Had to buy a Windows laptop to edit AVCHD

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mbell75, Mar 4, 2010.

  1. mbell75 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #1
    Anyone had any better luck than me working with AVCHD files and their Macs? I just had to buy a Windows laptop because I was so fed up with how terribly my imac works with AVCHD. First you have to convert the MTS files to MOV using imovie to do anything with it. That alone takes about 3 minutes for every minute of video. That was importing at imovie's optimized 960x540 setting too, not even importing at full HD! Importing at full HD is just painfully slow. Then you have to edit and render it back out to MOV which takes another 4-5 minutes per minute of video, even rendering to 1280x720 at 5Mbps, its ridiculous.

    Windows can work with the MTS files right off the cam, no waiting around for it to convert to another format just to edit it. Rendering to WMV is a breeze too. A 1280x720 HD file at 6Mbps only takes a tiny bit longer than real time and full 1920x1080 at 7.3 Mbps only takes about 2 minutes per minute of video and the final file sizes are way smaller than MOVs while retaining the same quality. Having said that, my Windows laptop is running an i3 processor with 4GB of RAM as opposed to my imac with a core 2 duo and 2GB, but still. I love my Mac, but working with AVCHD files are just awful with it.
     
  2. macfilm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #2
    Get Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express? I use FCP and don't have any problems editing in real time, the import of clips is real time too. I have the same as you, Core2Duo and 2GB RAM
     
  3. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    #3
    You could have just bought Adobe Premiere Pro and edited AVCHD natively on the Mac.
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #4
    AVCHD is a highly compressed format using the MPEG-4 codec (H264), which is not meant for editing.

    Thus the conversion into something editable is needed by FCP/E and iMovie.

    Why Premiere is able to edit that stream natively, I don't know, but it will be more CPU intensive than editing the converted material.

    And you did not have to buy a Windows laptop anyway. It was your choice and ignorance and impatience.
     
  5. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2003
    #5
    So, you discovered that a faster computer works faster. Thanks, because I've been wondering about this for some time. /sarcasm
     
  6. mbell75 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Oct 30, 2007
    #6

    So you dont have to convert the files to MOV to edit them in FCE? You can just drag and drop them in right from the camera?
     
  7. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

    Joined:
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    Location:
    forlod bygningen
    #7
    FCE and FCP have a so-called Log & Transfer window, which will recognize your camera and convert the video to either AIC (FCE & FCP) or ProRes (FCP), as only Premiere seems to edit AVCHD natively.
     
  8. X1Lightning macrumors 6502

    X1Lightning

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2007
    #8
    what were you editing with on your windows machine?
     
  9. mbell75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #9
    Ok, so only Premiere will work with the files natively? I should check that out then because having to convert the MTS files is more time and an extra step I can really do without. Thanks

    @X1Lightning: I am just using WMM right now, havent got Vegas loaded on this yet.
     
  10. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #10
    Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy Windows and install it on your Mac?
     
  11. mbell75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #11

    To be honest, I didnt even think about that :eek: However, my imac is over 2 years old and beginning to feel a bit dated. Plus, I did need a laptop for upcoming travel where I will be working out of town. I will have to check out Adobe Premier though because I would still like to be able to edit MTS files on my Mac at home and dont really want to run Windows on it.
     
  12. elppa macrumors 68040

    elppa

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2003
    #12
    Fair enough. And if you needed now, you definitely made the right call buying a PC laptop. :)

    Which one did you go for?


    Edit:
    I realise that could sound sarcastic, but it wasn't meant to be. First the MacBook lineup is out of date spec wise, and secondly if you need to run Windows the PC is cheaper up front anyway.
     
  13. mbell75 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    #13
    Thanks. Yea, I have been waiting for Apple to release the i3/i5 macbooks for months but I just couldnt wait any longer since my first trip is in 2 weeks. I got this one http://www.gateway.com/systems/product/529668369.php and have zero complaints so far, its great all around. I will never give up my Mac but MS did a really nice job (finally) with Windows 7 and the 64 bit version is nice.
     

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