Capturing 1080p videos to iMac (highest-end)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Delpheno, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Delpheno macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    I'm looking at the Core i5 model of the iMac which has an ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics with 512MB.

    From what I understand, I thought 1080p videos were data that you can transfer from Firewire to the iMac, but I've read a lot of threads where people would say, "the iMac can edit 1080p videos, but it cannot capture it".

    Okay so what is the proper way to capture or transfer 1080p (AVCHD) videos from a camcorder to an iMac then? Is the video card the iMac is using not good enough? Do I need a Mac Pro with a new video card? I thought we're just transferring data to a computer.

    Thank you.
  2. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    The graphics card has nothing to do with capturing. All you need to do is pop your SDHC card in the SDHC slot on the iMac and use iMovie to import. AVCHD is a pain to edit with, so iMovie will transcode it to Apple Intermediate Codec. This process uses the Core i5, not the graphics card.

    There are certain forms of 1080p the iMac wouldn't be able to capture, but AVCHD is not one of them.
  3. Delpheno thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 30, 2008
    Okay that is exactly what I thought. The people in the threads were probably talking about the built-in camera on the iMac. Is what you said the same for miniDV camcorders with Firewire?

    So is it best to transfer through SDHC or Firewire? I've heard talks about Firewire > USB, but no debates on SDHC. How is AVCHD a pain to edit with? What format is preferred for 1080p then?
  4. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007

    The SDHC slot might actually use an internal USB bus. Or it might not. I don't know. But as things stand, for your intended purpose, it doesn't matter. Firewire is faster than USB, but USB is faster than most current SDHC cards, and SDHC cards read out faster than your Mac will be able to transcode to AIC.

    AVCHD is compressed in a very complicated fashion. Each frame references another, which is acceptable for sequential playback but not well suited to editing, where you are scrubbing back and forth and jumping all over the place.

    With iMovie you have to transcode it to AIC.

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