Panasonic Camcorder HC-V750: which codec is better quality, AVCHD or MP4? - AVS Forum
View Poll Results: Which is better quality for this camcorder?
AVCHD "1080/60p" video, given Mediainfo details 0 0%
MP4 "1080/50M" video, given Mediainfo details 0 0%
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-19-2014, 11:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

 

I've got a Panasonic HC-V750 camcorder which supports AVCHD and MP4.

The highest quality AVCHD settings are called "1080/60p", while the highest quality MP4 settings are called "1080/50M" (also at 60p).

Both are 1920x1080 full HD resolution.

 

When I check out some sample files recorded in those 2 formats with MediaInfo, I see the AVCHD bitrate is variable and seems to be in the 22.8 - 25.0 mbps range, while the MP4 bitrate is close to the advertised "50M" at a variable 45.4 - 49.2 mbps.

 

So, although I know the answer is a bit subjective, I am interested in which format people think has better video quality.  By bitrate and file size alone, I would be inclined to say MP4 in this scenario.  But the instruction manual implies that the AVCHD is better quality.

 

FYI: on the audio side, the AVCHD has AC3 384 kbps 6 channel audio, while the MP4 has AAC 128 kbps 2 channel, so the AVCHD AC3 audio clearly seems superior.

 

Thanks

 

Here are the details from Mediainfo:

MP4 Video:
ID                                       : 1
Format                                   : AVC
Format/Info                              : Advanced Video Codec
Format profile                           : High@L4.2
Format settings, CABAC                   : Yes
Format settings, ReFrames                : 2 frames
Codec ID                                 : avc1
Codec ID/Info                            : Advanced Video Coding
Duration                                 : 10s 511ms
Bit rate mode                            : Variable
Bit rate                                 : 45.4 Mbps
Maximum bit rate                         : 49.2 Mbps
Width                                    : 1 920 pixels
Height                                   : 1 080 pixels
Display aspect ratio                     : 16:9
Frame rate mode                          : Constant
Frame rate                               : 59.940 fps
Color space                              : YUV
Chroma subsampling                       : 4:2:0
Bit depth                                : 8 bits
Scan type                                : Progressive
Bits/(Pixel*Frame)                       : 0.365
Stream size                              : 56.9 MiB (100%)
Language                                 : English
Encoded date                             : UTC 2014-04-19 01:20:25
Tagged date                              : UTC 2014-04-19 01:20:25
Color primaries                          : BT.709
Transfer characteristics                 : BT.709
Matrix coefficients                      : BT.709

 

AVCHD Video:

ID/String                        : 4113 (0x1011)
MenuID/String                    : 1 (0x1)
Format                           : AVC
Format/Info                      : Advanced Video Codec
Format_Profile                   : High@L4.2
Format_Settings_CABAC/String     : Yes
Format_Settings_RefFrames/String : 2 frames
CodecID                          : 27
Duration/String                  : 10s 527ms
BitRate_Mode/String              : Variable
BitRate/String                   : 22.8 Mbps
BitRate_Maximum/String           : 25.0 Mbps
Width/String                     : 1 920 pixels
Height/String                    : 1 080 pixels
DisplayAspectRatio/String        : 16:9
FrameRate/String                 : 59.940 fps
ColorSpace                       : YUV
ChromaSubsampling                : 4:2:0
BitDepth/String                  : 8 bits
ScanType/String                  : Progressive
Bits-(Pixel*Frame)               : 0.183
StreamSize/String                : 28.6 MiB (90%)

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-20-2014, 12:37 AM
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Hi

AVCHD is a hardware and application system based standard, so it is restricted by what was considered achievable and sensible when the standard was drawn up, and that is a bit-rate of 28Mbps. A lot of cameras are now using standard MP4 type containers that don't claim to be of any particular standard or type, which means the manufacturer doesn't have to worry about complying to any particular spec and so can up the data-rate, so in the case of the Panasonic V750 you get 50Mbps recording, so less compression and better picture quality. For some reason Panasonic have not given very good audio encoding for MP4.

So the 50Mbps is going to be better quality and whether this is going to be immediately noticable or not depends on a few factors, however it will hold up much better during editing.

Regards

Phil
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-20-2014, 04:49 AM
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Both AVCHD and MP4 use H.264 encoding, which can have any bit rate. However, MP4 is a general container, whereas AVCHD is a delivery specification. It includes the container (usually a MTS or M2TS file), but also an associated file structure which is very similar to the one used in the BluRay specification.

Neither AVCHD nor MP4 is a codec. The actual codec used is H.264, which means that the video file produced is pretty much the same for a particular bit rate. The AVCHD 2.0 spec has a maximum bit rate of 28 mbps at 1080p60/50, and a maximum bit rate of 24 mbps at 1080p30/25, which is why you find those particular values in camcorders that have the AVCHD logo on them.

A 28mbps 1080p30/25 file would NOT be compliant with the AVCHD spec, so your camcorder would put that file in an MP4 container instead.

Higher bit rates have higher quality however, so some manufacturers include bit rates such as 35 mbps and, more recently, 50 mbps using the same encoder that they use for their AVCHD files. But again, since these higher bit rate files do not conform to the AVCHD standard, they are placed in different containers, usually MP4 or MOV.

That is the reason you find both "AVCHD" and MP4 (or MOV) files in some cameras. The AVCHD ones conform to the specification, whereas the MP4 ones are options that fall outside of the spec.

All of these files use the same H.264 codec however.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-20-2014, 10:14 PM
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The sound quality should be the same. The audio bit rate is still 64kbps per channel, one with two channels and one with six.

Can you post video information from a slow motion video out of the camera please?
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-21-2014, 11:41 PM
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There may be a lot of technical chit-chat about formats but I find it hard to tell the difference in reality. I normally stay with AVCHD 1920x1080/50p but the Slo-Mo feature switches the camera to MP4. I fact this looks as good as the AVCHD so IMO take your pick.

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post #6 of 8 Old 04-22-2014, 04:08 AM
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For awhile, not all NLEs (editing software) and computers worked well with AVCHD. Some, especially those with Apple based systems, needed the MOV choice. Depending on your editing system, one may still work better than the other.
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-22-2014, 05:03 AM
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I am running Corel VideoStudio Pro X7 on a Windows 7 64 bit PC and this accepts both AVCHD and MP4 without any problem.

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post #8 of 8 Old 04-23-2014, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terfyn View Post

I am running Corel VideoStudio Pro X7 on a Windows 7 64 bit PC and this accepts both AVCHD and MP4 without any problem.
I'm one version behind with Adobe Premier Elements 11 on a Windows 7 64 bit and it works fine for AVCHD and MP4 as well. Like I wrote, I think it used to be a problem that no longer is a problem.
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