9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 26, 2010 5:45 AM by dradeke

    Editabilty of file formats...

    Keith_Clark Level 2

      I am considering buying a camera that shoots in AVCHD format. I've read on here MANY times how regular consumer mpeg-2 cameras, the footage is made to watch, not edit. Sounds good to me. does that go the same for pro-sumer cams that shoot in AVCHD? It's an mp4 codec, so do the compression rules apply the same for AVCHD as mp2? I mean, can I imPort into PrePro and start adding filters and what-have-you and render without substantial degradation to quality? I saw that cina-somebody has a utility that converts AVCHD to avi, does that change the game? Say I record something in 1920x1080 30p, and change it to avi, with this utility, add filters and crap, then render in AME to 1920x1080 30p, or whatever i want, does it uphold the same degradation as flopping in a regular sd 720x480i mp2 file, adding filters, and exporting with "match source settings"? As far as digital source, I've only really worked with the mpeg2 cams, and it's awful. (I usually stick with standard dv, and HDv, but I want a quicker workflow without having to capture footage, change tapes, hunt down missing tapes, all that nonsense)  So how does AVCHD hold up with editing? And what about compared to using the cina-whatever program to convert to .AVI then edit?

        • 1. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          No need to convert from AVCHD to anything else or put it in a different wrapper (AVI). AVCHD can be edited perfectly in native format. Remember that every conversion costs quality, so if you don't need to convert, just don't do it. Edit in native format.

           

          There is one serious caveat: Editing AVCHD with any comfort requires a fast computer, at least an i7-9xx on a X58 platform with 12 GB memory and 3+ HDD's.

          • 2. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
            Keith_Clark Level 2

            thanks for the quick response!

            • 3. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
              John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              My CS5/AVCHD 1st Impressions http://forums.adobe.com/thread/652694?tstart=0 includes a link to the computer I built... since the GTX 285 is no longer sold, I would now go with a GTX 470


              For my home hobbyist, family movies (which means that I am not trying to recreate Star Wars with video effects or many layers) AVCHD editing is "as smooth as spreading warm butter on hot toast" (also the MP4 video from wife's Flip camera)


              My 3 hard drives are configured as...
              1 - 320G WD Win7 and all programs
              2 - 320G WD Win7 swap file and PPro projects
              3 - 1T WD all video files... read and write

              • 4. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
                Jim_Simon Level 8
                Remember that every conversion costs quality

                 

                I'd agree with Harm on this for the most part.  The one exception is if your converting to something visually lossless.  Cineform NeoScene is such a codec, as are Lagarith and UT (both of which are free, and for that reason alone possibly better choices).  The benefits to conversion are that the files may run smoother on less powerful rigs, and the footage may hold up better for effect heavy work.  The down sides are the time it takes to convert and the files will be larger.

                • 5. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
                  Keith_Clark Level 2

                  JSS1138 wrote:

                   

                  The one exception is if your converting to something visually lossless.  Cineform NeoScene is such a codec, as are Lagarith and UT (both of which are free, and for that reason alone possibly better choices). 

                  ok that's what i was thinking. what harm said threw me off a little bit. i understand that converting/saving as from one lossless codec to another (say, import an mp3, save as mp3 again, etc) its a new generation of degradation to the media, so thats why i was also asking about the Cineform utility.

                   

                  so just to clarify and make sure i'm reading this acurately... if i were to choose to add several filters and such to my assets, quality speaking here, it would be advantageous to use one of those 3 utilities to convert an avchd file to the .AVI format, then do my editing in PrePro, then use either dynamic link, or export as blu-ray/dvd mpeg, and not suffer as extreme degradation in quality? or is it almost comperable either way? space and time are not so much the issue, as quality is, but if it almost the same eitehr way...

                  • 6. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
                    Jim_Simon Level 8

                    Take care here.  MP3 is a very LOSSY codec, not lossless.

                     

                    If I were you I'd run a few tests.  Convert a couple of clips and bring them into a project.  Try out the effects you plan to use on those and on the original AVCHD clips.  Export both and burn to Blu-ray, then compare on a calibrated HDTV.  If the converted clips look better, go that way.  If you can't tell the difference, save yourself the conversion time and use the originals.

                    • 7. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
                      Keith_Clark Level 2

                      JSS1138 wrote:

                       

                      Take care here.  MP3 is a very LOSSY codec, not lossless.

                       

                      If I were you I'd run a few tests.  Convert a couple of clips and bring them into a project.  Try out the effects you plan to use on those and on the original AVCHD clips.  Export both and burn to Blu-ray, then compare on a calibrated HDTV.  If the converted clips look better, go that way.  If you can't tell the difference, save yourself the conversion time and use the originals.

                       

                      oops, I meant lossy. Good catch! ;) I assumed to do that test anyway, I was just wanting to know if avchd gives favorable results, post edit, is basically all. And basically everyone who responded said yes, so I guess I won't worry about it and narrow down a decision now.

                      • 8. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
                        Powered by Design Level 4

                        What camera do you have your eye on ?

                         

                        I dont have an AVCHD camera but from what I have read that there are allot of different AVCHD formats and they dont all play well with Premiere.

                         

                        Maybe someone with hands on can comment more.

                         

                        Camera like the Sony  HXRNX5U have so many choices to recored in.

                         

                        Recording Frame Rate NTSC ModeAVCHD FX (24Mbps) 1920x1080/60i
                        AVCHD FH (17Mbps) 1920x-1080/60i
                        AVCHD HQ (9Mbps) 1440x1080/60i
                        AVCHD LP (5Mbps) 1440x1080/60i
                        AVCHD FX (24Mbps) 1920x1080/24p
                        AVCHD FH (17Mbps) 1920x1080/24p
                        AVCHD FX (24Mbps) 1920x1080/30p
                        AVCHD FH (17Mbps) 1920x1080/30p
                        AVCHD FX (24Mbps) 1280x720/60p
                        AVCHD FH (17Mbps) 1280x720/60p
                        MPEG2 SD HQ (9Mbps) 720x480/60i
                        MPEG2 SD HQ (9Mbps) 720x480/60i (24p Scan)
                        MPEG2 SD HQ (9Mbps) 720x480/60i (30p Scan)

                         

                         

                        GLenn

                        • 9. Re: Editabilty of file formats...
                          dradeke Adobe Employee

                          While I agree with all that's been said, I would point out that if you do want to edit in a converted codec, Adobe provides for that as well through Adobe Media Encoder. The advantage here would be that you don't need quite as beefy a computer.

                           

                          Cheers,

                          Dennis