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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:23 PM   #1
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Default The AVCHD thread for Panasonic cameras

Hi

There is a lot of discussion regarding the challenges of using the AVCHD format as recorded by several Panasonic cameras, especially the TZ7/TZ10 and FZ35/8. Much of this discussion is buried in other threads, not necessarily titled accordingly, and therefore unnecessarily difficult and time-consuming to find.

So to facilitate a central information resource and Q&A place that we can all refer to, I have created this thread. It would be advantageous to all if you post anything related to AVCHD here, including any links to other information sources. Many thanks in anticipation of co-operation and more fun!

PS Perhaps a moderator would be kind enough to Sticky this thread, to keep it at top.

Last edited by chillgreg; Mar 10, 2010 at 8:47 PM.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:28 PM   #2
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Default

Quote:
PS Perhaps a moderator would be kind enough to Sticky this thread, to keep it at top.
No problem. Done.

Video formats and how to convert them can be quite confusing (tools and codecs to use, etc.). So, making this thread a sticky is probably a good idea so that members can share information on what works best for them.

Of course, this thread will probably attract spammers, too. Rarely does a day go by when we are not deleting *multiple* spam posts from new members joining for the sole purpose of promoting commercial video conversion software. ;-)
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:35 PM   #3
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Default Continuation of discussion

Continuation of discussion from http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ml#post1063746

Hi Jack

I did a bit of research and it does sound as though the WD HD TV Media player could be a possible solution for you.

I also found this portable Panasonic DVD-Burner, and from what I can see, it is designed to support direct connection to Panasonic cameras, and then burn the AVCHD videos to a DVD. If this DVD can then be played in a conventional DVD player (not a Blu-ray drive), I think it would be ideal. I would suggest you ring or email Panasonic and confirm compatibility with the FZ35. Here is a link about it:

http://www.techgadgetsnews.com/panas...avchd-cameras/

Last edited by chillgreg; Mar 28, 2010 at 1:15 PM.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:42 PM   #4
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Great idea! I hope to be one of the first beneficiaries of this new category on Steve's.

I've got an FZ35 inbound and would like to use AVCHD if it can somehow be made rather simple. I really don't need another hobby of converting, editing, and all those other fun things. I like to take 'em, then show 'em.

YukonJack had a post about a media player that seems to simplify things. I sure hope he, or someone else, can give a step by step on how to video in AVCHD, view it in Picasa, and eventually write it to a DVD, not necessarily HD. I have HD TVs but no Blu Ray stuff,...

I guess I'm first in line to receive the great advice that I know will be coming in this new "sticky" thread.

Thanks, folks,.....Jack
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:42 PM   #5
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Default However...

However, just my personal opinion, is that you hold off making an extra purchasing decision until you have spent some time with the camera.

Unless you can get a rock-solid return policy in case the device you purchase doesn't suit your requirements.

I am all for simplicity, and am always helping my senior parents with their computer and technology issues. At this point, until the AVCHD market matures, I am quite confident that using the traditional MPEG format should meet most people's requirements, except for recording time.

It is likely that in the next 12 months as other still-camera manufacturers adopt the AVCHD standard, software and hardware support will become greatly improved.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:44 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by chillgreg View Post
Continuation of discussion from http://forums.steves-digicams.com/pa...ml#post1063746

Hi Jack

I did a bit of research and it does sound as though the WD HD TV Media player could be a possible solution for you.

I also found this portable Panasonic DVD-Burner, and from what I can see, it is designed to support direct connection to Panasonic cameras, and then burn the AVCHD videos to a DVD. If this DVD can then be played in a conventional DVD player (not a Blu-ray drive), I think it would be ideal. I would suggest you ring or email Panasonic and confirm compatibility with the FZ35. Here is a link about it:

http://www.techgadgetsnews.com/panas...avchd-cameras/
Greg,...I will look into that gadget. Thanks!
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 8:46 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by JimC View Post
No problem. Done.

Video formats and how to convert them can be quite confusing (tools and codecs to use, etc.). So, making this thread a sticky is probably a good idea so that members can share information on what works best for them.

Of course, this thread will probably attract spammers, too. Rarely does a day go by when we are not deleting *multiple* spam posts from new members joining for the sole purpose of promoting commercial video conversion software. ;-)
Thank you very much Jim for the fast and excellent service. I didn't realise you were dealing with so much spam. I guess that's an unfortunate fact of life theses days. Would implementing one of those character identification tools for new members help?

Last edited by chillgreg; Mar 10, 2010 at 8:51 PM.
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Old Mar 10, 2010, 9:03 PM   #8
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Default hmmm

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Originally Posted by Setter Dog View Post
Great idea! I hope to be one of the first beneficiaries of this new category on Steve's.

I've got an FZ35 inbound and would like to use AVCHD if it can somehow be made rather simple. I really don't need another hobby of converting, editing, and all those other fun things. I like to take 'em, then show 'em.

YukonJack had a post about a media player that seems to simplify things. I sure hope he, or someone else, can give a step by step on how to video in AVCHD, view it in Picasa, and eventually write it to a DVD, not necessarily HD. I have HD TVs but no Blu Ray stuff,...

I guess I'm first in line to receive the great advice that I know will be coming in this new "sticky" thread.

