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AVCHD Format Discussion
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Old March 8th, 2008, 03:39 PM   #1
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Capture in AVCHD and Edit in Another Format for Adobe Premier Elements 4.0?

I have a camcorder that captures and records in AVCHD. Can I change the format to another format that is compatible with Premiere Elements 4.0? If so, will I change the format prior to loading into Premiere Elements 4.0 or within Premiere Elements 4.0. Will I also be able to keep and archive the original AVCHD file separately?

Thanks,

Phil Bundy
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Old March 19th, 2008, 04:04 AM   #2
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AVCHD format and Premiere Elements 4

Just a quick reply - because I could write a book on Adobe's totally arrogant attitude to AVCHD users - but I can't bear the thought of yet another person enduring the agony! I have the discovered the solution to Premiere Elements many problems...

I started with PE2 but was forced to upgrade to PE3 because of serious crashing problems. It was a mistake because PE3 is even worse.

I refused to upgrade to PE4 because research revealed that it has even more problems than 2 & 3, besides which - it STILL does not support AVCHD.

I have owned a Sony HDR SR1 for almost a year and produced hundreds of Gbs of AVCHD files. I am currently in post production of my first full HD project. Up until now, the only way I could edit in HD was by using Sony Vegas pro 8. [for onlookers who don't own a Sony camera - forget Vegas - it only supports AVCHD from Sony products. (can you believe these corporate bastards?!)]

You're up to date! Now - the solution...

Convert to HDV! As mentioned - if you don't have a Sony camera don't use Sony Vegas. Moving from Premiere Elements to Vegas is like moving from a ballet company to boot camp. Vegas has the personality of an accountant.

Once converted to HDV, PE3 (and probably PE4) handles it well WITHOUT all the crashing that you get when working with MPEGs! I'm now in heaven! I love the way PE works and from now on everything I do will be in HD! (I should mention that the project file crashes still happen every other day - but that's a minor annoyance.)

So! All you have to do is get a program that converts to HDV - depending on the camera model you have.

TIP: If you have a slow computer - do the basic editing/cutting in HDV first. Once you apply filters and effects to clips, you will need to pre-render those clips afterwards. I run this operation at night when I'm asleep... ;)

BTW Since I've solved this problem (no thanks to the experts at Adobe) I am considering PE4 - since I've heard that it has a motion stabiliser plug-in that works well. Can anyone verify this?
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Old March 21st, 2008, 01:26 PM   #3
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Russell, thanks for all of the information!

Which program are you using to convert AVCHD to HDV. Does this process minimize quality of the video? Can you still maintain copies of the original AVCHD files for when Adobe Premiere Elements supports the newer files?

Thanks again!

Phil Bundy

Last edited by Phil Bundy; March 21st, 2008 at 01:26 PM. Reason: Update
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Old March 21st, 2008, 07:30 PM   #4
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Converting AVCHD

Hi Phil!
I use Sony Motion Picture Browser (came with the DHR SR 1) to import the AVCHD files to the computer. I keep the AVCHD files and then import them into Sony Vegas and then export them as HDV. There is no perceptible loss of quality since these are "Sony" AVCHD files. If you have a different brand you may have problems!
There is an alternative which may be better and I started testing it yesterday. Elecard Converter Studio AV CHD Edition has been released specifically for converting AVCHD has the ability to perform batch operations. In other words you can drop all your AVCHD files into it and leave it to convert these files overnight. It even has an option to shut down the computer when done.
The demo is a 7 Mb free download and will process files up to 15000 frames. The results look good so far though it's early days yet. The interface is a little confusing (OMG I may have to read the help files!) but I have converted a few files to AVC format so far and they look pretty good. It doesn't seem to support Dolby 5.1 surround sound though I'm not fussed too much by that. I use a Rode VideoMic. The SR1's built-in mic is pretty tinny and extremely vulnerable to wind noise.
Once I get my head around the interface I may just buy Elecard's converter and then I can get rid of Sony Vegas - since I only use it for conversions. As mentioned earlier I use Premiere Elements 3 for editing.
So I recommend you download Elecard and try it!
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Old March 26th, 2008, 06:02 PM   #5
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Vegas 8.0b and AVCHD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell Boyd View Post
[for onlookers who don't own a Sony camera - forget Vegas - it only supports AVCHD from Sony products. (can you believe these corporate bastards?!)]
I'm not sure why you said this, but I am a Vegas 8.0b user and have been editing Panasonic SDC-HD5 AVCHD clips just fine.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 07:23 PM   #6
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Vegas 8.0b and AVCHD

I said it because there have been many reports in filmmaking forums and product reviews of Sony being unable to work with AVCHD files produced by non-Sony cameras. I guess you're one of the lucky ones!
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Old March 27th, 2008, 05:04 AM   #7
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I don't understand this 'one of the lucky ones' concept -- surely either Vegas supports AVCHD files for Panasonic footage, or it doesn't ?

Is there a trial version? - I'd hate to have to buy, only to discover I'm not 'one of the lucky ones'!
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Old March 27th, 2008, 11:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Shore View Post
Is there a trial version? - I'd hate to have to buy, only to discover I'm not 'one of the lucky ones'!
SONY Creative Software Vegas 8.0b Trial Download
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Old March 31st, 2008, 02:57 PM   #9
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I downloaded the SD9 test file from Kaku and tried to drag it into Vegas 8 -- Vegas locked up hard.

Same file works fine in EDIUS 4.6.
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Old April 8th, 2008, 02:18 PM   #10
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I found the following links which review Adobe Premiere Elements 4.0 lack of support for the AVCHD format.

http://www.digitalcamcordernews.com/...ments-4-review

http://www.maximumpc.com/article/ado...ere_elements_4

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=913865

Apparently, Adobe is working on an update with no details on a release date. For now, Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum evidently supports AVCHD provided that you record on a Sony camcorder.

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