AVCHD myths or truths?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by CMD is me, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #1
    My neighbor is in the market for a HD camcorder. I just picked up a Sony HDV and love the picture, but he really likes the concept of tape-less. He did bring up a good point that hard drive cameras like the SR12 may not have dropout concerns or moisture issues. He's also not worried about an instant archive, etc. So maybe hard drive is for him. HOWEVER, at the Apple Store of all places, they said a few things that seem like anti-AVCHD marketing but I can't answer for sure:

    1) huge file sizes: I have another post on this and the answer is AVCHD files are the same size as HDV once loaded to iMovie (I guess I can answer that one)

    2) digital dropouts and artifacts: I played with a Sony tape and hard drive and the hard drive never stuttered or showed digital artifacts. In fact the tape had dropouts, but I used a cheap tape (not so with a HDV tape)

    3) HARD DRIVE FAILURE: this one is big and I can't say. The thought of banging your camera accidently and loosing your video is alarming, BUT does that really ever happen? My iPod gets banged around and never looses information. Even IF something happened and the drive was unable to be read, the data should be able to be recovered, right? (of course you'd lose the ability to shoot for a while)

    This isn't a AVCHD vs HDV thread, but rather what's your take on the 3 items mentioned?

    And 4) what about an extended warranty? I said get one, he's not so sure.
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    When using iMovie or FCE the file sizes will be the same because both of those apps transcode to AIC. If you are using FCP, which can edit HDV natively, the transcoded AVCHD files will be much larger than the native HDV files.
    It would take a significant amount of vibration to disturb an in-camera HDD enough to cause an error.
    All HDDs fail. It's not a question of 'if' but 'when' and data recovery services are far from cheap.


    Lethal
     
  3. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #3
    As above, with the addition it is possible to archive the raw .mts files as a disk-image and then import to an NLE when needed, saving on space in the meantime.

    Both HDV and AVCHD are forms of compressed video so both are going to exhibit artifacts to a degree. Sounds like the SR12 is about on par with HDV for PQ, and it's possible that Canon's new HF11, with a bit-rate of 24mbps, may surpass it. It's only tape that will exhibit dropouts, though personally I don't think this is a major.

    I hear it's relatively easy (!) to swap out the Sony HDD. On the other hand, the Canon HF10 & HF11 record to internal flash memory and take SD cards: no hard drive. While I understand the appeal of HDD, I vastly prefer the idea of solid-state only - SD cards are gradually coming down in price, and it's relatively simple to archive the card contents for later use.

    I'm opposed to all forms of insurance on principle! But seriously, it's really a matter of sitting down and figuring out what could go wrong, how expensive that might prove, and deciding whether the extra warranty charge is justified from that perspective. Get out your crystal ball? Impossible to tell, eh, but the warranty gives you peace of mind, and its that insecurity that all insurance preys upon. The dastards.

    Andrew.
     
  4. CMD is me thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2006
    #4
    Roger that. I've had 2 Sony camcorders $800-1200, both with 4yrs and not used. Hard to say. Camera stops working once and I'm sure it would pay for itself.

    "When" but realistically is this an issue. All electronics eventually fail. All my iPods are kicking fine. My PowerBooks had 3 yrs without any issue, etc.

    I read data recover through Sony is very cheap as well, but the quest is, IS it really an issue? With my HDV I DID have droupouts due to a bad tape (I picked up some HDV tapes and so far so good).
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #5
    It depends on how much you use the camera, the quality of the drive and shock mount in the camera and luck. I have a 1.5gig HDD that's still alive and well yet I've had brand new drives fail w/in the first 3 months of owning them and an iPOD that went south after 2yrs of light use.
    I'm not familiar w/what Sony offers, but every time I've looked into data recovery for a drive that has mechanically failed it wasn't cheap because they have to disassemble the drive to retrieve the data. To the best of my knowledge HDD camera's aren't dropping like flies so the odds of it happening are small but they still exist. And if it fails it's a big failure that bricks your camera and most likely kills all the footage on the drive. At least if removable media fails you can just pop in a new tape/card and continue shooting. IMO, between built-in HDD, flash, and tape the built-in HDD is the worst way to store media in a camera.


    Lethal
     

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