Time to buy.... unless someone suggests otherwise

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by NRose8989, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #1
    I'm going to be ordering a Canon HF10 tomorrow and I'm pretty sure of my future purchase until now. is there any other comparable camera i should take a look at from Sony? I like the idea of NOT using tapes and using AVCHD since Ill be using final cut. Plus the canon has the 24p mode which looks amazing (not sure if sony has this). What do you guys think? Just buy it already? or look into something else?
     
  2. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #2
    Canon HV30.

    Things I don't like about tapeless media and AVCHD right now.
    1. In order to get it into FCP (assuming you have 6) it has to transcode into ProRes or AIC. This kills the sales pitch advantages of AVCHD and tapeless media. Getting it into FCP isn't as fast as you think it'll be (because it has to transcode) and the file sizes are going to be significantly larger than you think they'll be (because it has to transcode).

    2. How are you going to archive the raw footage and the finished project? If you shoot to tape you already have an archive solution. If you shoot AVCHD do you back up the AVCHD files or do you back-up the much larger ProRes or AIC files you used to edit from?

    3. AVCHD, in its current form, is not as good a quality as HDV.


    Lethal
     
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #3
    I second LethalWolfe. As it currently stands, you'll be looking at about the same amount time capturing from a MiniDV tape (HV30) as having to transcode AVCHD footage to get it on a timeline. AND you'll get much better quality with HDV anyway.

    Masters from tapeless media are expensive to store, as the only truly practical way to do it is on hard disks. And even then, the likelihood of a mechanical hard disk failing is far greater than a MiniDV tape failing. You could in THEORY do tape backups of your tapeless masters, but it is a very SLOW process...
     
  4. NRose8989 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #4
    do you lose picture quality when you transcode? actually ill be editing in final cut express 4 and i was just going off of apple's website and it says that it's compatible.

    what about transcode speeds? I'll be doing most/ all of my editing on a 2.8 octo mac pro (soon to buy as well) and to my understanding, you have to transfer tapes in real time (is this true?). my idea was that i was shoot video with the canon's built in 16gb of memory, then if i need to shoot more, i would just dump the files onto my macbook pro and continue shooting. then when i get home i would just transfer the file over to the mac pro and begin editing.

    as far as video quality, can you give me some examples? possibly any vimeo.com posts where i could see? sorry if i sound like a super newbie (which i am) but I've seen some video online and the quality of the AVCHD look pretty good.

    storage / back up really isn't much of a issue to me, and id hate to have a bunch of tapes laying around or in boxes. can you re-record onto HVD tapes? or are they a write only media? if so this would be a big pain because if i suddenly wanted to go out and shoot something and didn't have any tapes, i would have to jimmy up the cash to go to the store and buy tapes.

    thanks for all the advice guys
     
  5. emperorbowsie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    #5
    Canon vixea HV30 on G5 imac power pc processor

    thinking of buying the HV30 and need to know if I can use on my G5 imac 2.1ghz isight with power pc processor? please don't say i need an intel processor!
     
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #6
    NRose8989:

    If you transcode AVCHD or HDV to AIC or ProRes, it shouldn't significantly impact image quality. I would transcode to either one of those formats for your edit and then export out to a suitable format (like DVD, for example) when you're finished. That will yield the best results.

    Even on an 8-core Mac Pro, transcoding is still a time consuming process that most certainly won't happen in real time. Not only is this CPU intensive, but hard disk intensive as well.

    Most AVCHD camcorders record video at 13-15Mbps. In contrast, a typical HDV camcorder records at up to 25Mbps. Generally, higher bitrates yield higher quality video and this is certainly the case with AVCHD vs. HDV.

    Now, let's explore tape-based media versus tapeless media, economically. A $3.00 MiniDV tape holds 60 minutes of HDV video. Assuming a 25Mbps bitrate (shooting in 1080i), that's about 11GB of data, which comes out to about $0.27/GB. This scenario gives you a hard tape master that will always be around in case of a hard disk failure. Now, let's say you want to keep a hard disk backup of tapeless media instead. A good, reliable (but still not invulnerable) Hitachi 1TB hard disk runs about $200, or $0.20/GB. So okay, tapes will cost $0.07 more per GB in this scenario, but will give you that hard master tape that will outlast ANY mechanical hard disk when properly handled and stored. Even double-layer DVDs are becoming relatively useless for HD media backup and high-quality, single-layer BD-R discs cost about $20 a piece ($0.80/GB).

    Running out of hard disk space while you're on the go is just as frustrating as not having extra tapes, BTW. Would you rather go to the store and pick up additional MiniDV tapes for $3.00/each or by an entire hard disk in the same situation to get that 30-60 minutes of additional footage? I ALWAYS have extra tapes on hand because I never know when a shooting opportunity might present itself.

    emperorbowsie:

    There shouldn't be a problem using a G5 iMac for editing. Your render times with HD formats will of course, be slower on a single-chip G5 than they would on newer Intel machines, but it will still work.
     
  7. emperorbowsie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2008
    #7
    HDV on G5imac ppc

    Thanks Captainchunk

    Ideally I would like to use a AVCHD hard disk camcorder but these seem to be only compatiable on intel macs as stated on apples website. think I'm better off with the HV30 or mini DV in mpeg 2 format which should work fine plus the fact that AVCHD still isn't up to scratch as yet. Would an import from a hdv on G5 imac ppc still maintain the high definition (as my G5 is from Oct 05) or would it just read as standard definition. I at least want to maintain the HD quality on the final edited DVD for my HD TV. what do you think?:confused:
     
  8. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Well, AVCHD isn't necessarily the devil. HDV had its bumps in the beginning, too. AVCHD is theoretically capable of producing results that are every bit as good as HD, but manufacturers have chosen not to harness this. Instead, they make sacrifices to allow for longer recording times with limited media.

    Eventually, Apple should support AVCHD natively without transcoding, which will likely remove a lot of the stigma behind using this format on a Mac. But unfortunately in your case, the days of Apple's support of PPC architecture are numbered. However, most HDV based cameras use FireWire, and those will work on virtually any Mac with the proper software.

    With your current machine, you probably won't be able to do real-time, unrendered HDV without dropping frames. This is very processor intensive and frankly, G5s are tortoises compared to Intel Core processors. You'll likely need to turn down the RT playback quality to low for acceptable frame rates. Once your render and export, I don't really see a G5 having much trouble playing it back smoothly.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    Renders and exports will be slow, but playback and basic editing shouldn't be a problem. I work w/nearly a dozen G5 PowerMacs (some dating back to early '05) and until recently G4 laptops (about a year ago we switched to Intel laptops) and we do a lot of editing w/HDV.


    Lethal
     
  10. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a

    bobbleheadbob

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2007
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #10
    I got the Canon HF 10 a couple of weeks ago, and really like it so far. I'm still looking forward to it being supported natively in FCP, but can deal with the transcoding for now. I don't think I lose any picture quality, but I'm fairly new at this as well.

    I use it mainly for shooting family home videos and was getting tired of dealing with all the tapes. I know they provide a back-up, but my problem is with having boxes of tapes and not knowing what's on them! At least with the Canon I can know preview and import each clip that I want, then burn the keepers to DVD and delete the rest.

    I've only put one video on Vimeo so far. See for yourself as to the video quality. http://www.vimeo.com/1215070 :eek:
     

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