Using AVCHD Video From The Sony A7, A7r, Nex

The workflow is slightly easier on a PC as you have more software options. With this guide I’ll be covering the workflow on Mac. Although the two can be very similar. 


EDIT: It was a few years ago since I wrote this and I thought I would update. You can pretty much drag and drop the MTS files into Adobe Premiere on both PC and Mac now and it will break out the files and allow you to edit right away.


Using your NEX, A7 or Sony A7r AVCHD Video Files On A Mac

Shooting Video on a Sony DSLR or Mirrorless camera will give you AVCHD files or MP4.

Always Use AVCHD

You’ll want to shoot AVCHD over the MP4 option as it will result in higher quality footage.

The camera will create an AVCHD folder on your SD card, which will hold the MTS files.

Unpacking Video Clips

I’ve noticed on Mavericks OSX, at least for me, it views the AVCHD file as a package. To access what’s inside you have to right click, open package contents. Browse around in there until you find the MTS files, then move them to new harddrive.

Software To Avoid

I’ve seen lots of people talking about different ways of handling MTS files and the various software required. I’ve seen people mention, Handbreak, MPEGStreamclip, HDVideo Converter, MTS Converter etc.

If you search the Google on this various topic you might come across forum discussions where people are all recommending HD VideoConvertoer or MTS Convert. From the looks of it they are just planted reviews from the companies marketing team. Avoid those. This software is not worth the $30-$60 dollars they are selling it for. 

Here’s How To Use MTS Video Files On A Mac

Although you can use some of the paid software mentioned above. I’ve found that After Effects handles them the best. Premiere also will handle them.

What I usually do is import the clips into After Effects. Create new comps and render them out as ProresHQ. (Since I still edit in FCP 7.) That works the best for me. You can also use Premiere. And you’ll likely want to use DNxHD on PC, unless you’re in Premiere with a great video card. Because Premiere can handle them just fine as they are.

Using FinalCut Pro X

If you’re using FinalCut Pro X. You can connect your Sony A7 or A7r directly into your computer and import to FCPx. This creates an Apple Intermediate file, which is excellent for editing. 

You can also use Lightroom

Open the MTS file in Adobe Lightroom. Load the clip and export.

Though your export options are limited. DPX sequences or H264 only. However you can apply some prebuilt looks at that time if you wanted. 


Hope that helps. Leave a comment for any questions. And please Like, +1 or Tweet out for me. And check out my Sony A7r review here.