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How to Import AVCHD Video to Final Cut Express 4.0?

Does Final Cut Express 4.0 work with AVCHD footage? Some say yes and some say no. Actually, many users have the need to import AVCHD to FCE 4.0 for editing on Mac OS X, but they always meet the importing issues:

I use Final Cut Express 4.0. I tried importing some AVCHD files from my Canon, straight from the memory card. I have to select the "All Files" option before I can even select the files, and then I get the "file not recognized" message. I also tried Log & Transfer thing, but it goes for about 30 seconds and then quits. Please help! Thanks!


Like Adam, you may often run into incompatibility issue when transferring AVCHD footage to Final Cut Express 4.0, even you're following its workflow. How to get Final Cut Express 4.0 working perfectly with AVCHD footage/edit AVCHD video in Final Cut Express 4.0? A best way is to convert AVCHD to FCE natively supported video, e.g. MOV video with Apple Intermediate Codec.

The following guide shows how to convert AVCHD video to Apple Intermediate Codec so as to import AVCHD footage to Final Cut Express 4.0 for post-production.


Get Pavtube Video Converter for Mac, which is compatible with macOS High Sierra, macOS Sierra, etc. This AVCHD Converter for Mac did exactly what you need it to do to convert AVCHD MTS/M2TS to Final Cut Express fully supported video format AIC on Mac OS X keeping original video quality. With this beneficial program, you can also load other unsupported video including AVI, MKV, MP4, WMV, MOV, etc into Final Cut Express for editing.

Trim/Crop/Watermark AVCHD video

Before loading AVCHD video into Final Cut Express 4.0, you can use the program's built-in video editing package to do some simple video editing work. You can flip the video horizontally, vertically, clockwise or counter-clock wise to let it display in the right angel, trim or cut video to remove unwanted parts or segments, add video/image/transparent text watermark to video, apply special rendering effect to video, insert srt/ass/ssa subtitle to video, remove/replace audio in video, etc.

Note: This AVCHD to FCE converter is cross-platform. If you're a Windows user, you can turn to Pavtube Video Converter which runs in Windows XP/2003/Vista/7/ 8/8.1/10 . Below guide takes Mac screenshot, just make sure you download the right version.

How to Edit AVCHD Footage with Final Cut Express 4.0 Natively?

Step 1: Add your AVCHD files

Once you run it, click "Add Video" button or "Add from folder" button to load your source AVCHD files. When the AVCHD files are loaded to the Converter, you can view the videos from the Preview window.

Tip: If you wanna join several AVCHD files for easier editing in FCE 4.0, please check the "Merge into one file" box.

Step 2. Choose FCE as the output format

Click on "Format" and choose "iMovie and Final Cut Express >>Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC) (*.mov)". The format is developed by Apple and is natively supported by FCE. AIC encoded .mov video can be instantly imported to FCE 4.0 without any problems. Afterwards, set the output folder as you like or just keep the default one.

Step 3. Adjust parameters to create a video fit your needs

If the default settings do not fit your needs, you can click "Settings" button to adjust audio and video parameters as you like.

Step 4. Convert AVCHD for importing to FCE 4.0

After all settings, now just hit the Convert button on the bottom right to kick off AVCHD to Final Cut Express 4.0 conversion. During the conversion, you'll see a neat designed bar to show the percentage and remaining time.

When all conversions finished, just click "Open Output Folder" to find the converted files. Now you may go ahead to show your creativeness on editing them with Final Cut Express 4.0 at ease.

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