AVC-Ultra compression: A great news for the Panasonic GH3 and AG-AF100 successor?

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Yesterdays announcement was focused on the new Panasonic AVC PRO technology more than on real products. The new camcorder announcements will probably follow soon.

Sources told me that the new AVC PRO compression scheme will be implemented in future business and consumer camcorders. AVC PRO will be available in early 2013. The new cameras that will be unveiled for the NABshow can be upgraded to AVC-Ultra in 2013. It has to be seen yet if the AG-AF100 successor and the GH3 will include the new compression technology. We will probably know more about the products on Tuesday April 17th when Panasonic will have the official press session at the NAB show (at 03:40 PM Las Vegas time).

Meantime here are some info about AVC-Ultra via Wikipedia (Click here):
The Panasonic AVC-Ultra family defines an additional three new encoding parameters within the MPEG-4 Part 10 standard, utilizing up to the 4:4:4 Intra Predictive Profile, as well as an additional low bitrate proxy recording mode.
The most efficient new parameter within AVC-Ultra is by Panasonic called, AVC-LongG. AVC-LongG enables compression of video resolutions up to 1920×1080 @ 23.97, 25 and 29.97p, with 10 bits of pixel depth at 4:2:2 color sampling, at data rates as low as 25 Mbit / sec.
More over, the AVC-Intra Class 50/100 is now extended to Class 200 and Class 4:4:4. The Class 200 mode extends the bitrate to 226 Mbit / sec for 1080/23,97p, while the Class 4:4:4 extends the possible resolution from 720p to 4K with pixel depths at 10 and 12 bits.
The bitrate settings for Class 4:4:4 varies between 200 and 440 Mbit / sec depending on the resolution, frame rate and bit depth. Both the Class 200 and the Class 4:4:4 are Intra-only coding modes.
The AVC-Proxy mode enables extremely fast ENG content delivery and offline edits of 720p and 1080p video at bitrates varying between 800 Kbit to 3,5 Mbit / sec at 8 bits of pixel depth.”

More info about yesterdays Panasonic announcement at Tvtechnology (Click here).

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  • Jemes

    I’m confused. Is AVC Ultra the same as AVC Pro?

  • Tropical Yeti

    Errr, I don’t understand these numbers at all, but they sure must be cool. I guess it means
    – we will get better image
    – cameras will get more expensive
    – microprocesor abuse in these new cameras will rise to new unprecedented level

  • nicwalmsley

    Video standards seem even more obsurd than image standards. 90% of video will get compressed back down when it is posted to thd web.

    • Anonymous

      The ultra workflow is optimised for broadcast and cinema not the web… this is intended to be a professional format.

  • Yun

    Come on , video again ?
    We want STILL quality , that is the most important for a camera .

    • debuys

      For a still camera….
      The GH series is a hybrid camera. The AF is a video camera

    • wayne wong

      sorry mate, i need a machine that can shoot both nice stills and high quality videos, and i found the Panasonic GH2. So i’m very interested in every progress that GH series would make

      • gl

        +1.

  • Max

    Doesn’t seem any setting is Intra GOP1? I like higher bit depth. But GH3 will be announced at Photokina 2012. So if Ultra is a 2013 product, how will that work?

    • Mr. Reeee

      A firmware update most likely.

  • Jorge

    I’m always struggling with video formats, and the information in Internet just makes me more confused. I just want to record my daughter as a baby with good quality, but I fear that when she turns 20 she cannot watch it because his father shot the footage in a then-obsolete codec.

    Does anybody know if the HBR mode in the new firmware of the GH2 is future-proof, or if I’d be better off with 50i or 24p?

    • matt

      are you kidding me? I´ve never encoutered someone with problems like you.. you should download a VLC player (this player will be here with us probably long time) .. AVCultra AVCintra AVCHD is still h.264 codec stored in mp4 container.. don´t worry about the codecs and just shoot.. even after 50years there will be converters which will allow you to convert your old files to the new formats.. don´t worry with such a things.. your kid will probably know what to do 😉

      Many people don´t understand that the GH2 is a “FLAGSHIP” and when it´s in right hands ..you can achieve more than with overpriced pro cameras or DSLRS.. I know many of you like the m4/3 system because of small size but realize there are also people who will pay more than you.. will buy more and expensive lenses because they use this tools for their work and they want the best quality they can get.. codec is one of the most important things when shooting video.. so stop crying and telling you don´t need that and that.. buy a pink gf5 or G3 and you will get almost the same quality as GH2 because I´m shure you are not planning to hack it..

      Gosh.. panasonic should really make a HIGH END model of the GH series for photographers and videographers that needs the best IQ and stay light on their journeys and leave the GF/G/GH for P&S people..

    • gl

      These are all just flavours of the H.264 codec, which is even used in Blu-ray. Like the previous Mpeg2 based codecs, they should be around for a long time, even when better ones come along.

  • Brod1er

    AVC Ultra- 4 posts
    “75mm sexiness” – 132 posts
    Ok the 75mm news has been around longer, but it’s an interesting indication of what interests people (and how dull techy compression debates are for most people). Come on Panasonic cut to the chase – WHERE IS THE GH3??????

