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  1. Member
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    I just purchased the Sony HDR-SR11 which produces AVCHD video. It didn't take long for me to find out that I am unable to edit the M2TS files with Adobe Premier CS3. With that said, I'm looking for a way to convert the M2TS files that get created when I upload the video from the camera in order to edit in Premier CS3.

    I'm looking for a way that will be easy but will retain the video quality. What is the best program to use to convert the video and what is the best file format to use? As I said, I'm very new to video editing so this is all foreign to me.

    Also, when I upload the video from the camera, in addition to the M2TS files that get created, it also creates a MODD and MOFF file. Are these important in converting in order to edit with Premier?
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  2. Member
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    maybe it's time to switch to sony vegas. they have support for their cams. any conversion will result in loss of quality, which i presume you wish to maintain if you want HD output.
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  3. Member
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    I'm not familiar with Sony Vegas. Does it have all the same editing features as Premier? What about using Adobe After Effects?
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  4. Member Soopafresh's Avatar
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    Vegas will work since you have a Sony Camcorder. Converting AVCHD to a usable format on most editors is still kind of a PITA.
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  5. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rancineb
    I just purchased the Sony HDR-SR11 which produces AVCHD video. It didn't take long for me to find out that I am unable to edit the M2TS files with Adobe Premier CS3. With that said, I'm looking for a way to convert the M2TS files that get created when I upload the video from the camera in order to edit in Premier CS3.

    I'm looking for a way that will be easy but will retain the video quality. What is the best program to use to convert the video and what is the best file format to use? As I said, I'm very new to video editing so this is all foreign to me.

    Also, when I upload the video from the camera, in addition to the M2TS files that get created, it also creates a MODD and MOFF file. Are these important in converting in order to edit with Premier?
    Maybe you can still return the AVCHD camcorder? It was a simple two word Google search to find Adobe's current position vs. AVCHD.
    http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb403297

    Sony Vegas will import AVCHD but won't edit natively. First step is decompression to RGB.

    Still, you can edit the format and minimize loss. Search all the AVCHD threads on this site.
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  6. I'm a MEGA Super Moderator Baldrick's Avatar
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    I would convert to avi using VoltaicHD if you choose that method.
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  7. Member
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    Originally Posted by edDV
    Maybe you can still return the AVCHD camcorder? It was a simple two word Google search to find Adobe's current position vs. AVCHD.
    http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb403297

    Sony Vegas will import AVCHD but won't edit natively. First step is decompression to RGB.

    Still, you can edit the format and minimize loss. Search all the AVCHD threads on this site.
    I actually bought it about 2 months ago but just now started looking into editing some of the footage I took so I wouldn't be able to return it. Like I said earlier, I'm new to all of this so I wasn't aware of the AVCHD and Premier issues. I didn't even know what AVCHD was. That's what I get for "assuming".

    What do you mean when by decompression to RGB?
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  8. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Have you purchased Premeire and After Effects yet? If not, Vegas Pro can work with that camcorder.

    Originally Posted by rancineb

    What do you mean when by decompression to RGB?
    Vegas will handle Uncompressed, DV and HDV as projects. MPeg including AVCHD are imported (i.e. decoded to RGB and then recoded on export). This causes AVCHD to be very sluggish on the timeline.

    If you want extensive editing and processing, the first step should be conversion of AVCHD to a digital intermediate format (e.g. Cineform, MJPEG, Apple Intermediate Format, etc.). Vegas includes the Cineform digital intermediate codec which works fine. Cineform must be purchased separately for Premiere Pro.
    http://www.cineform.com/
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  9. Member
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    Thanks for the info Ed. So you're saying that my best bet is to convert the AVCHD (m2ts file) to a format that Premier will support and then proceed from there? It sounded like Vegas isn't a very extensive editing tool by what you said or were you talking about converting the file first and then editing it with Vegas to increase the performance of the program?

    Is there a format that you would recommend? I've read that where m2ts files were converted to AVS files which Premier supports? Is there a converstion program that you recommend that works well and doesn't lose much of the quality of the video?
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rancineb
    Thanks for the info Ed. So you're saying that my best bet is to convert the AVCHD (m2ts file) to a format that Premier will support and then proceed from there? It sounded like Vegas isn't a very extensive editing tool by what you said or were you talking about converting the file first and then editing it with Vegas to increase the performance of the program?

