12 Replies Latest reply: Feb 26, 2013 2:06 AM by jonpais Branched to a new discussion.
A.Y. Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

The latest iMovie`11 (version 9.0.4) will not import 1080 60p AVCHD 2 videos directly from my Sony NEX-5N camera. The easy workaround is to copy the video files to the hard drive (best done with BootCamp Sony Picture Motion Browser) and then rewrap the 1080 60p (.mts and .m2ts) videos into QuickTime (.mov) movies, using either ClipWrap or Media Converter. Rewrapping AVCHD 2 video also avoids the time-consuming transcoding into Apple Intermediate Codec, which can quadruple the video file size and cause slight IQ loss.

 

I did some tests, trying to decide between ClipWrap and Media Converter with AVCHD Plugin:

 

- iMovie`11 will import, display, and render ClipWrap and Media Converter rewrapped videos without problem.

 

- During importing, iMovie`11 will transcode ClipWrap videos even if the "Optimize video" is unchecked unless a Hidden Function is activated in the Terminal, on the other hand, iMovie won't transcode Media Converter files if the "Optimize video" is unchecked.

 

- ClipWrap and Media Converter rewrapped videos appear pretty much identical to the source; HOWEVER...

 

- Export using QuickTime to Apple Intermediate Codec: ClipWrap file produces a more contrasty image with shadow areas appear less blotchy than Media Converter.

 

- Export using QT to H.264: ClipWrap file also produces a more contrasty image with shadow areas appear noticeably less blotchy than Media Converter.

 

Somehow ClipWrap rewrapping method makes a noticeable difference in the export qualities so I'll be using ClipWrap instead of the Media Converter!

 

To export edited 1080 60p videos from iMovie, go to "Share / Export using QuickTime... / Options / Video" and make sure "Size / Dimensions" is set to 1920X1080 and "Settings / Frame Rate" is set to 59.94. Despite the fact that iMovie`11 "File / Project Properties..." show "30fps - NTSC", 1080 60p video can be exported and will play smoothly on Macs fast enough to handle the format.

 

Here are some samples showing the differences in export image qualities.

  • 1. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    A.Y. Level 1 Level 1 (55 points)

    Since I've not encountered any problem using rewrapped files with iMovie`11 (9.0.4), I won't transcode to keep the file size down and to save time until there's absolutely a need to do so.

     

    Silly me... didn't link the image correctly:

     

    /___sbsstatic___/migration-images/180/18021908-1.jpg

  • 2. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    jonpais Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    A.Y.

    Thanks so much for the invaluable tips! I'd been looking for comparisons between AIC and Pro Res when I came upon your post... You also answered a number of other questions for me as well. I had read a few other posts which said that you could export a 30fps iMovie as 59.94fps into QT. I had my doubts, but I tried it and it works! And now that I don't need to convert my videos to AIC, I can save a bunch of time and retain the original quality of the picture. Only thing is... I went ahead and, using plistedit Pro, changed the frame rate in iMovie to 60fps the other day. Do you think there is any advantage to editing my videos in 60fps, or should I go back to 30fps? I was just thinking of switching back, because when I view the clips in full screen while I'm editing, the motion is a tiny bit jerky. If I went back to 30fps, I imagine the computer could handle the slower frame rate more easily. Or...

    I believe Ian Odgers says that Movist can read the unencoded clips better than Quicktime, so perhaps I should just purchase Movist and leave the setting at 60...

     

    I had actually been considering switching over to FCP for the better codec, but now there are three reasons not to:

    1) no codec at all is even better

    2) according to Clipwrap, the "secret" might not work well in FCP, while there is no problem at all using it in iMovie

    3) FCP costs $300, iMovie is FREE!^^

  • 3. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    jonpais Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Also, because the file sizes were so huge, and I make a lot of videos, I was deleting my iMovie projects once I uploaded them to YouTube and exported them to QuickTime. Now, as the file sizes are small, I can keep the projects around a while, in case I feel like making changes to them later.

  • 4. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    oliviacarlo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi jonpais,

     

    The best codec is Apple ProRes for FCP. Due to the difference in the compresstion standard of AVCHD and ProRes 422, the converted files are significantly larger than the original ones. If you prefer smaller file size, please choose “Apple ProRes 422 (LT) (*.mov)” instead.

     

    ProRes 422 (HQ): offers the utmost possible quality for 4:2:2 or 4:2:0 sources and provides target data rate of approximately 220 Mbps and higher quality than Apple ProRes 422;

     

     

    ProRes 422: provides target data rate of approximately 145 Mbps and higher quality than Apple ProRes 422 (LT);

     

    ProRes 422 (LT): provides roughly 70 percent of the data rate of Apple ProRes 422 (thus, smaller file sizes than Apple ProRes 422) and higher quality than ProRes 422 (Proxy);

     

    ProRes 422 (Proxy): provides roughly 30 percent of the data rate of Apple ProRes 422 and high-quality offline editing at the original frame size, frame rate, and aspect ratio;

     

    ProRes 4444: offers the utmost possible quality for 4:4:4 sources and roughly 50 percent higher than the data rate of Apple ProRes 422 (HQ).

