Hi people,

       

      I can choose from these two models:

       

      SONY NX5E http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-HXRNX5U/

       

      OR

       

      SONY EX1R http://pro.sony.com/bbsc/ssr/product-PMWEX1R/

       

      Both camera's are good for me I think but I want to know how they will effect my workspace.

      I use a 8core Mac Pro with Premiere Pro 5.5 and on the road I have to be able to edit with a Macbook Pro (newest model) and Premiere Pro 5.5. Which format is fastest to edit with/takes less computing?

       

      Also, I think because of the Cards used in the AVCHD cam its easier to get footage on my macs but I love to know what you guys think!

       

      My two cents ( i might be wrong):

       

       


      NX5EX1
      Quality+++++++
      Transferspeed++++++
      Data-amount+++++
      Price40005000
      Premiere Pro Editing????
      Price Cards20400
      Anything Else?????

       

        • 1. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
          UlfLaursen Level 2

          One thing i just noticed - the NX have no hdmi out if you want to use an external monitor f.ex

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            I agree with the quality rating, but not with the transfer speed. They are about equal.

             

            The EX1 puts a lesser burden on the system, because the codec is easier to handle. Look here: Adobe Forums: System requirements for CS5

             

            Editing on the road with a MBP, which does not meet minimum requirements, can be problematic and from that POV there is only one conclusion: EX1

            • 3. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              I agree with the quality rating

               

              Not everyone does.

               

              "AVCCAM's 21mbps PH mode is a clearly superior codec over XDCAM EX. No question, no argument, no doubt. While XDCAM kept up with AVCCAM in almost all the testing, it took nearly 70% more space to do it. And then there were the codec-stress times when AVCCAM was just significantly superior. Any way you slice it, the recorded image of the AVCCAM was as good or better, on cheaper media, in much smaller file sizes for easier archiving and storage (and not to mention the metadata that you can use in AVCCAM, helpful in locating your archived clips)." - Barry Green

               

              Of course, he was talking about the Panasonic version of AVCHD, but I suspect you'll find similar performance advantages in the Sony implementation.  MPEG4 is simply a technologically superior codec to the older MPEG2 used by XDCAM.

              • 4. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                I don't agree with Barry Green, because 21 + 70% is still no more than XDCAM. XDCAM has much better glass and bigger sensors, giving better DOF and better low light capabilities and better S/N ratio and dynamic range.

                 

                But the OP has no choice. A MBP just can't handle AVCHD in a decent way.

                • 5. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                  lupaie Level 1

                  Thanks Harm (Your name sound really Dutch by the way), Other posters, also thanks!

                   

                  It seems that the extra investment of XDCAM is worth it. Maybe FCPX will handle the files a bit better on the MacbookPro. I'll upgrade my 8core mac the 24gb memory so that should cover it I think. Many thanks!

                  • 6. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                    Keith Moreau Level 1

                    The EX1R is clearly a superior camera, I have a EX1. However your pricing is off, unless you're getting it used. The EX1R is much more than $5000. One thing you can save on is the Memory cards, you don't need the Sony SxS cards, get a MxR or MxM or Hoodman SDHC to SxS adapter, then you can put virtually any fast SDHC card in it, which is about 1/20 the cost of the native SxS cards.

                     

                    XDCAM EX codec is very easy on the CPU, you can have a lot more streams without taxing the CPU, this is important if you do Multicam stuff.

                     

                    The EX1 has much better lens, faster, and better low light. The larger sensor allows for shallower depth of field if you need it, for a more 'filmic' look.

                     

                    That being said, I have similar systems to you, both Mac Pro and Mac Book Pro, and I've edited AVCHD as well as XDCam with few issues.

                     

                    Good luck.

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                      lupaie Level 1

                      Many thanks, that helps a lot! Prices were in euro's and i've seen an offer for 5500 for the ex1r

                      • 8. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                        Jim_Simon Level 8
                        XDCAM has much better glass and bigger sensors, giving better DOF and better low light capabilities and better S/N ratio and dynamic range.

                         

                        All good points, Harm.  Barry's test was purely between codecs.