Thanks, folks,.....Jack
Jack unless you accept converting as a reality, I would forget about putting your videos on the internet or in Picasa. They are large and could take literally hours to upload even on a high-speed connection. Photofun Studio HD 4.0 has an upload to YouTube function I think, perhaps this might be an answer ( it must do an automatic conversion as part of the process).

Most internet sites (eg YouTube) display videos in the .flv (Flash Video) format.

YouTube is an excellent (free) service to enable anyone with an internet connection to view your video files, and even gives the viewer a quality choice from low to HD to suit their own bandwidth.

YouTube videos can be embedded and played directly in most websites too, it would be interesting to explore if Steve's forums supports this!

I am assuming that Picasa would require you to convert the files before you upload them.

For your own circumstances, distributing and sharing your videos physically, either in person or through the mail on a DVD may end up being the best way.

I do not wish to sound like a know-it-all, if anyone has better advice then please let us know!
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Old Mar 11, 2010, 12:06 AM   #9
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My 2 Cents:
I think that there is still a lot of confusion and frustration out there regarding
the AVCHD format. In my opinion, this issue will be resolved once users
start migrating to Windows 7 as this new operating systems is AVCHD
aware. i.e. In Windows 7 you can easily open up Movie Maker and
automatically convert AVCHD to WMV format in minutes.
For those still on the older XP, you will need to download the necessary
codec files before you can do anything. Suggest you use this one…. It’s
free too!
http://www.free-codecs.com/K_Lite_Me...k_download.htm

Also, whilst its easy to write your AVCHD files to a DVD disk, just remember
that you still will need a BlueRay disk player to actually play these files.
Would also strongly suggest that you check if your BlueRay player can
handle AVCHD files. Whilst most will, some of the earlier models did not.
Whilst long term storage is best kept on optical disks (DVD etc.), for
convenience and travel, I still find it easier to simply use a HDMI cable
from my camera to my LCD TV.

...and for those that really hate AVCHD, just give it time.... more and more
3rd party software is becoming available all the time. AVCHD really is
becoming the new format of choice (Sony etc.) and in time Motion JPG
will probably slowly decline in popularity. Hang in there... it's worth it

Last edited by dbnnet; Mar 11, 2010 at 12:26 AM.
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Old Mar 11, 2010, 2:10 AM   #10
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Default Easy handling of AVCHD lite files

Here is my opinion and advice:

I still use windows XP and I do not have a BlueRay player - but I am very very happy with the AVCHD files from the FZ35 and I can do with these files all the things I want to.

I tested the Photofunstudio supplied with the camera and found it terrible.

Based on recommendations in the web I bought Vegas Movie Studio 9 Platinum Edition (about 70 bugs - that are well spent). Vegas allows you to import AVCHD lite files directly from the FZ35 onto your computer and into the editing program (open Vegas, connect your FZ35, klick 'import from AVCHD camcorder' - and in a couple of minutes you have hours of AVCHD footage on your PC - ready for editing).
Once you have imported in Vegas - you can edit - and !very important! you have a tremendous variety of output options - whether you want to play later in a windows media player, in quicktime, on an iPhone, whether you want to burn it to a CD, a DVD or a BlueRay disc, whether you want to upload it to the web, or send it as an e-mail attachment - all this can be selected and the program will give you the correct output options. So there is no problem any longer with not having the right media player on the PC for AVCHD or not enough power on your computer to actually handle the AVCHD files - you just render in the format that suits you.

So I think this is great - because the program seamlessly cooperates with the FZ35 and gives you great options for working with the AVCHD footage (the 70 bugs in my opinion are worth it). (By the way - you can initially check out a trial version of Vegas before spending the money - and don't get discouraged because the program looks so complicated on first glance. I can certainly give advice here how to use it - and then it is a lot of fun.)

When you create your own movies in HD quality you generate huge files (mine are about 200-500 MB for 2-5 minutes video). So you can not just attach these videos to e-mails in this high quality. The way to go is to use either youtube or - my suggestion - vimeo.

You can register with vimeo for free and you nevertheless have the option to upload every week 500 MB of HD quality video. Of course - these might be very private movies of your family or friends. Vimeo respects your privacy. When you upload a video you can select different options regarding the availability of your video in the web. For my family and friends videos - I use the private option and limit access with a password. You can e-mail the link to the uploaded video and this password to your family and friends - so they will be able to see the videos and even download them if you selected this option - but nobody else.

I think this is great.

In vimeo you can create groups - where people come together to share their videos - just like here with the pictures. There is an AVCHD light group with several FZ35 owners posting their stuff. It is a small and nice community - just like here.

There is for example Xavier, who shows us beautiful videos from the island where he lives: www.vimeo.com/10026038

- or Jyri - a polish musician and song writer - who shares his own music videos with us: www.vimeo.com/9343859

If you are interested in using the video options of your FZ35 - why not joining us at vimeo.

Let me point out that this is not SPAM. I am just excited about the video options of the FZ35 - using them to a full extent with vegas is fantastic and showing the results on vimeo and getting feedback is very motivating and encouraging.
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Some of my stuff on vimeo (all shot with an FZ-35):
The tree: www.vimeo.com/11345662
with LC55 macro lens: www.vimeo.com/13884313
Zeeland: www.vimeo.com/14488204
The old mill: www.vimeo.com/14577326
autoHDR: www.vimeo.com/15797552
soccer kids: www.vimeo.com/17208358
christmas lights: www.vimeo.com/17912783

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