13 Replies Latest reply: Mar 6, 2010 1:06 PM by thrillcat editorial
VideoJunkie88 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Does anyone know or have heard if Apple is planning on releasing an update to Final Cut Pro 7 that will have AVCHD native sequences? Seems rediculous that it has to be converted. AVCHD is heavily compressed, which is great. But right now using log and transfer, you end up having files that take up too much space. Love to see Final Cut Pro take in AVCHD natively.

I'd love to know what other think or have heard.

Mac Book Pro 17, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,350 points)
    Speculation or discussion of future software is against the terms of use of the forum.

    The AVCHD format is a garbage format not designed for production work. H.264 is a delivery codec and MPEG-4 is a delivery format.

    Use log and transfer with ProRes LT or even ProRes Proxy if you want smaller file sizes.
  • JDLee Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi Tom--

    When you say the AVCHD is a garbage format followed by your statements about H.264 and MPEG-4, are you saying that even if FCP allowed you to edit in AVCHD, you would still want to convert it? Or are you saying that it is garbage all the way around no matter what you do with it in FCP?

    I only want to know what you're saying. I'm not looking to debate it or anything, as I'm enough of a total newbie that my opinion is irrelevant. I just wanted to understand your opinion as, at this point, I use AVCHD.
  • David S. Level 7 Level 7 (20,630 points)
    Rediculous ? Based on what?

    Could you provide one good reason why Apple should support editing AVCHD natively?

    It's long GOP, predictive frames and heavily compressed interframe footage.

    Doesn't work with grading, filters, FX or titling at all.

    You cannot delivery footage natively in AVCHD for broadcast or web or write back to the card in AVCHD.

    Get to a intraframe codec as quickly as possible and edit.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,350 points)
    "are you saying that even if FCP allowed you to edit in AVCHD, you would still want to convert it?"


    "Or are you saying that it is garbage all the way around no matter what you do with it in FCP?"

    I don't know what that means. You can't edit it in FCP, so it's moot. You have to convert it, and it's just as well that you have to do that.
  • Goldfish Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)
    It's all relative. Anything can be considered "garbage" if your only criteria is to compare it to what ever the state-of-the-art happens to be at any particular point in time.

    All consumer cameras and most prosumer cameras are going to employ some sort of compromised acquisition medium due to market influences such as price and size.
    Even DV25 itself was and is considered a major compromise but for better or worse was very much an accepted standard for over a decade.
    Up until recently HDV was the prevalent format for low-cost acquisition. And HDV has also been considered "garbage" by many professionals.

    But there are many who believe that AVCHD holds the most promise for the near future as the most viable low-cost acquisition codec. It's more flexible than HDV with respect to compression so over time the format can evolve to accommodate emerging technological advances.

    All that said - For professional level editing using such a compressed codec with all of it's inherent limitations makes very little sense. This becomes more clear the more you understand what's actually going on under the hood when we use these NLE systems. It really IS rocket science and we've been conditioned to simply take that for granted.

    Now.... All THAT said. If all you want to do is make content selections (edits) without having to render all of your footage first, you should explore ClipWrap.

    I'm hoping that at some point in the near future FCP will provide this sort of functionality - similar to the way HDV is handled. ( and for the thought police - that's a wish not a speculation)

    And that may be all you were asking for in the first place.


  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,350 points)
    That's a wish and that should go into Feedback.
  • Goldfish Level 2 Level 2 (355 points)
    Yes officer... just sent it
    Thank you for letting me off with just a warning this time...
    It won't happen again.

    (...happy thoughts... happy thoughts...)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,350 points)
    The more feedback Apple gets on a subject the more likely they are to do something about it.
  • VideoJunkie88 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you. I really appreciate the NON hostile response. Lot's of valid info here. I was interested to know what people were thinking and doing around AVCHD. One of the shows I'm working on is thinking of bringing in the Sony HXR NX5U for shooting. Thanks for the detail as I had already heard that AVCHD was evolving but to me that wasn't enough info to go on. And since everything is being edited in Final Cut...figured someone on hear might know something. You've answered my question.
  • thrillcat editorial Level 4 Level 4 (3,840 points)
    Tom that's a little harsh. AVCHD is a highly compressed HD format that can be made to look very nice with a good lens and better lighting, and beats the daylights out of HDV.

    That being said, I could care less if Apple ever supports it, I'll convert it to ProRes anyway. Hard drives are cheap. The only complaints about file size are people trying to edit on their system drive which is a bad idea anyway.

    But AVCHD in a good camera like the HMC150 is a very viable (compressed) HD acquisition solution.
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (113,350 points)
    HMC150 is not an AVCHD camera. It's AVCCAM, Panasonic's professional implementation of the format that includes 60fps recording and other enhancements.
  • David S. Level 7 Level 7 (20,630 points)
    When you start a thread by calling something ridiculous, you're bound to get some pretty direct responses.

    I wish you could edit AVCHD natively in RT with multiple streams, grading, CC, FX and titling.

    And output it natively back to the card.

    But if you examine AVCHD, you understand how computational intensive the codec is.

    The fastest Mac or PC simply has issues with the codec. But transcoding eliminates those issues, and with HDD storage space so cheap, why not transcode and provide a good editing experience.

    No body accepts AVCHD for broadcast. Nor can you use it for online.

    take care
  • thrillcat editorial Level 4 Level 4 (3,840 points)
    No, it's AVCHD.

    Edit: just looked it up, it is AVCCAM. It's not AVCIntra.

    Either way, darn good camera.

    Message was edited by: thrillcat editorial