Thinking of going iMac (my first Mac) - Need to Edit Home Movie AVCHD Files...Can I?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by TheKricket, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. TheKricket macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Hello all,

    I grew up with - and have ALWAYS used - Windows PCs. I've always wanted a Mac but just never took the plunge.

    Now, I'm in the market for a new computer and the new iMac release looks to be right around the corner - so I'm seriously considering getting one.

    Since I've never used a Mac, I'm not that familiar with the software. Besides the usual day-to-day PC uses (word processing, web browsing, email, etc), I'd really like to get into editing my own home videos. I have some videos from my honeymoon and recent vacations that I'd like to get into iMovie (or some other easy-to-use video editing program). The problem is that I believe they are all AVCHD files (we have a Canon HD camcorder - Vixia HF200, to be exact). I'm reading some conflicting info regarding iMovie's ability to process these files.

    Am I going to have a problem getting the iMac to recognize and make use of these files? I'm no pro - so I definitely don't see myself spending $200 on Final Cut or some other high-end video editing program. I'm really wondering what I'll be able to do with my files and the new iMac out of the box (or, at a minimal cost).

    My other option is to stick with Windows and build my own PC. I'm certain that anything I build at this point would have no problems handling AVCHD files (and at a significant cost savings).

    Does anyone currently import AVCHD files onto their Macs for editing?

    I'd like to hear about what some of my options might be...

    I'd hate to spend $1300 only to find out I can't edit my home videos...
  2. Madmic23 macrumors 6502a

    Apr 21, 2004
    I import and edit AVCHD files in iMovie no problem. iMovie converts the files to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) which has a massive file size. You can than very easily edit your videos.

    You can then export the movie to a variety of different file types / sizes.

    I have read some of the same concerns that you have read. I really haven't run into too many issues with iMovie, however I would like to at least try Adobe Premier Elements.
  3. TheKricket thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    Excellent - thanks for the reply. That makes me feel a little better about it. I've always wanted a Mac - and now that my new-PC purchase period is falling in a new iMac release time-frame, I figure it's the perfect time to jump in.

    I'd still love to hear from a few others that are able to use AVCHD files without issue too. This is a big "selling point" for my wife (you know, keeper of the household budget)...
  4. Raima macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2010
    I've imported AVCHD files from my Sony camcorder with no problems.

    You'll also find iMovie is a lot better than Windows Movie Maker. A lot more transitions, templates, and just a lot more professional overall. Something you would have to pay extra for on Windows to get something of simular calibre.

    Good luck with your iMac purchase.
  5. whitesand macrumors regular

    Oct 10, 2011
    I have the same concerns...I really like apple operating system and software as well as the form factor...However, my video camera shoots 1080/60p (best res) and the files are M2ts which means I have to convert every video before putting it on an imac because the software that comes with my camera doesn't support mac....And that adds an extra step....My video camera will also shoot AVCHD 1080i which also requires conversion....Now, my video camera also shoots iframe which will go straight on the imac without any extra steps, unfortunately, the quality is substantially lower than 1080/60p....I'm also concerned that there will be a loss in video quality when converting 1080/60p and 1080i....

    I figured, if no loss in video quality might as well go with the Mac and deal with the extra step...Why lose out on all the things I like about mac just for an extra step in the video editing process? A loss in video quality and I'll have to rethink things.
  6. TheKricket thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 12, 2012
    You know, can I ask what is necessary for a little home video (HD) editing? Would a Mac mini get me going?

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