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Transcoding NXCAM AVCHD footage to ProRes: Adobe CS5 vs FCP 7 vs Clipwrap

August 30, 2010

Hi All

I’ve just read this very useful post by John Vasey on dvinfo.net comparing different ways of transcoding AVCHD footage from the NX5 to ProRes:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-nxcam-hxr-nx5u/483644-those-nx5u-users-encoding-prores-422-check-out-results-test.html

In summary: FCP 7’s Log & Transfer does not carry timecode through *see update in next post* (as well as all the other problems with it) but there are image quality problems with the ProRes footage produced by Adobe CS5’s Media Encoder. Clipwrap produced ProRes footage of identical quality to FCP 7.

If you’re having trouble transcoding AVCHD footage using Log & transfer in FCP, make sure you upgrade to FCP version 7.03 before giving up. Log & Transfer in 7.03 brings through timecode and does its job far more efficiently than previous versions!

Cheers

Adam

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. August 29, 2017 6:27 pm

    Hello Adam,

    This is an old post, however really hoping you see and can help.
    I had to utilize an NX5 and when convert the master AVCHD file to .mov’s, my initial file size of 26 GB was converted to 155 GB’s. I have no idea what i have to change on the settings of my NX5 to prevent this but my conversion settings in the software i use are where they are supposed to be, so here i am assuming that it’s the fault of my camera.
    I also own and utilize an FS700 which I tested in the same rec mode (HD 1080/30P) and my FS700 doesn’t give me the same problem with file size.
    Sony has been no help, but hopefully this is an easy fix which I’m sure your expertise will know how to approach.

    • adamwelz permalink*
      August 29, 2017 6:36 pm

      Hi!

      Can you be clear about which flavor of .mov you converted the AVCHD to? ProRes 422? ProRes Proxy? ProRes HQ? etc. Different types of ProRes will give you different file sizes – as the quality goes up, so will the file sizes. I don’t think you can change this in the camera – you will need to figure out which type of .mov you are outputting. The settings you will need to change are in the transcoder. (Which transcoder are you using?)

      Adam

  2. August 29, 2017 7:04 pm

    Thank you so much for the quick reply!

    – I’m converting to Apple ProRes 422
    – Keeping the target frame rate the same as the original frame rate (either 24 or 29.97)

    I’ve tested both medium and high quality bitrate and theres not much of a difference in size, only export time is increased.

    I’m using a program called Pavtube which I have been using for years and never had this problem until converting footage from my NX5. As i said in the previous post, my FS700 shoots in the same file format and is actually a much better camera that offers superior quality, yet the file sizes are no where near as large (post-conversion) which is why my first thought jumped to an internal camera setting that is off (or on) with the NX5.

  3. adamwelz permalink*
    August 29, 2017 7:22 pm

    Hmmm – that’s a total mystery to me! Are the AVCHD files you’re getting out of the FS700 the same size as those out of the NX5? As in, is a minute-long AVCHD clip out of the FS700 the same size as one out of the NX5?

    I can’t help thinking there’s something in one of the settings in Pavtube (a program which I have never used) that you’re overlooking.

  4. August 29, 2017 7:42 pm

    Doing more investigation, both cameras shoot h.264.
    The original > Pro Res .mov’s is quadrupling the output size.
    If i export to h.264 .mov, the file sizes are normal ! but the conversion time is obnoxiously long.

    Thanks for your help!

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