File size limit

Posted by Rocker 
File size limit
June 01, 2013 11:12PM
Hi, I just bought a Canon G20 camcorder. It shoots AVCHD files and stores them onto SDXC cards. All my clips in this current project are 45 mins to 1 hour long. When I put these cards into a reader and them drag the mts files into my computer, the video clips are split up and are only 16 mins. 20 secs. long. Does anyone know why? Is there a file size limit (they all seem to be about 2 gigs) or a clip length limit? why.? What am I supposed to do, just butt them up together in FCP and hope no one notices the crash edits? This seems very inelegant. Also, I just bought Clipwrap to convert the files to something FCP recognizes. Does anyone else use this? My FCP project is Pro Res HQ 1280 X720 24 P and I shot the video at the next to highest setting at 24 P. Question is, should I just "rewrap" them to .mov files or should I go "all the way" and convert them to Pro Res which will make much bigger files ( I think) ?

Mac Pro Tower dual core OSX 10.6.8 2 gigs of ram
Belkin card reader
Re: File size limit
June 02, 2013 12:45AM
The two gig file size limit generally applies to hard drives that are formatted in FAT32 - but I really doubt this would be the case on your Mac hard drive. You're not trying to put them on an external, are you? If so, check the formatting of the drive and change it to exfat or mac os extended.

Re: File size limit
June 02, 2013 10:22AM
The SD card itself is probably formatted FAT32, which has a 4 GiB file size limit. My similar Panasonic AVCHD camera does that, and yields 4 GiB .mts files. The "crash edits" appear perfect. This is digital recording.

Does your Canon impose a smaller file size limit than the FAT32 limit? Examine the card itself in Finder to see what you have.

I use ClipWrap to convert AVCHD .mts files to ProRes 422 .mov files. However, I have a reason to use ClipWrap, since I shoot 50p AVCHD which FCP7 won't ingest. FCP7 will ingest your 24p AVCHD directly. Since you shoot at less than the highest bitrate you might choose to ingest them as ProRes 422LT.

Dennis Couzin
Berlin, Germany
Re: File size limit
June 02, 2013 11:44AM
>When I put these cards into a reader and them drag the mts files into my computer

That's not the way to do it. You should copy the entire contents of the card, not just the mts files. If you're editing in FCP7, the best way to go about it is to log and transfer them to ProRes. And FCP7 will have problems editing Avchd either from a QT wrapper or in native form, because FCP7 is pretty old technology.
Re: File size limit
June 02, 2013 07:53PM
hi everyone thank you all for the responses the clips are coming off the card with the 2 Gig file size. i am going to external hard drive but it is formatted Mac OS extended.
I'm glad someone else is using clip wrap with good results.

I have heard that the " trying to bring in the whole file structure and all the .mts files and bring them right in to FCP 7" doesn't work that well because FCP 7 has to analyze the .mts files everytime it seems them and that can bog dog the whole project and make it stutter, etc.

I batch converted a group of files to mov (they call it a "rewrap"winking smiley and now i'm batch converting another group to pro res. I can tell you one thing, it takes a WHOLE lot longer. I am anxious to see the difference in editing.

thank you all again.
Re: File size limit
June 03, 2013 01:57PM
>I have heard that the " trying to bring in the whole file structure and all the .mts
>files and bring them right in to FCP 7" doesn't work that well because FCP 7 has to
>analyze the .mts files everytime it seems them and that can bog dog the whole
>project and make it stutter, etc.

That's a HUGE misunderstanding. And there is a LOT of misunderstanding on how AVCHD works, because the internet is a little like the wild wild west.

Log and Transfer will transcode those clips to ProRes. That will provide optimal performance in FCP7. Log and Transfer also does one more thing in that it allows you to have an actual link back to your source camera files. So if your media drive explodes, and you happen to have a back up of the original camera files on an archival drive like most of us, you can simply take the FCP project file, select batch capture on your final edit sequence and load the Avchd volumes into Log and Transfer and it will re-capture only the clips used in the edit. You can also use Media Manager to trim the sequence and then batch capture via log and transfer so you transcode only the parts of the clips used in the edit.

Also, those 4 gig files that you are talking about? Those are spanned clips. They are created because camera manufacturers at one time had to make the volume of their cards FAT32 for cross platform compatibility, and FAT32 has a 4 Gig file size limit, so the cameras will split up files larger than 4 GBs. These files which are split up are called "spanned clips". FCP7 will join spanned clips together so you get one long Quicktime file instead of fragmented files.

LOTS of functions you don't get when you use a 3rd party transcoding app.

Now, what Clip Wrap is used for, is when you have an issue with the Avchd volume and log and transfer cannot read the card. FCP's Log and Transfer requires a very strict adherence to a particular Avchd specification, which means you need the entire contents of the card, also every file within the card needs to be in upper case, and not all camera manufacturers adhere to this. In Dennis' case, he shoots 1080p50 on Avchd, which FCP7 does not support. So many folks who have run into issues with ingesting Avchd via Log and Transfer use ClipWrap.

Now, rewrap to QT or transcode to ProRes Quicktime? FCP7 is based on old technology, so you will not get much joy editing AvcHD QTs due to the complex interframe compression used on the format. Other more modern apps are much better with AvcHD like Premiere Pro and FCP X and you will get much better performance editing AvcHD in those apps. Now, again, another common myth debunked... Premiere Pro prefers the native file format (eg. MTS and loading the AVCHD file directory) as opposed to wrapping in Quicktime, because Premiere is better off using its own decoders than using Quicktime for the decoding.

So in my opinion, in FCP7, the best thing to do is to use Log and Transfer to transcode to ProRes if you have preserved the file directory structure of the original card, and if you haven't, use Clipwrap to transcode to ProRes.
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