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ADVANCED QUESTION - Choosing Camera Video Setting

Explorer ,
Aug 11, 2018

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Level: Advanced Query

Choosing "the right" camera video setting has a vital impact on image quality and editing/post-production, both today and in the future, as many of us know. - The thread is about this.

* * *

Hello Everyone,

Background: I’m a veteran photographer and retoucher since more than two decades ago. I have currently for a couple years put effort in enhancing my skill set in: Creating video with the camera and Premiere Elements. Now I need some advanced advice, please.

With Mediainfo, I have on a deeper level investigated the characteristics and capabilities of the options my Sony camera offers. Hence I would be fond of some experienced answers on the following questions. Thank you for your cooperation!

* * *

QUESTIONS

The Sony camera is offering two digital container file types. .MTS (AVCHD) and .MP4. Both .MTS and .MP4 contains AVC video (AVC (High(a)L4.2 or L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames). The video result will most often be played on a 40 inches HD-TV (PAL).

i) Everything else being equal/taken out of the equation (like resolution, bitrate, etc) which is the better choice when it comes to: Both filming and editing during post-production? What are the pros and cons in the cases above, please?

ii) Next, all ratios are 16:9. – However(!) two are anamorphic widescreen as I understand it. That is 1440x1080 (16:9). – Question, when using anamorphic widescreen, do you generally loose something in image quality or not? Does anamorphic widescreen distort the image quality or not?

iii) Finally, I'm presently looking at using one of three candidates that my camera is offering. However at this time I don’t fully comprehend the implications (on image quality as well as editing, post-production) to make an informed choice. Thus it would be great to receive an experienced advice which one to go for; (pros and cons) please.

The candidates in this case are (specified with Mediainfo as the support):

- .MTS    AVCHD    50i    BDAV    9170 kb/s    1440x1080 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

- .MP4    MP4    25p    MPEG-4    12.1 Mb/s    1440x1080 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

- .MP4    MP4    25p    MPEG-4    6042 kb/s    1280x720 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

Thank you!

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ADVANCED QUESTION - Choosing Camera Video Setting

Explorer ,
Aug 11, 2018

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Level: Advanced Query

Choosing "the right" camera video setting has a vital impact on image quality and editing/post-production, both today and in the future, as many of us know. - The thread is about this.

* * *

Hello Everyone,

Background: I’m a veteran photographer and retoucher since more than two decades ago. I have currently for a couple years put effort in enhancing my skill set in: Creating video with the camera and Premiere Elements. Now I need some advanced advice, please.

With Mediainfo, I have on a deeper level investigated the characteristics and capabilities of the options my Sony camera offers. Hence I would be fond of some experienced answers on the following questions. Thank you for your cooperation!

* * *

QUESTIONS

The Sony camera is offering two digital container file types. .MTS (AVCHD) and .MP4. Both .MTS and .MP4 contains AVC video (AVC (High(a)L4.2 or L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames). The video result will most often be played on a 40 inches HD-TV (PAL).

i) Everything else being equal/taken out of the equation (like resolution, bitrate, etc) which is the better choice when it comes to: Both filming and editing during post-production? What are the pros and cons in the cases above, please?

ii) Next, all ratios are 16:9. – However(!) two are anamorphic widescreen as I understand it. That is 1440x1080 (16:9). – Question, when using anamorphic widescreen, do you generally loose something in image quality or not? Does anamorphic widescreen distort the image quality or not?

iii) Finally, I'm presently looking at using one of three candidates that my camera is offering. However at this time I don’t fully comprehend the implications (on image quality as well as editing, post-production) to make an informed choice. Thus it would be great to receive an experienced advice which one to go for; (pros and cons) please.

The candidates in this case are (specified with Mediainfo as the support):

- .MTS    AVCHD    50i    BDAV    9170 kb/s    1440x1080 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

- .MP4    MP4    25p    MPEG-4    12.1 Mb/s    1440x1080 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

- .MP4    MP4    25p    MPEG-4    6042 kb/s    1280x720 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

Thank you!

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Aug 11, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2018

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No need to overthink it. There really is no wrong answer -- and, even if you choose the not-best answer, it's not like you'll be doomed forever.

Although this is likely an older camcorder, as evidenced by the fact that it's using 1440x1080 rather than 1920x1080 HD video. Not a huge issue. The two are virtually indistinguishable. But all current HD camcorders shoot in 1920x1080 square pixels rather than 1440x1080 non-square. So don't sweat that.

