Minimum processor to use AVCHD

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jimbbpark, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. jimbbpark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Racine, WI
    #1
    I am a newbie to this forum. I am wanting to make the conversion from mini-dv to AVCHD. From the posts that I have viewed, I am concerned that my Mac Book Pro April 2006 2.16 Intel Core Duo with 2 gb of ram might not be powerful enough. I am using FCP 6.0.6

    Any advice? Is there a AVCHD camcorder out there that I will be able to use?
     
  2. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #2
    Are there any particular cameras you're presently looking into. I have an 2008 MBP with a 2.4 Core 2 Duo and mine struggles significantly with high bandwidth video. The top end for my Canon HG21 (just purchased) is 24Mbps. I can't do any fluid editing at all at that size. The computer completely chokes. I found that if I back down to 17Mbps (the next step down and only other rate supporting 1920 x 1080) I have a much easier time editing.

    You may have issues with higher bandwidth video but most any camcorder will offer options at lower settings. In the case of my Canon dropping below 17Mbps changes the video to 1440x1080.

    You'd have an easier time with MPEG2-based cameras but you're dealing with tape and long transfer times.
     
  3. jimbbpark thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 21, 2009
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    Racine, WI
    #3
    Minimum processor to use AVCHD

    Thank you avaloncourt. I do want to stay away from tapes. That is why I am moving away from mini-dv.

    I have had my eye on the Canon HG20. I think it does basically the same thing as the HG21 that you mention. As long as I can use it at a lower setting such as the 17 Mbps that you mention, then it might work.
     
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #4
    For what it's worth, I have a 2.5 GHz Core 2 Duo MBP with 4 gigs of RAM and it works just fine with my HG20 at the 24Mbps setting.
     
  5. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #5
    Are you using FCP? I'm presently using Premiere Pro and just now crossing over to FCP. Premiere completely chokes on the 24Mbps AVCHD when I try it.
     
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #6
    FCE and iMovie 09. I'm just getting into FCE, but so far it seems able to handle my files with no problems. I've never experienced any issues with iMovie.
     
  7. johndavidwright macrumors member

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    Dec 15, 2008
    #7
    AVCHD editing all has to do with your graphics card. Not as much processor. until it comes to rendering or compressing that is. but just straight cutting and playing back on a timeline will use your GPU. Make sure you have at least 15 GB of HD space too. That can help. Also fast hard drives help too.
     
  8. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #8
    Unfortunately iMovie is not an apples to apples comparison. While it is compatible with AVCHD it doesn't handle it in the same manner. It does a import and conversion and then you can work on it. Premiere allows you to set your edit points without ever needing to import. It runs off the raw AVCHD directly and when you've set your edit points it will only import that section to keep the size of the project far lower than pulling in a whole unedited clip.
     
  9. spice weasel macrumors 65816

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    Jul 25, 2003
    #9
    Ahh, yes, that would certainly be more processor intensive.
     
  10. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #10
    Unfortunately yes. It pegs the processor at full utilization and I get a nice lap warmer (far more useful in the winter than the summer). It keeps the size of the projects down but at least it's native AVCHD. I guess this is what people will have to expect when FCP accepts it natively.
     
  11. ClivePwned macrumors member

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    May 25, 2009
    #11
    I have a early 2006 iMac Core Duo 2.0 GHz with 2 gig RAM and have been working with some AVCHD footage (recorded with an older camera so higher than 17 Mbps) and the footage on an external hard Firewire 400 HDD and it's been fine for editing. Higher bit rate footage may slow you down a bit, and using a slow HDD (USB and/or a lower than 7200 RPM drive) will certainly slow it down a bit.
    One thing for getting the best with these older machines- when you edit, do it after a restart and don't have anything else running- no itunes, no browser, no mail- nothing. The AVCHD footage will take slightly longer to transcode but you can set it up overnight to do that (I found it will take maybe twice as along as the running time of the footage- maybe longer but not excessive).
    I used 2 different Sony camcorders (i think SR5 and SR10) and had no issues (tip: don't record standard definition MPEG and AVCHD on the same camcorder- if you do, the HD stuff won't show up). I hear Canon's work fine with Mac's too.
     
  12. avaloncourt macrumors 65816

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    Oct 18, 2007
    #12
    That would be the difference between Premiere and Final Cut. I can work on anything immediately versus having to wait for it to transcode footage. I'm really torn about shifting over to FCP because I'll then need to convert everything I'm doing. Even though I've had to drop to 17Mbps for on-the-fly editing with my MBP that's much more useful than having to pull in every bit of footage when I might only need a minute or two of something.
     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    Apr 16, 2008
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #13
    Assuming you're using FCE/FCP, once the video is transcoded to something editable, those original bandwidth numbers for AVCHD become relatively meaningless because for example, standard ProRes 422 at 1920x1080 can vary between 147 and 220 Mbps (roughly 18.4-27.5MB/sec). Here, faster disk systems do help significantly. Both AIC and ProRes are designed to have a relatively low CPU footprint (and significantly lower than handling a codec like AVCHD natively).

    I have a client out in Phoenix that I tutor in FCP from time to time and he uses an AVCHD camera and footage is transcoded in L&T using standard ProRes 422. I have found that more than anything else, things begin to slow down with multiple streams on slower hard drives. A RAID-0 made things significantly faster for him. My point is that CPU-wise, any modern Intel Mac should be able to handle AIC and ProRes in HD resolutions with ease.

    Huh? GPU has nothing to do with editing AVCHD with Final Cut, unless that's actually the case in Premiere (which I have little experience in). You weren't very specific. In FCE/FCP, everything transcodes to either AIC or ProRes prior to editing. And that's all CPU there.
     

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