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AVCHD 2.0 expands to include 1080 50p and 60p

By dpreview staff on Jul 12, 2011 at 00:15 GMT

The AVCHD video format specification has been updated to include 1080 60p and 50p video. The AVCHD 2.0 standard has been approved by Sony and Panasonic - the co-promoters of the format. The move also includes additional support for high definition 3D movies in the format. Up until now, both companies have made high-end camcorders that incorporated out-of-specification 60p video in what was otherwise an AVCHD arrangement.

Comments

Total comments: 40
pgb
By pgb (Jul 15, 2011)

James Cameron's into it -
http://slumz.boxden.com/f218/read-really-long-article-why-james-cameron-thinks-more-fps-future-movies-1521254/

It was very shortsighted for the digital cinema standard to pike out
with ony 24fps and 48 (3D) only.

When film was invented it ran at 48fps, but too costly and more demanding
on the mechanics so it became 24fps.

I find progressive video / cine cameras judder at lot more at 24 / 25p
than film did. It might be the training cinematographers had to minimise
the judder.

There's a good reason why 720P50 is a standard, sports broadcastiing
or go 1080i50. 1080p50 finally becoming available, it's been part
of the HD spec for years.

Think of all the edit decision points you would have every second !

0 upvotes
mpgxsvcd
By mpgxsvcd (Jul 13, 2011)

Hopefully, Vitaliy will create the GH2VK with 1080p @ 60 FPS before Panasonic creates the GH3 with crippled 1080p @ 60 FPS.

0 upvotes
Lupti
By Lupti (Jul 12, 2011)

AVCHD standard is useful as a 2nd hole in the butt. Really. Who needs it? Manufacturers should integrate video-modes regardless of standards like AVCHD.
Canon don´t has DSLR with AVCHD. Nikon, too. Both can make good videos.
Sanyo already had a camcorder with 1080p60 recording capability before the first AVCHD cams with 1080p50/60 came out.

Panasonic crippled their GH2 just for the standard.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 13, 2011)

To "integrate video-modes" would mean agreement to standards, which is exactly what Panasonic and Sony have done. What's missing is any disc player support or adequate bandwidth to share the stuff. Even if 1080 60p Blu-ray players existed, would many buy them? If 28mbps bandwidth were available, how many would pay extra for that service simply to see occasional 1080 60p video? Most viewers see YouTube at the default 480p setting, without bothering to see an HD version, which stutters.

Canon uses AVCHD in its videocams, and Panasonic has 1080 60p on its videocams since the TM700, so your other remarks are a bit flawed. The 35mbps h.264 MOV 30fps files shot by some Canon DSLRs are not any better, and certainly no easier to share in edited from, than the 28mbps 1080 60p AVCHD stuff.

1 upvote
pgb
By pgb (Jul 15, 2011)

Unfortunately codecs such as H264 cost royalities to use, Apple
being a big shareholder with a few other huge companies.

That's why Apple wants to destroy Flash, more H264, more bux.

If you can `roll your own' such as AVCHD, you reduce costs.

Long live competition in the marketplace.

1 upvote
jmmgarza
By jmmgarza (Jul 12, 2011)

I still prefer the film look of 24p... but to each his own.

0 upvotes
Gray_Mike
By Gray_Mike (Jul 12, 2011)

Would be nice if Panasonic were to release a firmware update for the GH2. Does Panasonic do that sort of thing? I'd rather not have hacked firmware if I can help it...

0 upvotes
Aleo Veuliah
By Aleo Veuliah (Jul 12, 2011)

They will launch new firmware, not only for the GH2, but for older cameras too

But the hack is totally different, and the latest Ptool program is safe to use

0 upvotes
aggressor
By aggressor (Jul 12, 2011)

Great!

p60 video looks so much better than p24 or p30.

1 upvote
HopeSpringsEternal
By HopeSpringsEternal (Jul 12, 2011)

Key word here is "video". This is not true for film.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

HSE: How much movie film have you shot or edited lately? Whatever the medium, why would 24p be "better" than something with a faster frame rate? Dim, slow scenes (wedding, etc) might be one case favoring 24p, but a fast lens would help too, and 60p won't have the moiré problem in shots of stripped ties, robes, or dresses.

2 upvotes
Joergen Geerds
By Joergen Geerds (Jul 12, 2011)

well, the "24p film look" adds more motion blur to the scene, while 30 and 60p have less motion blur due to shorter exposure times, giving the footage a more "staccato" feel... so, when somebody says "I like film look" they actually don't like the sharp experience of faster video.

5 upvotes
Ed Herdman
By Ed Herdman (Jul 12, 2011)

That's not at all correct if you have control over shutter angle. You can make very short exposures at any framerate, or long ones. It's even possible to make exposures that are longer than one frame of video.

