AVCHD to MPEG2

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    • #68400

      I am beginning to accumulate AVHCD (MTS) files from a Sony NEX7 camera.  I have heard that editing AVCHD files is difficult, so I decided to import the AVCHD (MTS) files into Premiere Pro and export them as MPEG2 files, at maximum quality.  Then I was planning to edit the MPEG2 files.

      I was surprised to see the MPE2 files were smaller (about 2/3 the size) than the original MTS files.  I also thought that the AVCHD (MTS) files were more highly compressed than the MPEG2 files.

      Obviously i do not understand a lot.  Can anyone help unconfuse me?

       

       

    • #208145
      AvatarWoody
      Participant

      "Edit" is a broad term. Some software doesn't play the MTS/M2TS (AVCHD) files at all and some not well. I've never had an issue with editing it natively in Premiere Pro. I've never had much issue color correcting or grading in Color finesse trough after effects either. Apple Final Cut users have always had a bear with it though and had to re-wrap with something like clip wrap or transcode to another format for editing.

       

      Last fall I switched to using Da Vinci Resolve lite to color grade in, which is crazy awesome however, it would not see my M2TS files from myt FS-100 or VG-10. MP4 from my action cam but not the M2TS files. So I had to come up with a workflow for it.

       

      I messed with a lot of different formats and just re-wrapping the container and came up with a few solutions. You can rewrap in a software like AWPro, which has a free version, to say an MP4 if you need a software to recognize the files that cant see M2TS or transcode to another format.

       

      Transcoding can have some benefit in going from an 8bit color space to a 10 bit but I won't kid you that it will always be even noticable. Some times you can see a big difference sometimes not but if you are into color grading it can become just part of the work flow. Transcoding also has the benefit of producing files you can send to about anyone without worrying if they can use them or not. So to re-wrap or transcode comes down to what you need to do.

       

      I've transcoded to a lot of different codecs/formats and settled on cineform like many others have. It's a fast transcode and a good codec that holds up pretty good injust about anything and it doesn't produce extreme file sizes like transcoding to something like Avids DNxHD codec. You can download the codec for free.

       

      I'm not sure what version of PP you are using but with Adobe Media Encoder you can just dump all the files in it after you download them from your camera and set the preset and do them in a batch in the background while you do other things. It would be much faster than going to PP first. That's what I do to transcode to cineform or any other codec actually and then go eat or something and come back to a new folder and files in a new codec.

       

      I wouldn't tell you that MPEG2 is bad (its certainly not) but depending on what you are doing, there may be better options and if you can transcode to formats others can use and still meet your needs it can be a good "Future proof" thing to do.  But when you get into transcoding and such its really based on what you need to do with it cause you can really complicate things and slow down your workflow.

       

      I've done a lot of videos for the internet and never transcoded or rewrapped a thing and just editied the M2TS files in PP no problem. YMMV on how your machine works with the file sizes.

    • #208149
      Avataraltarvic
      Member

      The size depends on the bitrate.

      I recommend you to use another good intermediate video format for editing, such as Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHD. These files are huge but the editing is smooth and they provide the best quality.

    • #208157
      AvatarDaniel Bruns
      Participant

      Hi Dick Frederick,

       

      I really like Woody's advice. You can't go wrong with any of his suggestions (he seems to be doing some very professional editing)!

       

      Let me add one more suggestion to the mix, if you'll allow. Have you tried to just edit the AVCHD files in Premiere without transcoding first? If you find that editing in AVCHD doesn't slow down your timeline or result in stuttery playback, I would just edit in the native AVCHD format. This way you can guarantee that each project is only compressed once while you're exporting your final video instead of twice before it even gets placed in your timeline. The reason is that the extra transcoding compression step may lead to blockier video, color banding, and some pixellation not to mention the time lost in transcoding. 

       

      Again, my advice? See how Premiere edits in AVCHD, and maybe you can save some quality! Good suggestions though Woody, I learned something new myself in your post!

       

      Dan

    • #208173
      AvatarWoody
      Participant

      Thanks Dan.

       

      You can pick any codec apart and find articles that support theories of issues with any of them, like color shifting with ProRes or X issue with Cineform or DNxHD. But like I said you will find the happy medium when you find what works for you.

       

      I found Cineform a fast transcode and file sizes about the same as AVCHD and I push them pretty far in grading sometimes. I didn't see enough of a difference in DNxHD to warrant the larger file sizes or time. But again, it's not going to work a miracle on what you capture, you still have stuff baked in that won't come out.

       

      And like Dan said, I've done many of edits in AVCHD natively in PP and then output to what ever format/codec I've needed.

       

      Woody

    • #208984
      AvatarVIDEO
      Participant

      All of you have a good exprience for AVCHD .MTS files editing. Well, I'm not so lucky. I got some mts files from my a Canon, when I import MTS files to Adobe PP CS5, the program can't ingest my video clips. I googled the issues, there's a popular solution to convert MTS to MPEG-2 format and then import to PP for editing. Yes, it's a solution, but really hope my PP can take in the MTS files natively and for a smooth editing process.

       

      http://forums.sqlmag.com/forums/aft/99355

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