No Native AVCHD support in Final Cut Pro 7?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by nyzwerewolf, Jul 23, 2009.

  1. nyzwerewolf macrumors regular

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    #1
    this is what it says under Supported Formats

    AVCHD editing support using Apple ProRes


    :mad:
     
  2. MattSepeta macrumors 65816

    MattSepeta

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    #2
    So...

    So you still need to transcode, right?

    I dont understand all of this codec stuff, I read the other day that HDV records at 8x compressions, but avchd records at something like 14x compression? How does that yield a higher quality? Is it just the color space or what?
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #3
    AVCHD is a more efficient codec....

    as far as native editing: so what? ProRes is easy to edit, can be done with a FW drive, and is one of the preferred codecs for working in Color. Sure it takes up more space, but you can archive the smaller AVCHD files as your backup (plus HD space is cheap). And it keeps you from working in Long GOP which can kill your render times.
     
  4. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

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    #4
    Excellent points BigBoss. Also, with the improvements made to ProRes, there's a lot to be excited for. I understand your dilemna, I use FCP with my Canon 5D2 footage.

    I'm stoked to check out the updates to ProRes. I kind of like using it, now that I'm use to it. I've even used it to convert some of my DVC-ProHD/50 footage to match the Canon footage for less rendering in the timeline. IMHO, it would be hard to improve on....but they say it has. Good Stuff!

    Just ordered both FCP and LP. Cannot wait. Especially, coupled with Snow Leopard in a couple of months....should be some valid improvements for multi core rendering and video/photo editing. Good Times to be a Mac owner that's into the creative side!!! Some fantastic tools on the horizon.

    I may wait another month or so before installing, as I am still in the middle of wedding season...I am going to play a bit on the laptop before installing into the MacPro for obvious reasons. Can't afford to have the editing suite down or sick during the working months:)

    J
     
  5. nyzwerewolf thread starter macrumors regular

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    #5
    AVCHD to ProRes takes a long time depending on the file size. That kills time. Other than that, nothing bothers me. file size of ProRes is nothing to worry about since HDD are cheap now.
     
  6. akdj macrumors 65816

    akdj

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    #6
    There are supposed improvements to the ProRes in FCP7. Speed is mentioned specifically. I would imagine alot of time and energy was spent, considering it is the default conversion codec for proprietary and "other standard" codecs.

    J
     
  7. huntercr macrumors 65816

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    #7
    It isn't inherently higher quality... theoretically HDV ( MPEG2 ) has the ability to be higher quality than AVCHD, though no manufacturer ever implemented this that I know of.

    One limitation of HDV is that it was designed to be bandwidth "compatible" with DV... 25Mbit. ( presumably an engineering decision.. firewire prevalence, tape speed/compatibility etc ). That's not enough bandwidth to allow for true 1080i ( 1920x1080) .

    AVCHD gives you better perceived quality at a higher compression ratio, and lower bandwidth. Manufacturers went to this standard because it (A) reduces storage space on camera, therefore enabling movies to be stored on flash, (B) reduces the required bandwidth of transferring already compressed video off the camera (C) artificially differentiates "consumer" model cameras with professional cameras.

    In fact, (C) is the perfect situation for manufactures because consumers won't notice the difference or will be too new to Video to even know what they're missing. And honestly... I don't think of it as deceptive or anything because in reality, most casual users never need anything better.

    I think, originally, manufacturers thought storage was going to cost alot more than it ultimately ended up being by the time AVCHD got good market penetration. Flash is as cheap as water now days. It could have easily gone a different way though.
     
  8. iCan2 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2009
    #8
    No... it works just fine. Not sure what you mean - ONLY in ProRes? What? No not from the copy I played with in the store.
     
  9. nyzwerewolf thread starter macrumors regular

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    #9
    iCan2 - I think you misunderstood my question/comment.

    what i meant was, FCP7 do not digest AVCHD natively like Adobe Premiere CS4 does. From what i read and from the above comments, AVCHD still gets transcoded into ProRes. It just takes a whole lot of time! thats all.
     
  10. FSMBP macrumors 68020

    FSMBP

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    Jan 22, 2009
    #10
    Anyone think that Final Cut Express 5 will have native AVCHD editing?

    The reason I think it may is that AVCHD is a more "consumer" format than "prosumer." Does anyone think this is remotely possible, or am I dreaming?
     
