Basically, I have some footage that was shot on the aforementioned camera, and now that I've edited it in Premiere Pro CS6, I'd like to export the finished file back to the camera. Additionally, I'd like to do this with as little quality loss as possible, so whatever file I create should be comparable to the "HD FH" format that the camera records in. I have Final Cut Studio (2009,) and Adobe CS6 Master Collection available to me to work with, and I'm currently running Mac OS X "Mavericks" 10.9.1. I know that the actual media is stored in *.MTS files that are no larger than 2GB, and which utilize 8.3 character extensions, and I know that those files are stored in a "STREAM" folder inside of a "BDMV" folder inside of the "AVCHD" folder, but admittedly little else about how to actually create the files I need. From what I understand, this is similar to the file structure of a Blu–Ray Disc, but with some differences.
The camera manual doesn't offer any information about the "HD FH" recording mode itself, but it does state that all AVCHD recordings utilize "High Profile for HD" per the following passage from page 7:
So to sum things up, I'm basically looking to create files that are compatible with this camera which contain Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound audio, and have as little quality loss from the original "HD FH" recording mode as possible. Any help in doing this would be greatly appreciated.Your camcorder is compatible with MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 High Profile for HD (high definition) image quality recording. Therefore, you cannot play back images recorded with HD (high definition) image quality on your camcorder with the following devices;
– Other AVCHD format compatible devices which are not compatible with High Profile
– Devices which are not compatible with the AVCHD format
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Specs: Mac Mini (Early 2006): 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 320GB HDD, 2GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics card, Matshita UJ-846 Superdrive, Mac OS X 10.5.7 and various peripherals. System runs Final Cut Express 3.5 for editing.
I have an SR12 and have been up this route. But no matter what I did, it simply didn't recognize the files I put in. All it wants to play are the (unaltered) files recorded there.
This was several years back and I have gradually accepted that, unlike DV and HDV where it's neat to be able to export back to tape, AVCHD camcorders are strictly acquisition-only. One possible workflow would be AVCHD camcorder>files via USB to computer HDD>NLE>export to blu-ray compliant program streams (x264)>author blu-ray to image (multiAVCHD, Encore, TMPGenc, etc)>record image to blu-ray disk (ImgBurn)>play with blu-ray player. Other workflows are possible like exporting to *.mp4 containers to a USB flash drive, sticking drive to TV, and viewing.
One difficulty is that contents of \CLIPINF are dynamic; the camcorder internal OS dictating which clips are recorded and indexed as such, available for playback. I see no way of altering the contents of this folder on introducing externally-sourced files, no matter that these files adhere to the camcorder specs. Sony is being polite by saying this and that file may not play... they should say flat out no externally-introduced file will be recognized and played!
One last thing to note: attaching the camcorder via USB to a PC giving access to the camcorder HDD can give the wrong impression it's also any ole Windows FAT32 drive where one can do what one does willy-nilly with any other hard drive in that PC, like deleting and adding files, or (gasp!) reformatting the drive (deliberately or by mistake); actions like these can trash the drive completely, and may require camcorder to be professionally serviced to revive it.Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
Thanks for the advice Baldrick, and Turk690; I appreciate it.
FCP and AVCHD don't seem to play well together, (which is part of the reason I'm using Premiere Pro,) and the inability to export footage back to the camera seems like a step backwards not only from tape–based HD formats, but from SD formats as well. I do appreciate the information that you and Baldrick have provided me with though.
Thanks for the tip about the hard drive as well. I noticed the manual said not to delete anything when it's connected to the computer too, but I can certainly imagine that others who didn't look at the manual may have ruined their cameras by doing so. (I'd think Sony would hide the files/partition that any sensitive data required to operate the camera would be stored in, but I guess I'm wrong.) It's also worth noting that Apple "hides" the contents of the "AVCHD" folder in newer versions of OS X; you can get at them using the "Show Package Contents" option, but I was admittedly not sure why Apple began doing this until now. My guess is that people were bricking their cameras when the AVCHD folder's contents were more accessible.Specs: Mac Mini (Early 2006): 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 320GB HDD, 2GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics card, Matshita UJ-846 Superdrive, Mac OS X 10.5.7 and various peripherals. System runs Final Cut Express 3.5 for editing.
