avchd or MPEG4 avc/h.264 best for HD?

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tony bond
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Joined: Aug 14 2000

I am thinking of upgrading to a high definition camcorder, but am confused by the fact that some record the data stream in AVCHD, others in MPEG4 AVC/H.264 whislt Hitachi records direct to Bluray media. My end purpose is to archive all edited footage in highest possible HD quality either to an external hard drive or to Bluray media so, to that end, does the format in which the camcorder records the original data stream matter? I'd be most grateful for comments. Thanks. Tony

drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

AVCHD is a subset of the MPEG4 AVC/H264. It relies on heavy compression. It is used in consumer level HD cameras and, for example, in the Panasonic HMC151. Choice of media is a personal thing. For myself I prefer to use SDHC cards because they are now relatively low cost, are re-usable and are small in size. Discs, as a capture medium, sounds much more cumbersome. Furthermore, I usually manage to shoot my fair share of rubbish and that will stick around on a disc; I prefer not to be reminded. PS I only do this as a hobby. Professionals may have a different take. It may depend on your application and workflow.

tony bond
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Joined: Aug 14 2000

drgagx, thanks for your comments. I'm not likely to buy the Hitachi alternative but, for your information, it records on Bluray rewritable discs, so duff footage could be overwritten and wouldn't stick around to embarass you. The core of my question, which I'm hoping someone will be kind enough to answer is this, at the end of the day, is there any difference in terms of high definition picture quality between a camcorder which records in AVCHD or MPEG4 AVC/H.264?

drgagx
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Joined: Dec 1 2001

No doubt if you go up the camera range, which offer more than the consumer level AVCHD codecs, you will get better HD - and pricier cameras with better lens and more features. That is unfamiliar territory for me. If you name a price range, I expect someone will offer suggestions.

infocus
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Joined: Jul 18 2003
tony bond wrote:
The core of my question, which I'm hoping someone will be kind enough to answer is this, at the end of the day, is there any difference in terms of high definition picture quality between a camcorder which records in AVCHD or MPEG4 AVC/H.264?

I think it's as simple as AVC-HD is just a subset of MPEG4 AVC/H.264, a subset which consumer cameras must adhere to. In other words, a bit like the difference between Coxes and apples - all Cpxes are apples, not all apples are Coxes.

Practically, it's likely to be the front end of the camera that will be most significant in quality terms.