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AVCHD versus HDV

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This may get a lot of posts in the future, but I'm curious and so I'll step up and ask the newbie questions.

 

I'm thinking of what camcorder to get, and the Sony's recent release of new new HDV and AVCHD consumer camcorders has got me thinking.

 

What are your thoughts on AVCHD versus HDV? HDV apparently only offers one play time, 60 minutes, whereas AVCHD offers LP, SP, HQ and HQ+. Using a dual layer disk, HQ+ will last you about 25 minutes and LP 60..

 

My key questions are:

 

- will the video quality of AVCHD in LP mode be as good as HDV?

 

- Is HQ+'s video quality significantly better than HDV's?

 

- How many minutes of footage to you shoot on a typical [say, 45 minute] dive? My main qualm about HQ+ is that essentially you're forced to spend half of your dive not shooting. Woe be to you if that whale shark does nothing much for 25 minutes, and then does something spectacular at minute 25.5.

 

Thanks for your thoughts!

Edited by MarkosC

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At the moment, AVCHD used in the Sony and Panasonic cameras at around 12-15mbps, whereas HDV is 19mbps (JVC) and 25mbps (SONY,CANON and JVC).

AVCHD is MPEG4 H264 based so comparing bitrates isn't an accurate accessment of quality but generally it's fairly accurate to say the more bandwidth the better. From what I've seen, the picture is not comparable in in motion artifact and color saturation. Temporally and resolution wise it's close enough that the layman would go wow. This is HQ+. Still AVCHD is more efficient and an exciting new codec but still not a HDV replacement at 15mbps. Once it hits 20-24mbps, watch out! This is one area where you have to go out to a camera store and try them out on a HDTV 1080p screen and see for yourself thing.

2 caveats:

1. For Apple owners: Apple has not jumped onto the AVCHD bandwagon as of yet. Adobe has and has announced Premiere Pro for Apple again this year. So I assume Adobe will support it.

2. AVCHD is not ready for primetime yet in my opinion. Still a lot of compression but HD-DVD and BluRay support it so it's a direct transfer. It's also a broadcast standard in many countries

according to some industry sources, yet none of the broadcasters have confirmed this. It's a standard that is here to stay until AVC-Intra breaks through. :)

 

Of course my info is 4 weeks old so all this could be changed. As always early adopters are really beta testers.

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Markos, the most I ever video on one 60-minute dive is about 20 minutes, even if it's a blinder.

 

If you've got a whale shark with you the whole dive you'll still want to be taking breathers to plan the next shot and in any case you'll probably suck your tank dry in 30 minutes.

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Im wondering why they kept it to 15 mbps and not 25 like HDV, is it a processing thing with chips not fast enough to handle it yet or kept it low to get more record time.

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See, its good Drew is back cuz i had no clue myself.

 

Learn something new everyday....

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Here is an interesting site comparing cameras.

 

It's in German but was converted to English by Babefish.

Click the forward button at the botom right of the page to read more.

It will take abit to load as it gets translated.

 

Sony HC1, Sony HC3, Sony UX1, Sony SR1, Sony FX7, Sony FX1

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It's the new AVC-Intra camcorders I'll be looking for!

 

Panasonic's new AJ-HPX2000 is just the beginning:

AVC-Intra offers comparable DVCPRO HD quality at half the bit rate, doubling the recording time per P2 card while lowering media storage and distribution costs.

Can't wait to see where this all goes!

 

Mary Lynn

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Hi Drew,

 

Yes, HDTV is officially broadcasted in Europe in H.264 (MPEG4).

 

Basically H.264 allows same quality with less bit rate than MPEG2. But I think it's different if professional studio/broadcast high speed machines compress it for HD-DVD / Blue Ray / HDTV or if some consumer camcorder has to deal with it in real time.

 

So I would be interested as well if someone has experience with AVCHD camcorders. I would expect them to suffer with fast motion as the codec requires much more real-time work than MPEG2.

Here, I think AVCHD sucks in real life:

http://www.fxsupport.de/pic/06/10/29/HC3SR1blue.jpg

 

I expect MPEG4 (AVCHD) will require a lot more CPU power for editing than MPEG2. CPUs just became capable of playing back full HDTV H.264(MPEG4) stuff (just try Apple's HDTV clips with h.264 and set you monitor resolution in a way you have 1920x1080 available). I don't wanna think of editing AVCHD when you step backwards thru single frames with average CPUs ...

 

When I was working with MJPEG and 40 megabits 10 years ago (FAST AV Master), I didn't know what compression artefacts are, that was great :blink:

 

Julian

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I bought a used HC1 (for the same price as a new HC3) just so I could stay with HDV. I know it's not necessarily scientific, but there's this intuitive feeling in me that believes the AVCHD will yield more artifacts than HDV. Not saying it's fact, but it just seems that the compression in MPEG4 will cause problems with fast moving objects, or rapid pans in high definition. I'll hold out with HDV a little longer till things sort out.

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