Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac

Started Jun 10, 2013 | Discussions
GregNC
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Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
Jun 10, 2013

Took the family to one of those Zipline places in Mass this weekend and took lots of videos and photos.  Unfortunately when I got back home tonight and tried to download to my Macbook, the photos downloaded but the videos did not.

I typically just plug the SD card into the side of my Macbook SD slot rather then the wireless route.

Looking for solution as to how do I get my vids into my Mac?  Thanks in Advance.

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GreginNorthCarolina

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RGBCMYK
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to GregNC, Jun 10, 2013

unless you set your camera to record mp4's you will need to use additional software to view.  I used Adobe Premier

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Tommygun45
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to RGBCMYK, Jun 10, 2013

Look into manually doing it. They are in a directory in there with a weird file name. Download VLC the video program. Its an orange and white cone. That program will let you view them but they will be huge. I hate using AVCHD on my 2008 macbook because they are so intensive it slows it down too much. But the quality is great.

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redsim74
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to GregNC, Jun 10, 2013

I believe that to import AVCHD files you need to connect the camera directly to the Mac, rather than using an SD card reader.

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RGBaker
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to redsim74, Jun 10, 2013

redsim74 wrote:

I believe that to import AVCHD files you need to connect the camera directly to the Mac, rather than using an SD card reader.

You can simply drag and drop the file from the SD card to your computer -- it is called simply 'PRIVATE' and has a Quicktime logo.  All your clips will be in this single file.  You can view it with QT or with VLC view, or if you want to import it and break out the clips you will need to use iMovie and point it at this same file.
I use either Clipwrap, a low cost app, or Premiere, to bring the clips into editing software.
Cheers,
GB

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Rob Sims
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to GregNC, Jun 10, 2013

GregNC wrote:

Took the family to one of those Zipline places in Mass this weekend and took lots of videos and photos.  Unfortunately when I got back home tonight and tried to download to my Macbook, the photos downloaded but the videos did not.

I typically just plug the SD card into the side of my Macbook SD slot rather then the wireless route.

Looking for solution as to how do I get my vids into my Mac?  Thanks in Advance.

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GreginNorthCarolina

iMovie works.  I believe it should already be installed on your mac.  If you took your video at 60 fps (instead of the default 30) there might be an issue and you'll need a 3rd party converter.

In future (I know it doesn't help with the videos you already took!) you might want to think about just switching the video quality to MP4 in the settings on your camera, especially if it's for family clips where convenience is desired.

The quality of the MP4 files are still pretty good (1440x1080 30fps) and results in each clip creating an individual file. The chunky compression they employ also keeps them relatively small in size (@12Mbps), which is a huge bonus if you want to share them.  I personally find they're good enough and easier to work with than the massive AVCHD file, although you obviously lose the 1920x1080 60fps option (@28Mbps!!).  Here's a quick video I made earlier (which doesn't show the full quality was it was only uploaded at 720p):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3crMP50A_w

- I can already sense that a videographer is watching over me and will break in now to scold me for suggesting using mp4, so I'll best make a quick run for it!

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Rob Sims
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to Rob Sims, Jun 10, 2013

This site has a better explanation of the video formats than what I attempted to explain above:

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/sony-nex-6/sony-nex-6VIDEO.HTM

Also has a couple of sample videos shot at the different settings.

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GregNC
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to Rob Sims, Jun 10, 2013

Thanks to all that replied to my thread.  It appears that I will have to find a third party software to do what I want, although I'm going to try the drag and drop first as suggested and see if that works.  And from now on I will use Mp4 format.  I was following a suggestion by a professional to us APCHD as a better format, but if you can't use it what good is it? If I do find a simply solution I will post here for your information as well.

Have a great day all.  Cheers - Greg

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GreginNorthCarolina

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RGBaker
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to GregNC, Jun 10, 2013

I'm not sure how you come to the conclusion you can't use it -- I do, and it is the 'better' format of the options.  If you want to use half the bit rate, an anamorphic format of lower resolution then have at it, but it seems odd to describe the higher rate, higher resolution format as unusable.

A drag and drop will transfer it, as will the free iMovie.  Quicktime will play it as will the free VLC.

Cheers,
GB

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saintz
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to GregNC, Jun 10, 2013

The new version of iPhoto and Aperture support AVCHD, although not 1080p60 (only the lower quality). If you upgrade iPhoto it will automatically import.

Otherwise, manually import using Quicktime to open the PRIVATE file on the SD card and then save the movies off.

Or just shoot in MP4 from now on.

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GregNC
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Re: Transferring AVCHD videos to my Mac
In reply to saintz, Jun 12, 2013

SUCCESS!!! downloaded the trial version of Clipwrap and it worked like a charm even on the 60fps format!  Now I need to get one of the steady-cam units so you don't feel like you're going to puke from the movement of my videos!

Thanks all for your inputs!

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GreginNorthCarolina

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