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Old October 10th, 2009, 10:06 AM   #1
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AVCHD and Premiere CS4 (Mac)

Is anyone using Premiere CS4 to natively edit AVCHD from an HMC40 or HMC150? I've read so many posts about the problems with AVCHD without using an intermediate codec and using FCP. I just bought two HMC40s to start a wedding videography business with my wife and we just shot our first wedding. I was excited about how CS4 was supposed to work with AVCHD. I bought a Mac Pro with two 2.26GHz Quad-Cores and 16GBs of RAM and I was hoping it would be powerful enough. It will be here in a few days so we'll see. If I have to use an intermediate codec, any recommendations for use with Premiere? I shot 1080 60i. Thanks!
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Old October 10th, 2009, 06:45 PM   #2
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I use CS4.1 with AVCHD on the Windows platform, it's far and away the fastest AVCHD editor right now (presuming that you have an nVidia CUDA-compatible graphics card).

However, it's not perfect -- you can get frame glitches and repeat frames. Adobe has a bug or two to fix before it's a solid workflow.

I don't think the AVCHD acceleration works on Macs, does it?
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Old October 12th, 2009, 07:04 PM   #3
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You should be fine with that setup for native editing. I have a 2.3ghz quadcore running CS4 and the playback of avchd is very smooth. With one stream of video, the processor runs around 60-70%. Be ready though for longer renders and exports. If you want the intermediate option, try Cineform. I believe it's the only option for Premiere.
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Old October 13th, 2009, 07:24 PM   #4
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My experience so far...

I got my Mac Pro set up and it was a little choppy in playing back the AVCHD. If I adding any effects or transitions, it was really choppy. I decided to use Adobe's Media Encoder and converted the files to H.264 HD 1080P and they have been working really well, even putting them next to the AVCHD files on the timeline. I think that's what I am going to do for now. The Adobe's ME works pretty fast and can handle 100 files in the Que (I just ran it overnight when I didn't need it). Thanks for your comments!
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Old October 13th, 2009, 08:28 PM   #5
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H.264?

Can H.264 HD be used for an intermediate codec?

I did not know that. I use cineform and it works great.

Don't you lose some quality via H.264 H 1080?

I am a PC user but try out Neo scene for the Mac if you have time.

Simon
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Old October 17th, 2009, 06:50 AM   #6
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transcode

probably best to transcode to Prores if you want to use FCP. import is seamless
as is editing. results look great. I am shooting 2 hmc150s at 720p30/60.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:41 AM   #7
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All of these were shot using the H.264 code within Premier CS4 with all settings at native, except 6mbps for all the 10/18 videos, which were were outputted at full resolution and native settings from the camera of 21 mbps.

I just realized to my surprise that all of these low light videos I posted were shot with the gain set at 24db. To me, from the statements I've read, you don't want to go above 12db, so after reading the manual and figuring out how to change it, the rest of my videos were shot with the max at 12db. But, the following videos were shot in full auto, auto gain control, and because of the low light I'm suspecting all at 24db:

YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Low Light Test #1
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Low Light Test #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 30p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 24p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 30p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 24p Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HA1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HG1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 50 & 25% Slow Motion Raining Car Action #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 50 & 25% Slow Motion Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - 75% Slow Motion Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p - Raining Car Action
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog #2
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Shutter Speed & Slow Motion Test
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 PH720 60p Handheld Low Light, Rain, & Fog
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 HE1080 60i Low Light, Rain, & Fog

I don't think the above videos look bad at all at 24db, personally. What do you guys think?

Here's the rest of the videos shot with the gain maxed out at 12db, but these aren't all shot in the dark like the above ones. These you'l notice are tests of the gain, shutter speeds, auto gain control vs. manual gain control, digital zoom, white balance, and chroma levels, as well.

YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/2000 Shutter, Manual Gain 0-12db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/1000 Shutter, Manual Gain 0-12db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/500 Shutter, F7.2 - 12db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/250 Shutter, F11 - 0 db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/120 Shutter, F11 - 0db Gain
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Full Auto, Manually Adjusting Iris Dial
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - AGC Vs. MGC 1/2000 Shutter
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - AGC Vs. MGC 1/1000 Shutter
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - 1/2000 Shutter Speed, High Gain to 34 db
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 - Auto White Balance Presets
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Digital Zoom Test
YouTube - Panasonic HMC40 Chroma Levels from -7 to +7 = Saturation

All of the above videos are being uploaded here: UTV REPORT for download if you want the uncompressed files to watch on your computer versus YouTube. The dates of 10/12, 10/14, and 10/15 are all shot using 24db gain. And, 10/18 are the ones listed immediately above this text.

