16 Replies Latest reply on Nov 21, 2014 9:39 AM by John Ratard

    Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI

    John Ratard Level 1

      I recently purchased the SONY NEX-VG30H camcorder that uses AVCHD as the compression format.  From what I have been reading, the image quality is very good.  There are many benefits including both video and audio with the same camera, interchangable lens, and small media size.  Unfortunately, the high AVCHD compression is not recommended for editing for several reasons as follows:


      - editing lossy over lossy leads to an ever degrading result.

      - high CPU processing for editing is required that takes longer than necessary so converting to a less lossy format e.g. AVI is a good idea.

      - not directly supported by Premier Pro.


      I have years of experience with Premier Pro and presently at CS5.  With the forum help I have a hex core CPU that I do not wish to compromise by slowing it down so a conversion to AVI appears to be the best choice.  I find conversion software for apple computers recommended on the Internet.


      What software do I need to convert to AVI to use with an i7 3930K with SSD C and two RAID 2TB support drives?

        • 1. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Edit your AVCHD (which works VERY well in CS5) and export as needed to match your output needs


          The bottom of http://forums.adobe.com/message/2276578 has a link to my thoughts on CS5 and AVCHD

          • 2. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
            Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I do not know where you got your info from.

            CS5 handles avchd natively.

            There is no need to convert especially with those pc specs.

            But if you do insist on converting: GoPro Cineform Studio Premium.

            • 3. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
              Jim_Simon Level 8

              Your system should handle the native media just fine.  I'd not worry about conversion and just get to work.

              • 4. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                John Ratard Level 1

                Thanks Ann.  I get my information from the Internet, reading posts on the forum and my communications experience with Telus in Canada.


                Perhaps my knowledge of how Premier Pro CS5 operates is lacking or I am not up to date with the latest information.  Up to now, I have been capturing with firewire and editing with DV video.  Since I am provided with a usb cable to download video from the NEX-VG30 camera I understand I download the video directly to my hard drive.  I presume I import to Premier Pro from what I understand you are telling me.  I have not edited with AVCHD in Premier Pro so it is good news that it is possible.


                Any lossy or editing speed issues I try to avoid.  From what makes sense to me and reading Harm Millaard's comments in posts, the CPU has more work to do that must slow it down.  The reason I went to a 6 core CPU was to speed up editing after years of waiting for results that I found annoying and demotivating.  My 6 core PC may be fast enough to do the work but I do not wish to slow it down using AVCHD if AVI is much faster.


                Digital technology using bits rather than analog signal shapes apart from minor conversion issues keeps information pure if bits are not lost, but compression over compression after many processes of the original signal does not appear to be a good idea unless the original information is processed by Premier Pro such that the final product is as true as the original.


                Can you clarify what I have said if incorrect?

                • 5. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                  Jim_Simon Level 8

                  AVCHD won't be as 'snappy' as DV, but it should still work just fine on your system.  Give it a try.

                  • 6. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    >understand I download the video directly to my hard drive


                    The entire folder, and import into PPro from there

                    Metadata contained in folder http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1015001?tstart=0

                    -and http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro/using/transferring-importing-files.html


                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                      John Ratard Level 1

                      I checked the GoPro Cineform site and I believe it would be considered one of the best from the description.  I find the $999 price a little over the top just for conversion purposes.  Is there a conversion program other than for Apple computers that does the job at a reasonable price?

                      • 8. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                        Ann Bens Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        No the GoPro Cineform Studio Premium is 299. But still.

                        Dont know any conversion programm that is that good.

                        I would not worry too much about it.

                        Just edit away in avchd.

                        Get yourself a card reader and pop you card in and copy the entire card to HDD

                        Then ingest (not download, that is for the internet) via Media Browser or import.

                        I still edit avchd op my i7-940 just fine (CS6/CC). Mr Millard tends to go for extreme numbers.

                        Once your edit is finished in Premiere output to whatever, but it will suffer a conversion. But AME does a fairly good job.

                        If you want better you need to export to an intermediair file and use thrird party software.

                        What is the final destination of your edit going to be?

                        • 9. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                          jamesp2 Level 1

                          If you must or simply want to convert to .AVI files, you can always download Grass Valley's free HQ codecs and convert the footage by exporting the files through PPro.  There are a range of choices within that .AVI codec, depending on what file size you want.


