I have a new Panasonic AVCHD camcorder. It came with a (free) software called AVCCAM Viewer/Restorer. According to the camcorder's manual, one should always use this program "when transferring data on an SD memory card to the computer or when copying data stored on the computer back to the memory card." This is because the whole file structure should be copied not only the video and audio (stored in the *.mts files) as not to loose any other data. My main question: Do I really need this extra programjust to import the video/audio (I don't like unnecessary software on my PC), because I got along well in two ways:1. Copied only the mts file from the SD card (from inside the directory tree: Drive à Private àAVCHD àBDMV à STREAM à 0000.mts), and imported it into PE 7 with the "Get media from PC files and folders". (It appeared as 0000.mts file in the media vindow.) 2. From PE 7: "Get Media àAVCHD or other hard disk/memory camcorder". Selected media (e.g.: G:\<New>) and clicked Get Media. (It appeared as file VTS_01.VOB.) My second question: Did I loose any quality during these transfers? I know that the AVCHD coming out of the camcorder is already a highly compressed format, but I am still at the beginning at studying the excellent Wikipedia piece http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AVCHD on these issues, and hoping that the more experienced members of the forum can give a quick help before I get to the end of that article. Thank you, Laci. (Also, how these issues translate to the CS4 that I also would like to obtain in the near future?)
All three methods should give you the same results, Laci. You're just moving the video files from the camcorder to your computer. The advantage of using Premiere Elements to do this is that the video is also simultaneously added to your video project.
BTW, I noticed that you said the video was stored on an SD memory card rather than the camcorder's hard drive. If that's the case, it might be a good idea to check the camcorder specs to make sure you're getting AVCHD (and not AVCHD Lite) and which variety of AVCHD it is (as well as ensuring you're using the right audio preset).
I think you've got enough experience with this program to know that, particularly when working with AVCHD, the two most important things are setting up your project with the right project preset and having enough computer power to handle these very challenging files. (A quad core computer with 4 gigs of RAM is usually considered the minimum to work with.)
Steve, Thanks for your reply. I will install Panasonic's AVCCAM Viewer software and use it also to get the material from the SDHC flash memory card. BTW, this camcorder, the Panasonic AG-HCM150P, does not have a hard drive. The recording format is AVCHD (and I read your comment about the importance of the 5.1 audio setting). According to the manual, the Recording Format : AVCHD specifications, Compression method: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264. Since I opened the camcorder box only yesterday, I still have a lot to learn about it. (The 'movie' I transferred to my PC was only 5 sec long!) As soon as I gather some courage (and some money) I will start building my editing computer (a la Videoguys DIY 7) which has 12 GB memory, and an Intel quad core i-7 processor. Thanks again, Laci.