I'm a novice in this area - but I want to convert files from my Panasonic Lumix TZ-9 camera without quality reduction.
From what I read - one option is to convert the files using AME with the Lagarith Lossless codec installed - to Microsoft AVI - but how do I do this please?
My source files are:
AVCHD MOV format
When I add one of these MOV files to AME and select Microsoft AVI and Lagarith Lossless codec - what should all the other settings be?
I've tried using the same dimension and frame-rate settings - but the resulting AVI plays really really badly - as if it's had a frame-rate conversion done (very choppy). What am I doing wrong? Can I convert to AVI with little quality loss?
When I try to use the original MOV files in Premiere Pro, the project always hangs with "Generating Peak File for..." and it's impossible to export the final video.
THANKS IN ADVANCE
Couple of things.
First, there is no such thing as AVCHD MOV file. AVCHD is a very specific format that does not come in an MOV container. If it's an MOV file, than it's not technically AVCHD. But that's really a minor issue.
The larger issue may be using Lagarith. I've noticed they don't play very well at HD resolutions within PP. Instead, give the UT codec a try. Like Lagarith, it's free, and lossless. But they do seem to play smoother at HD resolutions in PP. When you transcode, use the YUV420 option.
Thanks Jim - really appreciate you taking the time to respond.
You're right (just checked the camera manual) - not AVCHD! I think with most of the Panasonic cameras giving AVCHD video files I was totally confused. Mine only gives MOV files in HD - 720p 30fps.
I've been using PP for years to make SD videos using SD AVI & MPEG files - so with all my new MOV files I was trying something different for the first time.
At first it looked like PP would let me use the original MOV files in a project but after importing them I realised I could not preview the footage properly - working on a project with lots of tiny clips and lots of transitions just was not possible.
SO without knowing what else I could do - I just converted all my MOV files to SD MPEG-2 and made my PP video using the SD files (easy).
Then when it was all done I thought I might be able to work backwards. With small projects this WAS thankfully possible - I could just open my project and "replace" each SD source file in the project with the original HD MOV - then I could export the final sequence to H.264 MP4 720p and was happy with the result.
With my big project which used around 40 MOV files and tons of transitions etc. PP just couldn't cope. When opening the project it would ALWAYS freeze at one of the "Generating Peak File For..." stages. Drives me mad. Trying to just export in AME ALWAYS froze a few minutes into the export (looked like Adobe ImportProcessServer was hanging on me).
So I've given up on using my MOV originals in my large project - it's no good for me, and that's why I want to find a way of converting the MOV files to another format (with minimal quality loss) so I can slot those back into my original project.
I tried this first by mass-converting all the MOVs to MP4 720p - and this worked. The project allowed me to replace all the MPEG-2 SD video clips with the equivalent HD MP4 clips. But the MP4 clips have some quality loss that I'm not 100% happy with and this is more noticable when I export once again my project sequence to 720p MP4 (so this conversion is happening twice).
Looking for AVI files I could work with, I tried converting an MOV file to AVI using Lagarith Lossless. When played back *anywhere* (WMP, etc.) I can see that the converted file is not anywhere near the same as the original. It's not even anywhere near my MP4 or MPEG-2 conversions! Doesn't play smooth - plays like the frame-rate has been messed up.
Have just installed the UT codec you recommended and done an AME conversion on one of my MOV files. Specified UT YUV420 codec, 30fps, 1280x720p, Lower First - and the result is simlar to my Lagarith Lossless conversions - bad!
I'm not talking about how PP handles the converted AVI file - the file itself has bad motion - not smooth - as if the AVI conversion has tried to interpret the original MOV frame-rate and failed (??). When played in Windows Media Player it looks like it's at the wrong frame-rate when there's movement (not sure if I'm describing this correctly).
What am I doing wrong when converting to AVI?
As I say - when I convert the MOV to MP4 using the AME built-in option (H.264, 720p 30fps) the restuling video looks GREAT. PERFECTLY SMOOTH - but it's substantially compressed and I'd like to find some lossless conversion. I thought one of these AVI conversions would do that for me?
Any suggestions on what I should do or how to fix my PP problems using the original MOV files would be great. I mean ideally I'd like not to have to do any conversions and just use the original MOV files in PP...
You could use DNxHD which isn't lossless but it's visually lossless. It uses the mov container. You can download the AVID LE codec pack for free and it will allow you to use DNxHD. Another option you can use is to use CineformGoPro codec. Which uses the .avi and .mov container it's also visually lossless. To use the cineform codec for free just simply install their free gopro software and you'll notice that Cineform codec choices will show up inside premiere.
Anyways good luck
Wow - thanks so much. I've just installed the CineformGoPro codec you suggested and for the first time I've been able to convert one of my MOV files to AVI and it looks to have done it correctly. Smooth motion as per the original when I play back in Windows Media Player.
Looking hopeful now - gonna convert some more and then see how PP handles these! :-) :-)
Europe, Middle East and Africa