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Does iMovie 11 support native AVCHD (.mts) files?

138046 Views 105 Replies Latest reply: Jan 17, 2014 10:06 AM by Pieter_from_Ehv RSS
  • Tiggsma Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 17, 2010 6:11 PM (in response to Tom Wolsky)
    Is the auto sense and clip display just for iMovie 11? I have 09 and a Panasonic DMC-FZ40, iPhoto senses the camera and imports photos, but iMovie doesn't do anything. I try to import the movies in the directory on the camera and they are all grayed out. Is there another way to import and have iMovie convert them?
    MacBook, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • theSandyKansan Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 21, 2010 6:06 PM (in response to juneinny)
    PLEASE HELP!

    I am taking my family on it's first ski trip tomorrow and have recently purchased an HD video camera for the event. I've been using it the past few weeks to get used to it and the only problem that I have is that I run out of hard disk space very quickly. A 45min video of my son's basketball game ends up being about 30-40 GB once it's converted through iMovie (of course it's less than 8GB when I record it, because that's the size of the SD card I'm using!). I understand why iMovie needs to convert the videos... but while I'm on vacation, I won't have time to pick through the footage and delete the bad stuff to keep making room to import more video. Is there a way that I can move the video from my camera to my computer at it's original size, purely for storage, until I get back home and have time to go through everything? I only have a 160GB hard drive and I've only got about 30GB left (I keep having to go through all of my moves and delete all of the footage that I'm not in the middle of a project on just to be able to import my newest footage).
    MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • WilsonLaidlaw Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 7, 2011 2:31 AM (in response to Tiggsma)
    I don't normally deal with video but my wife took a 22 minute long AVCHD movie of our daughter's wedding on her Sony TG3 camera (set to 720P). I have imported the clips with no issues into iMove 11, created a new project and dragged the desired clips into the project. iMovie now says it is taking 10 hours to prepare the project to a 1080P movie (no option offered to create a 720P one). I am using my MacBook Pro 13"/2.53Ghz with 4GB of RAM, as her older Power PC G5 iMac will not handle AVCHD movies except through a very slow interpreter. 10 hours seems very slow to me. Is this normal for making movies? If it is, I am glad I stick to taking still photo DNG's.

    Wilson
    MBP 13" 2.53 Ghz, PMac dual G5, 2.16 Ghz 20" iMac, 64GB iPad, 2 x 8GB iPhones, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Emigdio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Apr 18, 2011 2:36 AM (in response to juneinny)

    Hi, all.

     

    I bought recently a SONY HDR-XR550VE camcorder with 1080i resolution. I wanted to work with iMovie in HD.

     

    What was my surprise that when I imported videos in HD from the camcorder (verified that the clips was in HD 1080i playing these clips directly from the camera to the HD TV) the films are imported in iMovie '11 in standard definition!!. It was impossible to import in HD. I tried everything without results. The clips are imported in STD (standard definition).

     

    I investigated a little bit in Google and the answer to import videos in HD to iMovie'11 from the SONY HDR-XR550VE is:

     

    - Install Turbo.264 HD Video Converter from ELGATO (not very expensive).

    - Import videos in 1080p to my Mac from the camera.

    - Place the import clips in a local folder of my Mac.

    - Rename the files and make them sort (f.e.: clip1.mov)

    - Open iMovie and choose "Import from file"

    - Select the desired files to import

    - And.. thats it!.

     

    With these steps I have HD1080p clips to work in iMovie '11

     

    I hope this helps.

     

    Regards.

  • Starter Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 24, 2011 10:39 PM (in response to juneinny)

    First, I'd like to thank everyone who contributed to this discussion. Very informative. I've learned a lot.

     

    I have both iMovie 11 and Final Cut Express, but for the type of amateur movies I create I like to use iMovie.

     

    My questions are:

     

    1. despite all the helpful info here, is there a book or other resource with a comprehensive guide to using AVCHD with iMovie?

     

    2. I want to buy a new HD camcorder soon. I prefer Sony (over Canon) but would consider Panasonic also. Would anyone recommend a specific Sony (or Panasonic) camcorder for me to be able to import and edit HD video into iMovie WITHOUT using third party conversion software, etc?

     

    3. What shooting format would you recommend to do 2. above? 720p? 1080p? Other?

     

    Thanks!

  • liam27 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)

    Don't use 'Finalize Project'. Instead choose 'Media Browser...' from the Share menu. It does the same thing but lets you choose 720p, 1080p, etc. (720p will cut down your export time by about half)

  • liam27 Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2011 11:15 AM (in response to Starter)

    to 2)

    I recently purchased the Panasonic Lumix ZS7, and I've been almost 100% satisfied so far. All-metal body and seems very high quality (most Panasonic products are- in fact in electronics quality of construction I rate Panasonic just below Apple ). I spent about four months researching various brands and all such nuances and finally chose this one. The price is rather high for a point-and-shoot but it's worth it- check out the features on the website (the ZS10 is this year's model of the same). It shoots in AVCHD and I've never had /any/ trouble using it with iMovie. About 1:2 import time and then it's saved as a 720p .mov file in my iMovie Events folder, plus I can edit it, etc.

