If you are like any other consumer out there who has recently purchased an HD, high-definition camcorder, most of you may have encountered some difficulty downloading and editing your HD video files. Most of the latest camcorders, especially those that record to either SD, SDHC, or Hard-Drive media, are encoded in AVCHD format. Until recently, many of the comsumer versions of editing software applications did not support AVCHD, but now there are a few that are starting to support it and can import AVCHD files directly from popular camcorders. Some can even open and edit AVCHD files already copied to a hard disk.

I recently purchased both the Canon HG-10, which is a high-definition hard-drive camcorder, as well as the Panasonic HDC-SD9, which is a high-definition camcorder available in Japan and records to SD and SDHC memory. Of course, the Canon camara came with Corel software for use with the AVCHD files and the Panasonic camera came with a program offered by Panasonic, and it was in Japanese only. So, I did some experimenting trying to find the right solution to edit AVCHD files on my computer. After trying Corel, iMovie, Sony Vegas 8, and Nero, I tried Pinnacle's Studio 11 Ultimate software.

The level at which these various software platforms support AVCHD files at this point differs. I have to say that honesly, if you are looking for a program that will support importing, and editing of any AVCHD file, Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate is the way to go for under $500.

Just to give you a little more info, I am running Windows Vista Ultimate on a dual-core, 4GB machine with a NVidia 8800GTX video card, so I shouldnt have any probelms editing files, right? Wrong! Especially with Sony's Vegas 8. It would accept and open the files that I downloaded first to my computer, however, the preview playback was incredibly choppy and the final export of the converted movie (converted to .mov), was awful, choppy, and missing frames. Sony says support for Panasonic AVCHD is in the works but apparently the problem is that Sony currenty only supports video files taken from its line of camcorders. As a side note, this is the reason that I refuse to purchase Sony products, this is typical and I wish I had not wasted the $99 on the software.

When I opened the AVCHD files into Pinnacle (both files from the Canon and from the Panasonic), I had a wonderful experience and it played back perfectly, exported perfectly, etc…. Couldnt be more happy with it…

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The bottom line is that you can use $100 consumer software to work with HD formats — but make sure you have the new versions, and check for the latest updates. The developers are still working to catch up to the new formats (like AVCHD), and to new ways of accessing formats..

All that being said, here is a run down of some of the more popular consumer video editing applications that are starting to support AVCHD files.

  • Pinnacle Studio 11 Ultimate version provides an end-to-end HD video editing workflow, including native HDV and AVCHD editing ($99). It did the best job of working with AVCHD videos on my system — opening, playing, editing, and exporting with good response. Studio could browse quickly though the AVCHD folder structure, view thumbnails of the clip files, and then click to preview the clips. The interface was very responsive, dragging the slider to scan though the clip, playing fast forward and reverse modes at 2, 4, and 10X speeds, and even resizing the application window while playing video. It also has a handy full-screen playback mode.
  • VideoStudio 11 Plus version supports HD formats including AVCHD and MPEG-2 HD ($129). It would not open individual AVCHD files, but it could import clips from a folder. VideoStudio was a bit sluggish when dealing with AVCHD files. It took seconds to switch between the editing steps.
  • Sony Vegas Studio 8 Platinum supports HD video, including HDV capture and editing ($119). It also supports AVCHD import and edit, but only from Sony camcorders.
  • CyberLink PowerDirector 6 supports high-definition video editing, with the HDV format for capture, editing, and export back to tape ($89).
  • Nero Vision 4 supports HDV and AVCHD editing (part of the Nero 7 Ultra Edition Enhanced suite, $79). It processed HDV files after renaming to .MPG, and played and scanned though AVCHD files.

Here is a good resource for AVCHD information:

AVCHD Information - www.avchd-info.org

  • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

    Did you see the date of the post? Agreed that it may be misleading now - and we didnt touch upon the PRO version. Almost every video editing application available today edits AVCHD - but when this was published, that was not the case.

  • Anonymous

    A friend of mine buyed a Sony NX5 M camera that records as avchd. he recorded in full hd and I edited in a pc I recently made. it is a i7 3820 with 32 gb ram ddr 3, raid mode 0 (strip) 3x500 gb, video card leadtek nvidia gtx580 3 gb. have test it with pinancle studio and adobe premiere 5.5. it is hardly editable this hormat compared to any other format. as a note, in adobe and pinnacle I checked and cpu was always as 15 % and ram at 20%. video card is not the isue as well. the project renders fast, around half of the time of the movie (with transitions, chapters etc) but the editing is a nightmare. I can't belive that in so many years since the format apeared no one figured a solution to make it play normal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002420547016 Wolfgang Schäfer

    Ich habe gar nicht lange rum experimentiert und habe mir gleich das Avid Studio, “ehemalig Pinnacle“, gekauft -130€- Es hat alles was ein Hobby Filmeschneider braucht.

