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Jams
09-12-2009, 12:06 PM
Hey guys.

Recently I picked up one of these: http://www.panasonic.co.nz/at-home/cameras/movie-cameras/high-definition-moviecameras/hdc-tm200gn-k.html

It's hard finding any information on this camera on an international stage because of how manufacturers like to confuse us consumers with varying model numbers between countries. I have found out that the TM200 (my model) is pretty identical (bar flash storage space) to the TM300 which is very well known for being awesome.

Ok, so first off, I will let you all sneer and curse at me for buying a camera that uses AVCHD instead of HDV. I thought I had done my research, but unless you know of HDV's existence prior to looking at models, you have no idea what to look for, so I am trying to make the most of what I have.

Anyway, I have a few issues. One is, because of this AVCHD bullocks, and if i want to retain 100% footage quality, I have to stay with Panasonics propriety editing software called HD Writer AE. This angers me because you have no control in this software. You have the bare minimum for outputting (Youtube Quality, raw (which you can't do anything with) and MPEG 2, which is horrible quality). I have found a few other programs like iMovie 9 and Sony Vegas to work with the footage, but iMovie seems to drop alot of the fluidity and Vegas seems to lose a bit of colour compared to HD Writer AE. I have been told Premiere Pro CS4 works with AVCHD straight off the bat but still has a some quality drop. I have tried many converters but i end up with the same result, the frame rate turns to garbage, huge ghosting and horrible movement.

The camera records using MTS format.

Sorry for the wall of text. One more thing. If anyone has a similar camera, are you able to suggest what settings to use in different light situations? Automatic has some cool features, but I find that IA (Intelligent Auto) doesn't really pull it's weight, so i find myself fiddling with manual settings every time i want to film something decent.

Open to all suggestions.

Thanks crew.

Speedy Gonzales
09-12-2009, 12:13 PM
How are you transferring whatever to the computer? I would have got one with firewire

Jams
09-12-2009, 12:16 PM
Via USB.

I'm not bothered with Firewire. As i understand it only offers variants in speed, not quality and I'm not about to shoot a trilogy.

Speedy Gonzales
09-12-2009, 12:22 PM
Well USB will be worse. Thats probably why its crap

Metla
09-12-2009, 12:25 PM
USB/Firewire won't have any impact on quality, As the footage is already encoded it just needs to be transferred to the PC rather then captured (which is re-recording the footage) like is done from tape based video cameras.

CS4 should do it sweet, What are you outputting it as?


Keep on plugging away at it, Im stunned with the quality of my HD video camera.

Jams
09-12-2009, 12:33 PM
Well USB will be worse. Thats probably why its crap

No. USB is not 'worse', it is slower. All the quality and information gets there, just a bit slower. If you read my OP, you'll see i get great quality, I'm just having trouble finding software other than Panasonics rubbish that will work. Thanks for trying though. :)



USB/Firewire won't have any impact on quality, As the footage is already encoded it just needs to be transferred to the PC rather then captured (which is re-recording the footage) like is done from tape based video cameras.

CS4 should do it sweet, What are you outputting it as?


Keep on plugging away at it, Im stunned with the quality of my HD video camera.

Cheers Metla,

Yeah, I intend to keep messing with manual settings to see what works best in what lighting situations. It'd just be nice to hear from someone who has had the same run in's as me.

I have tried multiple formats. My usual port of call for video conversion is Handbrake, but it wont play ball. So i have tried a multitude of encoders using formats ranging from H.264, DivX, XviD, Quicktime all using different containers (AVI, MOV, MP4). I have tried an insane amount of settings as well (24FPS, 30FPS, interlaced, de-interlaced).

I usually don't have to output it to anything before i notice the quality drop. I can play it in the editing stage and and import stage and it looks nowhere near as clear and crisp as it does when i import to Panasonics proprietary software.

Yeah, I'm keen to have a go at Premiere Pro CS4. It sucks that CS3 doesn't do it as i have the CS3 suite.

Metla
09-12-2009, 12:42 PM
My camera is a bit different as it is tape based and encodes to HDV MPEG2, CS4 captures this as HDV (which is as far as I know identical to the original footage) If I'm going to do anything with the footage I only use CS4, and I output it as the same, 1440x1080i 25fps High quality, and I get the same quality footage as I started with.

I had all sorts of crazy crap going on when I was looking for a program to handle my HD footage.

paulw
09-12-2009, 12:44 PM
One of things that has put me off buy a flash based camcorder is AVCHD and it's inability to edit easily. If they would make a consumer grade HDV camcorder that recorded to a CF card rather than tape I'd buy it. I most likely will go HDV mainly as I have a bundle of new DV tapes I bought earlier this year and also i don't have to go out and buy a quad core PC to edit it

Metla
09-12-2009, 12:45 PM
I usually don't have to output it to anything before i notice the quality drop. I can play it in the editing stage and and import stage and it looks nowhere near as clear and crisp as it does when i import to Panasonics proprietary software.

.

Right, Keep in mind that some video apps encode HD video on the fly during editing and display a much lower quality image when your working on it. This was thought to take stress off the CPU, as far as I know it made it worse.

I believe CS4 does away with this interim encoding and displyas the real footage, as well as having far better support for HDV.

autechre
10-12-2009, 08:22 AM
One of things that has put me off buy a flash based camcorder is AVCHD and it's inability to edit easily.
I have a Canon that records AVCHD to SDHC cards and I managed to edit it pretty easily in Sony Vegas. I went through a few tutorials they had on the web and got down to editing in no time.
The most CPU intensive part is rendering to a final movie in whatever format you want.

paulw
10-12-2009, 08:32 AM
I have a Canon that records AVCHD to SDHC cards and I managed to edit it pretty easily in Sony Vegas. I went through a few tutorials they had on the web and got down to editing in no time.
The most CPU intensive part is rendering to a final movie in whatever format you want.

What sort of PC do you have??

Wheels
11-12-2009, 09:23 AM
Ulead (now Corel) VideoStudio reads MTS format and is a good "beginner" programme for editing. Think they have a trial download you can get to check it out.

autechre
11-12-2009, 10:45 AM
What sort of PC do you have??

When I last edited some clips it was a XP running on an C2D E8200 with 2GB RAM. Now it has Win 7 & 4GB.

It's no uber PC. A quad core or faster dual core will of course be quicker.