Does importing AVCHD into iMovie degrade quality?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jeffnebraska, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. jeffnebraska macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    I just realized that, in addition to needing to convert my old M2TS files to something iMovie likes, it will have to do that conversion for every new file I import, even the ones straight from my Canon HG20 camera.

    If I have the patience to tolerate that process, which I'm not sure I do, does it leave my video quality intact, or does it down res my HD videos?

    In case your wondering if my machine can handle this, I have the new Core i7 MBP with 8GB of RAM.

    Looks like I may be buying Final Cut afterall.
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #2
    AVCHD footage uses the H264 codec, which is not meant for editing, as it is highly compressed, lossy and does not store every frame. Thus most editing applications need to transcode the footage to something editable. Adobe Premiere is the only application to support native AVCHD editing capabilities, but that will be taxing the CPU like hell (heat wise).

    Final Cut Pro and Express will transcode AVCHD footage like iMovie does, so there will be "quality" loss due to the transcoding alone, but it will not be visible.

    Again, MRoogle will give you plenty of threads about this. And the transcoding process is something you have to live with, unless you use a camera with no or low compression at all or use Premiere.
     
  3. jeffnebraska thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #3
    Thanks. I'll start using MRoogle, which is new to me, like Mac is new to me.

    So is there a good reason to get Final Cut Express? Does it import AVCHD faster than iMovie? Does it degrade the quality less than iMovie?
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #4
    FCE and iMovie use the same codec for HD footage called Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC). So the transcoding process will take about the same time with both applications but I don't know if one degrades the quality more than the other, as I haven't used them for that. But as they use the same codec, I guess there will be no difference, especially if the source is lossy as AVCHD is.
     
  5. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2008
    Location:
    Vogon Planet Destructor
    #5
    What is the final product?
    DVD? Blu-Ray? Web?
     

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