    • Svenja Schäfer

      ja dann hoffe ich mal das "Der Svenja Film"bald fertig auf cd ist =)bitte!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000726875578 Ari Iyong Prabuningantahbrantah


  • Daniel Gelson

    I worked with AVCHD format this past weekend. it took me all of friday night to figure out how I was going to convert it to an editable format....without knowing which program could infact import/read/edit AVCHD. My friends CANON is actually a sweet little camera. It does what she needs it to do. However, I learned of a little program by Nch software called Prism Video File Converter. I was able to simply double click the mts file from the sd card...Prism opened and gave me options to convert it to at least 12-15 different formats. With that said I converted her short videos to.avi and then used windows live movie maker for windows 7 ultimate on an i3 3.0 gig acer laptop and rendered teh video without skipping sound. Everything stayed sync'd and we were able to view the video on a brand new 55" samsung led lcd hdtv in high def...even after converting the file to avi. I did try to convert it to wmv and it was faulty...where the picture stopped after 20 seconds and the sound continued. The sony blue ray player played the avi files from a CD even...my friend did not have any dvd's nor did we need more space than 500 mb's for her movie. She's a happy camper now. :-) I tried ulead video studio and avid pinnacle 15...both gave me issues just trying to import the files. Hats off 'this time' to windows 7 and windows live movie maker....never crashed...the output was flawless and I'm a happy camper too. keep in mind I'm not a hardcore video expert. All I was looking to do was cut, add captions a title and make one video from 7. Worked great.

  • Sebastião Sefyu Sendor

    You can't normalize audio in Studio. Useless!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001625186097 Благоја Василевски

    Once you edit the AVCHD using Pinnacle 14.....in what format would the work be saved on the comp? I am experimenting with AVS Video Editor but the final project is saved as a "AVI" format. which I assume is a great loss in quality. What is the point bying a full HD cam if you cant create, burn and then watch in full HD. the cam I am using is a canon legria hf s20. she's a beauty. A program came with the cam called "Image mixer 3" which captures the AVCHD and stores it as a AVCHD. But unfortunately, the edditing options is poor. Only options it offers is adding music and titles. No special effects such as transitions etc.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000059432673 Paxton Pronojit

    SONY VEGAS is best for me...its quality is so good.

  • Stephen Max


  • Lawal Sani Kona

    well after reading the posts from this site I rushed out for pinnacle studio 14 ultimate, what do I get choppy videos before render even the that is what I have converted to mpeg2! for pure and clean AVCHD editing all I get for my attempt is a two minutes in twenty four our rendering process, considering that I am using a dell Studio 1555 laptop with a four gig ram serves me right for attempting to be an early adopter in the african interior abi?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1001195543 Rebecca Hayes Yurkanin

    I think I found the solution to my hd video editing problems. Probably going to go with a newer version of pinnacle that works with HD and SD cards.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000950795984 Paritosh Das


  • Jodi Bernicky

    Thanks for this article--I thought I was going crazy! I've had no luck editing in Adobe Premiere, a program I truly love but will have to abandon.

  • Steven Lang

    I have AVID and its a dificult program and glitchy..Studio is a better program.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000286569998 Nitin Sharma

      no its nt difficult sir

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001276234949 Nashid Nazeer

    ya its good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002369415407 Tony Wu

    That's cool. But I always use this AVCHD Video Editor(http://wannasoft.com/AVCHD-Video-Editor/) to help me edit avchd mts/m2ts video files. Works also great.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000005274043 Niyaz Samad

    v good

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=557191161 Roshan Panjwani


  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001098535639 Talha Masood Tufail

    how its work.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001469329611 Bammidi Santosh Kumar


  • Arnon

    Regardless of editing software : The most important parameter is the system requirement
    You have to have a killer pc with a monster processor something most owners of pc don't have unless purchased with video editing in mind....

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyle-Murphy/508381690 Kyle Murphy

    Thank-you Mark. I was having the worse time trying to edit/convert footage in the AVCHD format. Windows Media player would play the file smoothly, even off my SD card. But when I went into the editing rink, Premiere let me down big time. Cyberlink was better, but still horribly choppy, had the hardest time syncing audio w/ music. I read your suggestion and WOW! Pinnacle Ultimate 14 is not only completely smooth, but renders transitions in bg without a hitch. Maybe cuz I have quad-core, but running w/ onboard graphics so nothing fancy here. I practically tried to make it crash and it just wouldn't. This is how it should be. You can literally drag and drop your AVCHD file from your memory card right into the timeline and start editing... not that I recommend that but it's pretty nifty. Once again, thank-you for simplifying my life, I feel like I owe you a beer or something.


  • Eddy Wilde

    Thanks for the info! Really helped! ;D

  • Bad Boy

    Maximize your ability to edit video with the amazing new Movavi Video Editor video editing program!

    Here's what the Movavi Video Editor video editing software gives you:

    Video editing timeline panel lets you edit video with separate video, audio, and title tracks
    Unique input media sources: screencast, video and audio capture from camcorders, TV-tuners and VHS capture devices
    Professional-grade filters


  • A

    You review and comments are very uneducated.

