Questions - avchd / mp4 and iMovie / FCPX

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by conamor, Feb 6, 2015.

  1. conamor macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #1
    Good day!

    2 questions ;)

    1- My Canon Camcorder R42 records in AVCHD for the highest possible quality. There is an option for mp4.
    Is there a big difference between both formats? Any good / bad sides?
    Of course I plan to edit them in FCPX, since they are clips of our baby 1-9 months and some of them are short.

    2- I imported the whole 32GB from the HDD of the Canon R42 into iMovie since I didn't have FCPX at the time of the import.
    All this because I was not able to simply copy the video files to a folder. Now, I have no idea where the videos are located but under a project in iMovie called 2013-10-23. Again, no idea why that name? First clip recorded with the camcorder?

    Where are the files, what extension were they imported in by default, can I move them to FCPX, are they in a folder somewhere?

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #2
    Open FPX. There is an option to import from a iMovie data base.

    By default the iMovie data base is stored in you user movie folder, named iMovie Library

    I just use FCP to import from my cannon's SD card. Dunno what formats are used
     
  3. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #3
    If you don't give your import a name, iMovie defaults to the date of import as the File name.

    Can you not navigate through the camera's card to the files?
     
  4. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #4
    AVCHD files appear within Finder as a single package. There are individual files inside that package but it's best to not remove them. For details see this video "Codecs and Containers": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WpBjGUlBTHU

    MP4 is about the same quality but the files may be easier to deal with at the Finder level. At certain bit rates the space consumption may be a little higher.

    FCP X handles AVCHD very well and you can import directly from either the camera card or the file package if you copied that to your hard drive.

    In general I'd recommend using MP4 as the files are easier to deal with at the Finder level.

    After importing from the camera you should back up either those video files or ideally your entire system. With MP4 the files are discretely viewable so it's easier to verify any file copies with Finder or a 3rd party tool like Beyond Compare.
     
  5. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #5
    Thank you!

    Space isn't a being deal. I simply want to make sure that I get the best quality possible for memories... I suppose that mp4 should be ok? Can it be compared to 1080p?

    The AVCHD file seems to want to open with Quicktime, then you open it and it takes a while since it reads from the HDD of the camcorder then I cannot drag/drop them to Finder.

    This is the part that I doesn't like since I like to copy them first to the iMac then import them into FCPX. Is it a link by default or they copy the files to a container somewhere in the Video folder?

    As for the backup, my iMac is using time machine to a 3TB lace porche drive.

    I also have to setup a second one with my Time Capsule 3 TB that I never had a chance to configure ;) (or took the time to do it...)

    Is there any benefits to record in AVCHD?
    .. I could record both AVCHD and MP4 since the camcorder has an SD slot which can create a copy in MP4... (yes there is a 32gb sd in it, which I never used...)

    I also don't want to keep both AVCHD and MP4 since it will drain my space :)

    Thanks for the replies!!
     
  6. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #6
    Oh and when importing AVCHD to FCPX, do they stay AVCHD or they get converted to another format?
     
  7. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #7
    when you say "can it be compared to 1080p?" you're confusing codec with resolution. 1080p only stands for 1920x1080 progressive. it is not a "format" per se.
     
  8. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #8
    That is expected behavior. The entire AVCHD folder tree should be kept together, so OS X is trying to protect you by showing it as a monolithic package. As a stopgap concession, Quicktime was upgraded to show the clips within the AVCHD package, but it's slow and clunky.

    On Windows you can see the individual .MTS files within the AVCHD folder but this leads people to drag them out which is not a good idea.

    There's nothing wrong with that, in fact it's a good idea. However you have to drag/drop the entire AVCHD folder. Since it only has one name -- AVCHD -- if you have multiples you must put them in separate sub-folders. Yet another pain.

    Either from the AVCHD folder on the camera card or after you drag that to your Mac, individual clips can be imported to FCP X. The FCP X import dialog understands the AVCHD package and lets you pick one or all clips.

    If you don't select "create optimize media", I don't recollect whether AVCHD is transcoded on import or not. In general recent versions of FCP X on a recent iMac can edit camera native files with decent performance so transcoding to optimized media is not usually necessary.

    Yes after importing they are stored in the FCP X library. You don't have the option to "leave in place" with AVCHD -- yet another headache.

    This varies from camera to camera. For yours there are almost no advantages. AVCHD is slightly more space efficient and the camera has a "baby mode" only available in AVCHD, but I don't think that does much.

    It's much better to just set the camera for MP4 and use that. It will record 1080p using MP4. If you have any concerns, shoot a test clip with AVCHD and MP4, download to your Mac and examine for any visual differences on playback.

    Existing AVCHD files can be "re-wrapped" to MOV via the $50 utility ClipWrap: http://www.divergentmedia.com/clipwrap I think there are some free utilities that may also do this, but I use ClipWrap on the rare occasions I need it.
     
  9. conamor thread starter macrumors 6502

    conamor

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2013
    #9
    Everything is now clearer! Thank you very much!
     
  10. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2008
    Location:
    Warrington, UK
    #10

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