  • mpgxsvcd

    If you don’t know what any of this means. It means it won’t make a bit of difference to you.

    It is great for the few filmmakers who know how to take advantage of it. It is irrelevant for everyone else. 99.9% of people will see no benefit with these settings. That is why Panasonic waited so long to enable them. They are a headache for Panasonic to support and don’t offer real benefit to the vast majority of Panasonic users.

    However, the few users that want these settings have deep pockets or are atleast willing to spend for it. Money talks.

    • Steve

      I agree and we won’t see any of this in the GH3.

  • dbas

    I don’t see any reference to AVC Pro in the Wikipedia article, nor the TVtechnology link. Is AVC Pro a new announcement at NAB?

  • Frosti7

    No 1080p60?

  • Esa Tuunanen

    “AVC-LongG enables compression of video resolutions up to 1920×1080 @ 23.97, 25 and 29.97p”
    So more marketing bullshit.
    It’s time to get rid of idiotic stone age interlacing and give full 50/60p.

    • kk

      those modes are progressive bro.
      also networks & cable tv dont do 1080 50\60p yet.

  • Brod1er

    s l o w news day eh?!

    I would rate this rumour FTzzzzzzzzz(dribble)

    Thx for your commitment though Admin – never look a gift horse in the mouth.

    • admin

      You are used to read top rumors every day? 🙂

      • Brod1er

        You spoil us!!! =->

      • gl

        Very important to shooters like me, ignore the haters. And yes it will make a difference, both for good and bad. Good = better compression, longer recording times, better colour rendering (> 4:2:0) and better quality. It also makes consumer 4K practical. Exactly which of these you get depends which flavour Panny goes for.

        Downside to long GOP is more arkward editing.

  • 43shot

    Speaking of compression. When will the EM-5 gag order on video be lifted? The day Amazon ships? I suppose if I want 1080P 24 I will get a Canon PowerShot ELPH 530 HS. LOL. Countdown to video reviews on hold- one week.

  • kk

    em-5 does that 30p in 60i container thing. olympus simply dont care about video. shame, they could of sold more cameras for extra modes that they could give us in firmware

  • Chris

    AVC Ultra? sounds a bit Ultra over the top wording and why are they sticking to standard HD format. The Panasonic GH2 hack seems to be keeping your camera up to date for a while it seems.

    Well one thing I lern’t about technology its alwasy changeing fast

  • Pat

    TO ALL: don’t get your hopes up, this is a branch of AVC-Intra NOT AVCHD. This is meant to record exclusively to P2 cards, and so it will most certainly NOT be making its way to the G camera line or the AF100b. Its basically Panasonic’s version of ProRes or DNxHD. Its really pretty sweet that they are making it an acquisition format, but you wont see it on m43 products for a while (if ever) though AVCHD 2.0 would be nice.

  • OhOh…Canon just announced a 4k DSLR.

    http://nofilmschool.com/2012/04/canon-announces-worlds-4k-dslr-eos-1d/

    BTW, I’m going to NAB. Last-minute decision. Does “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” apply?

  • sqweezy

    Don’t get why folks think this will not be in the GH3. Isn’t this codec just a matter of software? Would it be that difficult to implement in a top-of-the-line camera that didn’t even come out yet?

    Also, does anyone foresee a hack for the E-M5? It seems like it has all the right ingredients for a great video camera, with the 5-axis stabilization and all, but just lacks the proper output. If someone out there could improve the quality, then I, as well as many others I suspect, would buy it in an instant! As far as I’m concerned, the lack of exceptional video on the E-M5 has forced me to wait for the GH3…

    • pn

      Allowing a video encoder to use a higher bit rate makes compression easier!

      The complexity of the H.264 standard is due to the fact that compressing to low bit rates requires sophisticated algorithms, if there’s more bit rate to spend, you can actually avoid to do more complicated things like b-frame support etc.

    • Thathang

      No its not just a matter of software because all the software is backed up by a hardware chip which does the heavy lifting. It’s not a full purpose computer where all these calculations are done in software. That would require a multi-core intel chip or something.

      @Squeezy
      The chip itself is built around h264 encoding and decoding so you can’t stray away from what it offers through hardware, you can only maximize and expose its features.

  • Alan

    Last year I talked with an panasonic engineer at Photokina and he told me that for consumer cameras/dslr they will introduce AVCHD 2.0. Sony did it with his Sony Alpha 57 and some others devices.

    Avchd Pro will be guaranteed not in a GH3.

    Panasonic will protect their Semi-Pro/Pro-Level products against competition from cheaper consumer Video-DSLR like GH3.

    They will give us ony little “improvements” but no avchd pro, no global shutter (never – because white paper from panasonic states that they stay with CMOS technology!).

    Thats the reason I got my GH2 this year…I will try to improve my abilities as DoP to get better video as compared the other guys which just filming flowers, streets, ugly children+ugly wifes+ugly dogs and the guys filming resolution charts :-)=

  • skeptikal

    Just hack the GH2 firmware using Ptool…instant AVC-Intra @ 200mbps.

    Why wait for the clods at Panasonic to give it to you…

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