Video editing software recommendations

I bought a new video camera recently with the intention of doing some video casting. It is a fine camera. Carl Zeiss lenses, shoots in full HD and all. But in my zeal to buy it, I forgot to ask one important question – will it work on the Mac?

Unfortunately, in this case, the answer is no which is a shame as I was hoping to do my editing in iMovie 🙁

Even worse though, the camera saves in a special HD format called AVCHD and while it a lovely format I’m sure, there are very few (if any) commercial video editing applications which support it!

The first one I have found – Nero 7 (no link on purpose) had great claims around AVCHD – it could play it, edit it and export to .mpg. Idiot that I am, I bought it and have since been plagued by messages telling me it is demo software and needs to be bought – aaaaaaahhhhhh!!!!!! If that weren’t bad enough, the edited files it exports aren’t usable by any other application. They crash Adobe Premiere Elements and Quicktime (probably sensibly) doesn’t even try to open them.

I’m currently downloading a trial of Sony’s Vegas 7 software but it is a tad pricey. And I’m also going to try Ulead’s Video Studio which seems more reasonably priced but has had a couple of poor reports on the web.

Has anyone else had these kind of issues and/or any suggestions for a resolution?

15 thoughts on “Video editing software recommendations”

  1. I too have struggled with the AVCHD codec. I’m constantly on the lookout for a permanent solution. The good news is I’ve heard that the new version of Premiere CS3 will support it.

    The bad news is, I have Nero 7 and the codec it uses doesn’t play back properly. The best luck I’ve had so far is with PowerDVD 7. But even that isn’t perfect.

    ::Shameless Plug::

    Obviously delete this next part if you’d like, but I did write an article about how to use PowerDVD 7 in conjunction with TMPGEnc 4 called “One Solution for Editing AVCHD”. Check it out if you’d like.

  2. iMovie was one of the first things I tried Branedy. It would be my editor of choice (shows how professional a video editor I am!).

    Unfortunately it doesn’t recognise the format 🙁

  3. Stephen,

    nice one – that looks promising alright. Shame they only sell boxed versions (no download option) and they don’t have a trial download facility either.

    I’d love to try before buying!

  4. Maybe you should consider selling your camera and switch to something that actually works without much complication. I bought the Canon HV20 which works like a charm with both iMovie HD and Fincal Cut.

  5. Tim,

    thanks for the recommendation.

    I looked into the Canon HV20 but when it is compared to the Sony HDR-SR1 (which I decided on) the Sony seems to come out ahead – see the review of the Canon HV20 and the review of the Sony HDR SR1 on CamcorderInfo

    On the software front, I am now using Stephen’s suggestion of Pinnacle Studio and it seems to work quite well (although it is no iMovie!).

  6. nice one tom [and 20!]
    if you saw me trying to get a dvd recoring from the tv onto the web you’d laugh more…. any suggestions tommy?
    cheers peter

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