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Changing frame dimensions for capturing AVCHD footage

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T.C. Daniels
Changing frame dimensions for capturing AVCHD footage
on Nov 21, 2012 at 4:10:17 am

Hi all,

Long-time reader, first-time contributor (feel like I'm starting a latter to the editor, lol). My partner and I are currently attempting to put together a pilot for a one-hour documentary series. We've been shooting for the past nine months or so, all in HD, mostly with a Sony NX-5 AVCHD camera, but also using a Sony A1P HDV camcorder. We know it's still early days, but if the program's picked up, much of what's in that pilot episode will make the final version, so we are trying to shoot full raster to save hassle upconverting later. We're using Final Cut Pro 7 for the edit.

To put it simply, we've shot a mixture of footage, but capturing has presented its own trouble. Largely, FCP is having no trouble capturing the HDV footage at full raster 1920x1080, but the AVCHD footage, with the Apple ProRes 422 compression, is consistently coming out at 1440x1080. Now, we can upscale the footage using Compressor, but it's proving a lengthy process having to first log and transfer, and then convert, the footage for editing.

Basically, what we're wondering is if there's an easy fix we may have missed within FCP that allows us to capture at full raster. All the capture settings are configured to 1920x1080; likewise, all sequence and log & transfer settings. We really can't work out why this AVCHD footage is continually coming out at 1440; if anyone's able to help us out, we would greatly appreciate it! And if the solution to the problem is mind-numbingly simple, awesome! We're not new to FCP, but we haven't had a lot of experience dealing with HD, and are still finding our feet.


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Andrew Rendell
Re: Changing frame dimensions for capturing AVCHD footage
on Nov 23, 2012 at 10:15:31 am

IIRC, HDV is normally 1440 x 1080 non-square pixels, and whether the NX-5 records 1920 x 1080 square pixels or 1440 x 1080 non-square depends on what you choose it's recording format to be.

In my opinion it's not a huge issue to be worried about at this stage, certainly making sure that you only ever use an i-frame codec for editing, not a GOP based one, and don't mix codecs on a timeline are much more important.

Over here technical standards for broadcast are published by the Digital Production Partnership

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