Video help, where do I begin

Started Jan 12, 2013 | Discussions thread
ekramer51
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Re: Video help, where do I begin
In reply to Cy Cheze, Feb 2, 2013

Cy Cheze wrote:

Video codecs are a bit like religious ritual. Insiders fuss over the distinctions. Outsiders see pretty much the same result. Since the latter will constitute the bulk of your viewers, pick whatever works best on your system and causes the least grief.

The 72mbps and 50mbps formats offer, in theory, higher quality. However, they also use up a lot more memory and offer no advantage unless one is equipped to do advanced DaVinci type edit effects.

Above someone stated that MP4 matches Blu-ray. In fact, AVCHD is closest to Blu-ray.

The MOV h.264 format is popular with DSLR users because it is the format Canon and Nikon cameras use.

AVCHD can be edited by nearly all the latest software products natively, without transcoding, so long as the PC has adeuqate spec. AVCHD is the standard of most Sony cameras, most Panasonic ones, and also Canon videocams.

Any HD editing merits use of a fast multi-core computer and dedicated graphics card, or else you are begging for pain and frustration.

A few months ago, Luminous Landscape posted a comparison of video shot in AVCHD, and edited in native format, versus high bitrate / low compression video shot with a dedicated recorder connected to the camera's HDMI. There was no noticeable difference.

Trust your own experience. Shoot a clip of video, of the same object and motion, in each of the formats the GH3 offers. First, play back each in native format on a computer with a large display. If you ask an untutored observer, and give no clue or hints, they will probably note the difference between the SD and HD, but not much else. Maybe, just maybe, they'll cite the 50p/60p mode as smoother for fast action. Most likely, they will complain that the camera shakes too much, or that the content or audio are boring.

Next step: put a sample clip of a given setting on an edit timeline. Import or copy 15 or so times, so that the time line is about 15 minutes long. Then insert some effects or transitions that require rendering. Measure how long it takes to complete the rendering, or how slow navigation about the timeline and preview become. Very likely, one format will be more prone to sluggishness or crashes than another, unless your computer is exceptionally robust. You should favor the HD format that will cause relatively little misery in this regard.

Finally, the proof of the pudding is how it looks in the format to which you encode the edited result. If uploaded for streaming, very likely the bitrate will be cut to 6mbps or less. Even if a site offers higher bitrates or "full HD," many viewers won't bother to see full screen or endure the nuissance of buffering, to the video will be seen at relatively low resolution and high compression. So, whether you began with sirloin, rib eye, or fillet mignon, you can still end up with cold boiled mule.

Thank you Cy. You have cleared up a lot of my confusion. On my last trip to Africa in December I was using a GH2 and shooting AVCHD 24P. Why...just guessed, to be honest, but the results where splendid. Sharp focus great color and not much jiggle considering everything was mostly hand held. The GH2 is gone now. Just had to have the GH3, but I found the video settings confusing. Your post cleared up a lot of my confusion and I've been shooting 24p and it looks great. I use Sony Vegas for processing and a Vaio with an Intel I7 processor. My viewing is mostly on big screen TV. Works great! I'm not into special effects. I leave that up to the animals.

Thanks again Cy for your post

This has been especially useful moving in and out of "Ex Tele Conv" modes between photo and video. This is going to be a GREAT camera

Fn7 Flash options

Fn6 Digital zoom

Fn5 Q menu

Fn4 1 shot Raw + Jpeg

Fn3 Pic size

Fn2 Rec area

Fn1 Ex Tele Conv

The GH3, what a camera. Just got mine, replacing a GH2. The seven function buttons are one of the major operating improvements for me. Most of my camera usage is in Africa doing wildlife photography, moving from wide angle to maximum reach. Video primarily and photo secondary. Switching from photo to video to raw to extended telephoto to jpeg to etc, etc, etc, can be a pain digging through the menus, especially when you don't have much time to get the video clip or photo shot. So here's how I set up my function buttons.

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