Is lossless conversion of AVCHD to AIC for iMovie/FCE possible?

Summary: If your camcorder shot footage in1080p50/60 mode, you may find it’s difficult to edit them in iMovie and FCE. In this case, you will need to convert AVCHD to Apple’s InterMediateCodec (AIC) for smoothly editing in iMovie or Final Cut Express. This guide tells how to do this in detail.
avchd workflow“Hey, all, is it possible to convert AVCHD to AIC without losing any quality? I need to do this because it’s easier for me to edit AVCHD in either iMovie or Final Cut Express. Anyone who can give me the easiest possible solution would be very much appreciated. I’m recording with a Canon Vixia HF G20 which only shots AVCHD files. I can’t figure out the easiest way yet by myself, so post my question here for help. Thanks in advance.”

AVCHD is a highly compressed file format that used by mainstream camera manufacturers, such as Canon, Panasonic, Sony, Olympus and JVC. Cameras/camcorders that shot with AVCHD include Panasonic 700, Panasonic 920, Panasonic HC-V550CT, Sony NEX-FS100U, Canon XA10/XA20, Olympus E-PL3 and more. The ultra compressed AVCHD video files make frame-by-frame editing of AVCHD footage nearly impossible, so when you import an AVCHD file, iMovie transcodes it into Apple‘s own AIC codec. Unfortunately, iMoive/FCE is only compatible with some AVCHD camcorders. If your camcorder is able to shot in 1080i 50/60 or 1080p50/60 mode, you will find the 1080p 50/60 AVCHD video will not be supported well in iMovie/FCE. That’s why third party converter is required to convert AVCHD to AIC for smoothly editing in iMovie/FCE.

One of the fastest and easiest ways to make 1080p50/60 AVCHD footage editable in iMovie is using Video Converter for Mac. This takes a few more steps, but will produce full HD video without quality loss.
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How can I edit 1080p50/60 AVCHD in iMovie and FCE?

If you shot 1080 50p/60p AVCHD video, you can use Video Converter for Mac to convert the mts clips to AIC files and import them into iMovie/FCE. To process format shifting, follow these steps:

Step 1: Run Video Converter for Mac as an AVCHD to AIC Converter for Mac. When the main interface comes up, click ‘Add File’ button to import source media. You can load directly from a camera or from a card reader, or from a folder on your HDD that contains your AVCHD data.

Step 2: Select output format for iMovie and FCE
In order to edit AVCHD shootings in iMovie and FCE, from the Format bar, choose ‘Apple InterMediateCodec (AIC) (*.mov) as output format from ‘iMovie and Final Cut Express’ catalogue.

Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Step 3: Custom video and audio settings (optional)
If you want to adjust video and audio settings in your own way, you can click ‘Setting’ button and go to ‘Profile Settings’ panel to do so, if not, simply skip this step.

Step 4: When ready, click the ‘Convert’ button to start converting AVCHD .MTS video files to AIC for using within iMovie or FCE.

Tips: You can tick off ‘Showdown computer when conversion completed’ checkbox, and go away to do other things instead of waiting around in front of the computer for the entire conversion process.

Step 5: When the conversion finished, click ‘Open Folder’ button to find the generated QuickTime AIC files for using in iMovie and Final Cut Express.

Also read
How to edit and import Olympus E-PL3 AVCHD video to iMovie?
Sony NEX FS100/FS700 AVCHD and Final Cut X workflow
Convert Panasonic HC-W850 recordings to QuickTime for NLEs