RX100 Video Formats

Started Dec 29, 2012 | Discussions
2eyesee Senior Member • Posts: 2,087
RX100 Video Formats

I have a Sony RX100 in a PAL region and the available video recording formats are as follows:

AVCHD:
1920x1080 / 50p 28 Mbps (PS)
1920x1080 / 50i 24 Mbps (FX)
1920x1080 / 50i 17 Mbps (FH)

MP4
1440x1080 / 25p 12 Mbps

I'm just wondering what the most suitable format for me to record in for general family video.

1920x1080/50p creates huge files, and there is no 25p option AVCHD - only 50i. The 50i curiously enough shows as a 25fps video on my PC - is that because the 50i is actually referring to the number of fields (or half-frames) per second that are combined into 25 frames per second? Whereas in the case of 50p, that's referring to 50 full frames per second?

In any case, the interlaced 50i video looks bad on a PC because of the interlacing artifacts, and the 50p video is a bit of an overkill for family videos. I don't know why there is no 25p AVCHD option - that would seem to be ideal for me.

It may be more sensible to simply use MP4, but the non-square pixels make video played back on a computer look squashed up. I have to tell my media player (VLC) to display the video in 16:9 every time I play a video which is a nuisance.

So my choices are:

1. AVCHD 50p - huge files
2. AVCHD 50i - interlacing artifacts
3. MP4 - non-square pixels

Just as I'm typing this I'm starting to think even though 50p seems like overkill, it's still not as big as the Mini DV AVI files I would capture from my camcorder a decade or so ago. So I guess it's not excessive videoing exclusively in 50p even for family videos. Storage capacities increase and prices come down all the time, so in a few years the files sizes will seem a lot more modest and I'll quite probably be glad I did capture everything in the highest quality.

I'd just be interested in what video formats other RX100 users use and any recommendations.

Sony RX100
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332 Regular Member • Posts: 197
Re: RX100 Video Formats

As you say yourself, storage is cheap so go for the 50p PS mode, anything else is rather poor on a large, modern screen.

T. L. Rutter Senior Member • Posts: 2,444
Re: RX100 Video Formats

I kind of have the same questions as you! I recently purchased the RX100 and would like to use it for videos as well. However, the video modes are confusing!

The 50i 24 Mbs - is that frames per second? I was under the impression this camera could do 60 frames per second.

Which is the best mode overall? Is progressive better than interlaced?

Anyone have any insights? I have poured through this forum and the instruction manual to no avail.

2eyesee wrote:

I have a Sony RX100 in a PAL region and the available video recording formats are as follows:

AVCHD:
1920x1080 / 50p 28 Mbps (PS)
1920x1080 / 50i 24 Mbps (FX)
1920x1080 / 50i 17 Mbps (FH)

MP4
1440x1080 / 25p 12 Mbps

I'm just wondering what the most suitable format for me to record in for general family video.

1920x1080/50p creates huge files, and there is no 25p option AVCHD - only 50i. The 50i curiously enough shows as a 25fps video on my PC - is that because the 50i is actually referring to the number of fields (or half-frames) per second that are combined into 25 frames per second? Whereas in the case of 50p, that's referring to 50 full frames per second?

In any case, the interlaced 50i video looks bad on a PC because of the interlacing artifacts, and the 50p video is a bit of an overkill for family videos. I don't know why there is no 25p AVCHD option - that would seem to be ideal for me.

It may be more sensible to simply use MP4, but the non-square pixels make video played back on a computer look squashed up. I have to tell my media player (VLC) to display the video in 16:9 every time I play a video which is a nuisance.

So my choices are:

1. AVCHD 50p - huge files
2. AVCHD 50i - interlacing artifacts
3. MP4 - non-square pixels

Just as I'm typing this I'm starting to think even though 50p seems like overkill, it's still not as big as the Mini DV AVI files I would capture from my camcorder a decade or so ago. So I guess it's not excessive videoing exclusively in 50p even for family videos. Storage capacities increase and prices come down all the time, so in a few years the files sizes will seem a lot more modest and I'll quite probably be glad I did capture everything in the highest quality.

I'd just be interested in what video formats other RX100 users use and any recommendations.

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kaizr Forum Member • Posts: 89
Re: RX100 Video Formats

60fps = NTSC markets

50fps = PAL markets

BillSprague Senior Member • Posts: 1,482
Re: RX100 Video Formats

T. L. Rutter wrote:

I kind of have the same questions as you! I recently purchased the RX100 and would like to use it for videos as well. However, the video modes are confusing!

The 50i 24 Mbs - is that frames per second? I was under the impression this camera could do 60 frames per second.

Which is the best mode overall? Is progressive better than interlaced?

Anyone have any insights? I have poured through this forum and the instruction manual to no avail.

