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I have read two reviews which complain that downloading to PC from a Panasonic camcorder using the mandatory Panasonic software produces a file in a format which cannot be edited by the usual ULead or Microsoft video editors. Is this correct, what is the format and what is the eventual solution?
Thanks Fruit Bat. What a can of worms you have opened up. From the links you mentioned and explanations in Wikipedia it would seem that Sony and Panasonic haven't really got a mutual standard for .mts files so that video editors are having difficulties in producing compatible programmes. The suggestion to convert .mts to .xvid looks attractive except that it is not clear which programmes can handle xvid. The conclusion is that it is currently unwise to invest in a HD camcorder yet HD is clearly the way to go in the (near?) future.
Which Camcorder are you referring to?
I have a Panasonic HD Camcorder that uses the m2ts fiel format. Windows Movie Maker is unable to handle it. I don't know about Ulead. I use Panasonic HD Writer program for my editing. I have also used Serif MoviePlus but have found it to be slow with large files.
My previous post was a bit misleading. The AVCHD format is m2ts but the Panasonic HD Writer allows you to convert these to mpg format. These can be edited in Windows Movie Maker. I'm using Vista and I think that Windows 7 may be able to handle AVCHD much better.
Thanks Woolwell. The camcorder I was considering was the Panasonic HDC-??60 either the HD, TM or SD version. Does Panasonic HD writer come as part of the software supplied with the camcorder or does it have to be purched/downloaded separately?
Currently I am still on XP with ULead VideoStudio 11 as my video editor.
I have the Panasonic HDC-TM10 and it came with HD Writer on a disc. The webpage for the HDC-SD60 click here states that the supplied software is HD Writer.
ULead VideoStudio 11 Plus is supposed to be able to cope with AVCHD but if you look on the web you will find that people have had problems with importing it. However I think that there may be work rounds.
One of the problems that I hadn't foreseen was that ideally I would need a blu-ray burner otherwise burnt DVD's aren't to the same spec.
One of the articles I read recommended that you should save the original .mts file for some future date when conversion facilities have advanced and in the meanwhile convert a copy to AVCHD from which I presume you can produce a standard definition DVD instead of an HD one. How do you think the Panasonic HD Writer compares with other editing programmes?
The AVCHD file is m2ts format and you can keep it in that format. In fact with the HD Writer when you re-save (convert) the file in mpg format you still keep the original so you end up with 2 files. I use a 16Gb and 32Gb memory card and read off them. The problem I have come across is playing an edited file on a TV. You can put an edited AVCHD file back on a memory card and then get the camera to play it linked by HDMI cable. However I miss a blu-ray burner to be able to keep HD videos on DVD otherwise they end up as SD.
The Panasonic HD Writer is fairly basic but is the best way I have found to capture the video to PC and to export. You can edit clips by partially deleting, splitting and add titles and transitions. You get a timeline. My other experience is MoviePLus which has more features. With HD video you need a large HD and plenty of ram and processing power. I store videos on a 1Tb external disc as back up.
HD Writer is on a par with or perhaps better than Windows Movie Maker.
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