Help importing AVCHD to final cut pro

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Storm9, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. Storm9 macrumors member

    Dec 1, 2007
    I just installed final cut pro, but when i connect my sony AVCHD camcorder it wont detect it. Even tho it shows up in iMovie
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    You have to use Log & Transfer to get the footage in. From here (depending on your sequence settings), the footage gets transcoded to AIC or ProRes. None of Apple's apps work with AVCHD natively yet. However, if it's a DVD-based camcorder, you're out of luck. More information here.
  3. bobbleheadbob macrumors 6502a


    Feb 6, 2007
    Yes. I got one of the new Canon AVCHD camcorders a couple weeks ago and haven't had any problems importing the footage this way. It works fine for me. :)
  4. deejaydoubleyou macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
    I am having some problems with AVCHD files as well. I can use the log and transfer function with no problems, but when I load the clip into the viewer or timeline the video is very jittery... audio is fine. I have tried different resolutions and have tried different scratch disks. My network drive connected via USB through my airport extreme resulted in the clip being played for 1-2 seconds before freezing. My external drive connected through firewire results in the jittery video. I have set the sequence to match my video settings (apple pro res 422, etc). I am using a mac pro 3.2 ghz with 6gb ram, final cut pro, Sony SR12.

    Any help appreciated.:confused:
  5. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    Are your timeline settings right? You need it setup for the exact resolution and type of file you are using or it will be super slow.
  6. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    You need faster drives than this for ProRes. Like two in RAID0.
  7. shadowschild macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    so i am shooting in 30p and 24p do i need a special pull down for AVCHD editing or am i good to go because its so much better than HDV
  8. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
    You do for 24p, but not 30p.
  9. shadowschild macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
    what pull down and remocal and crap do i need?
  10. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Aug 22, 2003
  11. deejaydoubleyou macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
    Yes I realise that, tht is why I tried the firewire drive connected to the Mac Pro. I just mentioned it so that you know I have tried multiple drives.

    @ NeoMayhem, yes my timeline settings are correct for my video. I thought that it might just be dropping frames but when I used compressor in different formats the jittery video still showed up so I thinking it's nothing to to do with FCP itself, maybe just something I might be doing wrong during the log and transfer?
  12. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    You mentioned Firewire, but unless it's two drives in RAID0 over Firewire800, it won't be fast enough. Neither Firewire400 or a single 7,200rpm SATA drive have the necessary throughput.
  13. superwoman macrumors regular

    Apr 25, 2005
    Which begs the question - does this mean that the Alu Macbook is incapable of editing AVCHD videos?
  14. shadowschild macrumors member

    Aug 8, 2008
  15. ericjohnson1981 macrumors newbie

    Dec 15, 2008
    Agreed, compressor is definately the problem here [​IMG]
  16. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Not incapable, but not practical either.

    The RAID0 and Firewire800 thing was with regards to ProRes, but if you were to use Apple Intermediate Codec, USB2 would technically have enough bandwidth. But it's an interface not suited to constant data-flow and in reality would get quite stuttery. Gigabit ethernet has plenty of bandwidth but not many products designed for providing a fast constant stream.

    So using the current MacBook to edit is a pain in the rump — whatever Jobs will have you believe.
  17. deejaydoubleyou macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
  18. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    It should work when the drive is fresh, but once it fills up a bit it won't run fast enough.

    It's like having a car with a top speed quoted at 80mph, and working out that that means it's fast enough to get you from New York to Philadelphia in the hour you have. Then you realise you didn't take into account the slight incline on the road, the wind blowing against you, the added weight of all your luggage and the traffic. (You can break the speed limit though — Firewire would be the equivalent of a speed limit.)

    So, theoretically, yes. For a short while at least. In practical terms, unless you only do very short projects and then wipe the drive, no.
  19. deejaydoubleyou macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
    Thanks for your answers Keith.

    Well as of right now I am stumped. The drive is empty and all the presets are correctly setup (as far as I can see). I have tried importing with Pro Res 422 and AIC, various different resolutions and frame rates, I have copied all the video clips on to various drives as well as the camera itself and everything all ends up with the same jittery video.

    One thing I did try is using iMovie, which of course worked flawlessly! I then exported the XML files and imported into FCP and the clips played perfect. Do you know how iMovie imports the video? And how I can set FCP to copy it? I really don't want to have to export every single clip individually from iMovie.

    I have uploaded clips to youtube if looking at the video might help figure out the problem

    I have decided I am going to take my camera into my Apple store next week and see how it works the Mac Pro there.
  20. SchneiderMan macrumors G3


    May 25, 2008
    Im really having a hard time exporting my avchd video with fce to mp4/h.264 720p
    I always get a bad pixelated video after, what are the right settings?
  21. deejaydoubleyou macrumors newbie

    Dec 12, 2008
    Just as an update, I took my Sony SR12 camcorder in to my Apple store here in Edmonton and hooked it up to the Mac Pro on display. Log and transfer worked flawlessly. Something is obviously wrong with my setup. I have been able to edit my clips but with a very long winded process by importing through iMovie, then exporting as XML then importing in to FCP.

    Thanks for all the info and help guys.
  22. harddriveowner macrumors member

    Nov 18, 2007
    Use Voltaic and convert the files to .mov . This format is easy to work with for FCP or imovie and there will be much less of a hassle for you. Transfer the file from the camcorder by USB and then run the files through Voltaic. It is quick and easy. This is the best option until Apple wakes up and realizes that no one is selling firewire camcorders any more.
  23. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    What the . . . ?
  24. costabunny macrumors 68020


    May 15, 2008
    Weymouth, UK

    Its is likely the display macPro had a RAID card in it so it would have masses of throughput capacity.
  25. bbq2k macrumors newbie


    Sep 3, 2008
    No more log and capture

    Among the top reasons I bought a video camera with SD storage (Canon HF100) is putting log and capture behind me forever. My workflow now is shoot to SD, put the SD card into a card reader, copy the STREAM folder onto my scratch drive, convert its .MTS file contents to 540p with Voltaic, and just drag the resulting .AIC files into my project. It could hardly be easier, unless FCP were able to edit ACVHD. I can't see any reason for log and capture anymore.

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