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View Full Version : HMC150 Capture .... PPC vs. Intel Mac (FYI)



simplyfemales
12-02-2008, 09:04 AM
Just an FYI for anyone that's interested. Don't know if it's been posted yet, but I will put the information out there anyway.

I run on a PPC PowerMac G5 Quad Core. It's been a great machine for some time, but unfortunately, Apple, in their ultimate wisdom, made the AVCHD capture option only viable with an Intel Mac (SUX!!!!). I was lamenting the day I had to deep six this machine just to get an Intel based machine and be able to work so nicely with my HMC150.

Long story short. I decided to hook up my beautiful HMC150 to my son's Intel based iMac and capture the footage directly to my drive on my PPC machine via our home network. The biggest question was......... would the PPC machine recognize the captured material?

No problem on all fronts. Capture (probably from the auto settings) brought the footage in as Apple ProRes 422 and requires roughly 1GB per minute of footage. I will mess with the settings to see how "native" it can get on space and hopefully match the space taken on the SDHC card (anyone have information on this as of yet for FCP??)

One side note. I originally captured the material to a Western Digital 1TB MyBook External Harddrive as I did not want to clog up my main drives and figured I could just edit straight from the external. BAD IDEA. Big time lag when using the external drive. BIG TIME!!!

I have a second internal drive, so I wiped it clean and I now use it strictly for FCP and all is perfect. No lag. Beautiful footage running smoothly from my HMC150 on my Quad-Core PPC G5.

Thankfully. I can wait to buy the Intel based machine now. EXCELLENT!!!!

thrillcat editorial
12-02-2008, 09:17 AM
Thanks for this post. I'll have to test it out on my non-quad core Dual 2.5 G5. I'll report back.

EDIT Just reread your post. Thought you said you logged and transferred directly to the G5. Still cool, but not as cool. :)

simplyfemales
12-02-2008, 09:24 AM
Thanks thrillcat... just realized I didn't post enough info about the specs on the two machines I was am using.

MY Machine: PowerMac G5 Quad Core 2.5GHz, 8GB Ram (8x1GB), 2 Internal Drives (1-750GB WD, 1-250GB WD), 1TB MyBook External Drive.

As I said, all the FCP material is running on the 250GB internal drive. When I ran it on the External, I had BAD lag problems. I do run my iTunes library from the external with no skipping or lag at all, even when working in FCP on the HMC150 source material.

Son's Machine: Intel Duo-Core iMac (2GHz), 1GB Ram (2x512MB)

Captured material via home network straight to my #2 drive on my machine.

BTW Thrillcat. Who did your avatar? I have seen them with other guys I know.

manglerBMX
12-02-2008, 09:40 AM
is your mybook external usb, fw400 or fw800?

simplyfemales
12-02-2008, 09:50 AM
is your mybook external usb, fw400 or fw800?

It's supposed to be USB2.0, but I have never been happy with USB speeds. It's about a year old.

manglerBMX
12-02-2008, 10:08 AM
usb sucks for video, go with fw800 and you'll be golden.

matt s.
12-02-2008, 10:14 AM
Been working with a dual 2.0 G5 and my 150 for about a month now. DVCPROHD footage is no problem and the transcoding is done with Toast 9. If you have the Prores on your system you should be able to transcode to it thru toast. just another option.

thrillcat editorial
12-02-2008, 10:26 AM
BTW Thrillcat. Who did your avatar? I have seen them with other guys I know.

http://www.faceyourmanga.it/welcome.htm

David Saraceno
12-02-2008, 10:46 AM
When the PPC machines came out, AVCHD wasn't available. Apple didn't limit importing to Intel Macs; instead, the Intel chips were necessary to decode footage to prores.

There is a simple workaround. Toast 9 will convert MTS files to any codec on your computer.

j1clark@ucsd.edu
12-02-2008, 11:58 AM
Long story short. I decided to hook up my beautiful HMC150 to my son's Intel based iMac and capture the footage directly to my drive on my PPC machine via our home network. The biggest question was......... would the PPC machine recognize the captured material?