I'm guessing this is an effort to make AVCHD stop losing market share to MP4 containers which have already been used for delivering these resolutions; hopefully the new AVCHD spec makes choosing an appropriate framerate on consumer video devices easier and expands the possibilities for film studios as well.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

Very ambiguous. Will new Blu-ray models support 1080 60p discs? Will firmware allow existing players to do so? Without both those provisions, the AVCHD "standardization" hardly matters.

How closely the new "official" specification resembles the present 1080 60p shot by Panasonic, Sony, or (old) Sanyo devices? Must they be recoded, to be playable on any eventual "1080 60p ready" players?

Meanwhile, most 1080 60p video gets viewed in raw form only, on fast PCs. Sony Vegas Movie Studio 11 and Avid Studio 1.1 can import the stuff for editing, but shareable export options are few. You must either convert to 1080 60i or 720 60p for Blu-ray. Upload to YouTube, which entails more compression, more or less obliterates any advantage.

Bottom line: the advent of 1080 60p video, like adding more megapixels to still cameras, creates larger files, and more editing chore, without any distinctive advantage, save for pixel peeping or private playback of a sports clip.

0 upvotes
Eric Glam
By Eric Glam (Jul 12, 2011)

The AVCHD spec topped-out at 24mbps.
So what's the bitrate for:
1. 1080p50
2. 1080p60
3. 1080p25 3D
4. 4080p24 3D

0 upvotes
IQ_9
By IQ_9 (Jul 12, 2011)

28 Mbps? see http://www.avchd-info.org/format/index.html

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 12, 2011)

Wikipedia: "Starting from 2011 JVC offers 1080-line 50p/60p recording as well with bitrates up to 36 Mbit/s, storing video in MP4 container."
OFQ JVC uses bit unofficial extension of AVCHD, but never the less: it's doable to have very high bitrate with AVCHD.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

The 1080 60p output of Panasonic videocams is at 28mpbs. The trouble is that the existing editing products can't handle the stuff, except with a very strong PC and in limited amounts, and the output may be confined to lower bitrates and incur quality loss.

AVCHD 1080 60p @ 28mbps is rather lossy, so each recoding erodes the IQ, and lossless intermediate codec files are apt to be gigantic.

0 upvotes
Eric Glam
By Eric Glam (Jul 12, 2011)

Thank god for that.

0 upvotes
fmian
By fmian (Jul 12, 2011)

How about 75p?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

Not likely. But you can bet that some 2012 camera will offer 1280x720 120p. Just don't count on a straight explanation of what (other than slo mo) that might be good for.

0 upvotes
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Jul 12, 2011)

All this came at a time when the GH2 50p and 60p is about to be hacked.

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 12, 2011)

"is about" ? LOL

0 upvotes
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Jul 12, 2011)

being hacked as we speak

0 upvotes
Plastek
By Plastek (Jul 12, 2011)

NEX 5 and PEN are also "being hacked as we speak" for quite some time now.

0 upvotes
Taikonaut
By Taikonaut (Jul 12, 2011)

Its being hacked as in they actually got it working at 50p and 60p just a matter of stabiliizing.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

Very likely, the GH3, NEX7, and a77 will all support 1080 60p. Someone will hack them to produce 4K video, which will be the resolution of screens to go on sale in 2013 for $5k up. It will also require a new generation of PCs to edit 4k video. Time to start saving for the next generation of prestige boy toys?

Meanwhile, the average viewer take only scant notice of IQ. Subject, action, plot, humor, violence, and romance have greater draw.

1 upvote
ntsan
By ntsan (Jul 12, 2011)

60p and 50p are long overdue

1 upvote
The Photo Ninja
By The Photo Ninja (Jul 12, 2011)

Come on Final Cut Pro X - get with the program!

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

Why ask whether Apple devices will be able to play or edit 1080 60p video at all? FCPX may need an as-yet-nonstandard intermediate codec to edit the stuff. The output would probably have to be in QT format, and high resolution or frame rates would be more or less superfluous on a small iPhone or iPad screen. iWorld has no need for 1080 60p.

0 upvotes
whophd
By whophd (Jan 31, 2012)

What?? Why is everyone complaining about Apple and Final Cut now?

I successfully edited a 100-minute project in 1080p60 all from the Sanyo HD2000 which is a mere $500 (or was, when it was available). The JVC 4K 60fps camera is 10x the price and I may buy one soon, but it isn't 10x a better camera. (A few times better, sure).

1080p60: http://vimeo.com/35105125
(download the MP4 if you are a Plus user)

0 upvotes
HopeSpringsEternal
By HopeSpringsEternal (Jul 12, 2011)

What about 24p? Sony, you listening?

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

24p is merely the slowest frame rate that does not cause motion stutter in slow scenes. It conserved film use when nitrate negatives and Technicolor processing were costly. Otherwise, the "24p aesthetic" is merely an acquired taste, like curry, cola, or kraut. Unless you are converting your work to film to show via film projector, there is no objective need.

