im thinking of purchasing a sony hdr-cx12 camcorder wich records video in the avchd format. i looked aroud on the internet and found that this format can be quite a hand full. now my question is this: will i have any problems with this format in after effects and premiere pro cs4 and cs5? my pc has the following specs: intel pentium dualcore 2.8 ghz, 4Gb ram, geforce 9400gt 1GB, Msi mother board. also i heard that premiere pro cs4 is suposed to have a avchd project function that appears in the project type list at start up, but i dont see it on my menu when i launche premiere. what could be the problem there?
Since you posed in the AE forum, I presume you want to know mainly about AE9 and avchd. The news isn't good, I fear; such long-gop acquisition codes are toxic to AE 9. They definitely cause problems... a wide variety of rendering problems.
The news gets better in AE 10 -- no problems! But the problems shift to your computer. AE 10 (aka CS5) is a 64-bit application; it requires a 64-bit OS like Windows 7. Gotta have a 64-bit OS.
You are also very light on RAM at 4GB, and AE is a no-way-around-it memory HOG! I don't know how much you can stuff into your current machine, but it's an extremely good idea... especially since you intend to work in HD, where the pixel count per frame is about five times as much as an SD picture.
Your machine also has a two-core processor -- no AE multiprocessing for you, sad to say. You can certainly run AE 10, but your renders and RAM previews will take longer.
Well, what about your video card? Can it help make things faster? Not really; it can help with previewing, but NOBODY uses Open GL to accelerate rendering. The folks at Adobe don't use it, which should be a big clue.
It seems you're running into the conundrum faced by many people: you simply upgrade a camera, but it has massive implications for your computer and for your pocketbook. Whether getting the new camera is a good idea or not is something only you can decide.
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Where I work, a lot of the footage we deal with is shot with Sony HVR-Z5U cameras with the add-on digital recorder from Sony. The AVCHD compression that it uses didn't cause me any noticable problems in After Effects CS4. Keep in mind though, that I didn't work with a lot of that footage in AE, but what I did work with was fine.
We didn't have any big problems in Premiere CS4 most of the time, but sometimes with really long projects involving hours/days of footage the main editor's computer would bog down with memory errors. I'm not sure if that was to do with the AVCHD codec or not.
We recently upgraded to CS5 where I work and have so far noticed no problems.
No promises on your camera's flavor of AVCHD, but I actually had fewer problems than expected with it what ours shoots in compared to some footage I've dealth with in the past.
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