final cut pro x and avchd

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by halfmonkey, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. halfmonkey macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    Hi there. I'm thinking about upgrading to FCPX from iMovie '11 and have a couple of questions.

    First, does anybody have a book they can recommend? I tried looking to see if the "For Dummies" series has a book but it doesn't look like they do. I only found a handful on amazon and they all seem to have only 3 of 3.5 star ratings so I'm hoping maybe someone has a specific recommendation for my situation.

    I guess I'm mainly looking to make the switch because I want to be able to edit natively in HD video. I have a Canon HF-M41 and it records in HD but when I import it into iMovie ''11, it down converts it. I'm not sure to what but I don't believe it full HD anymore. Of course, once you're finish with your project in iMovie, then you can export it to iDVD and of course, the dvd is not hd quality. Therefore, I'm looking to us FCPX to keep the entire process in HD, which leads to my second question.

    Does anybody had an external blu-ray burner they can recommend?

  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    It doesn't down-convert the video, it transcodes it into Apple Intermediate Codec. Essentially it takes the H.264 data from the AVCHD stream and converts everything to "I frames" (or "key frames") for easier editing. This is why the Apple Intermediate Codec file is nearly 3 times larger than the AVCHD file.

    I'm mentioning this so you don't feel the need to spend the extra money for Final Cut Pro X if you don't need the extra features.

    As far as a Blu-ray burner, any burner supported by Toast (which is likely ALL of them!) would be a good choice.
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you prefer a printed book, check this one out. also has pretty good online-based training.

    FYI, FCP X also transcodes AVCHD media to work with it more efficiently, but to a better codec called ProRes. Also, iMovie does has export options for HD, just not for optical media.

    Practically any external Blu-ray burner with a USB or FireWire interface will work in OS X. I don't think I've ever encountered an external optical drive that didn't work. In any case, you can actually burn straight to Blu-ray in FCP X (it's an option in the "Share" menu). You don't necessarily need Toast for that.

    OWC is a good vendor that carries several external Blu-ray burners that come bundled with Mac-friendly software (like Toast).
  4. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    FCP X can transcode that footage if you want it to. When I work with AVCHD in FCP X I keep it native (I also have a 12 core Mac Pro). I never read any books on FCP X I just spent lots of hours learning it. Lydia has tutorials as was mentioned. If you get FCP X look into downloading some free plugins that can be found around the web.

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