I have a Mac Book Pro 17" and used it to transfer my HMC150 footage shot over the weekend. I rented the HMC150 and was a bit concerned about 'getting the footage'. As it is, I also have a Sony HDR-SR11 which also uses AVCHD and the Mac Book Pro and that seems to work as well.

The one strange thing... the files that I transfered from the HMC150, seemed to be 'smaller' than the transfers from the Sony. I set the HMC150 for the PH 1080 24p configuration, and oddly the Sony is set up for a lower res form of 1080i... I'll see if I can determine more on this...

I used Final Cut Express for the transfers in both cases. The resulting .mov file according to Quicktime is "1920x1080 @ 24 fps" using the AIC... so what can I say...

I'm going to look at the footage on my G4 iBook... since I do love to use minimal systems... but I digress... as for 'render' or 'playback'... well, that's what coffee breaks are for...

shrigg
12-02-2008, 12:18 PM
usb sucks for video, go with fw800 and you'll be golden.

eSATA is faster yet if your system can connect to it..... The Seagate FreeAgent Pro external drives commonly seen at BestBuy have both USB 2.0 and eSATA interfaces. Notably faster than even FW800!!

simplyfemales
12-02-2008, 01:29 PM
When the PPC machines came out, AVCHD wasn't available. Apple didn't limit importing to Intel Macs; instead, the Intel chips were necessary to decode footage to prores.

There is a simple workaround. Toast 9 will convert MTS files to any codec on your computer.

I have done the conversions with Toast 9 and didn't like what it did to my footage.


eSATA is faster yet if your system can connect to it..... The Seagate FreeAgent Pro external drives commonly seen at BestBuy have both USB 2.0 and eSATA interfaces. Notably faster than even FW800!!

Heya Shrigg.... your test shots with the 150 convinced me that it was a good buy.

I will look into the eSATA setup as well.

David Saraceno
12-02-2008, 02:51 PM
What did it do to your footage that you didn't like?

The reason I ask is that many here use that conversion without problems.

Perhaps we can identify the issue and assist others.

matt s.
12-02-2008, 04:04 PM
I agree with David S.
AFAIK the Toast conversion is still basically using the Quicktime engine as would FCP for the transcode. There really shouldnt be any difference in the final outcome.

simplyfemales
12-02-2008, 04:24 PM
What did it do to your footage that you didn't like?

The reason I ask is that many here use that conversion without problems.

Perhaps we can identify the issue and assist others.

I am assuming its something to do with the settings, but then again it's not a piece of software I use frequently, so that wouldn't be surprising.

My first attempt using it was with 1080/30p source and it viewed as if it were interlaced. That turned me off instantly. I attempted some other camera settings (1080/24p, 60i, 720p options), but was probably biased already at that point at not being pleased with what it did initially.

On the other hand, I like utilizing the iMac in this workflow as it frees up my system from doing the transcoding/capture work, which would basically almost make my G5 unavailable to me during that time frame. Doing the Toast 9 on my system would still be doing the crunching and processing on my system.

I realize that this isn't for everyone, but felt the information might be helpful to someone like me that has the two available and didn't want to abandon the PPC just yet. It at least gave me the option of letting FCP do the capture work rather than another bit of software. I couldn't do the editing on the iMac as it is running only a 17" single monitor and a 160GB HD. Reasonable, but not enough to do what I want it to. My G5 is dual 24" monitors and just over 1TB of internal space with the additional external drive. So as I said... just an option for people that have the possibility out there.

Thanks for the comments though.

David Saraceno
12-02-2008, 06:21 PM
Well, then it wouldn't be Toast that is doing this, would it?

Because I just tested each of the settings, and the conversions were fine.

My point is simply that Toast is one tool and if used correctly, works real well as we all muddle through AVCHD conversion issues.

simplyfemales
12-02-2008, 08:19 PM
Well, then it wouldn't be Toast that is doing this, would it?



Never said Toast was the problem, just said I didn't like what it did to my footage.

David Saraceno
12-02-2008, 08:36 PM
I am assuming its something to do with the settings, but then again it's not a piece of software I use frequently, so that wouldn't be surprising.


Never said Toast was the problem, just said I didn't like what it did to my footage.