    You cant' expect any consumer level software to handle professional level work.
    $99 dollars is NOTHING for an editing application. Sony Vegas Pro 10 HD is $600 dollars and can handle anything you throw at it.

    You review is VERY misleading. Sony Vegas Pro can crunch nearly any format or codec that comes from the mainline SD and HD cameras out there.
    Typically you have to convert AVCHD files to an intermediate file first. But now Sony Vegas can edit them with no problems.

    Please educate yourself on professional level products and software before making such foolish and misleading comments.

    PS. If you want professional results, SPEND THE MONEY.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Did you read the date of this post? This was written years ago and at the time - hardly any of the software vendors supported AVCHD. Now, they all do.

      • Dave E

        Mark a few years ago I bought Sony Vegas 6 in an effort to edit video taken from my Sony DCR-DVD803E Handycam. The files were stored as .veg files and I have to say with my none existent expertise in videoediting to this day I haven't managed to create single output. I did learn though after weeks of research that the mini dvd format was primarily aimed at editing in the camera.

        I now have a shiny new Sony NEX 5 which records video in AVCHD format however I doubt Vegas 6 supports editing same. It was claimed at the time to support HD video and cost close £500 English pounds. Consequently would you recommend I search for an upgrade from Sony if available or just buy their latest version, is it Sony Vegas 10?
        I guess another question on this topic would be is there something similar to an idiots guide to video editing that would help beginners that you are aware?

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          Hey Dave. Actually, I just talked with Sony here at the CES show in Las Vegas and apparently their new Vegas app does work very well, especially with Sony cameras, so I would definitely recommend that. Check this out - http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/moviestudiope
          I dont know if there is an upgrade but you could do a search for that.

          As for editing, hmm... Im just a beginner myself and dont really know of to much out there, especially with regard to Sony Vegas but perhaps videomaker.com? Let me know if you do find a good resource cause Id love to share it with others.

          Hopefully this helps a bit. Thanks for commenting and thanks for supporting us... :)

  • Ken

    Mark - would it not be more helpful to have the latest comments at the top and then click to load more (older) comments?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Thanks Ken. Ill try that

  • greenlion

    I realize that this is a little old, but it still pops up on a google search for edit avchd. I've had good luck editing video from a panasonic camcorder using pinnacle studio 14 on an i7 computer. Edit and save as avchd (actually m2ts, I think). Video looks good. I watch them on my tv using a western digital WDTV and a thumb drive to transport the files. Pinnacle can burn to dvd, bluray, or post to youtube in a number of formats. HTH.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Im actually using Pinnacle 14 on and i7 right now as I was alerted to your
      comment. Yeah, the post is real old but still pops. I think it might be
      time to update it cause Im afraid people are getting information that is
      outdated but nonetheless - thanks for the comment.

      • Aantyarb

        What system standards do you use for editing.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          system standards??

  • April Welch

    Mark ~ do you have an update to your recommendation? I am new to the video editing 'world' & have been trying to use CyberLink {it keeps locking up/crashing on me}. Honestly, I just want to be able to do some light-weight editing, put a stamp on the entire thing for sponsored vids & add a few title slides.

    I think I'm the next gen of video publishing ~ the Vlogger. You can see what I'm attempting to do on my YouTube channel {http://www.youtube.com/user/MentalClutterCoach}

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can share,


  • Jerry

    Reading with interest...just bought a new AVCHD Canon HF S200...so far so good, and my preference is to remove the SD card and upload directly to the hard drive. I have explored the Pixlar software that comes with the camera...it's very limited. Now as for editing the original file and saving that edited file...maybe I'm not understanding how this all works, but what I have read is that when you pull a file (any file) into the editor and do your thing...add music, make cuts, fades, etc, then save that it's just an edit file. Nothing has actually changed until you render the product. NOW...why you would want to render the file back to an AVCHD file isn't clear..the only thing you can view it on would be a computer "viewer" or the camcorder itself. I'm not sure what other HD file types there are out there...perhaps there are some that will retain the original quality...in my case 1900 X something...hope that helps...


    I have the hardware neaded and pinnacle Studio Ultimate Collection (studio14) installed and as far as i can see i cannot import .MOV files for editing [from Canon Canon Powershot SX 210IS File formats • MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (stereo)]
    I have been using for editing pinnacle studio since edition 9 and i'd rather not change to something else

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      You should be able to as I do in Pinnacle 14 all the time. That is weird.

  • Chry_martin

    Yes, It is very helpfull for me thankx a lot..

  • Cassandra

    I am looking at a flip and sony 110. I want a camcorder that not too expensive because my kids are only 1 year of age. Plus technology changes so quickly. The problem i am having is, the flip HD is convient and the software is easy. Especially uploading to email, facebook, etc. The zoom sucks though. The sony is very nice and i like the camera features , but the software sucks. I want to be able to edit the videos and be able to do something with them. I have asked numerous people about camcorder but no one really has any idea. Could you give me a recommedation or something else to try.

