Video resolution for Canon camcorders?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by NRose8989, Sep 17, 2008.

  1. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    Here's what i was wondering...

    Canon HF10/100's shoot at 1920 x 1080. Now the standard frame rate is 60i which would mean that the output footage is considered 1080i.

    Now what is the resolution if i shoot in a progressive frame rate like 24p or 30p?

    is it 1080p?

    also the part that confuses me even more is that the HF10/100's record footage to SSD as 60i regardless of shooting frame rate.

    So would is that output video considered?
  2. Anonymous Freak macrumors 603

    Anonymous Freak

    Dec 12, 2002
    The HF100 (and, I assume, also the HF10, but since I don't have one, I can only assume,) record in the AVCHD format.

    AVCHD is based on MPEG-4, and is essentially the same codec as H.264 that Apple is so fond of. (In fact, AVC is just another name for H.264.) But, the "AVCHD" camcorder format stores the files in the same manner as Blu-ray discs; not as one single file per video.

    The raw AVCHD files are recorded in either 1440x1080 anamorphic (anything but the highest quality setting,) or 1920x1080 "true" HD (at the highest quality setting.) When recording in the highest quality setting, the files are real 1920x1080 files.

    You also have three frame rates to choose from. 60i, 30p, and 24p. Again, the raw AVCHD files are really those framerates. In 60i, you are technically getting sixty 1920 by 540 pixel interlaced 'fields' per second; with every other field offset by half a vertical pixel. This means that for every two fields, you get the equivalent of 1080 pixels. This is what conventional "standard def" TV has done forever. This is what broadcast digital 1080 does. At 30p or 24p, you get a full 1920x1080 pixel frame, 30 or 24 frames per second.

    60i is better for fast-motion stuff, where you want the maximum motion detail captures; while the lower frame rates are better for slower-moving stuff, where you want more raw picture detail in trade for motion detail. In addition, the 30p and 24p settings allow for better low-light performance.

    Caveat: There is no Mac OS X-native software that can natively edit AVCHD. iMovie, Final Cut Express, and Final Cut Pro all transcode your AVCHD into Apple Intermediate Codec when you import it. Not only does this import process take a while (on my 2.0 GHz MacBook Pro, it takes about 1.5x real time; so a 30 second clip takes about 45 seconds to import,) but the AIC file is about ten times bigger than the original AVCHD file; and it also forces your video to 1440x1080 anamorphic at 60 interlaced fields per second! AKA: It is worthless to record in anything other than 1440x1080/60i. I *REALLY* hope Apple supports at minimum importing at the full quality; and even better, native AVCHD importing, soon.

    What I would really like is if it were to quickly import the original AVCHD, maybe re-wrap the raw audio and video data into a single conventional MPEG-4 or QuickTime container file, then only convert the sections to AIC that you actually make edits to. Even better, don't actually perform any edits at all; just "recompile" the finished movie when you publish it. Transcode from AVCHD to AIC, perform modifications to AIC, then transcode back to "Apple H.264" for export. Make all of the transcoding part of the finalize process; not the import process.

    For Final Cut, retaining the ability to transcode to AIC on import would make sense; but not for iMovie. iMovie should just do all the coding at the end. Maybe generate a low-resolution "preview" movie file for you to see while making the edits; but save all the heavy-lifting for the end. (As you can tell, importing is my pet peeve. I figured that moving to a random-access flash-based storage medium would make imports much faster than importing from tape. I was wrong.)
  3. CMD is me macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2006
    I also have the HF100. 1.5x is good. I was trying out 15 minutes of 1920x1080/60i video. It took 40 minutes to import into iMovie 08 on a 2.16 MBP. (not that it really matters, I wasn't going to sit there and watch it import), BUT it took a whopping 5 hours to export it as a H.264 file! Of course I don't yet have a way to watch a 1080i file on the TV, so for now I'm just playing back through the camera.

    Perhaps my 3x was due to AIC converting it to1440x1080? I believe the HF100 uses a lower bitrate for 1440x1080. Does that present more artifacts and/or a softer picture?

    Have you tried to record in 1080/30p then import into iMovie/FCE? Wondering what it does to the file.
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Mar 30, 2004
    That's a lot of information without directly answering the question. Canon HF-series (HF10, HF100, HF11) capture progressive "cinema" video (24p and 30p) in 1080i60. (I think 1080i60 the limitation of AVCHD format. I would have to check my sources, but I think AVCHD only allows progressive recording in 720p resolution. None of the consumer AVCHD camcorders that I know of supports 720p.)

    To import cinema mode footage as true 24p/30p footage in Final Cut Pro, you should use Cinema Tools or Compressor to remove the pull-down. I could be wrong, but I don't think iMovie supports this operation (as well as 5.1-channel audio that some AVCHD camcorders record in).
  5. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    H.264 is Blu-Ray is AVCHD. It's not a conspiracy. It's a delivery format for moving pictures.


    Not true. 1920x1080 from AVCHD sources is supported even in iMovie.

    Otherwise you could buy a PC and use Vegas. I mean, feel free seeing as you think Apple sucks so badly.
  6. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    Hello. I am about to buy FCP and (probably) an AVCHD Canon (I haven’t totally ruled out the HV30). When reading the posts to the review of the HF11, I ran across the post below. “The only real problem I've run into is figuring out the best way to remove the telecine to get true 24p…” (I don’t know what a “telecine” is.) Can someone tell me if there a faster work-around? I understood that the Canon exports 24P or 30P as 60i, but that this is not a problem because, once imported into FCP, the A and B interlaced frames are rejoined or at least treated as one. What am I missing? (I hope that the post on Camcorderinfo below is missing something and that 24P or 30P does not really take twice as long to import as 60i?) What is the best way to import AVCHD 30P into FCP? If I do have use another application after import, can I have it convert all the imports at once, or do I have to handle do it individually (in other words, can I leave the computer, or do I have to sit there?). Lastly, I assume there is no image degradation in this process, is this correct?

    “The only real problem I've run into is figuring out the best way to remove the telecine to get true 24p. In Vegas Pro, there is a filter/video effect that does it, I forget what it's called. For Premiere, I had to use TMPGEnc to get it out. iMovie doesn't really do 24p but everything I'll ever use it for wont really matter. With Final Cut the best way I found was to use Compressor to remove it after you've already copied/converted the files to 60i using the built-in log and transfer dialog. Sure it takes twice as long, but Final Cut is just so effortless to use.”


    Thanks in advance.

    BTW, Blue Ray uses H.264 or VC-1 for HD.

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