    Is there a format that you would recommend? I've read that where m2ts files were converted to AVS files which Premier supports? Is there a conversion program that you recommend that works well and doesn't lose much of the quality of the video?
    Vegas, FCP, Premiere Pro, etc. are high performance editors. If you need to work at that level you need to work in layers with complex filters + compositing. Pros mostly work with uncompressed SDI I/O from massive servers mainly to get near real time previewing while positioning elements. AVCHD (h.264) and even MPeg2 (HDV/XDCAM) are too sluggish with today's computers. Those formats are usually converted to a digital intermediate format like Cineform or Apple Intermediate Format for faster timeline performance and faster render computation using typical desktop computers. Read the Cineform web site for an overview.
    http://www.cineform.com/
    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=301599
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  11. Member
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    I recommend that you purchase Main Concept's MPEG HD Pro for Premiere Pro. There is a demo on their web site that puts a watermark on your output and mutes the audio after 30 seconds.

    The value over the others is that it _doesn't_ make any intermediate files. - IE it adds native AVCHD support to the Premiere workflow.
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  12. Member
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    oh, also - it won't help using After Effects.

    A: After Effects isn't designed for editing - it's designed to do fancy stuff to footage.

    B: After Effects CS3 can't import .m2ts files even with Main Concept's plugin for Premiere

    Tech Note:- The Main Concept plugin is Premiere only (ie it's a .PRM plugin). Due to software limiations in the Adobe Software Development Kit (SDK) I understand why they didn't make it an After Effects plugin (.AEX). - this is of value because AEX plugins ALSO work on Premiere. The same is not true in the other direction. Consequently there is no "native" (aka no reencoding) method outside of Premiere.

    I have not used Cineform as suggested above but have had no problem using Main Concepts' AVCHD support in Premiere. No percevable slow down, no limitations.

    Note: I've been applying filters to my work (auto levels etc) and thus I've always needed to RENDER an output so I can't comment on whether the Main Concept compiler (that's what output renders are called in the Adobe SDK) is smart enough to only COPY the source material if they are hard cuts (ie no transitions) and thus not have any quality degradation.
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  13. Try using Sony Vegas to convert to avi that Adobe Premiere can read. I've used both Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere. Adobe Premiere is a much better program for editing and easier to use.
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  14. Member
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    Hmmm.... we are trying to avoid Tape / Capture / Transcoding. We send ethnographers into the field with Cameras and the capture / encode process is a pain in the butt and expensive.

    We are trying 2 HDD HD cameras:

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8916916&st=hg+21&lp=1&type=product&cp=1&...=1213400711860

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=999996800050009&st=sony+hdr&lp=1&type=pr...prd96900050009

    Our goal would be to edit the AVCHD directly in premiere with no conversion.

    Is Main Concept the only way to do this? (Does it truly allow native editing of these files)?

    Even Sony Vegas seems like it does some conversion... is that true?

    Thanks!
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  15. Member
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    >Is Main Concept the only way to do this? (Does it truly allow native editing of these files)?

    It's the only method I'm aware of and yes it does natively edit - no conversions, no temporary files.

    Oh, I have to tone down my reply from yesterday - I was doing some editing last night and yes, working with AVDHD does slow down the process a little. - slight pauses here and there etc vs other files that don't have such a computational overhead. (It takes a LOT of cpu power to decode AVCHD)...

    On that note, I have also purchased CoreCodec's CoreAVC/CoreAAC product FOR PLAYBACK ONLY. It is a far more efficient decoder but unfortunately it doesn't help you in the Premiere workflow - it's just a player (ie it doesn't help you open AVCHD in Adobe)

    'hope this helps a little.
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  16. Member
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    So do we need the pro plugin (its waaaay expensive)? I was hoping for every researcher to have this capability.

    Pardon my ignorance, but is the standard MPEG2 from the HDD cameras directly editable or does premier convert it somehow when you add it to the project?
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  17. Member
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    Well here are your choices.

    -------------------------------------------------
    1: Buy HDV (MPEG-2) camcoders instead of HDV-AVCHD ones.

    HDV camcorders are ones with miniDV tapes (sorry there are no HDD versions). These tapes were developed for Standard Definition camcorders and used the "DV" compression alogrithm. The tape records at 25MBits/second (= ~3.3Mbytes/sec).

    Instead of using the "DV" compression alorithm, HDV uses MPEG-2 instead (which is better) (still at 25MB/s)

    The saving in compression quality that you get going from DV to MPEG2 is enough to take the up the resolution from Standard Definition ("DV") to High Definition ("HDV"). (640x480 -> 1280x720p or 1440x1080i)

    The downside to tape based camcorders is that you have to "capture" it off of it over USB or Firewire.
    Hard Disk Drive versions are nice because you plug'em in and they come up as a drive. But you're not likely to edit directly from that camcorder's drive so in both cases you're still copying the source to your PC.

    The Upside is that pretty much all good video editors have had native HDV (not let the "DV" throw you off, it's MPEG2) support.

