AVCHD to iMovie, I know I know.............

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by danhercules, Aug 3, 2010.

  1. danhercules macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    I have been searching and reading and getting more confused.

    First off, I just wanna get the footage in imovie, not conserned about quality, yet.

    Is there a way?
  2. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    Off hand i would say i don't think you can, not without it being a bit of a pain, I could well be wrong, May be simpler to upgrade to final cut express. Certainly from an AVCHD point of view FCE works very well and it give you the opportunity to get to grips with some nice editing software and gives you an excuse to get some more peripheral toys.
  3. kev6677 macrumors member

    Jul 30, 2010
    There is no way to do it directlly. you will either have to use third party software or use imovie to log and transfer but you must have the physical camcorder connected and it must be one of the listed camcorders listed as being compatable with imovie "09" you can check compatability at apple's website.
  4. danhercules thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    Ok, I got it. It went in from Camera to iMovie. Good quality too. Not 1080P, but good enough to really see a difference in my other footage taped with a borrowed "HD" camera

    FYI, I have a Panisonic HDC-TM700. So far, GREAT camera. WOW. I cant wait to play with it in full 1080P 60FPS mode at the boat races. I know I will have to play it back on my TV from the camera, but that is fine for now.

    Most imortant, I got good quality to my Apple TV for my kid that is gonna be born in 3 weeks. !!!
  5. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    As you discovered, iMovie works fine with AVCHD cameras. It will transcode the video to Apple Intermediate Codec upon import, which will let you edit your clips.

    It will also let you import at 1080p. When the import window opens, it gives you the choice of full resolution or half resolution. I think the default is half, so if you didn't bother to change it that is why your clips didn't import at 1080p.

    Kev6677: the camera doesn't need to be connected in order to import clips, but you do need to maintain the proper file structure of the AVCHD folder from your camera in order to import. That is, you can import from a disk image or a folder created from the "Archive" function in iMovie, but you can't mess around with the contents or expect to import the mts/m2t stream directly.
  6. danhercules thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 28, 2010
    Yup, the quality is real good. I will have to try 1080P tho, are you sure it will work? I think 1080i will, but not 1080P. There is only one way to find out. :) I will play with it this weekend!!
  7. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    I record in 1080p and it works just fine. Have fun!
  8. Magrathea macrumors regular

    Aug 21, 2008

    As far as I know you can import the footage directly into iMovie. iMovie converts it into AIC or ProRes I think and then you edit that.
  9. tonydragon macrumors newbie

    Aug 7, 2010
    I'm just starting out in digital video editing and run into the same problem (at least I'm not alone).
    I have copied the .MTS files from my camera onto an external hard drive and so now iMovie won't recognise them.
    Are you saying that Final Cut Express would?

  10. RubbishBBspeed macrumors regular

    Aug 1, 2009
    Like your self I'm only at the beginning stages of becoming the next budding film director. Short story is, I bought final cut express after getting advice from two contracted final cut pro editors working in the office. Initially I'd bought a sony sx34 handycam more just to create footage to practise editing on rather than creating a master piece. this worked perfectly well with iMovie, however iMove while great for enthusiasts doesn't carry much respect in the professional world, so i'm told and it's nice to think that learning FC could lead to more. So after investing in FCE I found out the SX34 didn't compute anymore, this was promptly returned to the store and upgraded to a cx115e (the store where very helpful). So now handycam and computer are happy once again. Record footage, connect camera to mac. open FCE, hit Cmd-shift-8. and off it goes.

    The FC keyboard is kick ass too. Then of course there is the wideangle lens for the handycam, that became an essential toy too.
  11. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    You need to keep the AVCHD folder structure intact in order for iMovie to transcode them properly. If you just copy the mts files it won't work, as you discovered. The easiest way to do this is to just use the "Import" function after connecting your camera to your computer or inserting the SD card into a card reader. Select the clips you want to import and let it transcode them to AIC. If you want to copy the files for later import, either copy the entire folder or use the "Archive" function in iMovie.
  12. fieldguide macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    Need some help

    I have imported video files shot on a Sony HDR-CX500V to iMovie. The files were on the 32GB HD Flash memory in the video camera. Later I inserted a 16GB Memory Stick ProDuo into the camera and shot video which was stored on to the memory stick. When I connect the camera via the USB cable and designate the video on the memory stick, the files will not import and iMovie does not recognize that any camera is attached. I tried removing the Memory stick and inserting it into a Universal Media Reader connected via a USB cable but same result. I know the files are there in MTS format. Do I need to import these files using other software such as FC Pro? (I have it but have not used it before.)

    I apologize if these questions have been answered elsewhere.

    Update: Well, I proved you can't upload MTS files to an older version of iMovie (2006). For some reason I still had the older version in a separate application on my MAC. When I tried the upload to the newer version of iMovie(2009) it worked perfectly. At least I found the answer to my own issue, so I don't have to feel like a complete doofus.
  13. douglasomar macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2010
    Just to add my experience...

    I purchased a panasonic AVCHD camcorder, recorded in 1080p and tried to import into my Mac Pro G5.
    Just to let people know that AVCHD is not supported on the PowerPC chip. In my experience i updated all the software for this case i used iMovie09. However the hardware was the problem.
    So i took my wife's macbook pro (intel chip) and voila, imovie09 detected the camera right away and away i went.
    I guess that just gives me an excuse to get a new Mac Pro. :)
    I'm not satisfied with the export quality of iMovie09. Even when exporting in "full resolution" the quality of the video doesn't look even near to 1080p.
    It looks like 720p or something around those lines. I wonder does anyone have experience with AVCHD and FCE? when exporting how good is the video? Does it compare to the original video quality (say if you where to hook up the camera to the tv and watch the video that way).

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