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Saving and Converting AVCHD

NJMike
Contributor

Hello all.  

 

I have two questions here.  There first one is how do most people transfer the AVCHD files from their Canon video camera to a hard drive for archiving?  I used to use "Data Import Utility" and this program would identify the files not backed up yet and transfer them as .mts files to my external drive.  I then had those files to go back to if I ever needed to.  This was very helpful because I recently had to do that.  Data Import Utility was made by a third party and it is no longer compatible with the newer Mac OS.  Therefore, how do you transfer your AVCHD files for backup?

 

Question 2.  In the past, I would convert the .mts files to QT movies using Final Cut Pro.  I recently discovered that the newer versions of Mac OS no longer recognizes some of the QT's that I created.  These QT's were created using a certain codec that was offered by Final Cut Pro, "intermediate" I believe.  Luckily I still had the original .mts files to go back to and create new QT's using a different codec that my Mac OS recognizes.  Therfore, I am wondering what codec you use when transferring the AVCHD or .mts files to QT in whatever editing program you are using?  Is there one safe, universal codec that all computers will recognize and play?  I am currently using Premiere Pro as my editing software.

 

Thank you for any insight you can provide.

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

rs-eos
Authority

For years now, I just copy the entire contents of the SD card.  I have an iMac Pro along with external LaCie RAID units that have built-in SD-card readers.

 

On my data RAID, I maintain an "Original Media" folder.  With subfolders named as needed and finally the various contents of the SD card within that.

 

In terms of what files to convert, you sometimes have to dig into things a bit.  For example, for an older Canon cam, there was a "PRIVATE" folder and inside of that a "file" named "AVCHD".  This file is actually a "package" in the eyes of macOS.  So right-click, and select "Show Package Contents".  That then revealed another "package" named "BDMV".  Right-click that, and select "Show Package Contents".  Finally, that revealed a "STREAM" folder with all the individual .MTS files in it.

 

Other cams may use different folder structures.

 

In terms of what codec I use... First, as you have done, I always keep the original files.  For intermediate files, I just use ProRes (for now, standard ProRes; i.e. I dont yet need to use say the HQ or higher quality flavors).  For output, I've been doing two formats: H.264 and H.265.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

View solution in original post

5 REPLIES 5

rs-eos
Authority

For years now, I just copy the entire contents of the SD card.  I have an iMac Pro along with external LaCie RAID units that have built-in SD-card readers.

 

On my data RAID, I maintain an "Original Media" folder.  With subfolders named as needed and finally the various contents of the SD card within that.

 

In terms of what files to convert, you sometimes have to dig into things a bit.  For example, for an older Canon cam, there was a "PRIVATE" folder and inside of that a "file" named "AVCHD".  This file is actually a "package" in the eyes of macOS.  So right-click, and select "Show Package Contents".  That then revealed another "package" named "BDMV".  Right-click that, and select "Show Package Contents".  Finally, that revealed a "STREAM" folder with all the individual .MTS files in it.

 

Other cams may use different folder structures.

 

In terms of what codec I use... First, as you have done, I always keep the original files.  For intermediate files, I just use ProRes (for now, standard ProRes; i.e. I dont yet need to use say the HQ or higher quality flavors).  For output, I've been doing two formats: H.264 and H.265.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

Hello and thank you so much for the response.  I tried what you suggrdted and it worked!  I am now able to extract just the mts files and archive them.  Thank you so much for your help.  I do have another question now that maybe you will know the answer to.  When the Data Import Utility program would transfer the mts files, it would put them all in their own folders labeled with the date the files were shot.  Now that I can save the mts files, is there a way to see what date they were shot?  Thank you again for your help.

Glad to hear you have a working solution now.

 

In terms of dates, the .MTS files themselves should have that info.  e.g. I just looked at some of the .MTS files in Finder and the created date and modified date is when that clip was captured.

 

You can use the 'as List' mode in your Finder window to see all the Date Modified values at once for the files.   Just in case the files were modified somehow beyond their creation, you can configure the Finder settings to include "Created Date" in the view options.  The created date should always be when the clips were actually captured.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x

I don't know why I didn't think of this before posting the question.  So simple yet I couldn't figure it out.  I want to thank you for your hellp with this issue.  This is not the first time I have tried to get an answer to a workaround for Data Import Utility but it is the first time that someone offered a solution that works.  You're very kind to offer your help and I hope you have a great holiday season.  Thanks again.

Have a great holiday as well! Glad I could be of help.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS, EF-EOS R 0.71x
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