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AVCHD Import

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Scott LoganAVCHD Import
by on Dec 25, 2012 at 9:13:55 pm

My camera (Panasonic FZ150) doesn't appear to be supported by FCPX for AVCHD import. Bummer! When my SD card shows up on the Mac Pro desktop the .MTS files are buried at the end of the following path, which involves using the Finder's "Show Package Contents": PRIVATE > AVCHD > BDMV > STREAM > and finally the FOLDER containing the .MTS files. They won't open with MPEG Streamclip but will open with VLC. I've read everything I can find online regarding a workaround without any luck. Any suggestions? Am I faced with purchasing a 3rd party AVCHD to Apple ProRes converter of some sort? If so, does anyone have a free or paid converter suggestion? I see there's a bunch of them out there but wouldn't know which to choose. I'm running Mountain Lion, BTW. Thanks very much!

PS: here's a "Get Info" screenshot from one of the .MTS files in case it's helpful: screenshot2012-12-25at4.02.36pm.jpg [x]


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Tom WolskyRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 25, 2012 at 9:20:39 pm

What version of the software are you using? What exactly happens when you open the Import window? What do you see?

P.S. Your image doesn't appear in the forum.

All the best,

Tom

"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press
"Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"



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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 25, 2012 at 9:49:39 pm

Hello and Merry Christmas.

FCPX 10.0.5

When I click on Camera Import (the video camera icon) my camera does not show up there and the main pane of the window is blank. Some of my drives appear in the pane on the left but they're not accessible. The only thing I can do in this window is Open Archive, and when I go this route and navigate to my SD card, or a copy of its contents on the desktop— the PRIVATE folder I need access to is grayed out.


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Fabrizio D'AgnanoRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 25, 2012 at 10:30:37 pm

Hello.
I sometimes use a Panasonic AVCHD camcorder and if I'm not wrong (I don't have it with me at the moment) it builds the same structure, but FCPX sees and imports the files with no problem. Have you tried building a .dmg of the card somewhere on the media drive and then mount it to see if it shows up in the import window?
Regards

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:41:42 am

Thanks Fabrizio! I did create a disk image as you suggested, of the entire archive. It did show up in the import window, but I still got the "unsupported media" error message when trying to import from it.


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Fabrizio D'AgnanoRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 12:29:40 pm

I guess you already tried another card initialized by the camcorder, shooting a standard AVCHD format (not 50P). I happened once to get a corrupted card giving me more or less the same problem (I had used the card with two different camcorders and something got mixed up). If not, it could help sorting out where the problem is.

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:02:22 pm

Nope, I hadn't thought to try another card, Fabrizio, but when doing so it worked! Import and playback were both normal. Thanks for the suggestion! So, with the problem being with the SD card, here are two new questions:

1) any suggestions for a replacement SD card brand and model? The card that failed was a Transcend 16GB SDHC, and the original that came with the camera was a Kingston 2GB SD.


2) I now have 4GB of AVCHD footage on the failed card I'd like to salvage. The files will open with VLC, and I just discovered they'll also open with Handbrake, but not with MPEG Streamclip. Can you suggest a software tool for salvaging this footage in a way that keeps it looking great at economical file sizes, and also produces file types that are FCPX friendly?


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Tom WolskyRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:55:25 pm

1) Kingston are usually reliable. The important point is to make sure it is a class 8 or better card.

2) Software like Card Rescue can be helpful.

All the best,

Tom

"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press
"Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"



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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 6:01:07 pm

Thanks so much for your time and coaching, Tom. Much appreciated.

Happy New Year!


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Fabrizio D'AgnanoRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 5:30:49 pm

I am glad it worked. Before going for a replacement card I'd try to see if it was an hardware problem with it or just some corrupted file. You already have the .dmg on a drive, so you have a copy of the card content for trying a further recovery . I think you can initialize the card inside the camcorder, shoot a few clips, and see how it works. You can do it a few times, and it everything works fine, you can blame it on a corrupted file or such, saving the card for future use. I can't help you about the software for converting the mts files to mov at full quality. At the time I had the same problem I downloaded a couple of cheap ones named "AVCHD Converter" and "SmartConverter", both from the Apple Store, but I remember on of the two was not offering a full quality conversion. I have them at my office, I'll be there tomorrow and I'll check.

