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  1. Member
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    Hello, recently got an older camcorder, Panasonic HDC-HS300. An older camera but have had one from this series many years ago
    and even though its only Full HD (1920 x 1080) I bought it for its low light capabilities which are incredible. Trying to educate myself a bit more...

    I am in a PAL country and find it strange the camera has no settings for NTFS / Pal?
    I see the specs at full high quality (HA) are 50i, @ 30fps shutter 60
    This would seem to be a mismatch to me? and looks like not suitable for a PAL country re flickering

    I thought the 50i interlaced setting (there is no progressive setting) had something to do with shutter speed?
    I thought shutter speeds of 30/60 etc were for NTFS and 25/50 etc for PAL countries

    I could have and probably do have all this wrong lol. Can anyone kindly explain it to me?

    The video for an older camera is superb by the way, even on IA. Very crisp, colors excellent and like
    I said low light performance excellent with little noise. Just trying to educate myself a little
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    To me, DV is "older". VHS is as old as mammoth bones. Anything HD is pretty current, considering that broadcast TV is not getting better, in fact in the U.S. it is getting worse. "Only Full HD" - pfft, kids these days Anyway...

    Correct, most older camcorders are locked either into 50 Hz or 60 Hz scanning rate. 20-30 years ago, PAL/NTSC switchable camcorders were marketed as a "world cam", it was a separate feature. I think Sony started making 50 Hz / 60 Hz switchable consumer camcorders earlier than Panasonic.

    Shutter speed for 50 Hz region correspond to scanning rate and AC frequency, so the lowest shutter speed is 1/50 s; 1/25 s in Slow Shutter mode.

    There is a progressive setting, it is called Digital Cinema mode. It is essentially 25 PsF mode, although I believe that chroma is interlaced. It is not flagged in the video file, so you need to know which one is progscan and which one is true interlaced, and treat them appropriately, that is, you do not need to deinterlace Digital Cinema footage.
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  3. You seem to mix (or re-define) shutter speed and framerate. Frame rate (fps) specifies the number of frames (pictures) per second. Shutter speed aka exposure time is the duration during which the shutter is open for taking a picture. So the framerate can be 25 fps for example (PAL), but the shutter time can be like 1/25, 1/50, .... 1/500, 1/1000 second for example. The shorter the shutter time (exposure time), the less motion blur (and the higher the aperture needs to be).
    https://photographylife.com/what-is-shutter-speed-in-photography

    It is principally the same for photography and for video.

    Added: from the manual:
    Image Attached Images    
    Last edited by Sharc; 22nd Sep 2023 at 11:40.
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    Funny you mention "kids" these days lol. If it gives you any idea of my age I was around back in the day with a Super 8 camera was hi tech hahaha. I only qualified my opening statement about "older" as someone normally mentions right off the bat the camera / format is too old for serious use etc. For me Full HD is the best current format. Not particularly fond of 4k.....

    And sorry I do get mixed up quoting frame rate and shutter speed. Trying to get it set in my head. I have used SLR / DSLR cameras for years so in that format have a decent idea of how aperture, shutter etc work. For me Video is a little more of a non exact science. More of a try it and see what you like. And you are right about Sony cameras being switchable between regions...my last Sony camera had this function and around the same era 2010-12. As much as I like the Sony brand though I find they don't come close to Panasonic of that era.

    There are plenty of you tube videos showing how to get around using a 60i/p camera in a 50hz PAL country and how to compensate, and just as many videos saying this was only important back in the analogue TV days. Now with digital broadcast / streaming you can use whatever frame rate you like. No lights flickering. Is that correct?

    I think what is really confusing me though at the moment is assuming the camera is 60i, when I view the MTS file in my PC properties, I should be seeing a frame rate of 60fps right? But viewing the file properties / details it is 30fps and that is using the camera in full auto mode, so I haven't over ridden anything. Or because it is interlaced does it only use every other frame or half of the frame or something? I know I am overthinking all this because I am happy with the quality particularly in low light. The last Sony camera I had was a few years newer, high end and 50p progressive and the quality indoors and outdoors was not even close to this in auto or manual even though this one is older and interlaced.

    My last question on the MTS / AVCHD files which I am copying straight off the SD card to my computer..then converting them to .mp4 using handbrake or VLC.