  11. fingerstyle macrumors newbie

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    Jul 30, 2009
    #11
    Hi, my camera - Panasonic GH1 can record in AVCHD and MOV. Which is best? I don't know what the difference is in terms of quality, space, size, etc. Please help. Thank you.

    The other thing is.. if FCP needs to transcode AVCHD in order to edit it in ProRes, is the same required if I record in MOV?

    Appreciate your help, guys!
     
  12. seb33 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2009
    #12
    Gh1 Avchd Fcp

    AVCHD is BETTER than MOV for GH1, better quality, and it's taking less space. 720P is better on GH1, we will have to wait upgrade firmware to have good 1080i.
    But badfully you still have to transcode your AVCHD material with FCP in Prores with compressor, with the GH1 plug in on the mac, then import the files from the GH1 (it will doesn't work if you move first the MTS files on your HD then import, OR you will have to do a disc image of the SD card from the GH1).
    Actually if you want too edit in native AVCHD, only Premiere CS 4.1 will do it, but the video monitoring is not good while editing.
    The best player to read MTS files (AVCHD) is Toast player (better than VLC).

    Hope this help, and hope we will have native AVCHD soon on FCP.
     
  13. cavtinc macrumors newbie

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    Jan 25, 2010
    #13
    Hello,
    New to the forum. I have two avchd cams, the Panasonic HMC 150 and GH1 and for the most part they're doing a great job and love the economical media (SDHC cards) . My main issue is delivering native MTS files to FCP users. I have FCP 5, Premiere CS4 and Vegas 9.
    Vegas 9 at the moment is the most nimble playing MTS. I've also used the DVC pro converter via Panasonic, tried converting to Sony MXF and couple version of H264 with good results.
    My main challenge at the moment is delivering MTS to clients with older versions of FCP without spending so much time to converting it for them. Look forward to hearing any tips that might help. Thanks
     
  14. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #14
    FCP doesn't like MTS files. Either you have to transcode them into something FCP friendly or the people you give the MTS files to will have to transcode them into something FCP friendly. No real way around that w/the current state of FCP.


    Lethal
     
  15. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #15
    How much older?
     
  16. jnash macrumors regular

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    Michigan
    #16
    I have been killing myself messing with my sony HDR-SR11 it records in .MTS its NOTHING I can find on my mac to let me edit without spending hours encoding video and losing quality this sucks! Adobe Premiere CS4 works but I love final cut and iMovie
     
  17. scouser75 macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 7, 2008
    #17
    May I throw a slight curve ball to this thread.

    I've managed to get an MTS file for a project. As we all know FCP 7 doesn't support this file. So I was thinking, if I use Adobe Media Encoder to convert the MTS file, which would be the best format to convert to in order to be able to edit the file on FCP 7?

    The AME method seems to be the best method to use.
     
  18. Denarius macrumors 6502a

    Denarius

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    #18
    Some people have commented that the conversion time almost defeats the object of a tapeless workflow. When we were looking at Cameras we were looking at an SDHC Panny or SDHC JVC Pro and in the end it was recording codec that swung it for us as we've got the choice of .mov for mac or .mp4 for PC with our JVC. Fundamentally, they're both XDCAM EX in different wrappers and XDCAM EX is very well supported on any platform. Not sure why Apple have dragged their heels with AVCHD though as they seem to be pretty popular cameras.
     
  19. shorafix macrumors member

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    #19
    FCP still far away from native AVCHD support

    Just a couple of month ago I would have thrown my hat in the ring in favor of Apples Pro Res codec. Today I do enjoy the comfortable and fast way of working natively with my AVCHD footage on a MacPro with Premiere Pro CS5 and NVIDIAs GTX 285 with CUDA support. Besides the fast and reliable way to edit AVCHD natively on the timeline of Premiere Pro CS5, Premiere takes advantage of all cores of my Mac. It is much faster in transcoding compared to Apples compressor. Actually I have already started to import my recent FCP 7 projects right into Premiere, linking the footage to the original uncompressed clips whenever it was possible. Now waiting for the brand new Sony NEX-VG10E HD, I am probably going to (re-)switch* completely to Premiere.

    Apple what are you waiting for?

    *I have started with Premiere in 1995, switching to FCP five years later due to its excellent anamorphotic DV support in those days.
     
