Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor

I think it’s important to discover what your editing software can do before buying a camcorder, this is especially so when it comes to AVCHD. As a rule of thumb the most recent version of your software will stand a better chance of editing AVCHD than buying a new solid state camcorder and crossing your fingers.

Apple Final Pro 7, Avid Media Composer 5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and Sony Vegas Pro 10…all of these packages will run AVCHD but sadly none of these NLE software supports 1080 50p which is going to play a bigger part during the introduction of Sony’s NXCAM Super 35mm camcorder due out June/July 2011.

I get at least one phone call a week talking about AVCHD and compatible software and it’s normally people running earlier versions of the above software, I can’t make it more planer if you want to upgrade to HD and especially AVCHD then you must be running the most up to date version of your software to stand a chance.

Everyone wants the best camcorder and usually spends good money on the “flashy” end of the video process but so many of you neglect the belt and braces part of your business the EDIT SOFTWARE the second most important part of your chain and you can’t be bothered spending three to five hundred pounds to upgrade to the latest version of the software !

UPDATE : I guess I missed the best of the lot…EDIUS 6 not only does it handle AVCHD natively but it edits 1080 50p as well…fantastic…sadly unless you are willing to run your MAC in PC mode via Parallels then this software is PC only, I would have been tempted bar for the need for a PC !


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

8 thoughts on “Editing with AVCHD

  1. While Sony Vegas Pro does not have a 1080 50P preset, you can easily change the 1080 50i preset to 50P in about 2 clicks of your mouse. I don’t see what the problem is?

  2. Its probably worth mentioning that Avid 5 dosn’t run AVCHD nativley. You need to import it. Even on an HP z800 workstation it takes about 1.5 times real time, kind of defeating the purpose of tapeless. On the other hand CS4/5 run it natively meaning it takes about 10 times less than real time to “import” quite a difference. I maintain 10 Avid edit suits and upgrading to AVCHD from DV tape has drasticaly slowed down workflow. Some ofthe systems take 3 x real time to import. If only Avid 5 was a good as CS4/5 and worked natively!

  3. Hi Phil, just to get your attention that 1080/50p is no part of the AVCHD specs ( So software companies will probably update it soon, but with *.MP4 extension. Have you tried Sony Vegas Pro 10. In the project settings you can create that template. Do you have a native MP4 1080/50p file? I´m a Sony Vegas Pro trainer I can help you with that. Best regards, Pedro.

  4. Sorry it was the way I threw the 1080 50p into the article…I indeed do realise 1080 50p has nothing to do with AVCHD.

  5. BTW AF-101 can shoot 1080 50p in Variable frame rate mode, but without sound. This runs at about 35mbs compared to the 24mbs of PH mode at the usual settings

  6. That is very interesting indeed though if your edit system does not edit 1080 50p it’s pointless but good to know for the future. Sound could be recorded separately but would be a pig to sync. Possibly Panasonic may be able to do something about the sound in a future firmware update !

  7. As others have pointed out, Sony Vegas Pro 10 handles AVCHD 1080/50p natively. Even the previous version could do so! Your article could do with a minor update / correction…

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