    I know on the actual camera MTS files there are also other files / directories containing various meta data....date, time etc which I don't need. Does just copying the MTS file on its own have enough information to convert to an MP4 file without taking the other original meta data files on the SD card? For example will say Handbrake have enough information just from the MTS file itself to know fps, frame rate etc? The date etc is not important to me.

    Some one suggested to me when I convert my MTS files to MP4 in Handbrake, it will convert the file to progressive. Not sure how it could do this with only half the frame data from interlaced footage? In fact when I convert any of my MTS files to MP4 without reducing resolution or size etc they do seem to lose quite a bit of quality

    many thanks for your help so far guys
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    Nothing wrong with "old" tech!

    Where are you getting the "50i, @ 30fps shutter 60" spec from?

    This manual:

    http://panasonic.ae/en/manuals/HDC-TM300%20-%20HS300.pdf

    mentions only 50i (scattered throughout but on the specs page 156), and because it is a PAL camera (although not specifically mentioned) it will be pumping out 25 frames a second frame rate.

    My understanding (shaken a bit recently!) is that 50i will show as 25fps. The "50" refers to the 50 interlaced fields that make up the 25 frames.

    There is a comment on page 81 about changing the shutter speed if you're in a 60hz area in bright lights, but that's not frame rate.

    When examining files, Mediainfo will give you more info. Use the "Text" view to get a more detailed report than Windows file properties.

    Some one suggested to me when I convert my MTS files to MP4 in Handbrake, it will convert the file to progressive. Not sure how it could do this with only half the frame data from interlaced footage?
    An encoder that converts interlaced footage will use a variety of methods (in Handbrake, on the "Filters" tab, have a look at the Deinterlace dropdown for the methods available), but essentially they are merging (or at least using) the pair of fields to create a single frame. They may be merged or one field may be discarded. There are more advanced techniques available that will use both fields to create two frames, so doubling the frame rate.
    Last edited by Alwyn; 22nd Sep 2023 at 20:25.
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    Where are you getting the "50i, @ 30fps shutter 60" spec from?

    Yes I have the same manual, but I suspect it is a manual for PAL countries. On further reading apparently many manufacturers back in the day produced cameras for different sales regions. So if it was US / Japan market they would produce a 60i camera. In a PAL country they would produce a 50i camera. Sony apparently were the only manufacturer back then offered either or in settings. So I have a 60I camera in a PAL country (Thailand). Funny having said that I currently have a Sony camera and a later Panasonic can both produce 50p / 60p and neither of them come close to the picture / color / low light quality of this one. I guess lens, processor and sensor have a great deal to do with the finished product too. So the 50i I assumed from the manual specs....but it looks like as the camera came from Japan (NTSC) it must be 60i to be producing 30fps at 60 shutter speed. The manual I downloaded I guess came with a PAL country camera

    So what is the best settings on Handbrake to convert the MTS file to MP4 with minimum loss of quality?
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    Originally Posted by Kenny202 View Post
    And sorry I do get mixed up quoting frame rate and shutter speed. Trying to get it set in my head. I have used SLR / DSLR cameras for years so in that format have a decent idea of how aperture, shutter etc work. For me Video is a little more of a non exact science.
    It is very much exact. In fact, Panasonic camcorders are known for a no-nonsense exposure setup since at least the early 2000s.

    Follows a part from my Medium article that I haven't finished yet

    Manual Shutter Speed

    Shutter speed cannot be set slower than 1/60 s for NTSC region and 1/50 s for PAL region to ensure that all images in the video are unique. Slow Shutter mode, which can be used in low light conditions, reduces shutter speed to 1/30 s and 1/25 s respectively, and effectively reduces image rate to 30 and 25 images per second, so effectively it is 30 PsF or 25 PsF.

    The 60 Hz ("NTSC") HDC-HS300 has 24-fps Digital Cinema mode, the slowest shutter speed is 1/48 s, which corresponds to 180 degrees in film terms; it can be slowed down to 1/24 s in Slow Shutter mode. Digital Cinema is recorded with 2:3 pulldown without flagging; you need to IVTC it into proper 24p for uploading to Youtube. The 50 Hz ("PAL") model has 25-fps Digital Cinema mode, basically 25 PsF, again, no flagging.

