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Thread: Camera Recomendations

  1. #1
    Newbie Member Brainbug's Avatar
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    Camera Recomendations

    Hey Folks,

    Need some help, I'm in the market to get a new camera. I'm looking at the pro consumer area (5K is probably the limit) anyone got some good recommendations or suggestions. I think my only two requirements are SE compatible and H.264.

    Thanks in advance I know asking for suggestions and advice on this is going to get me flamed for not searching the forums first, but I'm looking at cameras that either are just out or coming out in the next few months.

    Thanks
    Blake
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    CPU: Intel I7 2.66 GHz
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  2. #2
    XDCAM HD production ScorpioProd's Avatar
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    You just posited a question that has mutually exclusive answers.

    SpeedEDIT doesn't support native AVCHD (H.264) editing.
    Eugene
    Scorpio Productions

  3. #3
    Newbie Member Brainbug's Avatar
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    Hmm, Well I knew it didn't support AVCHD, but I guess I didn't know that
    AVCHD = H.264.... hmm... that seems a bit short sighted on Newteks part. Ok well still need the camara suggestion, and since my budget department (lol the wife) upped my limit to about 8K I guess I really need some suggestions now.

    Thanks for the clarification and info on the AVCHD ScorpioProd
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    To give a useful answer, please, we should know what productions you are or will be doing and for whom.

  5. #5
    Newbie Member Brainbug's Avatar
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    Family stuff, kids plays, kids games, nothing professional, although I would probably like something in the pro-consumer range. I currently have a Sony HDR-SR7, but we are both anyoed with the not being able to edit the files directly in SE. From ScorpioProd post though it seems like that is a SE issue not the camera as the SR7 is an AVCHD format.
    --------------------------------------------

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    OS: Vista 64-bit

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    Before you buy a new camera, unless that's what you really want to do anyway, I would try software that will edit the files from your current camera, since SE does not. You might be, and have an extra $7,900 in your budget.

    Have you tried a demo version of Edius Neo?

  7. #7
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    I'd be interested to know the manner and efficacy with which other non-linear editors are working with AVCHD.

    Some are evidently using intermediate codecs, which I'd expect to work reasonably well. but what really interests me is how any working directly with the AVCHD files without prior file conversion are faring. Is playback adequate? Is it necessary to pre-render segments to view them at native size and frame rate? Or is it necessary to edit using proxy playback (reduced res, dropped frames, whatever) ... or can you just hit play and all is good with the world?
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  8. #8
    Registered User donx's Avatar
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    Seems like you already have a good camera. Ditto the advice about changing software and you could add all the extras for good shooting, like: camera support, laptop for editing, extra batteries and storage, external mic, home theatre for viewing. ... and still keep to your budget.

    Or if you really like Speed Edit and want a different camera then go with HDV which SE edits with no problem if you have an adequate computer, I use the Canon XH-A1 and love it. I am a big fan of recording to tape because it's really easy to archive and catalog mini-dv tapes on a shelve as opposed to juggling more and more computer files. Also you can get tapes in almost any local store.

  9. #9
    XDCAM HD production ScorpioProd's Avatar
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    Try the Vegas Pro 8 demo. Full unlimited 30 day demo. Works with AVCHD natively.

    As for how well it works natively, on a top of the line computer, I hear pretty well. For a lower end computer, it is recommended to use something like AVCHD Upshift, which sells for $49 and converts it to an easier codec for editing.

    What Steve calls "proxy playback" is how other NLEs work so that they can give you a real-time editing experience with more varied hardware and no need for pre-rendering or background rendering, and yet do much more CPU intensive things than a NLE that is limited to real-time full quality output can do.
    Eugene
    Scorpio Productions

  10. #10
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioProd View Post
    Try the Vegas Pro 8 demo. Full unlimited 30 day demo. Works with AVCHD natively.[/QUOTE

    As for how well it works natively, on a top of the line computer, I hear pretty well.
    So you haven't tried it personally, Eugene? There are a few places where you can find sample AVCHD clips to test. There are SD and HD (720p and 1080i) samples on the Elecard site, for example.

    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioProd View Post
    so that they can give you a real-time editing experience with more varied hardware and no need for pre-rendering or background rendering
    I'm interested in the quality of that "realtime editing experience". On a typical laptop (say a middle of the road Vista Core2Duo with a couple gigs of RAM) can you really just hit play and get a result decoding native h.264 that's acceptable? What sort of resolution drop and/or dropped frames is involved for a workable 'realtime' preview?

