Camcorders forum

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AVI vs MPEG2 vs AVCHD

by LO 044 / February 9, 2009 1:05 PM PST

I am looking at buying a new camcorder for an upcoming vacation and to update my old Sony Hi8 camcorder. I don't do too much filming at home but when i travel (Europe mostly), i film tons of hours.

Trainspotting and planespotting are my hardcore hobbies and i tend to do quite a bit of this when filming in Europe. I will film trains passing by at speeds between 30 km/h and 100 km/h. If the train has windows that open, i many times will film with the camera by sticking my arm and camera outside the window while the train moves and sometimes i will pan the camcorder quickly as the train goes by.

I tell you all this because i am worried about purchasing an AVCHD camcorder with its motion trailing issues or an HDD camcorder with its recording issues to do with vibration and altitude. Am i correct to be rethinking AVCHD (at it's 3rd generation stage) from what i intend to use the video camera for?

I as well enjoy editing my collections and have a question about quality. I am looking at the Sony HDR-HC9 as a choice. Is it a fair choice for my purposes? It is HDV, uses mini-DV tape which still carries the best quality video. I know that MPEG2 competes with AVCHD but where does AVI fit in? I have read that it is the purest form of video and is the best to have for quality. I don't have anything against AVCHD but i don't want to risk motion trailing during my hobby filming.

Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

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go minidv
by chickenorfish / February 9, 2009 10:17 PM PST
In reply to: AVI vs MPEG2 vs AVCHD

there was concern at one point about avchd and motion trailing, but im not sure if thats ever been fixed. hdv is definately easy to edit and is more compaible with software

i know the standard dv is 13gb per hour, and i want to say hdv is the same, but im not positive about that. so keep that in mind when you want to captue it to a computer

sonys use mpeg2 to capture standard def on the high def avchd cams. other cams use mepg2 as well, but its a different extension

personally, if you dont mind the limited recording time of the minidv tape, i would definately go with that media

the sony hdr-hc9 is a great cam, and the canon hv30/40 would be a great alternative as well

one other issue you may want to research is rolling shutter. this is common on cams with a cmos sensor instead of a ccd sensor. i think all the high def cams use cmos except panasonic on the 2008 models

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file type and extension...
by christy / February 10, 2009 8:00 AM PST
In reply to: go minidv

To chickenorfish,

"sonys use mpeg2 to capture standard def on the high def avchd cams. other cams use mepg2 as well, but its a different extension"

Can you share more of file types and extension ? I thought mpeg is itself an extension ? What estensions can AVCHD have ? Getting confused on file types, file formats and file extensions, as applied to video files. What is which ? Which is what ? Thanks.

christy

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formats
by chickenorfish / February 10, 2009 8:55 PM PST
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Follow-up questions
by LO 044 / February 10, 2009 11:15 PM PST
In reply to: AVI vs MPEG2 vs AVCHD

OK so i guess my new question is what is more detrimental to my type of filming? Is motion trailing or rolling shutter more of a hinderance? It seems the more i research and widdle down my choices, the more problems i find with each camcorder.

Thanks for any replies.

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its not really an OR
by chickenorfish / February 10, 2009 11:46 PM PST
In reply to: Follow-up questions
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Other Options?
by LO 044 / February 11, 2009 12:53 AM PST
In reply to: its not really an OR

Youtube is blocked at our work computers so i'll have to see the evidence at home but what other options do i have?

I would like to get into a video camera which will look good on my Sony high definition widescreen (albeit 1080i only) TV. I think that HDV and AVCHD camcorders are my only options. Are there any high definition camcorders that don't aren't HDD, HDV or AVCHD? Where does the AVI file format fall in to place? Is the AVI format considered high or standard definition? The reason i ask is that i've read that the AVI file format is the most purest and highest quality video.