  • Mike Bigelow

    Hey Mark -

    Just bought a panasonic HMC 70 camcorder. It came with Edius neo 2.5 editing software. Didn't know if I was going to like the software at first, just because I got frustrated trying to make it work. After a couple of days of playing with it I have found it to be great. Edits ACVHD in real time, lets you add jpegs, you can also do special effects with it. For those struggling with other software you can take a look at Edius with a trial download. I found it to be very good and burns to DVD's wonderfully.

    Happy shooting to all -

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark R Robertson

      Thanks Mike - good stuff...

  • http://debianize.blogspot.com deeler

    allow me to share how I edit AVCHD footage in Sony Vegas.

    First I convert all AVCHD files using Cineform NeoScene. I use the lowest quality settings as possible. The conversion speed is quite fast that way.

    Second I do all the editing in Vegas, this works pretty smooth.

    Once all this is done, and I'm happy with my project, I close Vegas, and copy the original AVCHD files over the converted ones. You'll need to rename the .MTS extension to .AVI using a batch rename converter.

    Then reopen the project, all scenes are identically cut and render it. In my opinion this workflow is quite usable, there is no choppy playback in Vegas during editing because of the cineform codec and the final render quality is best because you're acually using the original AVCHD files.

    Granted, it's a couple of extra steps, but it's worth it.

  • Stres’d

    Hi there!
    I have a Panasonic HDC-SD9. The editing software it came with is pathetic. I've tried Pinnacle and it's still choppy on my comp (2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, Vista). The only way I've found that works for me is I burn files to disc using Panasonic's HD Writer software and then rip onto my computer with DVD Shrink before putting into PowerDirector for editing...and then of course I have to burn again onto DVDs for the final edited product. I know this is time consuming and eats up a lot of discs but I'm old school and not very techie (obvious). I just want to put my home videos on DVD (and make them a bit flash while I'm at it) but this process is really hindering my want to create anything.

    The setback with this also is when I burn my final edited videos from PowerDirector onto a DVD I can only fit an hour's worth of video. I'm wondering if you know a program or a way to convert files maybe, that I can fit at least 2hrs worth of vids onto a 4.7GB DVD-R disc?

    I don't know if this is the right place to ask for help but I've tried so many forums already. With the time I'm spending finding a solution in internet forums, I could be burning to disc from HD Writer!!

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Is the whole reason that you want to make the disk with 2 hours because of
      the issue with getting it into pinnacle?

  • moz

    if you want a professional result purchase professional software either Adobe CS4, Final Cut Studio, or Sony Pro9. I have a canon handycam, and a Sony Nxcam5.

  • Jordan Basurto

    Is it good that I use Sony Vegas 8.0 to edit the videos off of my Creative Vado HD 2nd generation? This is solely to be able to upload them on to YouTube in the highest definition possible.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Do you actually do any editing or just transcoding?

  • mm

    Well, I think it's best to wait and see what comes out on the market in a couple of months/years.

    At least the comments seem to reflect that the software isn't ready for AVCHD yet.

    In the meantime, I will just record everything on DVD on my Panasonic DVD recorder which hopefully has a component input.

  • georgelsmith

    In anticipation of editing AVCHD files from my Sony HDR-CX520V camcorder, I updated my Pinnacle Studio Ultimate Vs 11 to Vs 14, and my Adobe Premiere Elements from Vs 3 to Vs 8.

    Pinnacle 14 was able to import, edit, and render AVCHD files, however it could NOT burn a DVD+R DL disc...required as my video was 1.5hrs in duration. I went so far as to purchase a new external HP DVD1170e burner to see if that might be the problem...but no luck. However, as this purchase included a copy of Nero...I was able to independently burn a dual-layer DVD from the rendered files created by Pinnacle 14. I could NOT burn those same files to a dual-layer DVD using the 2009 version of Roxio Creator. I'm still working with Avid to get Vs 14 fixed!

    I downloaded a trial copy of Adobe's "Premiere Elements Vs 8," and was happy to discover that it too could import the AVCHD files, edit them, and render and burn to a dual-layer DVD disc. I then purchased a copy of V8, installed it, and rebuilt the entire video consisting of 52 AVCHD clips. A problem appeared when I attempted to insert transitions into the video...V8 would unmercifully crash. Researching Adobe's website I found the solution to be to download/install current video card drivers (esp. if you were using an nVidia video card...which I am). I did, and the problem was fixed. So...bottom line is...Adobe's Premiere Elements Vs 8 works just fine with my Sony AVCHD files.

    In either case...one should have a more recent PC using a muliple-core CPU running at a fast clock speed, along with as much RAM as you can install/use, and some large HDDs to go with it. I am using a custom-built PC using Intel Motherboard, Intel Core-2 Duo CPU running at 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM, and Terabytes of HDD space. Editing AVCHD files requires up to around 4x resources as one would be utilizing for MPEG-2 files...anything less resource-wise will be a real slouch.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Thanks George - Perfect... I agree completely and have seen exactly the
      same results. Please let us know when you get Pinnacle fixed ;-)

  • http://www.planetkido.com/ ula

    Did you check AVS editor? I have hd sonycx500v and this program which suppose to support avchd formats.It supports but when you start editing and preview it slows down the movie,breaks like a robot.Why? their support service say that it support hd.I have 2 brand new computers,knowledge about editing,but this I don't get.None of my comp.can make a movie with AVS,and I spend money on it.If you can find me an answer,I will be happy.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      yeah, Ive been unable to use AVS for other reasons but I will say that AVCHD
      files are quite large and do make sure that you arent running other programs
      at the same time - you will need as much of the CPU and Ram as you can to
      work with those files. I would suggest converting the avchd files first to
      quicktime, avi or mp4 and then go from there.

