AVCHD What You Need To Know

Most consumer video cameras, including my Canon Vixia HF 100, use the AVCHD codec which is a highly compressed HD codec. This is good because it lets you record more onto your memory cards or other recording media. However, inorder to edit this footage, you must transcode it, which takes time and processor power.  It also will take a lot more space  after being transcoded requiring you to have a good amount of storage as well as backup to make sure your data stays safe. Some editing suites have AVCHD transcoding built-in like Final Cut Pro but if your editing program doesn’t include that, you will have to get a converter program and convert each clip before you can edit them. These usually cost around $50 and unlike programs like Final Cut that have it built-in where it is fairly convenient, it is another step that slows down your workflow. Even with programs that have  built in transcoding like Final Cut you need to keep the memory card hierarchy intact otherwise it won’t work.

In my use, AVCHD works fine because  I have a large external hard drive and  a editing suite that transcodes automatically.  I also don’t use my camera too frequently, but  I could see issues with storage if I do. It shoots high quality video for affordable prices and if  you have or buy a editing suite with AVCHD support, it is not a problem and provides high quality video for a low price.

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