Featuring full 1920 x 1080 HD video captures, along with two XLR inputs on the handle and a very small footprint, the Canon Vixia XA10 is a force to be reckoned with. This camcorder with the smallest weight for expedition style productions indeed generates truly eye-catching full HD 1080p videos using an AVCHD code and in .mts extension. As we all know, structure of files that HD camcorder generates is similar to blu-ray disc file structure (including BDAV, Playlist, STREAM…. folders). Therefore, it is not an easy task to play and edit AVCHD recordings on Mac OS computer. Moreover, when I got this camcorder on hand, ImageBroswer which provided by most Canon camcorders was not found in Canon XA10 package. This makes it tougher to edit and play XA 10 footages.
Thus, how to play and edit Canon AVCHD videos on Mac OS computer? This issue is highly concerned by Mac users who own Canon XA10 camcorder.
1. Free solution to play AVCHD videos via Quicktime on Mac OS computer?
No doubt, Apple default media player-Quicktime is not capable of playing AVCHD videos. Maybe someone recommends VLC Media Player for Mac which indeed supports AVCHD videos playback. But this is not my choice because when I play 1080p videos via VLC Player, my computer becomes quite slow. And my computer becomes so noisy. Personally, this is resulted from its high CPU utilization.
So the best way to play AVCHD videos is to convert them to Quicktime MOV video. This makes videos much easier for playing and editing as well as highly saving my HD space. Here a free app named Pavtube Free MTS M2TS Converter is highly recommended to achieve this task. I found this app from Mac app store top charts. I am highly impressed with its easy to use and intuitive interface. Just search Pavtube in App Store, free download and install this app with inputting your Apple ID. Next step is to load .mts videos directly from your camcorder or your hard disk, choose Quicktime MOV as output. Finally hit big convert button to start this conversion. Once the conversion is completed, output movies with high quality will be perfectly play via Quicktime. When I select the mode which records 1080/50i videos, this free Mac OS AVCHD to Quicktime MOV Converter can help me remove these interlacing videos so that Quicktime gives me a clearer and sharper image.
2. Efficient way to edit Canon Vixia XA10 AVCHD in iMovie/ Final Cut Pro
For Mac users, iMovie and FCP are there favorite video editing software. iMovie 09 has claimed that it supports AVCHD videos. But only Apple Intel-based Mac computers (MacBookPro Laptops, iMac or Mac Pro Towers) can work well with your AVCHD footages.
If you have Power PC G5 Macs or previous version of iMovie, the only solution is to transcode MTS videos to AIC videos which iMovie likes most. Pavtube MTS/M2TS Converter for Mac (the upgraded version of Pavtube Free MTS M2TS Converter) gives you a hand to achieve this task. This camcorder video converter provides “iMovie/Final Cut Express-> Apple Intermediate Codec (*.mov)” output which is iMovie preferred video format. I got the quality conversion which I am looking for. The output AIC video with high quality can be easily imported and editing in iMovie without any rendering and interruption
If you need professional editing features, Final Cut Pro is your premium choice. Final Cut Pro X is the most up-to-date app for AVCHD support. As long as you have camcorder on hand, you can connect it to your Mac and directly import AVCHD footages into FCP for further editing. This project is perfect if you do not mind its long-time rendering time. However, if you are not patient enough or you just have only MTS files in your HDD without the other corresponding files in the BDMV folder structure, the recommended project is to encode XA10 MTS footages into Apple ProRes which FCP prefers. Pavtube MTS/M2TS Converter for Mac mentioned above gives you the ultimate solution. And the following screenshot shows all available Prores codecs. Personally, Apple Prores 422 and Apple Prores 422 (LT) are highly recommended because both can help you save much HD space.
More about Canon Camera file transcode, Click Pavtube Canon Column.