  • Shirley Thornton

    I just purchased a Canon Vixia HG21 HD camcorder. I am working on a documentary film for my church. My big concerns are sound and editing. What is a reasonably priced lavalier mic system for this camera? What editing software do you recommend for a novice? What headphones work best? I am excited about the project, but the tech part of this whole thing is putting a damper on everything.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson


      Thanks for your comment. 1) What would you consider reasonably priced for the mic? I think a wireless mic system is best but runs starting at about $500+ for a good one. 2)depends if you are on a mac or PC? Let me know 3) Any headphones will do. Sounds like a good project. Provide me with some clarification and I think I can help and answer your needs. Thanks for visiting ReelSEO and please read us when you can.

  • amweather

    Thanks for your information. I just got a Samsung HD Camcorder. So, after reading your info, am I to understand that you need a pretty beefed up computer to handle the video? I have a PC that has a Sempron Processor. 1.80 GHz, 1.43 GB of RAM. So, am I going to have to get a different computer to edit? I have downloaded and use Splash lite to view and that seems to help with the choppiness, but I can't use the editing program that comes with the camera, because it won't play the video (choppiness) well to find spots were I want to edit. Does that make sense?

    I'm just frustrated that I can't do what I want with the video files.

  • krupo

    Just returned from a trip with a borrowed camera recording AVCHDs - wanted to figure out which folder in the rats' nest of directories contained the movies - found it in the comments, the MTS files in the STREAMS folder. The added bonus was realizing Media Player can play the file straight, if you're impatient to see how the recordings came out.

    Editing can come later. :)

  • confused20

    someone please help! i have a brand new sony full HD quality camcorder, and editing AVCHD video files seems impossible with the software i now have (Aimersoft, AoA DVD ripper & editor, and of course the freebies provided by microsoft). I just want a simple, easy-to-use software that lets me take pictures of videos, trim videos to edit out the dead wood in-between the good shots, and maybe some nifty transitions for videos that are broken up into fragments. anyone have any advice on what to software to buy??

    • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

      Have you tried Sony Vegas - should work well with your Sony camcoder... If
      you dont want that, Id try either Pinnacle or Adobe Premier Elements. If
      you have a Mac - go with Final Cut, Final Cut Pro, or iMovie... Hope this
      helps. if not, feel free to email me or comment again and Ill help ya out.
      Thanks for commenting

      • Shibbyz21

        Hey, I just purchased a Canon Vixia HF S10. I have Pinnacle Studio Ultimate 11, but when I import my clips into the timeline, the clips are extremely laggy and I can't edit anything. When I export the video, it looks just fine though...what am I doing wrong?

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          I'm guessing that your computer is slow? Make sure it is tg only
          program running and turn off background rendering in the settings.
          Let me know if that helps.

          Sent from my mobile phone. Please forgive any typos.

        • Shibbyz21

          my computer actually isn't that slow normally. i turned off background rendering and it helped it a bit, but it's still laggy to the point of being impossible to edit.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          Interesting, I havent had that much of a problem but on my brand new
          computer, there is some lag, not that much though. Do you have ample memory
          - >2G, ideally 4G or more? how long is the clip that you are trying to
          edit? are you running other programs at the same time? Hopefully we can
          figure this out.

        • Shibbyz21

          i have 4 gb. i've tried different lengths of clips all day. some are 3 seconds, some are 10-15 seconds. i don't understand why these clips would lag in the preview/editing stage, but look completely fine when exported.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          Gosh, I just dont know - is the whole clip lagging, or just the audio? One
          other thing to try - disabling full resolution preview in the settings and
          see if that helps... Let me know.

        • Shibbyz21

          the audio isn't even lagging! it's just the video. it's completely crazy. i really appreciate your help. the "enable full resolution preview" box hasn't been checked so i guess that isn't the problem.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          ahhh.. i dont know. id say restart the computer but i imagine you've
          tried that ;-(

        • Shibbyz21

          yep. multiple times. would it be worth upgrading to the newest Pinnacle Studio, or getting Windows 7?

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          I think so but I didnt have those problems when I had vista and 11. Now I
          have windows 7 and pinnacle 14, but it worked for me when I had the vista,
          11, and 4GB of ram. Are you importing the MTS files directly in or are you
          trying to capture them somehow?

