9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 10, 2013 8:14 AM by J. Simon RSS

    Best way to import footage

    famerdave Community Member

      I am looking for the best way to import footage to my Mac. I currently have been using iMovie to import my footage, because I am coming from the "consumer user" end, but I'm looking for more of a professional way.

      All of my cameras use SD cards, and put all footage in a folder/quicktime file called "PRIVATE". From all my research, this is AVCHD. When importing to iMovie, it looks like everything I shoot in 60FPS goes down to 29.97, so thats why I was looking for another way. Also - another issue is, when I import with iMovie, that makes the footage be "Mac-Only" until its changed, which sucks. I need a good way to import footage in case I ever need to use a Windows machine. iMovie puts the iCon (AIC) on the files.


      One of the cameras the footage was shot with was a JVC GZ-HM35BUSD. (Some cheap Walmart camcorder), but the other footage (same AVCHD formate) was shot using a really expensive sony cameracorder. ($600). (Not sure of the name)




        • 1. Re: Best way to import footage
          joe bloe premiere Community Member

          Not a mac person but...

          I would leave iMovie out of the equation.


          First, copy the entire contents of your SD cards to an internal drive,

          then import your media directly to Premiere using the Media Browser.

          Importing assets from tapeless formats

          • 2. Re: Best way to import footage
            famerdave Community Member

            So, I should just copy the entire "PRIVATE" folder off of the SD card and then just edit directly with the AVCHD format? Then put the PRIVATE folder somewhere on my drive that stores all footage?

            • 4. Re: Best way to import footage
              famerdave Community Member

              Some people have told me to use Cineform to then take the footage and put it a more computer friendly format. My machine is decent, but not extremly powerful.


              Do you know anything about using Cineform?

              • 6. Re: Best way to import footage
                famerdave Community Member

                So I guess my new/better question is, should I use Cineform or should I just edit directly from the encoded AVCHD.

                • 7. Re: Best way to import footage
                  jstrawn Adobe Employee

                  I edit direclty from AVCHD all the time and it works fine for me on several systems including an older macbook pro. I suggest avoiding transcoding if possible. It's time consuming and if you don't do it right, you could overcompress and suffer generational loss.


                  I do like to go in and delete the unused clips after I'm done editing, just to save space. Also, if it's projects I don't care about, I will sometimes export the final movie into something easily playable outside of ppro (like mov or mp4) and then delete all the source media. That is NOT a best practice if you're working professionally. In that case, you need to archive everything. But for prosumers, there may be a lot of projects where you just want to put a quick edit together and then export it as a final movie for posting online or wherever. In that case, you may not want to hang onto all your source footage forever.


                  It really varies per user, but like I said, if you are working professionally, or aspiring to, you will need a way to archive everything, and to backup those archives. If you're working from tape source, then just labeling and storing the tapes is an acceptable backup for the media associated with a certain prject (of course you'll still need to save and backup the project itself). But if you're working from tapeless formats, then you will need multiple hard drives with lots of space to archive and backup everything. The good news is that hard drives keep getting cheaper, bigger and sturdier all the time. I've had two lacie 1 tb hd's for a couple years now with zero problems (before that it was 2 lacie 500gb's for many years, also with 0 problems). But I'm still always parnaoid that #1 will go while #2 is still in the act of backing it up. Or that they'll both go at once. Yikes.

                  • 8. Re: Best way to import footage
                    famerdave Community Member

                    I know that the AVCHD footage is much smaller, so I rather keep that versus keeping all that other footage. (I have the same HDD worrys, that one will fail, and the other will fail at same time)


                    How do I copy over everything, just take the entire "PRIVATE" folder and put it in a project folder? Or do I need to do a different step to copy?

                    • 9. Re: Best way to import footage
                      J. Simon Community Member

                      just take the entire "PRIVATE" folder and put it in a project folder?