    Look at the bottom of the camcorder, does it say "NTSC" or "PAL"? Or, turn it on, switch to manual mode and set the lowest shutter speed, is it 1/60 or 1/50? This is a giveaway.


    Manual Aperture

    On consumer-grade Panasonic camcorders, aperture and gain are adjusted with Iris control.

    On the diagram, going from left to right, we start from fully closed iris. First step towards increasing Iris, the diaphragm opens, the smallest value is usually F16. As you increase Iris, the diaphragm opens larger, correspondingly F-number gets smaller until the diaphragm is fully open. If Iris is increased further, electronic amplification or gain kicks in; it usually goes up to 18 dB, but newer camcorders with more sophisticated noise reduction can go even higher. On the models I've used, Iris changes in quarter-stop increments, but the displayed value changes for every half-stop. 6 dB of gain is equivalent to one F-stop in terms of light transmittance. Some camcorders have built-in variable ND filter, which is not even mentioned in the user manual and is controlled automatically.

    When you adjust shutter speed, Iris returns back to auto. When you adjust Iris, shutter speed does not change. So, essentially manual exposure mode is equivalent to Shutter Priority mode on still/hybrid cams. To switch shutter speed back to auto you need to switch the camcorder as a whole from Manual mode to Auto.

    Originally Posted by Kenny202
    There are plenty of you tube videos showing how to get around using a 60i/p camera in a 50hz PAL country and how to compensate, and just as many videos saying this was only important back in the analogue TV days. Now with digital broadcast / streaming you can use whatever frame rate you like. No lights flickering. Is that correct?
    Flicker is caused by the difference between shutter speed and the refresh rate of street or home lights, and TV and computer screens. Little has changed in this regard, although computer monitors are usually 60 Hz, and LED light bulbs usually have rather high frequency for their flicker to not be noticeable.

    Originally Posted by Kenny202
    I think what is really confusing me though at the moment is assuming the camera is 60i, when I view the MTS file in my PC properties, I should be seeing a frame rate of 60fps right?
    As you said, it is an old camcorder It cannot do 60p, it can only do 30i (same as 60i) and 24p (with 2:3 pulldown). But 60i has the same number of images per second as 60p, so all you need is deinterlace the video, converting each field into a frame. Do not upload interlaced video on Youtube as is, it will look like garbage.

    Originally Posted by Kenny202
    I know on the actual camera MTS files there are also other files / directories containing various meta data....date, time etc which I don't need. Does just copying the MTS file on its own have enough information to convert to an MP4 file without taking the other original meta data files on the SD card?
    MTS is all you need, although other files have some additional metadata useful for navigation or making a menu or something else... I've never used those files. Software that comes with the camcorder can, among other things, import MTS files from the card and merge them together if the files are parts of a long video. Maximum size of an MTS file on an SDHC card is 4 GB for Panasonic, 2 GB for Canon, no idea about Sony.

    Originally Posted by Kenny202
    Some one suggested to me when I convert my MTS files to MP4 in Handbrake, it will convert the file to progressive. Not sure how it could do this with only half the frame data from interlaced footage? In fact when I convert any of my MTS files to MP4 without reducing resolution or size etc they do seem to lose quite a bit of quality
    First of all, keep the original files. For editing, viewing, uploading to Youtube it makes sense to deinterlace (you must deinterlace for Youtube). For regular 60i you need to deinterlace by converting each field into a separate frame. For Digital Cinema, you need to remove the pulldown (a.k.a. "inverse telecine" or "reverse telecine"), which will produce 24p.
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    Last edited by Bwaak; 22nd Sep 2023 at 22:32.
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    Thank you so much for the extensive reply, really appreciate the effort. Just out atm but will have a thorough read of it all when I am back home. Thanks again
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    Pulled out an old Canon HF10 camera I have today. It has native 60i but also has 30p / 24p settings. tried all outside various scenes and playing the MTS file back in VLC the 60i footage was better hands down in every case. I also took some video in the kitchen....lights on but fairly low light....again 60i to my eyes anyway killed the 30/24p settings. The 60i was bright, clear and colorful but the 30/24p modes were noticeably dimmer and noisier (24p noisier than 30p). If I can retain the quality of the 60i footage I am getting after converting to MP4 I would be very happy. Footage was viewed on my computer screen by the way. Strange because I read 30p should be much better quality overall than 60i
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    Handbrake! I'm not an expert at it but this will get you going. HB has it's foibles.