Toast is a tool that many use to convert MTS footage to any codec on your computer.

If you don't know how to use it, it seems unfair to claim that IT did something to your footage -- especially if you don't know its capabilities.

psts
12-02-2008, 11:58 PM
I'm not crazy about the way the test footage posted came out with toast either. Definitely better than voltaic but to my eye I saw more clipped highlights than from what would be coming from an HVX under similar circumstances and the footage just seemed somehow more coarse. Now it wasn't my footage in it may be just how Toast converted it on my machine. (g5 quad)- but I didn't like it. I'm sure others are having better results because the enthusiasm that is being generated over this camera sertainly wouldn't be there if they had the same results as i did. I'm just waiting to see this live with a good set up.

David Saraceno
12-03-2008, 10:06 AM
How are you comparing it to assess that Toast converted differently than something else?

You need a comparison. Was the Toast conversion worse that FCP's pro res conversion for example?

fieldreportermf
12-03-2008, 04:04 PM
Hello,

I am closely following this thread as I have just downloaded free trial Voltaic to convert files from my hmc150 for use in FCE 4...I haven't used the Voltaic yet. Is there a better(user-friendly) option?Toast? Thanks...

David Saraceno
12-03-2008, 04:53 PM
Voltaic is glacial.

Nice up, but glacial.

Toast 9.

Windows XP with VMWair - AVCHD to p2 conversion

matt s.
12-03-2008, 05:54 PM
This could come in handy also

http://www.aquafadas.com/en/videopier/

David Saraceno
12-03-2008, 06:18 PM
Downloaded the demo.

Nice interface.

Problem is that it doesn't work.

I tried a 10 second convert to DVCProHD and nothing showed progress in nearly three minutes

matt s.
12-03-2008, 08:56 PM
David did you have any problems just viewing the avc clips with it? I was kind of looking at it for just that reason.

BobDiaz
12-03-2008, 10:01 PM
Hello,

I am closely following this thread as I have just downloaded free trial Voltaic to convert files from my hmc150 for use in FCE 4...I haven't used the Voltaic yet. Is there a better(user-friendly) option?Toast? Thanks...

VoltaicHD is VERY slow, but it does a good job. There is a quick mode that is not final yet, so In the future, VoltaicHD may be even better with some new upgrades....

Toast 9, is my choice for conversion. On my dual core 2.4 GHz iMAC, it does the conversion a bit faster than the clip's running time.

So far, neither Toast 9, not VoltaicHD can convert a 720/30p clip correctly. The video is laid out as 60p and runs at double speed. The audio runs correctly. I believe that this problem will be corrected in future versions, but who knows when....

Oddly enough, a 1080/30p clip will convert to 720/30p without any problems.


Bob Diaz

BobDiaz
12-03-2008, 10:42 PM
P.S.
I've posted these photos before, but for anyone who might have missed them, this comes from a video clip I shot at DV Expo (720/24p). This is NOT full frame, but a crop from the frame to keep the pixels 1:1.


TOAST 9 Conversion:
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f103/KQ6WQ/Toast_9.png


VoltaicHD Conversion:
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f103/KQ6WQ/VoltaicHD_Normal.png


VoltaicHD Quick Mode (Not Final) Conversion:
http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f103/KQ6WQ/VoltaicHD_Quick.png


Bob Diaz

David Saraceno
12-04-2008, 10:19 AM
VideoPier HD allows you to see thumbnails of the MTS files and you can play them albeit really shakily (is that a word?)

But half the time it crashed or hung. Wish it were otherwise.

David Saraceno
12-04-2008, 10:20 AM
Bob, I would be interested in two other conversions:

1. A pro res conversion;

2. A AVCHD to p2 conversion and ingest using Windows to Mac.

BobDiaz
12-04-2008, 11:45 AM
David,

Sorry, but I just don't have the software to do that. Right now I'm running with FCE and while I should upgrade to better editing software, the economy has hit me VERY hard and I can't afford to spend the money to upgrade. I guess that everyone has the same sob story, seeing as we are all in the same boat.

Best Wishes,

Bob Diaz