"50i 24 Mbs" is 50 frames of interlaced video being recorded at 24 mega bits per second.  Interlaced is a bandwidth conservation tool invented when broadcast TV was invented.  Only half of each frame is displayed in alternating lines.  The next frame fills in the missing part.

Half the world uses 50 and the other half uses 60.  Again, it relates to standards developed when TV was invented and matches the cycles in AC current.  You have to live in the USA or Japan to get 60 frames per second from your RX100.  No, one is not better than the other.

Generally, most videographers want to shoot in the mode that captures the most data that makes the biggest files.  Most video clips are painful to watch without some editing.  Editing software will take the vidoegraper's best clips and, depending on the intended viewing method, will "render away" a lot of the data in the original clip.  In other words, if the target viewer is expected to watch the video on an iPhone connected to YouTube, the rendering choice is much different than if the target viewer is expected to watch the video on a "60 inch TV.

Video editing software likes to see consistent formats.  So, you want to pick one and stick with it.

If there is a limitation with the PS mode, it is that some computers and software can choke on it because of the files size.  The software that comes with the RX100 is pretty good at basic editing and runs pretty well on most PC computers.  Keeping it basic helps the file handling on weaker computers.

To summarize, my version of "insight" is to use the PS mode all the time.  If you don't have the computer or software to handle it, plan on getting it someday.

My favorite editing software is the $90 Adobe Premier Elements 11.  It is full of both simple and complex tools, runs on both Macs and PCs, supports the 1080p60/50 AVCHD files produced in the PS mode and lets you get the most out of any video clips you shoot.

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Bill Sprague

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tomtom50 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,244
Re: RX100 Video Formats

Interlaced video looks fine on a TV but terrible on a monitor. Progressive scan looks good on both.

On the RX100 the Dual Rec option (taking stills while shooting video) does not work in progressive scan mode.

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Sony RX100 Canon EOS M Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000
zoranT Contributing Member • Posts: 916
Re: RX100 Video Formats

Good News for you: The camera actually records 25p, it only stores it as 50i - half frames. So like the 50p AVCHD, it only designates a form of storage.

A non linear editor like Final Cut Pro or many others will read the movie file as 25p, not as interlaced - you sometimes need to uncheck the interlace option, I don t use PCs only Mac, so I don t know what you need to adjust in your editor, but I know for certain that it records 25p.

It has been discussed on this forum - Sony did the same with the NEXes.

BTW: The image quality, if you compare mp4 and AVCHD stills, is the same. AVCHD shines with quick moving camera motion, it is much smoother than mp4.

tomtom50 Veteran Member • Posts: 3,244
Re: RX100 Video Formats

zoranT wrote:

Good News for you: The camera actually records 25p, it only stores it as 50i - half frames. So like the 50p AVCHD, it only designates a form of storage.

Zoran, are you sure about this? I have read that the RX100 is unlike most cameras, and truly records interlaced frames, and does not frame double.

I think this is true, because my RX100 has very intrusive interlace combing when I pan, unlike other digital cameras I have had that frame double.

I have not used editing software, but I can confirm that the RX100 combs like camcorders  i have used in the past. It looks terrible on a monitor.

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Sony RX100 Canon EOS M Sony Alpha NEX-3N Sony a6000
zoranT Contributing Member • Posts: 916
Re: RX100 Video Formats

I haven t used 50i yet, but will try and open in FCP, just to check it out.

tuxutat Junior Member • Posts: 42
Re: RX100 Video Formats

tomtom50 wrote:

zoranT wrote:

Good News for you: The camera actually records 25p, it only stores it as 50i - half frames. So like the 50p AVCHD, it only designates a form of storage.

Zoran, are you sure about this? I have read that the RX100 is unlike most cameras, and truly records interlaced frames, and does not frame double.

I think this is true, because my RX100 has very intrusive interlace combing when I pan, unlike other digital cameras I have had that frame double.

I checked this once by looking at the raw, non-deinterlaced material frame by frame. It is indeed true 50i, no frame doubling.

zoranT Contributing Member • Posts: 916
Re: RX100 Video Formats

tuxutat wrote:

tomtom50 wrote:

zoranT wrote:

Good News for you: The camera actually records 25p, it only stores it as 50i - half frames. So like the 50p AVCHD, it only designates a form of storage.

Zoran, are you sure about this? I have read that the RX100 is unlike most cameras, and truly records interlaced frames, and does not frame double.

I think this is true, because my RX100 has very intrusive interlace combing when I pan, unlike other digital cameras I have had that frame double.

I checked this once by looking at the raw, non-deinterlaced material frame by frame. It is indeed true 50i, no frame doubling.

Then I don t get their policy, why did they change what they have done with the NEXes for data storage reasons? Are they going to build TVs again, or what? Who needs interlaced footage? For what purpose?

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