People working with AVCHD

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by duncanapple, Oct 15, 2008.

  1. duncanapple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2008
    #1
    Okay, so I am honing in on which notebook to buy, but one more concern before I choose to go the macbook route (what I think I am going to buy). Who here works with AVCHD? And of those people, what types of macs are you using? Model, processor, ram, etc? From what I read AVCHD is pretty resource intensive. Are they speaking to the greater audience when they say this, ie the average person not working on a brand spankin new computer - and someone with a brand new 2.4ghz mac with 4 gb ram would be more than fine, or would this come to a crawl as well? Is a mac pro the only reasonable option? Just curious what you guys think and if a macbook is okay for someone who may make 3-4 videos a year on footage from a Canon HF10.

    Thanks for all the help!

    - Chris
     
  2. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #2
    Just take a gander at my sig..........






    Ok now that you saw that, yes i use AVCHD on a MBP and runs just fine. actually the new Macbook may be perfect with it because it still has a fast processor (almost as powerful as the MBP) and the added GPU, so none of the draw backs that people had to face when shopping for either a MB (old style) or MBP (old style). So in short, go for it because there's no reason not to anymore (actually the new MB's lack of firewire forces you to use AVCHD).
     
  3. robanga macrumors 68000

    robanga

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2007
    Location:
    Oregon
    #3
    I have a Canon HG10 that I use with both a MBP and an iMac (details below). Both have 2GB of Ram. Performance wise I have no complaints. Sure the HD stuff is a little beefier compared to DV editing. I use this for home movies though so, time is not money.

    I do about 3-5 videos a month and I'm very pleased with the experience.
     
  4. nutmac macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #4
    Canon HF100 on lowly original iMac Core Duo 2 GHz with 2 GB RAM, 500 GB My Disk Professional, and Final Cut Express 4.0.1. Most footage shot in 1080 PF30 17 Mbps.
     
  5. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #5
    Mac Mini C2D 2.0 GHz 2GB RAM.

    Sweatless. And plenty of time to boil up a brew while the clips ingest.
     
  6. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 22, 2003
    #6
    Works great on my iMac 2.4ghz. Much easier to work with then HDV.
     
  7. duncanapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #7
    Thanks

    Thanks guys - that makes me feel a lot better. I just ordered the 2.4ghz macbook and I will be upgrading the RAM to 4gb shortly. (btw have you all seen apples ram price upgrades? They used to be sky high, but now they are not too far off the mark from third parties)

    NRose8989 - yeah, that was my concern, the fact that if I went down this path I was going to be limited to AVCHD and USB 2.0. It looks like thats not much of an issue anymore. Would be nice if one of these days apple would make a program that let you edit natively in AVCHD without having to convert, but who knows, there may be some technical impossibility that I am not aware of.

    As a side note, I am also realizing I will have to get comfortable with throwing out video footage I dont use. From what I am hearing, at 40gb an hour, I don't think I will keep much extra beyond what I put in my movies. Yikes!

    Thanks again for all the help -

    - Chris
     
  8. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #8
    Or you could just back-up your edited movies and archive the raw AVCHD files rather than the transcoded dot-movs. Then you'll get about 5 hours to 40GB. There are threads outlining different options for AVCHD archiving in this forum.

    Andrew.
     
  9. rajah22 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    #9
    AVCHD and Premiere Pro CS4 on a MBP = NOT GOOD

    I have a 2.4 GHz MBP w/ 4GB of RAM and a 7200 RPM drive. I have had no luck playing back AVCHD files in Premiere Pro CS4 without A LOT of dropped frames and stuttering.

    The footage was shot on a HF-100 at FXP setting.

    Anyone else experiencing the same?
     
  10. Exman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    #10
    rajah22,

    The reason you are experiencing poor performance is, Adobe Premier supports native editing of AVCHD (which is very efficient format, but very demanding on the processor). A notebook is not ideal for this sort of work, nor is even a Quadcore Mac Pro.

    I think the only reason other people are able to edit AVCHD without the same lag is because Apple's software (unlike Adobe) does not support native editing of AVCHD, the video is converted to ProRes, AIC or DV formats so Final Cut (and iMovie) can correctly handle them.

    It takes a long time to convert AVCHD/H.264 to ProRes/AIC for editing, and on top of that, you'll have to convert it back to H.264 (for like like Apple TV and iPod) or mpeg2 for DVD. The Apple ProRes, AIC and DV takes up enormous amount of HDD space compared to AVC/H.264 (roughly file size ratio of 10:1).

    The main disadvantage is, conversions always degrade the original picture quality because you are converting from one format (and colorspace) to another in a different container. The best method is to edit the source, as is (without conversion like Adobe Premier does), then export it to another format that you desire. This method is the quickest, least taxing on hard disk. However, as mentioned, you need a beefy system.

    At this point, Windows is a better platform for native editing of AVCHD because more software supports it, even some very good freeware supports it. Plus you can use hardware acceleration from the videocard (or chipset if you have an AMD) to take some load off the CPU (OS X won't have this until, maybe Snow Leopard). Nevertheless, on a Mac Pro with a Quadro FX card, Premier CS4 is able to use GPU hardware acceleration to boost AVCHD/H.264 transcoding, if you have access to one.

    On your Macbook, it is perhaps best to covert the AVCHD format to DV for less CPU intensive editing. However, the the problem with conversion is outlined above.
     
  11. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    #11
    Just a thought but isn't one of the benefits of transcoding video is that you can edit a lossless format? I think i heard somewhere that when you edit HDV natively in FCP that you can lose quality (like editing a photo in JPEG instead RAW). I could be wrong though. Would editing AVCHD natively have the same effect?
     