  20. HumpYourWayUp macrumors regular

    HumpYourWayUp

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    #20
    People having problems converting AVCHD to ProRes should use Clipwrap.
    Virtually no loss in quality and decent transcode speeds! Supports a lot of useful formats.
     
  21. shorafix macrumors member

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    May 15, 2008
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    Frankfurt, Germany
    #21
    What's the point of clipwrap? There seems to be little to non what clipwrap can do and FCP don't. Clipwrap simply "unwraps" mts files but the resulting MPEG files can't be edited in FCP without being transcoded in ApplePro Res, AIC or other editable codecs. However, this can be done with FCP directly as well.

    On the other hand Premiere Pro CS5 (and even it's offspring Premiere Elements 9 for Mac) can handle AVCHD files directly in it's timeline with no need to transcode at all before it comes to distribution (Blu-ray, h.264,...).:rolleyes:
     
  22. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #22
    FCP can't import .MTS files directly without them being a part of a structured file system. By wrapping them in a MOV wrapper, you can manipulate the files directly by anything that understands QT (e.g. FCP, Compressor, QT Pro, MPEG Streamclip etc).


    While there mightn't be transcoding, there will be rendering. If you choose to cut, colour correct and perform other transformations directly on AVCHD files in the timeline, there will be a penalty to pay both in quality (multiple renders on sections of an AVCHD file may result in obvious compression differences between that section and bits that haven't been altered) motion graphics won't be as smooth as they could be, colours could be out as you keep rendering in 4:2:0 and you could be rendering more often as the sequence gets more complex.

    If you don't expect to have complex sequences or colour critical needs, and you just want to get in and start cutting MTS files, then Premiere (pro or elements) is a fine choice. It does very well. This isn't a FCP versus the World thread, it's about selecting the right tool for the job and getting the most out of it.

    I use FCP mainly with DV so I don't even get into ProRes, but I use FCE with AVCHD files, transcoding into AIC. On a C2D iMac I can lay 5 simultaneous video streams in a timeline from the internal drive and playback all in full quality without dropping a frame, so that's pretty cool. That Adobe CUDA thing, that's pretty cool too. In this game, what is "best" is a moving target. I remember CS4 coming out with the ability to edit AVCHD directly and it had (has) some very high system requirements. But what does Panasonic say: "While it is true that CS4 reads and edits native AVCHD files, editing a long group of pictures (GoP) MPEG-4 format can be somewhat tedious. And in fact, AVCHD as a format, was created as a high quality, bandwidth efficient camcorder codec."

    It'd be handy if iMovie could edit MTS files directly, but remember that Apple was the first to give consumers real editing of AVCHD, and even now iMovie will edit AVCHD files (transcoded) on a 4 year old iMac: plug in camcorder, select clips, import, edit, share. Consumers don't really care about transcoding (really) and following the simple "plug camcorder in" workflow, they'll never see an MTS file. They just want something to work.
     
  23. shorafix macrumors member

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    #23
    Hi there, I have done a lot of editing on FCP during the last 10 years with various Macs up to my recent MacPro early 2008 with NVIDIA GTX 285 graphics upgrade. Ten years ago I started with DV, upgrading to HDV in 2006.

    Since 2008 AVCHD Files have become more and more important to me. Just a couple of month ago, I have purchased Premiere Pro CS5, just being curious how this would influence my workflow. I must say: it did tremendously improve the way how AVCHD files from my Sony Camcorders were treated within the timeline. Given the CUDA support of the NVIDIA GTX 285, there is no need for rendering during the workflow in most instances. Even color corrections will work on the fly. Everything is being cared by the GPU on the fly. Rendering just takes place when finally distributing the project to it's designated output codec. And even then distributing for example AVCHD on a Blu-ray disk takes only a fraction of the time as it did with FCP (not to mention the powerful tools of Encore against the poor FCP Blu-ray implementation).
     
  24. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #24
    Like I said, what's "best" is a moving target. I'm enjoying the ride.

    I would expect Apple to implement OpenCL similarly with the next version of FCS. Or start losing customers.
     
  25. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #25
    On one of the Pro boards (while checking out AVCHD-based pro cameras) I have read more than a few posts about people not liking to edit AVCHD natively in Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas Pro 9. Without using an I-frame intermediate editing/rendering codec (e.g. Cineform), it seems machine performance suffers greatly.
     

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