    -------------------------------------------------
    2: Buy HDV-AVCHD camcorders
    Either
    A: use the basic editing software that comes with the camera
    B: Buy Adobe Premiere Pro and Main Concept's MPEG Pro HD to be able to absorb it into Premier
    C: Buy some other video editor and buy a tool or use a free a tool that can convert the AVCHD (m2ts) to MPEG-2
    D: Buy something like Roxio or Nero's tools and work your way through the other posts here and on other forums to work out how to get the darn thing working.

    Personally if I had my choice again I'd get a HDV (tape) camcorder because when you're out shooting it's easier to put a full tape in your pocket and a new one in. At the end of a long day you don't want to be copying 60Gb from the camcorder to a harddisk. Lugging around a laptop to do it is a pain and there aren't many stand alone backup boxes with huge harddisks.

    Also AVCHD was impossible to work with until I played with the Main Concept plugin. In my case I HAD to use Premiere because I have a Premiere-only plugin that I REALLY wanted to use so it was a path I had to take.

    I'm guessing you don't have that limitation though so perhaps a full blown editing suite is not for you (even pro-sumers rarely need it's features).
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  18. Member
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    This is the only "little" camera I could find that has HDV tape. (it's $750) Seeing as the price is quite low it seems that tape is not as popular as HDD anymore.

    Canon VIXIA HV30
    http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/canon-vixia-hv30/4505-6500_7-32786397.html

    http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=...elTechSpecsAct
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  19. Member
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    Hi Bryan,

    >Pardon my ignorance, but is the standard MPEG2 from the HDD cameras directly editable or does premier convert it somehow when you add it to the project?

    AVCHD HDD camcorders don't record in MPEG2. They record in AVCHD (aka MPEG4 part 10 aka H.264).
    I think the "m2ts" file extension is throwing you off...
    The format of the file is "MPEG2 Terrestrial Stream" (thus M2 T S). This is a capsule, the same way as AVI and MOV are. Inside that capsule are two steams - the Video (H.264) and the Audio (MPEG1-part 2 I think).

    So no, you can't directly edit the video stream inside the m2ts file because it's H.264 and H.264 isn't supported in Premiere (if you don't have the Main Concept plugin).


    I just found this on the Nero web site:

    >Does Nero 8 Ultra Edition let me import video from my AVCHD camcorder and edit it?
    Yes. With Nero 8, you can import, author, and edit your AVCHD video, allowing you to customize your home videos as you wish.

    http://www.nero.com/enu/nero8-product-faqs.html#tab2

    I don't know if it transcodes it though. (I don't have Nero and the demo didn't have HD support)

    Maybe that's a cheaper path for you to take? (I have read on a couple of forums that Nero's output to AVCHD/DVD - ie DVDs with HDef on them that play in a BluRay player is broken -- so be warned if that's your destination).
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  20. Member
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    Here's a forum post on how to get the same IMPORT ablities into Premiere as Main Concept does but for free - I don't know if it will give you H.264 or MPEG2 rendering (ie output).

    http://forum.videohelp.com/topic334524.html
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  21. Member
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    The Sony HDR-SR12 can record in regular video (non high def) and it output an mpeg2 file that we easily placed into Premier.

    To be honest, we could use standard definition HDD camera if we could streamline the editing process. We might just keep this camera and record to standard video instead of the ACVHD...

    Thoughts on this?
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  22. Member
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    Hi Bryan,

    If you don't need the HiDef then save yourself the processing overhead

    H.264 for BluRay or AVCHD/DVD editing is at the same painful stage that MPEG2 for DVD editing was when I was doing it in '98. If you can use the advances of the last 10 years on MPEG2/DVD technology it will be WAAAAYYYY easier. - that's why you can get consumer packages for under $100 like Pinnacle Studio, Nero or Roxio to make DVDs . - tech caught up to the processing requirements and it's a commodity at that level. HiDef is still young - just look at the THOUSANDS of posts on the web trying to get a handle on just playing AVCHD to know that we're not there technically yet - let alone edit the darn thing.
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  23. Member
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    So in your opinion, will this camera (HDR-SR12) output in standard definition as well as the standard def camera?

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8679799&type=product&id=1197678618750

    We can keep this one and have High Def when we need it, but use standard def mpeg2 for most of our main video / editing needs...
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    I can't speak to the Sony DCR-SR220 that you linked to coz I've never used a HDD based Standard Def camera. I don't even know what it records as... .mpg or .m2ts or avi or mov???? - and when it does, what codec is used.

    here's an interesting review of the SR12
    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Sony-HDR-SR12-First-Impressions-Camcorder-Review-...178/Format.htm

    My _guess_ would be that the quality if image will be effected by the generation of the video processing chip, then, if they are both MPEG then the data rate.

    sorry that I can't give a more definitive answer.

