do macs support AVCHD format

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Sossity, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. Sossity macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I just a review on amazon that stated that macs do not easily support this format, it seems to be a modern high def format. This concerned me as this is one of the main things I would be doing with a icore macbook pro, is video editing.
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

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  3. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    What was this person talking about? here is there review I found on amazon;

    POOR AVCHD VIDEO SUPPORT, June 5, 2010
    By kev6677 "TECHNO JUNKIE" (NEW YORK) - See all my reviews
    This review is from: Apple MacBook Pro MC371LL/A 15.4-Inch Laptop (Personal Computers)
    ok this is an unbiased but critical review of the MAC operating system I have been a PC user for 20 years and after having windows crash from viruses a few times I decided to take the plunge and get a MAC as I heard how great they are for video and audio editing and are not as vulnerable to viruses as windows. Well that turned out to be not totally true first the only good thing the imac has going is it's asthetic looks and thats about it. The most disappointing thing is that MAC i mean all macs DO NOT support AVCHD natively which is curentlly the standard output format of almost all consumer camcorders. yes folks. I could not believe it either if you own an HD camcorder bought in the las 3 years goodluck. Apple claims that there is a workaround which is useless as it either creates a very noticeable loss in video quality almost like watching a SD video or having to convert to an apple only format which produces files approx 5 times the size of your original file so if your original file is 1GB it will be 5GB by the time it is converted. What a shame $1500.00 for a computer that cannot even do basic video editing I mean high definition is the new standard common apple you are suppose to be good at video editing... you gotta do better than this.
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3290 (maintenance going on so may not work atm)

    Final Cut:

    http://www.apple.com/finalcutstudio/specs/

    That guy has no idea what he is talking about. I've heard it isn't troublefree format but Macs and Apple's apps support it
     
  5. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    If I get a point & shoot camera or a DSLR with video capabilities, can you suggest any brands or models that would work well with imovie or final cut?

    right now I have sony cameras that shoot video at 480 x 640 @ 30 frames per sec the "fine" resolution, & 480 x 640 @ "standard" 25 frames per sec, will imovie & final cut be able to handle these?
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

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    #6
    Final Cut is used by professionals who edit 1080p, so you will be more than fine
     
  7. NotBrian? macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Poster. Please go to the Digital Video forum and search there. All questions will be answered. The short version: Canon Vixia HF S11, a top prosumer camera, works fine on iMac and FinalCut Pro. Just read the FinalCut instructions, then follow the instructions. Ranting won't help anything.
     
  8. NotBrian? macrumors newbie

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    Also, it isn't apple's fault that camera manufacturers have elected to eliminate the Apple/Sony Firewire/iLink jack from their cameras. Firewire and FinalCut are a perfect match. Part of the difficulty in maintaing the highest resolutions is that USB is an inferior transfer method for streaming video than Firewire. My old Sony digital video camera has it, but the fore-mentioned Canon does not
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

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    #9
    It's weird because Final Cut has 50% market share in professional video editing software and it's only for OS X. Hopefully USB 3.0 and LightPeak will solve this (FW is Apple's trademark so it's not an open nor free standard and thus never became popular)
     
  10. spinnerlys Guest

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    #10
    But FW is not really needed, when the medium is only holding a file, as most HD storage media hold files instead of an actual video.
    Thus streaming is not required for transfer.

    We recently shot with XDCam HD and the maximum bit-rate was 50Mbit/s, which even USB can deliver*five times, but the actual XDCam Disk does not deliver 280Mbit/s read speeds anyway, so USB is more than enough.

    Look at the RED ONE and its storage media and see, that some have FW800 or even e-SATA ports on them for faster file transfer, due to the bigger files.


    Sossity, Apple video editing software like FCE/P and iMovie is not able to edit the AVCHD footage natively, as AVCHD is quite compressed (using an MPEG-4 codec, like h264) and video editing applications don't really like that. Thus the AVCHD footage gets converted to a more manageable and editable codec during import, like AIC or ProRes (FCP).

    And if you use MRoogle, you will find plenty of threads on how to edit AVCHD video on Macs.
     
  11. Peace macrumors Core

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    #11
    Odd considering Microsoft isn't even listed as supporting AVCHD on the official AVCHD Consortium website.
     
  12. Hellhammer Moderator

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    #12
    Microsoft Movie Maker isn't that good so AVCHD support would be useless :p I think Microsoft doesn't have any video editing software other than MM so not a surprise that it isn't in the list
     
  13. Peace macrumors Core

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    #13
    Also might add that Handbrake ( read : FREE ) supports the .mt2s files AVCHD use quit well.

    It's MPEG-2 is what it is. And it's designed for storage. If you want to edit it any program will take a while and make the file larger.
     
  14. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Basically the person in this quote is regrettably uninformed - but basically AVCHD is a compressed format, it is used by cameras using a version of MPEG4 compression to cram 1080i/p into a small memory card. Highly compressed video (such as AVCHD) is highly unsuitable for editing with - it will be very slow and very laggy and shouldn't be done and you'll find the same behaviour on Windows PC's as well.