AVCHD MTS video is the editing standard. But in terms of clarity and compression, it's not that different from MP4. 25p means that each frame of video is produced completely 25 times per second. 50i means that 50 half-frames (every other line of video data) are used to produce 25 interlaced frames per second. But once this video is run through an editing program like Premiere Elements, there's virtually no difference between the two in the final output.

That said, with this cam I'd shoot MTS 1080 at 25p.

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Aug 11, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Aug 12, 2018

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Hello Steve,
I value your time. Thank you for the answer, I need to and will contemplate how it answers the OP.

I also value that you made the statement which camera preset you preferred.

i) To make it 100% clear for me and to understand the interesting area of video, when you state:  "I'd shoot MTS 1080 at 25p."

Is it the one of the three I wrote above: .MTS AVCHD 50i BDAV 9170 kb/s 1440x1080 (16:9) 25 FPS AVC?

All the best.

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Aug 12, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 12, 2018

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Use this setting:

- .MTS    AVCHD    50i    BDAV    9170 kb/s

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Aug 12, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 13, 2018

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Choice is very simple: always shoot in the highest resolution and framerate.

Usually its 1920x1080 50p or 50i.

Which camera are you talking about?

On a side note it you are a long time photographer and what to edit at the same level as with your photo's you will find Elements quite limited.

Might want to consider Premiere Pro.

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Aug 13, 2018 0
Explorer ,
Aug 14, 2018

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Hello Ann, Steve, Everyone,

Nice to meet you again Ann (we spoke here earlier some time ago). You also gave me a point then . (I have good recollection, people say.)

https://forums.adobe.com/people/Ann+Bens  wrote

On a side note it you are a long time photographer and what to edit at the same level as with your photo's you will find Elements quite limited. Might want to consider Premiere Pro.

Appreciate your thoughtfulness concerning your Premiere Pro tips.

It is valuable to know what one is good at and what one can better oneself in, right . I am veteran photographer and retoucher, however I consider that I within video, progressed in competence from basic to intermediate this summer. So I run Elements today with other tools and utilities like MediaInfo, Any Video Converter, and more; I have also learned that e.g. Handbrake can be a good tool in one's box (right?).

And I will most certainly keep your tip concerning Premier Pro when I wish to stretch (to the same level where I am today, within digital photography and retouching. Thanks Ann.

https://forums.adobe.com/people/Ann+Bens  wrote

Choice is very simple: always shoot in the highest resolution and framerate.

Usually its 1920x1080 50p or 50i.

Which camera are you talking about?

I am right now researching the characteristics and capabilities of our still cameras (Sony and Canon as you ask), which can produce video too. I have found MediaInfo to be a grand tool for identifying container file formats, video and audio file formats.

If you (or anyone else) have got tips of other good video utilities out there, please feel free! Have you (or anybody else)?

Yes, I certainly agree with you concerning 1920x1080 50p or 50i for results. However, what I am looking for presently is a good balance between Image Quality and file size (since I am rather a huge consumer of HDD space already). That is why I started to investigate the candidates in my OP above:

- .MTS    AVCHD    50i    BDAV        9170 kb/s    1440x1080 (16:9)    25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

- .MP4    MP4        25p    MPEG-4    12.1 Mb/s    1440x1080 (16:9)   25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)

- .MP4    MP4        25p    MPEG-4    6042 kb/s    1280x720 (16:9)     25 FPS    AVC (High(a)L4) (CABAC / 2 Ref Frames)


My general idea is that: Since my HW-player makes a good upscaling from MPEG-2 DVD today to 1080, that it will manage upscaling from one or several of the formats above (while I keep the original video resolution of course).


QUESTION

Ann, Steve, Everyone, since I am intermediate in video and like to learn more, is this a good strategy or not to achieve a good balance between file size and image quality, do you believe?

Thank you for your cooperation!

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Aug 14, 2018 0
Ann Bens LATEST
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 15, 2018

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I am looking for presently is a good balance between Image Quality and file size (since I am rather a huge consumer of HDD space already).

Bad idea, go for highest resolution and get yourself a larger disk.

And you should not cnvert HD to dvd (those days are gone) but rather Bluray or save it as HD on flash drive.

I will ask again: which camera model.

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Aug 15, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 14, 2018

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Ann and I have both given you our recommendations, Alex. In fact, we both made the same recommendation.

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Aug 14, 2018 0