All of the videos aren't uploaded to the server yet, but I think all the 10/18 ones are already. The others are uploaded as we speak. You'l also notice that the videos on 10/18 are much larger than the rest. The reason for this is I outputted them from Adobe Premier at full 21mbps, instead of 6 mbps for all the rest. I can't tell much difference...can you guys? I'm not sure it's worth the extra size, download and upload time personally. I've found too that the best way to play these to see issues is at full screen, not the standard YouTube size.

I hope this helps...if anyone has any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. These were things I wanted to know before buying the HMC40, but I couldn't find out there, so I bought it. :)

Chris
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Old November 1st, 2009, 09:33 PM   #8
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Returned my HMC40s

A few weeks ago I decided to actually return my two HMC40s b/c it was such a nightmare to edit in CS4. The image quality seemed really good (check out a wedding trailer preview at
) and I liked being able to choose the files on the touchscreen for previewing but it was such a headache editing the files. I ended up converting all of my footage to MPEG2 (1080p) and that worked well to edit. Probably if I had FCP I could stick it out. We decided to go with the Canon 7D and probably a Canon A1s and I have really liked the 7D so far.
Michael
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 12:44 AM   #9
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I'm not sure what you're referring to by editing in Premier CS4, but it works perfectly for me. What problems were you having with them the .mts files?

Chris
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 03:03 AM   #10
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Michael,
I could have definitely used you.
http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/helping-...er-needed.html
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Old November 2nd, 2009, 06:56 AM   #11
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CS4 Problems

Chris, when I would try to edit the MTS files on my Mac Pro Premiere would crash after opening five files or after a few minutes, which ever came first. :-) Playback was really jittery. Are you using a mac or pc?
Paulo, that's too bad, I probably would have liked to film the concert. I tested the HMC40 in some low light and it was decent (if you played with the gain).
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Old November 13th, 2009, 08:21 AM   #12
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I've got the top of the line macbook pro 17", and I can load a couple hundred mts files and edit them no problem. Sometimes it's jittery if I have a bunch of other stuff open, especially bigger programs like photoshop, but most of the time it's just fine.

Chris
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 02:06 PM   #13
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I just started testing editing ag-mhc150 footage in adobe premiere CS4 (latest version as of this post) on my mac pro. in the highest quality ph modes, I can edit the native .MTS files in Premiere Mac at 720p24 and play the timeline in realtime. At 720p60, realtime .MTS playback stops working for me. But if I convert the file using Cinforms neohd for mac, realtime playback is still possible.

Only problem is that all cineform sequence settings that I have tried end up putting a yellow render bar above the timeline. This means I have to render those clips no matter what when I go to export because of some difference between the sequence settings and the cineform footage. I am still working that issue out, so for now I will probably shoot in 720p24 and just edit the .MTS files natively using Adobes AVCHD preset.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 05:38 PM   #14
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Jeff,

I edit the raw .mts files that I shoot in 720/60p in Adobe Premier CS4 on my Macbook Pro 17". It's sometimes a little slower than I'd like, but it definitely has no problem doing it. I recently placed a Targus dual fan cooler thing underneath it, and now it seems to stay way cooler and runs things a lot better. I noticed then it got hot rendering or outputting a file before, but now it doesn't even do it.

Chris
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 07:10 PM   #15
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I recently purchased CS4 Production Premium for my Core 2 Dual 2.4GHz laptop and I noticed that 720 60p files from my GH1 isn't always smooth in Premiere. Maybe I should also put a cooler underneath.

I can still edit 720 60 files very easily but it's a little depressing that the videos is not 100 percent smooth just like Nero 9.

I think Adobe needs to borrow some of Nero's engineers because I see no difference between editing SD files and AVCHD files using Nero 9. On an old Quad Core Mac Pro with 2 or 4 gigs, Premiere runs excellent so if you have a decent computer, it's no problem at all but I wish it was better for weaker computers like my laptop unless having all those extra features over Nero 9 is the reason that it doesn't run as well.

Last edited by Paulo Teixeira; December 3rd, 2009 at 08:30 PM.
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