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this is why i dont buy HD
by chickenorfish / February 11, 2009 1:39 AM PST
In reply to: Other Options?

i think rolling shutter is a bigger problem then motion trailing tbh

panasonic makes 3ccd camcorders which dont have the rolling shutter. but they dont have great low light performance

standard def minidv is dv-avi

high def (hdv) minidv is mpeg2 (at a fixed rate of 25mbps, i think avchd caps at 24mbps)

anything not using minidv uses avchd/mpeg2...hard drives, memory cards and minidvd

standard def for a high def non-minidv uses mpeg2

try this video. btw, thats not a bumpy track...

http://www.vimeo.com/2043552

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Wow!
by LO 044 / February 12, 2009 2:06 PM PST
In reply to: its not really an OR

I have finally looked at those youtube videos. What a joke. Do i honestly have to go back to my analog Sony CCD-TRV 328 for shooting anything high speed?

I noticed that Panasonic is the only camcorder that has 3 CCD's consumer level cameras. Is that right? The Canon HF10 and 11 and the Canon FS10, 11, 100 all have 1 CCD. The Canon HF series seems to be rated pretty high on camcorderinfo.com so perhaps that widdles down my choice. Any opinions?

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no
by chickenorfish / February 13, 2009 4:26 AM PST
In reply to: Wow!

the Canon HF10 and 11 both use cmos sensors, and can have rolling shutters. the canon fs100 is a nice cam, but its not high def

check out the panasonic HDC-SD9 or HDC-HS9. they use 3x1/6" ccds. they wont have the rolling shutter, but the low light performance wont be spectacular either. they both use avchd, one is a memory card cam, the other uses a hard drive. 2008 is the last year they use ccds, 2009 they all are using cmos

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also...
by LO 044 / February 13, 2009 5:09 AM PST
In reply to: no

Perhaps the Panasonic might not be the best in low light but then i read quotes like this:

"CMOS imagers offer superior integration,
power dissipation and system size at the
expense of image quality (particularly in
low light) and flexibility."

"CMOS imagers are the technology
of choice for high-volume, spaceconstrained
applications..."

"CMOS chips can be fabricated on just about any standard silicon production line, so they tend to be extremely inexpensive compared to CCD sensors."

"CCDs use a process that consumes lots of power. CCDs consume as much as 100 times more power than an equivalent CMOS sensor."

"CCD sensors use more power and are subject to vertical smearing. CMOS sensors use less power have no vertical smear but create more picture noise than CCDs."

So then (from Qoute 1) does the Panasonice have horrible picture in low light if the CMOS sensor camcorders record porrly in low light in general? Can i just get an add-on light to the Panasonic to help in low light conditions or is the problem with the lens in general?

From the other quotes (Quote 2, 3, 4 and 5), it looks like the camcorder manufacturers prefer CMOS sensors because the profit margin on the camera becomes better, the need for battery power is reduced and the camcorders become smaller which is what many people like in a camera. I prefer image quality and most people do as well but it seems like CMOS sensors sacrifice quality for convenience really. I mean if you're filming kids or sports or videotaping out of a car, it seeems like any CMOS camcorder becomes uselss because of the rolling shutter isse.

Thanks for your input so far chickenorfish, any more comments?

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ccd vs cmos
by chickenorfish / February 13, 2009 6:49 AM PST
In reply to: also...

well the panasonic 3ccd are bad in low light because the sensors are only 1/6", not because theyre ccds. each sensor captures one of the rgb colors, it not like its the equiv of a 3/6" sensor

i believe the pana has a small light on it, but will only be ok for close shots. it doesnt appear to have a accessory show oddly enough

its true about the ccd smearing. but i think the rolling shutter is much more pronounced, and more of a hindrance.

http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-SD9-Camcorder-Review-34650/Performance.htm#

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ccd performance
by chickenorfish / February 13, 2009 7:12 AM PST
In reply to: Wow!

heres the panasonic 3ccd on a track with no rolling shutter. the video author even notes that its better then the canon

http://www.vimeo.com/1655661

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