converting AVCHD .MTS to Imovie or FCPx

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by dante.martins, May 4, 2012.

  1. dante.martins macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2012
    I have a Sony HDR-CX160 with 48GB memory and started making movies on HD format. I realize I can't import directly to iMovie because the camera uses AVCHD on MTS format in order to save space on the memory cards as MTS is high compressed. The files from this camera is .mts 1080/60p 28M. I found on the web several conversion tools and picked one called Brorsoft (there is a trial version with full functionality only adding a water mark while in trial) but there are tons of other software options to do so.

    Question one:
    In order to not loose quality does anybody have used this tool or any similar tool? what will be your recommendation?
    Question two: I have converted a 1 minute movie with 228MB in .mts format to .mov keeping the 1080/60p frame rate after conversion file is 150MB but after importing into iMovie it became 1.8GB file. Is this correct or I have done something wrong?
  2. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    If someone finds a better way, please let us know. From my experience when you import into iMovie it saves as ProRes mov. ProRes is an intermediate format which is about 10 times the size of the MTS files that you can edit with either iMovie or FCPX. When I finalize and export, it saves as H.264 mov, which is 1/10th the size of the ProRes.

    Check message 15 in this thread for a workflow to deal with AVCHD MTS files.
  3. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    Clipwrap handles this well. Use Clipwrap to re-wrap to Pro Res. Import those Pro Res files into FCPX as 1080p 59.94fps files. Edit them and render them as Pro Res files. Then use Handbrake to make a compressed movie as H264 such a .m4v file for :apple:TV3.

    I tried some of the free programs but had problems (I didn't try Brorsoft though). Clipwrap did the trick.

    I chose FCPX over iMovie because iMovie seemed to have a lot of challenges working with 60fps HD. Plus, more importantly (for me anyway), I wanted to preserve the DD5.1 audio into the final file and iMovie can't handle that.
  4. Menneisyys2, Aug 23, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2012

    Menneisyys2 macrumors 603

    Jun 7, 2011
    1. Use iVI, it has very decent MTS remuxing support also fully compatible with 60p videos.

    2. the intermediate no inter-frame iMovie format takes a lot more storage than the inter-frame H.264. Therefore, it's natural what you've seen.
  5. hsilver macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    New York
    For FCP, I've been able to input .MTS files if I go directly from Sony camera with card in it using Log & Transfer. There's a mode under playback on the camera. In the absence of the camera, I used Roxio Toast successfully but it's expensive.

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