        • Shibbyz21

          importing them in directly using a program that came with the camcorder.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          hmmm... Ive never done that. Try going into the drive and copying the .mts
          files directly to the computer and then browse for them from within the edit
          panel on Pinnacle. I say that only because I dont know what the software is
          doing with the files. they should be inside the 'streams' folder if memory
          serves me correctly

        • Shibbyz21

          alright i'll give it a try. i'm out of town for the next 9 days, so i won't be able to sit down and figure it out until then. again, thanks for all the help...i'll let you know what happens.

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          sorry I couldnt be of more help. I would try that and lets hope that it

    • Bernie


      I have the same situation. I have a Sony HDR-HC7 but can't edit. Did you but the Sony Vegas 9 and how did it work out?


      • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

        I didnt but I hear from friends that Sony Vegas works great with sony
        cameras with AVCHD. Try downloading a trial and using that. Let us know
        how that works out.

  • Leow CT

    thanks for your post, the info provided benefited me significantly.

    I am very new to HD and just bought a SONY HD camcrder recently with Vegas. I am looking for a S/W to edit my SONY AVCHD file, and be able convert the editing outcome into HD format, is there any way?
    Reason being, if I convert the file into DVD format, there would be lost in resolution, am I correct?

  • tonyfinbarrsmith

    I have a canon hg10 and have been editing avchd successfully on sony vegas platinum 8.

    There is a plugin from canon that makes it work, but now I can't find it (editing on a new machine now).

    very frustrating. but be advised; it IS possible to edit canon avchd files in sony vegas.


  • Alejandro Ramos

    Thanks for your advice. Is an amazing help

    You did a great job¡¡¡¡¡

    Best regards form Mexico

  • Mike

    I just tested Adobe Premiere Elements 7 and Sony Vegas 9 on my computer, here is what I found out.

    My computer is a 4 year old HP Pavilion using P4 CPU at 3 GHz with 2 GB RAM.
    My Camcorder is a Sony HDR-XR520V

    The Adobe Premiere Elements 7 can import the AVCHD files from the camcorder without any issue, but it can barely play back. While the preview sound is fine, the image is very choppy. I didn’t bother to render since I can’t really edit.

    I then downloaded the Sony Vegas 9 which gives me a 30 days free trial. I expected it work, since most people said Sony’s software at least work for Sony Camcorder. But I was really disappointed to find out that it also can not play back the clip smoothly, though it is better than Premiere Elements 7. However, after played with it a bit more, I found that Vegas 9 can render a preview video in avi format. The avi file can be played in Window media player fine, but I suspect it may not have preserved the HD resolution. A 1 minute 15 second clip is only 288,034 KB.

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

      I had the same problem with Sony. Premier Elements, I havent tried. I did not have this problem at all with Pinnacle. Perhaps you could download a trial of that. Your computer should be fast enough I would think but it would depend as well on how big the AVCHD file is. Also try Sony Vegas with all other applications closed to max. your Ram. Let me know what you find out. Thanks Mike

      • Ali

        After reading this blog I am now very concerned, I purchased a Sony XR200 took a bunch of lovley movies of Halloween and I am ready to edit. However I loaded up the Sony application that came with the camcorder and realized that the only editing allowed in the app was trimming the length, so I opened up my Adobe CS3 suite to see if there would be options using flash and the flash Video Encoder, I thought I was making progress as I converted the file to an FLV which appeared to be FLASH compatible but when I went to open from flash, I was brought to an import wizard which at the end of the process left me with a navigation bar and NO MOVIE!! So the googling began. So now I am here with what appears to be no software to edit my great movies. I certainly don't want to invest in carppy software that still doesn't get the job done. The goal for me would be to have full flexibilty of editing the video (flash like) adding images, slow down scenes, tweening etc and pushing that back onto a DVD or better a Blue-Ray disc. After reading I don't know if it is possible or if I can afford it LOL.
        Computer Hardware is up to date and capable (development machine) but software just not there. What would you suggest? Do the programs mentioned above have the full suite of REAL editing like Flash or are they lightweight remove red eye wizard crap? I am currently a web developer (not designer) but if I had the correct tools for this type of work I might persue it as a career. As you probably know most of challenges with software is more about knowing where to start rather than can it be done, what tool would you recommend for the challenge, is it the new version of Flash (CS4) does that software allow a straight upload, edit, burn option?

  • scott

    Which software is better as of 9-23-09

    Adobe premiere elements 7 or Pinnacle Ultimate (latest version)?????????????
    Both note that they can be used to edit AVCHD. I don't want choppy frames. The default software that came with my Sony SDR-HD7 camcorder couldn't handle a straight download (very choppy footage - worthless)

    I like the fact that they package Adobe photoshop with premiere, but want to be able to handle HD without the "choppiness" and wierd look. Is one better than the other at AVCHD editing? Does it come out clean? Looking to buy very soon, any thougts?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

      I haven't used premier elements but I have used premier as well as pinnacle. The newest version of pinnacle coming out is 14. I have had no issues with editing AVCHD with either program. However, there is a big difference between premier and pinnacle in terms of learning curve. Pinnacle is much more a program for those that have very limited editing experience (such as myself ;-)... Premier Pro is a more advanced application and for me, I felt that I would need to spend a lot of time learning the program to be able to use it. If you have a Sony camcorder, Sony Vegas may be the one that you should go with. Although I had problems editing AVCHD on it last year, I wasn't using a Sony camcorder and I have been told that this was the problem. Sony Vegas was built to handle AVCHD from Sony Camcorders. They may have changed that since then but at the time, it wouldn't handle AVCHD from a Canon Camcorder, which is what I use. Hope this helps

      • scott

        Great input. thanks!


