HD Camcorder and Macs

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Cameron Yee, May 21, 2011.

  1. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I'm wondering what HD camcorders people use with their Macs. AVCHD seems to be (or becoming) the standard for consumer grade camcorders, but the integration with Macs is a bit cumbersome. My DSLR records in H.264 with a .MOV file extension, which is better, but using the camera as a "run and gun" camcorder is unwieldy.
     
  2. Steve Tannehill

    Steve Tannehill Ambassador

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    I don't have an HD camcorder (except for the HD recorder on my iPhone) but I hooked a Sanyo Xacti into my mid 2010 Mac mini this morning via USB, and iMovie recognized it immediately and offered to import all the videos on the unit, complete with a screen of thumbnails. I was impressed. This is one of the more expensive units that supports 1920x1080 full HD and 30x optical zoom. http://www.amazon.com/Sanyo-VPC-SH1-Definition-Camcorder-Camera/dp/B0032UWQFM
     
  3. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    AVCHD works fine in Premiere, iMovie and Final cut. Don't sweat it.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Being a MAC owner I waited forever to buy

    a new camcorder because of the fear that it

    would not support AVCHD.


    To my elation, my Sony HD camcorder works

    beautifully with iMovie. Same results you had, Cameron.



    Visit our [​IMG]DVD, [​IMG]BLU-RAY and [​IMG]3D REVIEW ARCHIVES
     
  5. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    I've imported AVCHD into iMovie and it has been fine I guess but I read about people's issues with iMovie's import/conversion quality and speed. But I don't know if that is mostly handwringing. One article I found explained how to use Handbrake to convert the MTS files to MOV instead of having iMovie do it.
     
  6. Cameron Yee

    Cameron Yee Executive Producer
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    So here is probably the biggest issue I have with iMovie's conversion of .MTS files from the camcorder.


    I have a video clip that is 3 min. 52 sec. long.


    The .MTS file directly off the camcorder has a file size of 202.9 MB (which VLC can play, though without the benefit of time info).


    iMovie's conversion of the same clip winds up being ... 2.09 GB!


    Using Handbrake to convert the file to .m4v using the "High Profile" preset results in a file that is 148 MB. While that makes me a little uncomfortable, the upside to Handbrake is that I have access to settings to adjust the conversion. With iMovie I have nothing, which would be fine for the sake of simplicity and all if the resulting file size wasn't over EIGHT TIMES the original.


    But unfortunately it looks as though iMovie doesn't exactly like the Handbrake-converted file, needing to "optimize" it (I believe converting it to Apple Intermediate Codec) for the smoothest editing. Blerg.
     
  7. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Right. iMovie has to convert it to a more manageable intermediary format. Premiere, After Effects, Final Cut X and others edit it natively at faster than native speed by using the GPU. I imagine we will see the next rev of iMovie doing the same.
     

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