OK. I get the love for the Canon 5DmkII, I understand that sometimes artistic expression DEMANDS that only the one eye of your talent is in focus, while the entire rest of the frame consists of that rich, creamy, frothy, bokeh that we all know is the real reason we shoot movies in the first place.
I understand that the Panasonic AG AF-100 will allow you to use ALL THE LENSES IN THE WORLD to make your web masterpiece, when those loser Hollywood types are limited to shooting their films with just a handful of primes.
I comprehend the need to shoot your 8 hour documentary on yarn twisting on a Sony Handycam, so the intimidating size of a real camera won’t scare the old ladies.
BUT IN 2011 THERE IS NO REASON TO USE AVCHD AS AN ACQUISITION CODEC!
Look, back in 2006, it might have made sense to limit the codec to a max of 24 Mbit/s and a paltry 8bit 4:2:0 color space. The most you could record about was 45 minutes on an 8 gig SDHC card (which cost about $300). Everyone was excited about HD-DVD which had just launched, Blu-ray was on it’s way, and Apple was still selling G5 PowerMacs. At the time AVCHD was such a computationally intensive codec that most computers couldn’t edit with it natively.
Now it’s 2011, and guess which part hasn’t changed? With 64 Gig SDXC cards (priced now at about $150) on the market, put two of those in one of Canon’s new HF-G-10’s with 32 Gigs built in, and you could have an amazing 160 Gigs of storage, for 15 hours of “High Quality” AVCHD recording. But even if you managed to record 15 hours of footage, you still couldn’t edit it in Final Cut Pro, without transcoding for 20 hours!
You know how I know that AVCHD is not an acquisition codec? because step one of any AVCHD workflow in post starts with: transcode your footage into something other than AVCHD.
AVCHD was, and still is, a great distribution codec, but releasing any camera made for serious video productions with AVCHD native recording is just like punching your editor in the kidneys. It’s 2011, why the hell should I be expected to transcode anything? Why are my edit suites taken up by people transcoding rather than editing? They’re not called “Transcoding Suites”, it says “Editing Suite” right on the door!