Conversion Plan for Panasonic Lumix GH3 1080/50p AVCHD video editing in Avid
The Panasonic GH3 once again focuses on video as much as photo performance. From the specs we can see that the new Lumix DSLR records at much higher bitrate video. AVCHD capture is now at up to 1080/50p. However, the big news is a QuickTime mode that records at 1080/24p, 1080/25p or 720/50p using an unusually high 72Mbit/s bit rate and all-intra compression. Unlike normal AVC compression, this describes each frame from scratch rather than updating areas that have changes since the last frame. It should give less compression artifacts than the heavily compressed AVCHD output from the GH2, particularly for fast-moving scenes. QuickTime 1080/50p capture is at 50Mbit/s, and while it doesn't use all-intra compression, it should still give better results than the GH2's 24Mbit/s maximum bit rate.
The 1080/50p shooting mode brings Full HD 1920x1080p video with best possible quality, but it could be a problem if you're working AVCHD footage in Avid Media Composer. Avid does not support the 50p footage. So far I am still not able to import the 1080/50p from my Panasonic DHC-TM900. But still the 50i AVCHD is very good to see on a 42 inch plasma screen.
Here's a solution for importing 1080/50p to Avid with the help of 3rd-party app Pavtube Media Magician, a nice camcorder assistant manager and AVCHD editor. When serving as an intermediate decoder, the software can convert 1080/50p AVCHD .mts/.m2ts video into Avid DNxHD .mov format, which is naturally supported by Avid Media Composer.
How to get Panasonic GH3 1080/50p video into Avid DNxHD .mov format
Step 1: Import Panasonic GH3 AVCHD video to Media magician.
Connect your camera with your PC and launch Pavtube Media Magician for Windows (If you work on OS X, get Media Magician for Mac). The app will automatically detect your camera and ask "Camcorder is connected. Are you ready to launch wizard now?" Click "Yes" to confirm. Select the 1080/50p video files you'd like to import to AVID, and then press "Start" to import AVCHD to Media Magician library.
Step 2: Organize and edit Panasonic GH3 1080/50p videos in timeline.
Drag and drop the AVCHD videos to timeline for editing from library. Here you can remove unwanted .mts/.m2ts clips, trim out unwanted frames from specific clip by frame-accurate, and put them into the right order for merging. Use the scissor icon to do frames trimming.
Step 3: Choose "Output" on the top of main interface to switch it to output interface.
In output interface you can set intermediate codec for editing software as well as common video format (AVI, MKV, MP4, MOV, MPG, etc) for compressing AVCHD.
Step 4: Choose Avid DNxHD codec as output format.
For importing Panasonic GH3 1080/50p video to AVID, follow the steps to set Avid DNxHD preset:
1. Move your mouse to "Editor", click on the tab.
2. Select "Avid Studio" group.
3. The default output format for AVID is "Avid DNxHD 720p(*.mov)". To export 1080p full HD video, just select the "Avid DNxHD 1080p(*.mov)"from the drop-down list of "Format" bar. Set higher bitrate for better quality if necessary.
Step 5: Convert Panasonic GH3 1080/50p mts videos and export best format for AVID Studio
Press the plus sign (+) to add task for conversion. Select the task(s) and click on the triangle sign to start encoding Panasonic GH3 1080/50p videos to Avid DNxHD MOV.
After conversion you can import Avid DNxHD encoded MOV to Avid Media Composer naturally without rendering/encoding.
Pavtube Media Magician for Mac Online Help will help you edit without any problem. And if you need to burn video to DVD disc/ISO/folder on Mac, you can try Pavtube DVD Creator for Mac, which is very easy to use, you can burn your videos to DVD in just few clicks.
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Find more related guides in Pavtube MTS column:
Transcode GH3 AVCHD to ProRes 422 for FCP (X)
Edit Panasonic TM900/HS900/SD900 MTS with iMovie/FCE
Sony Cyber-shot W730 MP4 to iMovie 11
Combine MTS for streaming to DLNA-compliant Players