    ... this is worth quoting from the link:
    "Editing
    When we reviewed AVCHD camcorders last year we were concerned about the rather limited range of software editing options, but as the format has rapidly gained popularity editing options have also grown. Sony Vegas 8.0, Ulead Video Studio 11, and Pinnacle Studio 11 support AVCHD."

    ... but as mentioned above, I'm not sure if they NATIVELY support editing or whether they transcode to another codec on "import" rather than truly "opening" the file.
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  25. Member
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    So it looks like premiere (CS4) and elements (7) are finally supporting AVCHD. I look forward to checking it out!
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  26. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rallymax

    ... but as mentioned above, I'm not sure if they NATIVELY support editing or whether they transcode to another codec on "import" rather than truly "opening" the file.
    None of these programs natively support AVCHD. Some can import AVCHD.

    Low end programs tend to transcode H.264 to MPeg2 on import so that files remain somewhat small and able to be previewed on a moderate CPU. Then edit processing such as filtering, transitions, translations or compositing cause a full decode to RGB followed by a recode to the export format. All this is lossy to the original but it gets the job done.

    Higher end programs like Vegas Pro, Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro recommend AVCHD conversion to a digital intemediate format such as Cineform or Apple Intermediate Format (AIF) to allow a more productive timeline workflow and less loss though edit processing. Vegas Pro and Premiere Pro can also import of AVCHD to the timeline without MPeg2 conversion, but the timeline becomes extremely sluggish for scan/scrub or when previews are calculated unless you have the the highest end CPU. Even then editing can be slow and frustrating. If you intend serious editing, use the digital intermediate format.

    HDV and XDCAM are native MPeg2 so are easier to edit on the timeline but at high def resolutions, there are still productivity benefits from conversion to a digital imtermediate format.
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    Pardon me if this has been answered, but if it has I sure don't understand the answer. I'm just beginning to get involved in video editing.

    I have a SONY HDR SR 11 which records in AVCHD format. I imported video to my computer's hard drive using Sony's Picture Motion Browser. Of course the files are M2Ts files. I have ADOBE Premier Elements 7 and I'd like to edit the SONY videos using PRE7. If I understand correctly, PRE7 doesn't support the SONY M2ts files. I do notice that when I right click on the SONY file in PMB I"m given the option of converting the file to MPEG2 and saving. I can also convert to WMV, apparently.

    Why couldn't I just convert the m2ts file to mpeg2 and import that file to PRE7 for editing? I'm not familiar with the various formats that video is captured in. Will images converted from m2ts to mpeg2 still be hi def images? I want to be able to do this conversion and editing without loosing image quality if possible.

    Thank you so much for your help!
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  28. Member MJA's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by rallymax
    This is the only "little" camera I could find that has HDV tape. (it's $750) Seeing as the price is quite low it seems that tape is not as popular as HDD anymore.

    Canon VIXIA HV30
    http://reviews.cnet.com/digital-camcorders/canon-vixia-hv30/4505-6500_7-32786397.html

    http://www.usa.canon.com/consumer/controller?act=ModelInfoAct&fcategoryid=177&modelid=...elTechSpecsAct

    I got the HV20 refurb from onecall.com for $499 Free shipping no Tax
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  29. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by crestonave
    Pardon me if this has been answered, but if it has I sure don't understand the answer. I'm just beginning to get involved in video editing.

    I have a SONY HDR SR 11 which records in AVCHD format. I imported video to my computer's hard drive using Sony's Picture Motion Browser. Of course the files are M2Ts files. I have ADOBE Premier Elements 7 and I'd like to edit the SONY videos using PRE7. If I understand correctly, PRE7 doesn't support the SONY M2ts files. I do notice that when I right click on the SONY file in PMB I"m given the option of converting the file to MPEG2 and saving. I can also convert to WMV, apparently.

    Why couldn't I just convert the m2ts file to mpeg2 and import that file to PRE7 for editing? I'm not familiar with the various formats that video is captured in. Will images converted from m2ts to mpeg2 still be hi def images? I want to be able to do this conversion and editing without loosing image quality if possible.

    Thank you so much for your help!
    Conversion of M2TS to MPeg2 on import is essentially what the lower end programs do. It will still be 1440x1080i but the added conversion will somewhat reduce quality. If you just cut edit the MPeg2 it is possible to avoid a further encode at export but more likely you will use Premiere to filter or add effects. This will cause the MPeg2 to decode to RGB for processing forcing another recode to export format.
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