     

    to 3)

    The ZS7 only does 720p (or lesser), and so far it's been great- the new ZS10 has a touchscreen, 16x zoom, and 1080p shooting. I would recommend trying both the 1080p and the 720p and seeing if the higher quality is noticeable enough to be worth the much longer import/export time, and the much greater file size.

     

    to 1)

    If so, I've never heard of such. The three things I've found most important are:

    one- iMovie '11 can not edit or use AVCHD footage natively- it converts it to Quicktime to do anything with it;

    two- iMovie '11 is by far the best way to convert AVCHD to Quicktime on a Mac, it's free and it does it quickly and in a nice interface;

    three- The only advantage keeping any video in AVCHD over Quicktime that I've found is it takes up about half the storage space. In my opinion, If you're going to be shooting a lot of HD video anyway go get a couple 2TB drives and use Quicktime- it's much versatile and easier to share anyway.

     

    Hope that helps!

    Liam

  • TomDavenport Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Matt,

     

    How do you make an exact copy of your camcorder disk using disk utility?  I have a new canon g10 and I need to dump footage from it to an archive where I can use it later.  I need the archive as a safety measure.

  • Citadel712 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I'm not sure about using Disk Utility, but you can do it in iMovie. Open up the import screen (apple+i) and there's a button there to export your camera archive. It basically just saves everything into a folder that (somehow) is recognized as a camera archive by iMovie.

     

    What I do now is use a program called RevolverHD by Shedworx: http://www.shedworx.com/revolverhdmac

     

    I saw VoltaicHD mentioned, but I think RevolverHD program is better suited to this thread. It allows you to take the raw MTS files and create a "Camera Archive" that is recognized by iMovie. So now I just save the MTS files to DVD and when I need them again I just rebuild the archive using RevolverHD. Although not really ideal, I found this is good enough for me.

  • wardyf18 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 30, 2011 12:19 AM (in response to vegany)

    Agreed - WAY too much hard drive space. What is the best way for me to import, edit and then export my AVCHD .mts (Canon HF 21) files while a) not taking up ~60GB/hr, and b) retaining the highest quality video?

    FCE? iMovie 11? Or something else?

  • sixman9 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 12, 2011 10:02 AM (in response to juneinny)

    Although this won't get around the storage/duplication issues, here is a free solution to AVCHD conversion on *nix type systems (Mac included):

     

    http://code.google.com/p/hdffxvrt/ <- Browse code (trunk).

     

    The script here might need tweeking for frame-rate etc., there are various versions of this script hanging around the interweb (google). There a useful write-up here:

     

    http://dropsafe.crypticide.com/article/2657

     

    Hope this helps somebody.

     

    Cheers

     

    Rich

     

    P.S. If you're missing any software (i.e. ffmpeg) while take a look a HomeBrew, MacPorts or Fink?

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,060 points)

    You better get yourself a large external hard drive - having only 30 GB on your hard drive is approaching the minimum required for the OS to run properly (10 - 15% of your total hard drive space needs to be free and available at all times). You cannot add any more movies to your hard drive or you are inviting all sorts of unwanted behavior.

     

    So, you could "park" your movie clips/projects on an external hard drive until you're ready to process them. However, while processing, a small 30 minute project can swell to 50 - 60 GB depending on the special effects you use, whether it's 720p or 1080p, etc, etc.

     

    Quite often, I run my 1080p footage through MPEG Streamclip (free) to convert it to 720p; I have found that I cannot tell the difference between the two on my HDTV, so I make the movies 720p - saves a lot of space on your hard drive!

  • marcusferrari Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Not sure why I did not think of connceting the camera directly to iMovie, thank you Karsten!

  • snerkler1 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 19, 2012 3:40 PM (in response to juneinny)

    I've been reading this thread with interest as I want to edit AVCHD movies when my MBP arrives. I've been using Sony Vegas Studio 9 on the PC but it is so slow to render. I was hoping iMovie was going to be much quicker but to my great disappointment it can't even work with full HD and converts everything. Very disappointing. And what's even worse is that you can't access video files from your hard drive. I can't import it from my camera as I deleted a lot of my footage months/years ago.

     

    I can only think the reason it doesn't support AVCHD is so that they can make money selling final cut, as iMovie is free. And typically of Apple Final cut is overpriced compared to windows equivalents :/

  • saskwatchguy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2012 1:30 PM (in response to juneinny)

    One workaround is to use mediaconverter to re-wrap the .mts files to .mov (re-wrap, NOT transcode). http://media-converter.sourceforge.net/ .Then, this can be imported into imovie.

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