Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › Technique › Editing › Transcoding AVCHD files for editing Elements 3 › I wouldn’t suggest convert
I wouldn’t suggest converting AVCHD in order to make editing easier. This defeats the purpose of buying a good camcorder. Rendering and re-encoding is a lossy process, and it will permanently degrade the quality of your video. It’s even worse if you transcode before editing, only to have your editor render and re-encode your finished movie when you are finished (as most editors do). Going from AVC at 12 to 15 Mbps to HDV (MPEG-2) would require you to use a very high bitrate in order to minimize the loss of quality, as MPEG-2 is less efficient than AVC.
It is possible to edit AVCHD without transcoding… either on import or export (as long as you are exporting to AVCHD or Blu-ray disc). I don’t want to come here to advertise (VM has a different department for that)… but I don’t want to see my fellow video editors struggle. Remember, friends don’t let friends transcode HD video. It is possible (with PowerDirector) to edit AVCHD natively without transcoding. Give it a try, and you will see that it is very responsive. It doesn’t require a quad core CPU. Enable SVRT (Smart Video Rendering Technology) when you produce your final movie to AVCHD or Blu-ray, and all segments of video that don’t include effects or transitions will not be re-encoded. The original quality is preserved, and you’ll get your result much faster. And I promise that you won’t get “running low on memory, proceed with caution” messages.