Premiere Pro & import, which identifies these files and strings the 2GB files seamlessly on the timeline into one whole clip that begins and ends with subsequent presses of the camcorder start/stop button (with metadata from the other folders in the \AVCHD structure). Then I convert to a VfW *.avi file with cineform (intermediate). It is at this point that the difficulties of directly handling AVCHD disappear, and editing becomes snappy.Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
Premiere Pro, but I've always preferred FCP7 or Avid to Premiere Pro. AVCHD has never played well with my NLE of choice, (FCP7,) and that's admittedly one of the reasons I'm even using Premiere Pro in the first place. I'd honestly rather use Avid when I can't use FCP7 efficiently, but I can't justify the cost associated with purchasing a copy of Avid when I have both FCP7 and Premiere Pro sitting in front of me. (It's worth pointing out that I didn't buy my copy of CS6 primarily for Premiere Pro; I bought it for several other Adobe Programs that integrate well with each other, and Premiere Pro was essentially a "bonus" in my situation.) Most of what I work with is a step above what AVCHD is intended for anyway.Specs: Mac Mini (Early 2006): 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo CPU, 320GB HDD, 2GB DDR2 RAM, Intel GMA 950 integrated graphics card, Matshita UJ-846 Superdrive, Mac OS X 10.5.7 and various peripherals. System runs Final Cut Express 3.5 for editing.
This thread brings back some memories......I had exactly the same 'problems' when I first used AVCHD few years ago......
From the various posts above, I think the following are the most important:
AVCHD is very much an acquisition and final output format. For the 'bits in between' (editing) it needs to be something else!...
- Take your raw .mts files and convert them into a high quality intraframe intermediate format. Cineform, as mentioned above -- or Canopus HQ, which I prefer. (Converters and codecs for both are now available as legitimate freeware.)
- Editing in either of those formats is as 'smooth' and easy as editing DV --- and doesn't need a lot of CPU or GPU power either. The only downside is large working files (which only need to be temporary of course!)
- Splash out $80 on a WDTV player (or a similar media player). Don't bother with Blu-ray, and doing the 'spinning disc' thing all over again. (I had enough of fussy 'shiny discs' with DVDs, thank you!)
Media players like WDTV can handle a lot more formats than Blu-ray ... and are no where near as 'fussy' with what formats they will handle.
Makes life so much simpler ... and as you only shoot in AVCHD - and don't use it for anything else in the chain (unless you want to?...) -the format no longer seems quite so 'unfriendly'...
Tablet? No, I don't have a tablet. I have a life.
Premiere Pro CS6; the only time I've needed to create intermediate files in this case was for color–grading purposes. FCP7 is a different story; it requires intermediates from the get–go, but that's a software limitation entirely routed in when FCP7 was initially released.
DNxHD and Cineform.
As it stands, I'm well overdo to upgrade my pro gear anyway, and am really looking at the Blackmagic Production Camera and the Panasonic AG–HPX255 as my two possible choices. The only reason that I haven't just decided to go with the BMPC once it's available everywhere is that I have drastically different needs for different projects I plan to undertake. Some of those projects will be shot in a controlled environment where they'd clearly benefit from the BMPC's 4K sensor, interchangeable lenses, and overall modular design. On the other hand, other projects would benefit from the AG–HPX255's ability to handle "run and gun" style shooting, which the BMPC's design is notably not suited for. (And for "run and gun" the AG–HPX255's built–in XLR audio inputs are a must in my book, as it's impractical to lug around a separate audio recorder for that type of shoot. In a controlled setting like the ones I'd be considering the BMPC for, a standalone audio recorder would be a no–brainer.)
Are you saying you always lug around your camera for playback? Not how I'd do it, but if it fills the requirements of whatever niche you're working in, more power to you.