    Before you start: Tools>Preferences>Output Files: choose MP4 as the extension.

    Tabs:
    Filters: nothing to change here. Note the Deinterlacing options, which can be changed if necessary.

    Video Tab:
    Image
    [Attachment 73995 - Click to enlarge]

    Video Encoder: up to you. Normally, H264, although H265, a much newer codec, is becoming main-stream. The dropdown has choices depending on your computer. For example, if you have a NVidia graphics card, you can choose H264(NVEnc) for much faster encoding/rendering. I think QSV is for Intel iGPUs (integrated motherboard GPUs such as the UHD 770) but don't quote me.

    Frame Rate: Same as source and set as Constant.

    Quality: A CRF of 18 is a good all-round number. The lower the number, the higher the quality (yes, that makes sense, doesn't it). Alternatively, you can use Average bitrate to finetune the size of your files depending on how they come out quality-wise.

    Audio Tab:
    Image
    [Attachment 73997 - Click to enlarge]

    Codec: AAC, Bitrate 192 is a good all-round value for AAC, Samplerate: video is traditionally 48kHz.

    That's it, set the file destination at the bottom and hit Start Encode.
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    Thanks for that I just did a bit of an experiment. I can play the raw MTS file through VLC, not sure if it deinterlaces the video automatically but the original MTS file plays very nice and smooth. I then converted to MP4 at a high quality setting, but turned off the deinterlace setting hoping to emulate the original MTS file. Hmmm I could see artifacting and vertical lines. Not too bad but noticeable. I then converted the MTS file to MP4 and turned the deinterlacing on. Same high quality settings. The result was very pleasing and very close if not the same as the original.

    Just wondering why I can view the normal MTS file so clearly, which is an interlaced file....but when I convert to MP4 with deinterlace setting off, it reduces picture clarity and causes artifacting?
    I assume both MTS file and MP4 files are interlaced
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    In my experience, VLC's deinterlacer, in Auto, doesn't work very well and if you have a heavily interlaced file, you'll notice the jaggies. If you go Video>Deinterlace ON, VLC will deinterlace properly.

    There shouldn't be any vertical lines; interlacing artifacts/jaggies are always horizontal AFAIK.

    The MP4 from HB will be de-interlaced because of the "Decomb" setting on the Filters tab.

    but when I convert to MP4 with deinterlace setting off
    What do you mean by turning Deinterlacing off? In VLC? You shouldn't have to do that playing the MP4 from Handbrake as it will be Progressive from the Handbrake render. I'd just leave it in Auto unless oyu need to turn it On.

    Mediainfo will give you all the details on your MTS and MP4s eg whether they are interlaced or not.

    It would also help if you posted a short clip of an MTS file here if you want us to have a look. Just take a few seconds with a pan/movement and use the manage Attachments button. Videos can be up to 500mb, but a few seconds should be less than 100mb.
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    Sorry for the confusion. I play my media files through VLC, and convert using Handbrake. I was wondering if playing / viewing an MTS file through VLC if it automatically deinterlaces it for you during viewing.

    In handbrake settings converting MTS to MP4, video conversion settings, filter....deinterlace settings you can select decomb, Yadif or off. First video I selected set to off, 2nd video I used Yadif deinterlace. As I said the second MP4 video using Yadif deinterlace was much superior to turning the deinterlace setting off.
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    Gotcha. Sounds like you're in business.
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    Got my new (used) Panasonic HDC-TM650 today. Its a Japan only model but I believe nearly identical to the US market TM750 but no 3D and 750 has a larger HDD. The video to me anyway is nothing short of stunning. Has 1080p 28mbps setting which I can see now how it leaves 1080i 17mbps for dead. 1080i Color and picture still super clear but motion in 60p 20 times more natural and smoother. Both formats still produce MTS files. One question I did have on playback there is a setting to select AVCHD or 1080/60p. I thought both files in full HD were AVCHD or are the 1080/60p files not AVCHD?
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