CS3 or CS4 will not edit AVCHD video smoothly unless you have a supercomputer. Even then it will be rough. CS4 is better at it; but its still not a pleasant experience.
If you want to edit AVCHD video in CS3, then the best idea is the one they gave you; use a utility to convert AVCHD into a format that is easier to edit.
I built an I7 overclocked to 3.8Ghz with 12gig ram.
On the hardware forum this is seems to be what folks are using to edit HD.
CS3 can import *.m2t but not *.mts whats the difference?
AVCHD is highly mondo compressed hd. Ergo it is much harder to edit.
Is there a differnt HD formatthats easier to edit that a consumer camcorder uses?
In the consumer range of HD cameras, there are basically two formats: AVCHD onto some kind of mem card OR HDV which is digital tape.
HDV (IMHO) is a better option because it edits so much easier. But it is not tapeless; so it seems old fashioned. There are better HD formats that save to tapeless format but they start around $5K and go up.
So; the salesman at Best Buy all push the cheap AVCHD cams; and they look fairly good when you play them back to your HDTV. But they fail to tell you it is a bear to edit that format.
So it better to get a HD camcorder that uses tape then use firewire to stream the video to the computer then edit?
If you will be doing a lot of editing; HDV you will find edits much more smoothly than AVCHD.
Another advantage is storage. You can stack the HDV tapes in a box and they last for a while. With AVCHD cams you need to start stacking up harddrives (unreliable), or DVDs or expensive flash cards to store your vids.
And with either cam; consider a bluray burner so you can make HD deliverble projects.
Thanks for the input, can you recommend a good consumer camera that ues tape?
Am I right about streamng the video in using firewire?
Do you need capture software for that?
Yes; HDV Cams have a firewire port that digitall transfers the video to Pr.
Pr has a capture tool built in
Here are the HDV Cams. All good; choose according to your price range.: