Got my first Vixia HG21 and now dealing with AVCHD.... at DVinfo.net

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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old February 20th, 2010, 08:01 PM   #1
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Got my first Vixia HG21 and now dealing with AVCHD....

I like to produce simulated news shows for young people and now that I go digital, I'm not that familiar with avchd formats. My understanding is that I can't import this into some sort of DVD authoring software but I need to convert it? Is this true? I really dont want to lose any quality or do any compression.

My second question is what authoring app should I use? I've been using Adobe Premier Elements for quite awhile. It's okay but not sure if anyone has used a similar-level app that is better.
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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:11 AM   #2
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Hi Kareem, and oh boy, are you in for a learning experience. Here's a summary to save you forum search time. Unless you are a hot gamer, it is unlikely that your computer will be able to do more than just display AVCHD footage. Welcome to the world of proxy editing. There are some clues here: Eugenia's Rants and Thoughts Blog Archive Proxy Editing with Sony Vegas . Sony Vegas Movie Studio HD is really the only cheap useful working AVCHD editor, but if you can afford it the Platinum Pro pack has more features and comes with a version of the DVD architect authoring program. You can't avoid encoding to mpg2 for DVD and the quality produced by the Sony encoder sometimes leaves a lot to be desired; if desired you get better results with the free QuEnc or HCenc (Google). But see how you go. The things they don't tell you when you buy the camera.
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Old February 28th, 2010, 10:37 PM   #3
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Premiere Elements doesnt do this?
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Old February 28th, 2010, 11:50 PM   #4
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HD or SD?

AVCHD camcorders shoot only in full HD (1920x1080 pixels). In order to import this into some DVD authoring software, you will have to down-convert it to standard definition (720x480 pixels for NTSC, 720x576 for PAL). The only reason you would want to do this is if you have to give your material to someone who doesn't have a Blu-ray player, so they can't watch it in HD.

Normally, since you now have a HD camcorder, you would want to edit the footage in HD and deliver it in HD (on Bluray-compatible media). Premiere Elements can edit AVCHD, although this is rather slow. AVCHD has high demands on the processor. Most common proces is transcoding original AVCHD footage into something easier for editing (such as AIC ProRes or Cineform on Mac, or Cineform on Windows). The resulting files are much easier to edit, and there isn't any visible loss in quality.

I believe most recent version of Premiere Elements will allow you to create and burn AVCHD discs (DVD or DVD-DL) that are full HD and can be played back on Blu-ray player. You get about 30 minutes of full HD on a standard DVD-R and about 60 minutes on dual-layer DVD.
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