                          However, as has been pointed out, there is no compelling reason to convert these AVCHD files on your rather robust machine.  There is an issue with the time-line update speed of AVCHD and AVC footage in CS6 and CC, regardless of how fast the processor is, but I'm told this lag isn't present in earlier versions of PPro.


                          Converting AVCHD to AVI is already adding one additional generation, with few if any benefits.  At least first confirm that AVCHD performance is unacceptable (which is extremely unlikely).

                          • 10. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                            Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                            Mr Millard tends to go for extreme numbers.

                            Understatement of the week!


                            Most of the rest of us can only dream about the machines he puts together.

                            • 11. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                              John Ratard Level 1

                              I went to the Internet to verify the price for GoPro Cineform Studio Premium - a direct copy from the web site top corner follows:




                              upgrade from $49


                              Perhaps there is an error, I went to the wrong site, or you may have a special offer.  Jamesp2's codec suggestion gives me a chance to brush up on my limited codec experience.


                              I have been using a Panasonic 3CCD PV-DV952 with three sensors at 1/6 in. each with a total of approx 13mm since 2003 with good video results except for the 1.5 Mp photo quality.  I am studying the Sony manual for a video camera that has an imager of 30mm (16 Mp photos) that will be followed by editing to Blu-ray or DVD.  For now, mostly DVD because my family and friends presently all have DVD players.  Unfortunately, I find good quality Blu-ray rewritable discs I would use for proofing still at an unreasonable cost.  Before I get started, the more information the better, so I do not suffer pitfalls already noted.  At least this gets updated information in one place.


                              I want to thank you and all the contributors for feedback.  I appreciate Harm's input because it gives me information for what I can expect near the top end of quality production.

                              • 13. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                                Steven L. Gotz Level 5

                                Don't misunderstand my last comment. We all love Harm and miss him terribly now that he has forsaken the forums due to disagreements with the way Adobe is now doing business.


                                You are looking at Studio Professional for $999, but you probably only need Studio Premium for $299. Check this link.


                                If you want a camera that shoots 16MP or more, and also shoots great video, you should probably be looking at a DSLR like the Canon 5D Mark III. That is one great camera. Too expensive for me, but there are other, less expensive Canon cameras. I went with the Panasonic DMC-GH3, which is a 16.1MP camera that records awesome video. It has a crop factor of 2 so my 300mm lens looks like a Canon's 600mm lens through the viewfinder. And it is a LOT smaller and lighter than the Canon 600mm lens!

                                • 14. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                                  John Ratard Level 1

                                  With all your inputs I have most of the information I need for editing AVCHD.  I even have Harm's article on Video Codecs.


                                  Whatever the reason Harm left the forum, I will miss his thorough input.  I do not believe that we should be looking at performance from a perspective that it does a good job - especially for persons such as myself who know little about codecs.  If I do not know why a system works as it does it limits the way I make decisions and compounds the possibilty of mistakes e.g. Premier Pro and AVCHD.  As soon as I read Harm's article, I now know that there is a big difference between distribution codecs (DVD) and editing codecs (AVCHD).  I wondered why DVD compression was not recommended for Premier Pro so with limited knowledge I fell into the trap of assuming more compression with AVCHD would be treated likewise.  Dealing with knowledge as "over the top", limits common sense.


                                  There is a lot of information out there, even in the medical field where mistakes happen without sufficient insight to make a common sense assessment as to what is reasonable for our particular situation.  I find "over the top" mentioned in one of the inputs a strange way of looking at a situation because the top is the top at the opposite end of the bottom.  It is up to us to decide where we want to be between the bottom and the top.  Recommending something in between limits the information on which we make informed decisions.  I believe we still need Harm's inputs to identify information approaching the top that can change with better information.

                                  • 15. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI

                                    To convert AVCHD to AVI on Mac and Windows, I recommend you a full guide. It easy and helpful.

                                    • 16. Re: Best Conversion of AVCHD to AVI
                                      John Ratard Level 1

                                      Thank you for the information.


                                      Is this converter able to deal with AVI compatible with Premier Pro for both Interlaced and Progressive 1920x1080 HD?