Skip navigation

Importing Panasonic "Full HD" format?

1788 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Feb 6, 2013 9:18 AM by Karsten Schlüter RSS
Dtinen Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 4, 2013 3:15 PM

The high-end Panasonic consumer camcorders offer several recording formats, four levels of AVCHD (all interlaced) and iFrame (960 x 540) (30 p): 

 

1080 / 60p (28 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080) --this is 60 p, 28 Mbps.

 

HA (17 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)  17 Mbps

HG (13 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)  13 Mbps

HX (9 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)     9 Mbps

HE (5 Mbps / VBR), (1920 x 1080)     5 Mbps

     --all the above are 60 i, apparently.  Apparently the HA, HG, HX, and HE formats, besides being interlaced, are downconverted to 1440 x 1080 in storage, and upconverted on the way out.  (This is from Panasonic's marketing info, not their specs.) 

 

iFrame (28 Mbps / VBR), (960 x 540)--this is 30 p, also 28 Mbps.

 

The top format is a proprietary format Panasonic promotes as "Full HD".  This is the highest-resolution these cameras offer, but say it is not compatible with Macs.  They bundle some Windows software with the camera, called HD Writer AE 3.0.  I'm a Mac guy but have access to PCs if I have to. 

 

I have two questions (so far)--

 

1.  Is there a way to import Panasonic's "Full HD" format into Final Cut? 

          (I've turned up Pavtube's converter http://www.pavtube.com/panasonic-avchd-50p-60p-converter-for-fcp.html , but I'm not sure if this works for the current generation of Panasonic camcorders...or if there's a better way.) 

 

2.  Why the heck is the data rate (and storage size per minute) of "Full HD" the same as iFrame?  I thought with 1/4 the number of pixels, and half the number of frames, it should be a lot less. 

 

Any other information about the benefits and shortcomings of the formats used in these cameras (HDC-S900, -TM900, etc.) would be appreciated. 

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 3:26 PM (in response to Dtinen)

    1. Yes.

     

    2.  An I-frame format inherently has to use a higher data rate as each frame is encoded separately. In the other AVCHD formats the media is encoded using groups of pictures where only the first frame of the 15 frame group is a fully encoded frame of video. This is obviously very difficult to process for a computer, especially for a video editing system that has to edit on any single frame not only on I-frame at the head of the 15 frame GOP structure. Bottom line I-frames better for editing, bigger file sizes. All production formats and intermediates, especially those used for effects and color processing, need to be in I-frame formats like ProRes.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 4, 2013 11:03 PM (in response to Dtinen)

    Dtinen wrote:

    …  The top format is a proprietary format Panasonic promotes as "Full HD".  …

    just as an addendum what Tom already said:

     

    no, it's not proprietary - it's fully compliant with AVCHD v.2, which allows fullHD framerates beyond 29.97 and bit-rates beyond 24mbps (and 3D and some other nonsense).-

     

    using here for a couple of days now a hvc707 (=European version of the 700, 1080/50p with 28mbps) - works like charm! great fun to use 1080/50p in a 720/25p project, applying re-framing and slowmo 'without quality loss', the sensor (1/2", large for a consumer cam …) allows nice DoF,  etc etc etc.

     

    a beast on a shoestring budget, although a bit tiny in my hands …

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (104,670 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 8:54 AM (in response to Dtinen)

    When they say "1080/60p scenes cannot be imported to a Mac", they're assuming Mac users only use iMovie?

     

    That's correct.

     

    Shoot the highest format you're camera can shoot.

  • Karsten Schlüter Level 7 Level 7 (29,465 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 6, 2013 9:18 AM (in response to Dtinen)

    Dtinen wrote:

    … Are you both saying I could shoot in "Full HD" and import it into Final Cut without any extra plugins?  When they say "1080/60p scenes cannot be imported to a Mac", they're assuming Mac users only use iMovie? …

    yes, and yes: every Mac comes preinstalled with iMovie - and the actual version iM11 (vers9) doesn't handle AVCHDv2 = no 1080/60p .... in FCPX = importing. The software most cam manufactures add to their boxes is Windows-only = so no 'free lunch' for Mac users.

     

     

    … Lacking a pro camera, which format would be best to shoot in if you knew it might be on cable someday, not just YouTube? 

     

    I would use the max, 1080/60p ... ok, its bitrate is about just half, what broadcasters ask for (BBC or German TV ask, aside many other specs, for >50mbps, min), but meanwhile they are not shy to 'quote' YouTube.videos in some shows

     

    and fancy GoPro 3 offers a max of 35mbps, and no broadcaster cared, if Herr Baumgartner had a few bits or bytes more to offer on his strato dive .....

Actions

More Like This

  • Retrieving data ...

Bookmarked By (0)

Legend

  • This solved my question - 10 points
  • This helped me - 5 points
This site contains user submitted content, comments and opinions and is for informational purposes only. Apple disclaims any and all liability for the acts, omissions and conduct of any third parties in connection with or related to your use of the site. All postings and use of the content on this site are subject to the Apple Support Communities Terms of Use.