    This is why AVCHD must be converted to another format on import to make it more suitable for cutting with in an editing application such as iMovie, FCP, or Adobe Premiere. Apple uses the very efficient ProRes422 in Final Cut Pro and iMovie and I'd recommend using a second external hard drive to put these files on - preferably Firewire.

    Incidentally the new version of Premiere CS5 does support native editing of AVCHD without having to convert it, I've only played with it to see how it works but I've noticed a lot of artifacting showing up on playback of RAW AVCHD in Premiere CS5 - probably reducing the quality to save on CPU cycles decompressing AVCHD all the time - precisely the reason why it needs to be transcoded to ProRes422.

    I hope that answers your question.
     
  15. spinnerlys Guest

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    #15
    iMovie and Final Cut Express use the Apple Intermediate Codec, ProRes (any variant) is reserved for Final Cut Pro only.

    Premiere might have its own HD codec to better edit with than with native AVCHD footage, but it does not support ProRes, unless FCS is installed on the same OS. Or has that changed?
     
  16. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    so if I get a camcorder or a digital point & shoot camera or a DSLR (with video capabilities), should I avoid ones with AVCHD? is this possible? or do all cameras come with a compressed high def video format that needs reencoding in apples video editors?
     
  17. spinnerlys Guest

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    #17
    Yes, all consumer cameras use a highly compressive MPEG-4 variant to save video, as uncompressed video or editable video takes at least 20MB/s of storage capacity.

    You have to transcode the video in order to edit it or get a professional camcorder which is recording to something that editing applications can handle.
     
  18. Hellhammer Moderator

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    #18
    As he said, AVCHD is more or less bad format for editing, you have to convert it to other format before editing, no matter what platform you are using
     
  19. Sossity thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #19
    thanks for your help, perhaps that is why I have had difficulty with edting footage from my sony point & shoots in roxio on my pc, the footage was not converted to another format for editing first. My current sonys take footage in;

    640 x 480 @ 25 frames per second, or "standard" mode as the camera refers to it.

    They also take footage in "fine" mode; with 640 x 480 @ 30 frames per second.

    the extensions for these video files is; .mpg. I think the camera is recording in mpg format.

    I usually just dragged & dropped these video clips into the storyboard editor, & would author or make the final movie in mpg-2. It worked for a while until I had audio & video sync problems. So now, I have given up trying to do movies, even when I could make them, there was always a slow down, or weird unpredictable things happening.

    I would ask some people about my problems, & some suggested a mac would work better for what I am doing, so here I am exploring & asking. I am considering making a switch to mac.
     
  20. GS17 macrumors member

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    as usual so many people here speaking from their rear end, the guy from the article is talking about the OS and basic tools inability to play AVCHD files (mp4 h264 not mpeg2 as mentioned by someone), in other words OS X vs Windows using their default video players QT vs WMP. Windows media player can in fact play AVCHD files (in supported hardware = any pc from last 3-4 years). iMovie can't handle AVCHD (at least without converting and at that point is no longer AVCHD) and windows movie maker I have no Idea or care. Professional NLE's (FCP vs PP) can edit AVCHD but FCP has to convert to AIC or ProRes and PP since CS4 can edit AVCHD natively. And no, AVCHD is not a way to cram 1080i/p images onto small memory cards, unless u are speaking about their physical size; it is a highly compressed very efficient (more modern codec than mpg2) that produces better looking picture than HDV and is it's been proposed as the New DV for editing, just look at the new cameras coming from Panasonic and Sony (broadcast divisions) and even JVC, but broadcast is done on either Pannys or Sony. And before somebody mentions Canon the do NOT produce Professional (Broadcast) equipment but very good prosumer camcorders.

    And as someone else mentioned the reason for FW being eliminated from tapeless cameras is because there is no need to stream, no real time ingest. USB is used to connect an external HDD (or flash card) to move files. USB 3 will only help move the file faster, no more.

    So, no, I wouldn't say that that person is "regrettably uninformed " but doesn't have his facts checked completely but is on the right track, since for the most part AVCHD in a mac is useless (not play nor edit) with out having to buy a professional NLE suite (PP since FCP has to use Log and Transfer to convert) to edit and play, and windows users can play the files and have to buy NLE's to edit only AVCHD (either Vegas or PP CS4-5 edit natively) so they can start editing from the camera or card directly.
     
  21. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

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    #21
    Hey, whoa there horsey! Welcome to Macrumours, this is not a Windows forum we're all polite here.

    The OS has nothing to do with it, its about the software which you run upon it being able to play/edit whatever format.

    Ditto WMM don't know don't care.
    And just use VLC for viewing everything.

    So are you going to suggest another way of sticking several terrabytes of uncompressed HD onto a 16Gb SDHC/P2 card?
    HDV (MPEG-2 compression) was developed as a way to cram 25 Mbit/s 1440x1080HD onto a standard DV tape. Same thing.

    Yeah, so the dude doesn't know the right way!

    SAYS WHO?

    Vegas? ...I spit my last breath at thee! (Khan) ;)
    Premiere Pro - yes, and I'm very impressed with CS5's handling of it. Fine if you're not editing professionally. If your editing professionally, convert it to ProRes, or whatever format Premiere uses.
     

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