AVCHD Files, Lag, And Crashing?

So I got a canon camera to film with it produces AVCHD files in 1080p, and mp4, i read that AVCHD has the best quality video so ive been filming with that codec. I just now tried to start editing a few of the videos I have to sit and wait like a minute to 2 minutes after I do something to the file before I can do anything else to it or I get the spinning wheel and then if I click again Hitfilm crashes. 

Is this just because my computer is not fast enough to run this file in hitfilm?  Or do I need to do something to be able to use this file better?



  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    Let's start with your system specs. CPU, GPU, OS, RAM and storage. 

    That said AVCHD in general is a poor editing format. Converting your footage before import will improve performance. This video will cover why transcoding is smart, and several tools to do so. 

  •  windows 7

    Intel core 2 duo

    e8200 @2.66Ghz 2 cpus

    8 gigs ram

    I couldnt find the video you mentioned

  • That is a pretty slow CPU. Realistically not enough power to edit high overhead AVC media like AVCHD. A transcode to something easier to edit is your best bet.

    I think this is the video Triem23 forgot to link.


  • edited January 21

    Wow thats alot. I'll watch it and check into it. 

    I know its not perfect but how much of a difference could you tell if I just recorded in mp4 instead AVCHD? 

    My computer can run that. I know its old. Is there anyway I can speed this one up or is it just time to get a newer one with a faster cpu? 

    My graphics card is an nvidia quadro k620

    Would upgrading the video card or something like that help it? 

  • Your camera is probably recording the MP4 in the same or very similar high overhead AVC settings. It does not take much to give it a try and see.

    Your CPU is fine for most everything but AVC video in Hitfilm. AVC wants a lot more CPU power than most other codecs. It does compress better and smaller than other codecs. The cost of that compression is paid on decode. Hitfilm needs a little help here.

    A transcode should be a night and day difference. In Express 2017 your best bet for transcode is Cineform in AVI. It is by far the best performing option. The files will be a lot bigger but they will decode fast, fast, fast. 

  • Im going to go out and record the same scene in both formats and double check it. And I will look into the cineform transcode. 

    So no matter what I wouldnt be able to update my computer any to better handle the AVC format? Like upgrading something?

  • edited January 21

    I overlooked one thing on your spec. The CPU clock rate is reasonable but you are only two cores. That might cause some issue even with Cineform but I cannot say for sure. Easy enough to do a quick test.

    "So no matter what I wouldnt be able to update my computer"

    I don't know specifics about your computer to make a comment. Laptops are normally always a no. The CPU is so old that you cannot replace it given that the motherboard is also that old. Newer CPUs need a similar generation support chipset.

  • I did a little test with my son in front of me and you can tell slight differences. The AVCHD straight out of the camera does give a higher definition so to speak and you can see a little more clarity from it. Now just to figure out how to operate with it. Will have to look into trying some different things. 

    Ok so Ill have to start saving up for a newer computer then. 

  • To know the specifics of your file(s) you can always use the free MediaInfo utility to get a detailed spec report. A prime thing to look at there is the bitrate of the AVCHD vs MP4 output. Higher is always better.

  • Here is what I found in the instruction booklet. It how's frame rates and how many Mbps you can set it too. 

    Selecting the Frame Rate
    You cdn change the frame rate (the number of frames recorded per second) to change the look af your
    movies. When the recording mode is set to 28 Mbps LPCM (59.94P) or 28 Mbps (59.94P) for AVCHD
    movies, or 35 Mbps (59.94P) or 8 Mbps (59.94P) for MP4 movies, the frame rate will automatically be
    set to 59.94p so you will not be able to select the frame rate.

  • I find it hard to believe your camera restricts you to 59.94 frames per second. No 29.97 or others available. Be aware that some cameras capture interlaced video so 59.94 might refer to fields per second which is 29.97 frames per second.

  • This is what it says for options. I know it confused me too.  I know it's hard to read tried to copy from a picture I can't figure out how to attach an actual picture.

    Options for AVCHD movies (+ Oefault value)

    [m 59.94ii+ 59.94 fie]ds per second, interlaced. Standard frame rate of 'TV signals.
    [ ' PF29.97129.97 frames per second, progressive
    [ ' : ' 23.98P) 23.98 frames per second, progressive.

    ' Recorded as 59.94i.
    Options for MP4 movies (+ Default value)
    [ - ' ' 29.97P)' 29.97 games per second, progressive.
    [ ' 23.98P] 23.98 frames per second, progressive.

    (i) NOTES
    . The frame rate can be set independently for EM3 and modes.




    If I used the mp4 I'm assuming that 35mbps is better than 8? 

    Is 28 mbps for avchd better than 35mbps mp4?


  • 35 is better than 8 by a country mile.

    35 is better than 28 all else being equal. But the two values are close so I would not expect to see much if any difference. One would need to consult a MediaInfo report to check some of the AVC details to compare your camera AVCHD 28 and 35Mbps MP4+AVC.

  • Ok thanks Norman. I will try to get it into mp4 and 35 mbps and  check that out. 

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    I'd be mildly surprised if 28 mbps AVCHD is higher quality than 35mbps mp4 as both are h.264 compression. 

    Yes, Norman linked the correct video. Stupid me. It's long, but you don't have to watch all of it. The first 10-12 minutes is a primer on codecs. Just a bit of a discussion on why high compression is slower speed. The rest is a quick look at several different transcode tools, so, if you used, say, Handbrake, then you'd never need to watch the bits on MPEG Streamclip or GoPro studio. 

    Note that Hitfilm lists an i3 as min CPU the Core 2 Duo is technically below minimum requirements. Transcoding can help, but you'll still have slow Hitfilm performance. Unfortunately, as you said, time to save up. Fortunately computers get faster and cheaper all the time. Even $500 these days will get you a machine that's not 2018 cutting edge, but will be oodles better than the current machine. 

  • True, and Norman thanks so much for all the help.  I started with my dslr and it doesn't have as many options as this Canon camera. 

    I'm going to start saving up. Can you give me examples in the 750-1200 dollar range on a desktop so I can research more? 

    Is it cheaper to build one or just buy it already done? 

    I got it changed over to the 35mbps mp4 now will compare that to the AVC file and also make sure my computer can run the higher mbps mp4 file without crashing. 


  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator

    If you're in the US I recommend looking at sites like AVA Direct or XoticPC. Both sites focus on custom rigs for gamers. You'll find better options at a lower price point than pre-configured systems. If you're comfortable building your own that's going to be the best price/performance ratio, but I'd ask for specific recommendations once your money is saved. Hardware changes quickly and prices fluctuate. What one might recommend today is often different in three months... 

  • Well thanks again for the help. I checked out the mp4 video tonight against the avc and even in a dark living room you can tell its better quality than the avc. And hitfilm seems to like it much better so ill be using that from now on. Again appreciate the help. 

    Triem yes you are correct and I will be looking at those websites. Once I get saved up ill get back on here and start checking with you all about possibly building one also. 

  • Alright I'm going to build my own computer. I've been reading about what hitfilm uses more as far as more cores and so on. I know its pretty gpu heavy if I understood correctly. My question is about the cpu I'm looking at getting I've been comparing the i5-8600k vs ryzen 7 1700 

    Looks like the i5-8600k is faster. Will this better for hitfilm? 

    Here is the benchmark comparison. http://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i5-8600K-vs-AMD-Ryzen-7-1700/3941vs3917

    Thanks for your help  I'm going to be getting a gigabyte gtx 1050 gpu also. 

    Please let me know if you have any suggestions. 

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