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AVCHD vs MP4: Questions About Quality and File Size


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Many Canon and Panasonic camcorder users have no idea to choose AVCHD or MP4 format while recording. It is difficult to say which one is better. AVCHD has better quality while MP4 is more compatible-friendly. In this post, we compare them side by side and hopefully it can help you make your decision.

AVCHD vs MP4: Introduction


The expansion for AVCHD is Advanced Video Coding High Definition. AVCHD format is developed by Sony and Panasonic collectively designed for HD Camcorders. The main reason behind the AVCHD innovation is to record and playback videos in HD format.

AVCHD format can be used to record videos in 720p, 1080i, 1080p or higher resolution. Videos in AVCHD can be burnt to a standard DVD and that can playable on HDTV and Blu-ray Disc Player. File extension of AVCHD format is .m2ts. Most AVCHD Camcorders record using Dolby Digital AC-3 Compression ratio.

Highlighted feature: AVCHD movies are ideal for playback with fantastic picture quality.


MPEG-4 is known as MP4 in short. The extension of MP4 format is .mp4. MP4 is a digital multimedia format used to store video and audio. It also stores subtitles and images. MP4 technology works by compressing the files to make the file size less. Reducing the size of the file makes the MP4 video format more favorable. The MP4 videos are easy to share and stream through internet compared to AVCHD format.

Highlighted feature: MP4 movies are versatile and can easily be played back on smartphones or uploaded to the Web.

AVCHD vs MP4: Differences





Sony's and Panasonic's proprietary AVCHD format does not support with   most of the other devices.

MP4 file format is supports a wide range of networks, software and   devices.

File Extension




Usage is less compared to MP4 due to its incompatibility issue.   Supplied Software is required to perform most of the editing functionalities   with the AVCHD format.

Since the MP4 is compatible with more devices and commonly available   software, it is used by many people in the world.


Size is high due to its high quality and   uncompressed format.

Compressed and take less amount of space in the   Memory.


Quality of the video is high compared to MP4 format.

MP4 also records high definition videos. However, it has less quality   compared to AVCHD video format.

Related Article:
MTS VS M2TS: What's M2TS/MTS Format

AVCHD vs MP4: Convert AVCHD/M2TS to MP4

AVCHD video is not playable on iPhone, iPad, Android and other mobiles. Also, you cannot edit AVCHD files in iMovie, Final Cut Pro or other movie editing software. So many people may want to convert AVCHD to MP4.

Video Converter Ultimate can help you convert AVCHD to MP4, MOV, AVI, WMV, MKV and more, so the AVCHD files recorded by Panasonic, Sony, Cannon or other camcorders can be played on iPhone, iPad, iPod, PS3, Android, PS4, etc. easily. Follow the steps below to convert AVCHD to MP4.


Step 1. Download AVCHD Video Converter on your computer.

Step 2. Connect the AVCHD camera to your computer and then click "Add Files" to upload AVCHD videos to the program.

Step 3. Click "Output Format" and select "MP4" as output format. By converting AVCHD to MP4, you can play AVCHD in Apple TV, Samsung TV, iPhone, iPad, iPod, PSP, PS3, Xbox 360, Blackberry, Android phone, etc.

Step 4. When all the required settings have been specified, click "Convert" button to start the conversion process.

Convert AVCHD to MP4

Wrap Up

Compared to MP4, AVCHD has better quality with bigger size. If you are concern much about the video quality, you can choose AVCHD while recording. Otherwise, MP4 would be better as its size is smaller and most media players can play MP4 files but not AVCHD.

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