new to AVCHD - a few questions re: archiving

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ftaok, May 16, 2012.

  1. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    I just bought a new AVCHD camcorder ... mainly because my miniDV camcorder is dying. I'm highly versed in using iMovie (now up to '11) with my DV footage, but I have no clue in a proper workflow with AVCHD.

    I think I'd like to pattern my workflow similar to how I did it with DV. With DV, I would wait until I filled up a tape, then I would import it directly with iMovie. The tape gets rewound and that serves as my back-up.

    This is simple and I have my footage in two locations.

    With AVCHD, this isn't as simple. I'm not about to use a new SD card every time I fill it up. So, how can I import all of my new HD footage, while still retaining the original AVCHD files as a back-up? The back-up should be able to be re-imported into iMovie as needed.

    Here's what I was thinking.

    Connect camcorder to Macbook. Copy the footage off of the camcorder's internal memory onto the Macbook. Burn a data DVD (I have Toast that can span multiple DVDs if needed). Then import the camcorder footage using iMovie, which I assume will convert the footage from AVCHD to AIC.

    Question 1 - will I be able to access the camcorder to copy the raw AVCHD files?

    Question 2 - will I be able to re-import the raw AVCHD files from the DVD (or the hard drive) in the event that I accidentally deleted something from iMovie?

    Question 3 - Does iMovie'11 have some sort of automatic way of archiving the original AVCHD files?

    OK, with that all said, if my proposed method is wrong or misguided, please let me know what is a more proper way to do this. Thanks!
  2. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    1) Yes, you should be able to browse the SD card to copy the original files. I copy all of mine onto an external hard drive (I made an applescript to do it for me)

    2) Shouldn't be any different than importing from the camcorder.

    I don't use iMovie, so I can't answer the last one.
  3. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Thanks for the reply.

    So, building upon your answer to question 1, do I copy the individual clips or do I have to copy the entire file structure? I've read some stuff that says that iMovie can't import unless you copy the entire file structure.

    I know you said that you don't use iMovie, but perhaps the other editing apps work similarly.

  4. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
    ALWAYS copy everything in it's same structure and NEVER rename anything. You can name your clips in your NLE but do not rename any actual file.
  5. treehorn macrumors 6502


    Aug 21, 2007
    It's really easy to do and here's what I've done:

    1) Make a folder on an external hard drive called "Archive of Cards"
    2) inside that folder make a folder for what you've filmed and are about to transfer (i.e. "Brad and Angie's Wedding")
    3) Copy EVERY folder from the Card directly into that folder

    I then eject the card and use the copy to import the footage into Final Cut Pro (or whatever editing program you use). My thoughts are A) this verifies that the copy works before I erase the card and B) once I'm done using the footage, I can keep the project file and relink it to re-imported footage from the card if necessary (and the naming parameters should stay the same making it a lot easier)

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