     

    If you want to know more, there is a prores link, maybehelp you: http://mts-to-aic-converter.com/transcode-sony-cx360v-1080-50p-60p-mts-to-prores -422-hq-for-final-cut-pro-on-mac/

     

    Good Luck!

  • 5. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,340 points)

    While I haven't tried it myself ( I don't have a 60P camera), you may find this blog post to be helpful.

    http://ianperegian.com/My_FZ35_38_Webpage/Edit_1080_50p_and_burn_a_disk.html

  • 6. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    jonpais Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the info, Oliviacarlo! And AppleMan, I've read Ian's awesome webpage - tons of useful stuff - and now I'm editing the TM900 footage at 60fps. Changing the plist in iMovie was a breeze. I went ahead and got Movist like Ian suggested, and my videos do indeed play back more smoothly than with QuickTime. I've gone back to using the Apple codec for editing in iMovie, because it crashed once while I was trying to edit the raw files. Not 100% sure if that was the reason, but I don't see any reason not to use AIC anymore. A.Y.'s main rationale for not using AIC was that it is washed-out looking when exporting to QT. But using x264 instead of H.264 when exporting to QT, the YouTube image is as close to the original as I could hope for. I posted some screen shots over at my blog

    http://jonpais.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/washed-out-youtube-videos/

  • 7. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    Michael Zajac Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

     

    - Export using QuickTime to Apple Intermediate Codec: ClipWrap file produces a more contrasty image with shadow areas appear less blotchy than Media Converter.

     

    - Export using QT to H.264: ClipWrap file also produces a more contrasty image with shadow areas appear noticeably less blotchy than Media Converter.

     

    Somehow ClipWrap rewrapping method makes a noticeable difference in the export qualities so I'll be using ClipWrap instead of the Media Converter!

     

    ClipWrap adds an ICC colour profile (1-1-1, a.k.a. Rec. 709, appropriate for HDTV), which accounts for the different look of the video. You can wrap with Media Converter and use Automator to add the “HD” profile for the same result.

     

    ClipWrap changes the video from 60i to 30p. My Mac's not fast enough to perceive the difference, but I imagine this is a marginal improvement over my Panasonic DMC-G3’s output, because the sensor captures 30 fps to begin with.

  • 8. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    fizgiged Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    Using Media Converter to wrap AVCHD seems to work at first, but there are a lot of glitches.  You get green frames and incorect thumbs in the iMovie 11 timeline.  You also get square blocking artifacts in the rendered final output movie.  I was looking forward to using smaller and higher quality files as my iMovie events, but this seems to be a flawed option.

  • 9. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    Racheling Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I use handbrake to convert the MTS file into MP4.  I then import the files using iMovie.  Some quality may however be lost.

  • 10. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    Matty Apple Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    ClipWrap is so ClipWrap but my iMovie is free. I think it isn't worth buying one.

     

    And all guys, The iMovie software does not support AVCHD 60p video. To be able to edit your HD video in iMovie, we suggest you set your camcorder to record in AVCHD 60i or AVCHD 24i or MP4. If you’ve already recorded videos in 60p, you can transfer the video directly to the hard drive of your Mac, and then burn it to a disc to be viewed on a different computer or television.

     

    If you have recorded some 60p AVCHD videos and want to edit them with iMovie, you have to transcode it to a standard format for importing to iMovie, like AIC .mov. I don'd know whether there is a free AVCHD Converter to use. But I know Brorsoft has the Mac AVCHD Converter free trial. I am using it, I like the fast conversion speed, I also like the converted HD video quality. You can have a try.

  • 11. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    lilyeejames Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    iMovie did announce to work with AVCHD which is a camcorder video format used by a variety of camcorder manufacturers. However, it is easier said than done. If you want to import AVCHD into iMovie, you will need a Mac with an Intel-based Core Duo processor or better. Even meeting this requirement, there is still difficulty in importing some of AVCHD format to iMovie especially the high definition format 1080p recorded from Panasonic HDC-TM700, Canon HF S21, Sony HDR-AX2000, Panasonic AG-HMC150 or many other AVCHD camcorders.

     

    In fact, it is dead easy to solve it! The following will introduce a powerful iMovie Converter and provide a step by step guide on how to import 1080p or 720p AVCHD to iMovie with almost no loss of video and tone quality at Easy Way to Import 720p/1080i/1080p AVCHD to iMovie

  • 12. Re: Import 1080 60p AVCHD to iMovie!
    jonpais Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I say we close this thread since the questions have already been dealt with in detail, and now we're just getting spambots pushing converters we don't need.