60p is arguably better for any action subject. Conversion of 60p to 24p when editing is not as awkward, as when converting from 30p or 60i, although any real need to do so is doubtful or rare.

2 upvotes
HopeSpringsEternal
By HopeSpringsEternal (Jul 12, 2011)

Really? That must be why almost all Blu-ray movies are also 24P too, right?

The fact is that 24P choice is just like small depth of field choice in photography. It is an artistic element. If 24P was not desirable for cinematographers, then why do all professional digital and cine cameras support this frame rate?

I understand that higher frame rates are beneficial for action scenes but the truth is that the best solution is one that allows the cinematographer to chose what frame rate they want rather than being locked by Sony to its choice of frame rates such as 60i. I don't see how you can easily go from 60i or 30P to 24P without degrading original footage or creating burdens in post production.
And then what about those folks who don't want to do any of this sort of post-production but simply want to shoot and view at 24fps?

Sony has a reason for denying 24P to its consumer video users and that reason probably has nothing to do with doing these con$umers a favor.

0 upvotes
Kilrah
By Kilrah (Jul 12, 2011)

"Really? That must be why almost all Blu-ray movies are also 24P too, right?"
Legacy heritage. Blu-ray movies are still shown in theatres before being released to blu-ray. Many theatres aren't equipped with digital equipment and still depend on film. Thus, they need 24p. So, footage is shot at 24p. There is a debatable artistic element indeed, but it's kind of "forced" - if it really was a liberty, you'd find artists with different views and approaches who would probably shoot other framerates as that would be more appropriate to their project - but they don't do it because they don't really have choice.
Properly shot, stable slow action cinema footage doesn't look stuttery in 24p, thus wouldn't look different in 60p. On faster scene there would be a real benefit. The main "artistic" elements are DoF like for photo, and the easily forgotten but very important slow shutter speed to give motion blur.

1 upvote
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 12, 2011)

HSP: most Blu-rays are 24p because they were derived from films shot in 24p. The 24p standard was picked in the 1920s simply to minimize film consumption. 24p video merely mimics that analog standard. The only reason to adhere to it is is one must shoot video to conform to film presentation. Film is seldom used any more, outside Hollywood or a few high-budget projects.

Commercial Blu-rays of sports events are apt to be in 1280x720 60p for better motion capture. Blu-rays based on video shot with 1080 60i cameras can be 60i. That shot with 30p camera end up as 1080 60i or 720 60p (interpolated) on Blu ray. Frame rate has nothing to do with depth of field. That is entirely a function of lens and sensor optics.

If a given camera yields better video in 24p than 60i, very likely it is because the 24p setting also features a higher bitrate. That's the case with the GH2. 60p at 28mbps should beat them all, but has thusfar been a nuisance to edit or share.

1 upvote
Mutovkin
By Mutovkin (Jul 15, 2011)

"Many theatres aren't equipped with digital equipment and still depend on film. Thus, they need 24p. " Unfortunately most digital of the projectors can't handle anything higher than 30fps due to the fact that they are limited to the bandwidth of HD-SDI 1.5G which can't handle anything above 30fps at the DCI required 12bit video color. May be some next gen projectors will be able to do this, but not what is theaters right now.
Industry would love to move away from 24fps nightmare, everyone, except fanboys that will say they love "film look" without understanding why this film look is just limitation of the technology. In fact Avatar 2 & 3 will be 48fps (there is a trick to implement it in digital projectors) and that movie with hairy people shot in New Zealand will also be 48fps.

0 upvotes
Cy Cheze
By Cy Cheze (Jul 15, 2011)

Hairy people? Perhaps you mean feathery. NZ has so many flightless birds.

As for theaters, the ones that haven't boarded up, or converted to mission churches, seem to see their future in conversionto food courts, with movies as an "extra," to lighten boredom in between iPhone chats and messages.

24p is actually acceptable for some situations, but has far less to do with "film look" than do big budgets, tripods, expert lighting, dollies, tracks, booms, jibs, close-up mics, sound mixing, musical score, teams of skilled editors, set decoration, props, scripts, and maybe even actors and directors. Alas, even the best DIY "indy" videographers depend a lot on someone else's music for the better part of the charm of their work. I'd vote for "music" being the biggest determinant of "film look." 1080 60p won't change that.

0 upvotes
videofan
By videofan (Aug 18, 2011)

What's advantages the 50P and 60P shall bring to us?

0 upvotes
whophd
By whophd (Jan 31, 2012)

Really? Is that a question?

You know, when colour television was starting out, the same whinging was going on, claiming that "black & white TV just has more artistic merit" etc.

If indeed Avatar 2 has 48fps, it will be no going back.

Unfortunately when I went and saw the FIFA World Cup 2010 on a live cinema projection via satellite, it was down-sampled to 25fps from 50 (South Africa). Such a shame, considering the MPEG quality was perfect — not an artefact to be seen.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 40