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John: May 2008 Archives

What is AVCHD?, and what exactly is HDD? 

AVCHD is a combination of AVC (Advanced Video Coding) and MPG2.  Some of the newest cameras now support AVCHD which records to a hard drive.  You may see the term HDD, which simply refers to (Hard Disk Drive).

To simplify, this technology records High Defination Video within an MPEG-2 transport stream directly to a hard-drive.  In fact, the Sony HDR SR12 is completely tapless!  It contains a 120 gig hard drive, which is enough storage to record over 20 hours of high defination footage without stopping.  It also has the ability to take 10 megapixel still images.


Sony_HDR_SR12.jpgUser's of Final Cut Pro can use the Log and Transfer tool to bring these clips into their editing system.  You must have one an intel based MAC, and you must be running the latest version the Final Cut Studio software.  The conversion process is close to real-time, but it can be automated. 

Also, Final Cut Studio converts the video stream to Pro Res 422 which is approximately 4 times the original size of the file(s) that sit on the camera.  To make sure you have sufficient space on your hard drive before ingesting the media.

Unfortunately, users of Avid Media Composer will have to convert the footage using a third party software product.  I am hopeful Avid will adopt AVCHD technology in their Media Composer product line soon. As a professional alternative,  Media Composer supports P2 media in it's native format.

GeniusDV teaches the AVCHD workflow in it's Final Cut Studio 5 Day training class.


With Avid technology's recent annoucement of discontinuing Avid Xpress, users should read the latest Media Composer Upgrade fact about upgrading their software.

Avid is offering a one time upgrade option for Avid Xpress users to upgrade to Media Composer for only $495.00.  List price of Media Composer is $2495.00 so it's deffinately worth the upgrade price.

In case your wondering about the funtionality differences between Avid Xpress and Media Composer, here is a short list of some of the major items:

  • Improved Chroma Keyer using Specta-matte
  • Vector based paint system with keyframing capability
  • Motion Tracking
  • Customizable time warp (variable slow motion) controls
  • 9 camera multicam support
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    Avid Media Composer Training
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  • 84 Media Composer Lectures
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    Final cut Pro X Training
  • Enrollment Cost: $20.00
  • 60 Final Cut Pro X Lectures
  • Includes Practice Media
  • Interactive Quizzes
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This page is a archive of recent entries written by John in May 2008.

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