    H.264 can be pretty highly compressed and I'm wondering how effective the various schemes for handling it are. I'm not yet sure whether or not the best solution across the board for AVCHD isn't an intermediate codec, as some have resorted to. And I'm not going to load up my system with demo software that could give me endless headaches just to find out. I hear lists hear with some frequency of how many other NLEs provide native AVCHD support - so what about it? Surely those posting those remarks have some hands on experience? Who is doing it, how, and how well does it work in the real world? I'm asking because I really want to know.
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  11. #11
    XDCAM HD production ScorpioProd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    So you haven't tried it personally, Eugene? There are a few places where you can find sample AVCHD clips to test. There are SD and HD (720p and 1080i) samples on the Elecard site, for example.
    I have no interest in trying, AVCHD isn't a format I plan to be shooting in.

    Equally important, my edit machine isn't a modern, fast one, so I'd go with the AVCHD Upshift.

    And I'm not going to load up my system with demo software that could give me endless headaches just to find out.
    So does that mean you're saying it's a strength of SE that it doesn't have a downloadable demo like the other NLEs do?

    Honestly, I wouldn't recommend editing with blinders on wrt the competition.

    I tried every full demo out there when deciding on my latest NLE, none of them caused me any problems. No better way to make a company look bad than if its demo did cause problems, so I'm not surprised that the companies are careful that they don't.

    I hear lists hear with some frequency of how many other NLEs provide native AVCHD support - so what about it? Surely those posting those remarks have some hands on experience? Who is doing it, how, and how well does it work in the real world? I'm asking because I really want to know.
    OK, I'll listen, too. Though being that this is a SE forum, I don't think you'll hear about much AVCHD editing experiences.
    Eugene
    Scorpio Productions

  12. #12
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioProd View Post
    I have no interest in trying, AVCHD isn't a format I plan to be shooting in.

    snip....

    Honestly, I wouldn't recommend editing with blinders on wrt the competition.
    It's a straightforward question, Eugene. There has been frequent mention here (much of it by you, actually) of the lack of native AVCHD support as a significant shortcoming of SE. Fine. I'm simply asking how these other apps are approaching decoding, and how well the various approaches actually work in practice. I'm not denigrating any particular method or other app, overtly or covertly. You'll find no trace of that in my posts above. I'm genuinely interested.

    As you have no direct personal knowledge of it, would it be entirely unreasonable if you did what I'm doing ... that is, wait to see what comments those with first-hand experience can offer?

    Though being that this is a SE forum, I don't think you'll hear about much AVCHD editing experiences.
    I'm sure that can't be correct, as there are many posts here which go on about how other apps do provide wonderful native support.
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  13. #13
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    Steven,

    I have Edius 5, Vegas 8 and of course the VT5.

    My workstation was built by Blaine Holm:
    Xenon ES440 @2.83GHz, 2 processors
    4 GB RAM
    32-bit
    Vista Ultimate
    NVIDIA Quadro RX 1700

    With 1980x1080 60i AVCHD native files on Edius I get stuttering play, about every 8-10 frames. No external video out unless you have their hardware. As you would think, the playback is real time if you convert the files using their codec, or render on the timeline. These converted files will work in other programs like SpeedEdit also.

    I like editing in Vegas but it currently has major problems with AVCHD 1080 files I just mentioned but not 720 files, where it works well. With Vegas' method of playback it looks real time, with output looking quite good on an external monitor with my machine. Playback is better for me in Vegas than Edius which tries to give you the file's resolution.

    I can edit the 1080 files in Vegas but trying to render in Vegas with anything other that MainCept's and CineForm's codecs crashes the program. The websites related to Vegas are filled with these reports of problems with this resolution. It is a major bug. Even converting the AVCHD 1080 files and editing those crashes Vegas for me. So I hesitate to recommend Vegas for those using AVCHD 1080 files as their preferred resolution.

    I have the Adobe CS4 software but have not tried to use Premiere, but rather use Photoshop and AE.

    This is my experience to date.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScorpioProd View Post
    ...and yet do much more CPU intensive things than a NLE that is limited to real-time full quality output...
    Woah. With that use of the term "limited" being employed aren't you employing a twisted sort of irony here, Scorp?

    Your crisp sarcasm has got my eyebrow raised with a smirk on my face.


    Other than interpolated slo-mo, what, pray tell, are your favorite 3 "CPU-intensive tasks" that notable other NLEs are capable of performing, that we're not able to enjoy just yet, guy?

    By the way, I trust you're in line for entrance into the NAB venue by now...no?
    Last edited by Quiet1onTheSet; 04-20-2009 at 11:21 AM.

  15. #15
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Harman View Post
    This is my experience to date.
    Thanks, Tom. I've begun to form an impression that attempting to play back or work directly with ACHD 1080i is not very practical given the current state of affairs, and that an intermediate format is the best approach ... but perhaps we will hear from a few more yet.
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