      • mekongjourney

        Hey Mark,
        I'm editing AVCHD from a Panasonic camera on Vegas 9? What is the best/highest quality format to render the final project to?

        • http://www.reelseo.com/ Mark Robertson

          I always recommend exporting the final project as an uncompressed file -
          this will create a very large file but you can then use this if you need to
          in the future to re-encode. That being said, if you mean final setting to
          render for the web, I would recommend h.264 MP4 - depending on the
          resolution, anywhere from 500KBPS to 3000.. Does that help?

      • Rob A

        I too am struggling to find suitable software to use with my new Panasonic HDC-TM300. The camera comes with "HD Writer AE1.0 for HDC" which does the basic functions of import, convert divide, merge and save to different media. But it lacks the facility to add a sound track to ones video.

        I down loaded Corel's offering but it ran so slowly I gave up. There does not seem to be a way of configuring the cOREL software to do what you want. You use it as supplied. So THERE!!

  • Ken Robertson

    I have the Canon HG 10 and all I want to do is pull the videos from the camcorder, string all the different "scenes" from one event (vacation, etc.) into one continous video and burn to dvd. I am struggling finding software to do this without having to buy a lot more than I need. I have an HP machine with Vista Home Premium, 64-bit, 2.4ghz and 6 gig RAM. Help

    Ken Robertson

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ reelseo

      Ken, have you tried the software that comes with the camera? Ill tell you what I do and I have the same camera. I plug it in, navigate to the .mts files which are usually in a folder called "streams" and then import those either into pinnacle, or adobe media encoder on a PC. If on a mac (which I see you are not), you can also just import them using imovie or finalcut.

  • Mike Peterson

    I have a Sony HDV camcorder and purchased Pinnacle 11 Ultimate and was disappointed that it would not open the files at all. I contacted Pinnacle support and they told me that HDV files from my Sony were not supported. So I wasted $130 on Pinnacle Studio 11 and then ended up buying Sony Vegas Platinum for $140 and it supports HDV video and I have been converted after being a Pinnacle user since version 7 - no more.

    • cwilliams

      September, 2009. Wow, what a mess. I just went through a week with my new CAnon HFS100 and the much-touted Sony Vegas Platinum 9. In short, pure frustration. By the way--because I dont see this opinion on the forums much--I found the Vegas NLE infuriatingly nonintuitive. Even their DVD burner, DVD Architect, is designed to confound you from the git-go.
      Maybe the problem is that Sony and Canon arent friends--Vegas may function much better with a Sony camera. I dont mind editiing with proxy files but even they played back choppy for me. We're not talking about editing here, just trying to set up a timeline and publish tests.
      My issue now comes down to "Why shoot in high def"? If you like to heavy-edit your projects and put them on DVD, my sense is that AVCHD is not for us at this moment. Simple as that.
      I'm sending my Canon HFS100 back.'That's sad, because it is an absolutely wonderful camera and esthetically beautiful. I'll go back to SD. I have to be able to edit and make DVDs, and with AVCHD--forget it.

      • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark Robertson

        Honestly, Ive had no problems with AVCHD in the past year. I did find that Sony didnt work for me either. I would also say that I agree that it is entirely counter-intuitive. Unfortunately, so is Pinnacle. As I mentioned above in the post, I found that Sony only could handle sony AVCHD - similar to what you found. What I do nowadays is to copy the raw MTS files to my computer, and then to convert those using either Sorenson or Macromedia Media Encoder to AVI or MP4. Once I have those, Im good to go.

  • Paul

    Hi, new player with HD video. I just bought a Panasonic HDC HS300. Thought if I bought top end it might last longer as technology moves so fast. I now know I need a new computer to edit HD video as my current one is to old and slow. Can anyone tell me what I need in a new computer so I can edit HD video. All I want to do is download footage (family videosof kids). Do some minor cutting and then burn onto DVD. I have full HD TV and blue ray player. System I am considering is: Intel® Core™2 Quad Processor Q8200 / 2.33Ghz , Intel G31 Chipset Motherboard, 750GB Hard Disk Drive (SATA Interface), 4GB / DDR2 800MHz Memory with on board sound/graphic/lan. Paying about $800. Please help?

    • Jan C

      That computer should do just fine. I have a dual core 2.4Ghz and when i tried with only 2GB ram it had trouble, but it seemed to be gone after adding 2GB more. However i bought a new computer i7 and 6GB ram, so i dont have any issues anymore.

  • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark Robertson

    I imagine that when you refer to Master, you are not referring to the file type that you want to save for web use?

  • http://www.polymem.com Sean

    So Adobe Premeire Pro 4.0 (part of CS4) can edit AVCHD video. It's can't output it in that but there's not much reason to want to. Vegas 9.0 can edit AVCHD video and do a decent job of it (from a Sony HDR SR12) But whenever your done editing it you need to export (render) or output it into something.

    That's where I'm running into trouble.
    Anyway my issue is what format and codec to save the editied output with the best quality.

    See if your going to shoot something in HD 1080iorp at the highest quality you can... you would want to save and maintain that quality through to your 1st print or Master. The problem is what woud that video be?

    Now Let's say I want to use this video and put it onto something... Say a DVD? Say a website? You would need to convert or transcode the video to a new format in order to do so it seems.

    All this is very time consuming. That's the sucky part. Every time you want a new media you need to transcode it.

    So again what's the best video type to save your edited master?

    • Jan C.

      I know what you mean. I have excatly the same problem. I want to be able to a little editing and save it as avchd as a master and then use that to encode to what else uses i have.

      I just have not found anything that could do that yet. All programs i have tested, encodes the video to another format :(

      If i remember correct, the software that comes with the canon can do a little of that, but its just very crappy :(

    • Berend Engelbrecht

      I found that the AVCHD support in Adobe Premiere is just not working. The program usually freezes when trying to import an .MTS file (my camera produces 720p AVCHD). The solution is to transcode the file to .m2v video and .wav audio and use that in Premiere. Unfortunately, the Adobe Media Encoder has similar problems with AVCHD: it happily starts on one of my files but soon almost grinds to a halt an becomes really agonizingly slow. It takes many hours to convert even a short AVCHD video sequence with the Adobe converter.
      I found a good solution though: use a third party converter. I found a good review from someone who tried 9 different Windows-based converters and selected the Elecard converter, that he liked best.
      http://www.dvscene.nl/video/avchd-converteren.htm... (review in Dutch)

      Elecard Converter Studio AVC HD Edition costs $75 (57 euro), but it converts the same files in less than a minute for which the Adobe converter needs many hours. The converted m2v/wav output works fine in Premiere, no more sluggishness or software freezes. Well worth the money.

  • Tim

    I just purchased a Sony HDR-XR200V and paid a grand for the camera and went with an extended warranty (yeah, I know), and all I wanted was to be able to shoot nice quality video, simple import and simple edit of the video. Did little to no homework on latest video specs, being a former Sony MiniDV users, I just figured I'd get the latest/greatest and I'd be good. Shot my first video today that I wanted to edit and wow, I'm now finding out that there isn't a simple solution to editing AVCHD video? Give me a break. I'm a techie kinda guy, and don't scare easily with this stuff, but dag-nabbit, I just want this stuff to have a simple work flow.

    I have Adobe Premiere 6 and also have (and just installed today) Sony Vegas 8. I'd expect the Premiere would be outdated for HD, and the Vegas seems to work, but I now have to learn to edit in that program. And do I still need a file converter, as in another third-party software to make this all work.

    I know I'm just blowing off frustration, but Lord, why can't this stuff be easier, or am I missing something?

    • http://www.reelseo.com/mark/ Mark R Robertson

      Well, this posts is a bit old and might be good to provide an update but I have found problems with AVCHD and especially Sony Vegas. however, I hear that Sony Vegas does work with Sony Cameras. I can tell you that it does NOT work well with Panasonic Cameras, at all... So far, Pinnacle seems to work ok and even IMovie and Final Cut. I even had some success with Premier CS4, but I digress.

    • dow dow

      Yeah, premiere is behind the curve on the new formats. However the newest version supposedly supports. I run mac, so I don't use premiere much and can't confirm, but if that's the workflow you like, download a trial and give it a shot. Any software that can edit AVCHD can probably convert it too, so if you wanted to step down to mpeg or avi vegas should be able to handle it...

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kyle-Murphy/508381690 Kyle Murphy

      Hi Tim,
      Although this post may be old, I was right on par with your frustration just a few days ago. I saw this post, tried Pinnacle 14 which is the newest one now I believe, and YES! I was totally impressed after having Premiere and Cyberlink both totally fail me. AVCHD literally drag n drop into Pinnacle and it is smooth. Not sure what to do with Premiere now but definitely loving Pinnacle!


  • Virt

    Lately I had tested the new avc hd editor software of little known Elecard company and I want to say that is the new Word in AVCHD editing software.

  • Will Green

    Anyone knows this solution works or not?
    I would like to look for the best software to edit my Sony camcorder videos.

  • http://www.reelseo.com/about/ Mark Robertson

    depends on whether you mean a mac or a pc. I assume that you mean a pc. I have a pc that is about a year old and it works great. You will likely need at least 2GB RAM and a computer that could support Vista, although Vista is not needed. Really it is going to depend on the video card as well. Take a look at - http://www.videomaker.com/article/10482/

  • James Shearn

    How powerful a computer do I need to edit high-definition video?