Regards

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 5:59:35 pm

Great idea to initialize and test the card before chucking it. I'll do that.

Thanks so much for your time and coaching, Fabrizio. Happy New Year!


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Fabrizio D'AgnanoRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 6:36:49 pm

You're welcome. I was saved by people sharing knowledge and experience in this great forum so many times that I am glad I can be of some help for somebody once in a while myself :-)
Happy New Year to you!

Fabrizio D'Agnano
Rome, Italy


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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 7:52:38 pm

Paying it forward is a beautiful thing, indeed, Fabrizio.

Just wanted you to know that I did reformat the SD card that appeared to have failed and it seems OK now. You saved me a few bucks there. Nice! Thanks again!


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Tom WolskyRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 25, 2012 at 10:52:33 pm

Do not navigate inside the archive. Simply select the archive, the top layer, and click Open.

It would be simpler if you updated the software

All the best,

Tom

"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press
"Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"



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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 6:18:40 am

Thanks Tom.

I also get the "unsupported media" error message when I import the ENTIRE archive directly from the card, as you suggested.

Then I updated FCPX to 10.0.6 (trial version). I expected to receive 10.0.7 which appears to be the latest version, but that's not what I got... and software update says I'm current? Customer feedback for 10.0.7 at the FCPX download page looks pretty scary. Anyway, with the new version installed I tried the import again and two out of nine files made it in, which seemed very odd, and each was marked "rejected", with a red X. Also, once moved to the timeline the two clips wouldn't play.


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Tom WolskyRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 8:18:35 am

Something is very wrong here. I think something has been screwed up in the processed. I have no idea what rejected means in this context or why clips wouldn't play.

The only problem might be if there are multiple formats on the card mixed together. The camera I think can shoot different formats and not all are AVCHD.

All the best,

Tom

"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press
"Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"



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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 26, 2012 at 3:33:43 pm

Thanks Tom. As you may have seen in my prior post to Fabrizio the problem appears to have been with my SD card.

If you have time, I'd value your response, also, to the two new questions I asked in my prior post to Fabrizio. Thank you!


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Don SmithRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 12:19:18 pm

Scott, just covering a base here, have you possibly renamed any part of the camera card that won't import? FCPX is looking for a particular file structure. Compare folder names with a card that worked.

NewsVideo.com


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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:40:01 pm

Good thought, Don.

No, I never changed anything within the file structure of the suspect card. Still, I would compare the suspect card with a working card if I could, but I have since reformatted the suspect card, which is working normally again. All that remains from the copy of the suspect card I did have are the .MTS files.

By the way, Don— or anyone— can you suggest a tool I can use to convert these .MTS files (in a lossless way) so they become importable by FCPX?

Thank you!


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Don SmithRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:44:18 pm

I paid $36 for iSkysoft Video Converter for the Mac and have had good luck with MTS files. Are they lossless? I don't know but visually indistinguishable from the original. I convert them to ProRes.

You may not know but you want the original file structure because its those other files that will dictate which clips should be reassembled as one (spanning) so that you don't have a clip ending in the middle of a word and you have to butt the next clip to it to get the full shot.

http://www.iskysoft.com

NewsVideo.com


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Tom WolskyRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 3:55:03 pm

ClipWrap simply rewraps to QuickTime without recompressing and converts the audio to uncompressed.

All the best,

Tom

"Final Cut Pro X for iMovie and Final Cut Express Users" from Focal Press
"Complete Training for FCPX" from Class on Demand
Class on Demand DVDs "Complete Training for FCP7," "Basic Training for FCS" and "Final Cut Express Made Easy"



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Scott LoganRe: AVCHD Import
by on Dec 29, 2012 at 4:02:29 pm

Good to know, Tom. Thanks!


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