                        • 9. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          Barry is right that AVCHD is more efficient in the compression, no doubt (70% difference), but that is also the main drawback. It requires much more complex algorithms to achieve that and during editing, requires much more horsepower from the computer to decode.

                           

                          If you could only shoot and burn to the delivery medium, without editing, it would be great. But if you want to edit, the better compression is offset by the muscle required from the computer. Remember that sometime ago Cineform was popular among people with less capable PC's, because it put less of a strain on the PC than the native format, even though the space requirements were clearly higher. With current desktops that usually is no longer necessary, so you skip the transcoding step, but with notebooks it is a different matter, especially with a notebook that has only one internal disk and lacks an eSATA port, like the MBP.

                          • 10. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                            Daxman1965 Level 1

                            I have a EX1R and my partner has a NX5, buy the EX1R much better camera and if you still need SD the NX is a waste of time you need to connect the camera to down convert. EX1R has DVCAM and much better slow motion. EX1R edits like a dream on my Laptop. I use SD cards Class 10 64 gig with adapter cards the cost is about R1600.00 = +-200 US.

                             

                            Darren

                            • 11. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                              Jim_Simon Level 8

                              with notebooks it is a different matter

                               

                              That probably depends on the rig.  I've no trouble editing H.254 on a Dell with an i7 920 inside.

                              • 12. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                An i7-920 is not typical for a notebook, only for desktops. Your Dell is more likely a normal desktop, packaged smaller. Notebooks with mobile processors just don't cut it, unless you get a Sager or Clevo with 2 or 3 disks internally and a good video card. The MBP does not have those features. I'm surprised there exists a Dell notebook with an i7-920. Did they replace the useless battery with two additional disks? A long life battery will not last much longer than 15-30 minutes. Also, you are a rare species to edit in H.254, most would use H.264

                                • 13. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                                  Keith Moreau Level 1

                                  I'm not sure if you can characterize "The MBP does not have those features," is not necessarily accurate. I've used Premiere Pro with MacBook Pros from 2008 as well as the newest 2011 i7 4 core model which I have. Check out their specs here: http://www.apple.com/macbookpro/performance.html.

                                   

                                  The newest MBP's have a 'Thunderbolt' port, which is nice since there was a gap for a couple of years where they removed the ExpressCard slot in the smaller than 17" models but the ExpressCard slot allowed me to put in a eSATA PC card and use eSATA RAID drives to edit with the MBP.

                                   

                                  Thunderbolt drives, when released soon, can and will have a throughput of upwards of 700MB /s or more (that will cost, however) but it's potentially a very powerful drive and peripheral interface for the future.

                                   

                                  I guess I just wouldn't necessarily discount the ability to edit anything on a MacBook pro out of hand, and this is not to disparage the many fine Windows PC laptops which I'm sure have their powerful equivalents and perhaps there are some even more than the Apple mobile line. One thing though that for now some PC Mobile platforms have which the Apple MacBook Pros do not support yet is Nvidia CUDA acceleration, this is an important consideration. I believe some of the mobile nVidia cards support Adobe's MPE CUDA.

                                  • 14. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                                    lupaie Level 1

                                    My macbook is a Quadcore i7 2,2ghz- 8gb Ram, but indeed, no cuda

                                    • 15. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                                      Jim_Simon Level 8

                                      An i7-920 is not typical for a notebook

                                       

                                      Typing in "Dell Notebook" into Google, I went to the very first link in the results page.  Right there in the navigation were links to which model Dell you want to configure, i7, i5 and i3.

                                       

                                      Seems pretty common to me.

                                      • 16. Re: What camera to choose AVCHD or XDCAM?
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                        Yeah, but they are all i3, i5, i7 xxxM CPU's meaning Mobile CPU's and they are far less powerfull than the regular versions without the M. Just compare the clock speed, the L3 cache, the installable memory etc.

                                         

                                        Look at the Dell laptops at rank # 246 and # 297 here: http://ppbm5.com/DB-PPBM5-2.php.

                                         

                                        How come you don't know what's inside your own system or did you make it up?