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corradoerina

Leica DLUX5: videos

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Hi Leicalings!

 

 

We have had the DLUX5 for a very long time, and DLUX4 before. Both amazingly good cameras. Shooting pictures is a breeze, the raw is rich and we have sorted out a good workflow.

 

 

 

We have a small problem: we have started shooting videos in AVCHD.

 

 

 

Technically and qualitatively, the results are good. On the other hand, we cannot make sense of the way the camera archives the videos on the card, and apparently the numbering resets when you change or format the card which is a problem for people who use archiving software, like us.

 

 

 

Anyone who can explain exactly:

 

 

1) how does the archiving system work? why so complicated and structured?

 

2) is there a way to have sequential PROGRESSIVE numbering for the videos?

 

3) how do you archive? what workflow do you use?

 

 

 

Regards

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I'm going to do some research with the D-Lux 5 at the store later today, but in the meantime:

 

1. The AVCHD format and files are primarily intended for direct, unedited playback of movies to a TV set. The file structure is thus an adaptation of the format for Blu-Ray and other commercial DV disks. While it is possible to import them for editing on a computer, it is nowhere near as simple as with the optional format, motion jpeg (.mov, directly compatible with QuickTime).

 

2. As to discontinuous numbering, that is what I will research with regard to using AVCHD on the D-Lux. With .mov movies, the movie files are numbered using the same number sequence as still pictures, so if still pictures are shot intermixed with videos, the video numbering will have gaps.

 

E.G. video - L1011111, still picture L1011112, still L1011113, video L1011114, still L1011115, video L1011116.

 

So the video are numbered ....1, .....4, .....6, not .......1, ......2, ......3.

 

3. As to number resetting when cards are changed or reformatted, again I must check the D-Lux, spcifically to how it numbers AVCHD, and its menus. With other cameras, it is usually an option in the menus to reset file numbering with each new card or format - or to NOT reset the file numbers, but instead use a "life-long" continuous set of numbers.

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OK - update

 

1) Archiving and file format - yes, it is a complicated file structure (for those who don't know - see attached - AVCHD files highlighted in yellow, compared to the simple, self-contained .MOV files in the 100LEICA folder). As I said before, AVCHD is primarily designed around the idea of plugging your camera into your TV set, and simply viewing your videos as played back by the camera. Just like putting a Blu-Ray disc into the player and playing it back.

 

It is a "consumer" format and that is what the manufacturers assume the average consumer wants to do. The camera can read the complex format "pieces" and stream them to an HDTV. But you need the camera's software in the loop to collect stuff from all those subfolders and play the files.

 

Even with "recent" software like iMovie 11, AVCHD often has to be converted into something more amenable to editing, if you want to play Steven Spielberg and stitch files together on your computer: AVCHD iMovie: How to import AVCHD to iMovie (iMovie 11 included)

 

2) When you format a card, or swap to a new card, the D-Lux "remembers" the last number used for still photo files or .MOV video files, and can pick up numbering where it left off. For whatever reason, this ability to "remember" previous file names is not implemented in the camera firmware for AVCHD files, so they always start over at 00000.MTS. No way around this that I can find.

 

BTW this is how other digital videocams I've used work (internal hard disk or flash card) - reformat or change cards, and they start over at file "zero." This may be a legacy of tape DV cameras - where "archiving" was simply storing the original tape casette. There was no need to worry about keeping unique file names across multiple tapes.

 

3) As to my workflow - I don't record in AVCHD, for just these reasons. I went through a similar headache with JVC's proprietary ".TOD" video format - the files weren't readable by most editing software except antique iMovieHD, which still took hours to import/convert them. Never again!

 

So I use the .MOV format. A .MOV file is self-contained and replayable on virtually anything, including any non-linear editing software, and I don't see any reason to use AVCHD instead.

 

I think it is possible to "ingest" AVCHD into some programs like Final Cut Express, by "playing" it from the camera in real time rather than copying the files to the computer. Then export the data from the editing software as something more universallly editable, such as .MOV or .AVI, and archive those files (named in any way you want).

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Dear Adan,

 

First of all thanks for all the pain you took! Your answer was very detailed and confirmed that what we were doing was right.

 

The reason why we shoot AVCHD is that (we think) it is the highest resolution / quality at which we could use the camera. Or is that wrong? Is the resolution of the MOV and AVI files the same as AVCHD?

 

Best,

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