  12. mswebersd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #12
    Chris, how is the Macbook working out for you? Is it powerful enough to play and edit 1080 AVCHD video?
     
  13. lokipower macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #13
    Greetings, I do not want to stray too far from Topic, but in dealing with AVCHD files, you are referencing the Canon recorder. I have the Sony CX-7 AVCHD camcorder and would like to know 1) If this camera will work fine with macs, (have not setup my equipment yet), if so...how, and 2) What software is the common consensus to use to import, edit, manipulate and export to :apple:TV, DVD's, AVCHD DVD's, Blu-Ray DVD's (eventually), and perhaps an AVI/MPEG file for the PC's we have. Currently I have Toast with the HD add on pack, I bought for other reasons, but will this work, or is Final Cut the way to go?

    Most of my videos are of my children, and I want to have a WIDE variety of choices to display my videos, not just HD for us to watch, but normal DVD's for grandparents, parents, etc.
     
  14. henlij macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2008
    #14
    For those who were able to get the AVCHD files (mts) files to import into Premiere Pro CS4, how did you do it? I try and import and get a "file format not supported" message. I also have a 2.4 Ghz MBP w/ 4GB. My footage was shot with an HG10.

     
  15. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #15
    same here, i have 2 files of avchd mts video on my new mbp and i have Fce 4 and imovie but i cant import or drag the files into the programs, what am i doing wrong? i too get an error :confused:

    i have a new 2.4 with 4gbram and 7200rpmhdd, shot with canon hf100
     
  16. NeoMayhem macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    #16
    iMovie/FCE/FCP cant open the individual mts files. You need to copy the complete folder structure from the camera onto your computer, or have the camera attached. From there, you can browse the clips, and import just the ones you want.
     
  17. SchneiderMan macrumors G3

    SchneiderMan

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
    Location:
    Apple state
    #17
    folder structure? like the whole exact content of the sd card folder from the camera? that like 16gb of a folder i have lol omg :eek:
    thanks
     
  18. Gr8tful69 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    #18
    I have a canon HF10 & am tired of dealling with PC issues, Thinking of purchasing a mini and leaving it hooked up to our 46" Sony LCD for video and digital photo playback. I already have two large external drives for duplicate backup storage. I don't currently do any video editing but would at least like to clean up the video to remove those shots of my feet when I forget to hit the pause button! I am I way off base here or could this be a viable option?

    Thanks in advance for any and all replies!
     
  19. Courtaj macrumors 6502a

    Courtaj

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    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    #19
    I can say that as far as basic editing goes, the mini is fine since that's what I use mine for. iMovie is okay for AVHCD editing (though it transcodes AVCHD to AIC [Apple Intermediate Codec] to create less processor strain). I use Final Cut Express 4 on the mini and it's more than tolerable, but many of the effects don't work in real time and require rendering. But anyway, iMovie is fine if all you need is a trim here and there.

    As for using the mini as a media centre, I can't vouch for that as that's not the purpose I've turned my mini to, but there are plenty who have: take a look here for starters.

    Andrew.
     
  20. Gr8tful69 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 18, 2008
    #20
    Andrew, That is a big help, thanks so much!

    Steven
     
  21. issaid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #21
    Ok, I recently switched to Mac and have been lovnig every minute. I also just purchased CS4 Prod Prem, and Premiere is disappointing. Ok it does native AVC, but apperently my MBP(New Ones 2.53GHz with 7200rpm drive) doesn't cut it? I loaded Final Cut as a test and it works fine. I captured the tapes using Final Cut and it was no issue. Is there a way to make CS4 use the intermeddiate media or work better?

    This is a huge let down. I have a Quad Core PC, but that means I'd need to buy another copy of CS4 for Windows. Has anyone that is having this issue found a practical workaround. Can the native support be disabled or something. I'm very frustrated.
     
  22. duncanapple thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 12, 2008
    #22
    mswebersd,

    Sorry for the lag in response - to answer your question, I haven't had the chance to do any video on the new macbook yet, though I will say I have worked with video on my old imac before without any problems at all. Granted this was HDV via firewire, but as far as processing power, my imac didn't have near the specs. It was a core duo 1.83 with 2 gb ram (but it did have a 7200 rpm hd). I don't think once the video is on the HD and encoded it will break much of a sweat. Rendering and other effects may take longer than say, an 8 core mac pro with a load of ram, but at that point its all about how long its going to take vs can it do it.

    Other than the firewire omission, the rest of the computer is great. Build quality is FAR beyond the old macbook, which flexed and bent on every side that you touched it. I can pick this thing up from any angle without the thin plastic sides pushing in. The processor is the same pretty much (I had the prior macbook 2.4 right before this) and the backlit keyboard is nice. I can see some of the gripes about the screen - if your not head on it sort of fades - I honestly don't remember if my old macbook did this? But head on its great, and thats really the only way I view a computer anyway? I am debating an external monitor... programs like dreamweaver with lots of different palates gets pretty crammed on 13 inches. But I knew that going in... the price you pay for portibility...

    Hope all that helps -

    Chris
     
  23. issaid macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    #23
    Has anyone found a work around for this yet. I have several HDV projects, and I'm having to resort to my PC :(
     
  24. harddriveowner macrumors member

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    Nov 18, 2007
    #24
    Just copy the files to your harddrive or better an external firewire drive and use Voltaic. It converts the files the .mov and .aac
    Don't waste your time using a PC.
    Once they are .mov FCP or imovie takes them perfectly
     
  25. mswebersd macrumors newbie

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    Oct 27, 2008
    #25

    Definitely, thanks!
     

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