Convert and Edit DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free

The Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 (also known as DMC-TZ7) can record 720p HD video in the AVCHD Lite video format (1280 x 720), with the “.mts” file extension, which has no time limit on video length and which has file sizes much smaller than the alternative Motion JPEG format.

To edit AVCHD Lite video (.mts), it is easier to first convert a copy of the video to an AVI file (.avi). This is easier because there are not a lot of software options available to edit “.mts” files, and some computers may not be able to play back “.mts” files very smoothly.

For some computers, converting AVCHD Lite video from an MTS file to an AVI file can give smoother and sharper video playback, even if you do not intend to edit the video.

Convert and Edit Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video

Before Converting AVCHD Lite Video (MTS to AVI)

Note: Download links can be found at the end of this article.

There are a few free software programs that you will need before you can convert and edit your AVCHD Lite video.

  1. Format Factory, a free audio and video file format converter.
  2. VirtualDub, a free video editor.

Also, transfer your AVCHD Lite “.mts” video file to your computer, if you haven’t already.

Convert Panasonic Lumix ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video

  1. Open Format Factory.
  2. Click “All to AVI” on the left side, under “Video”.Convert DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with Format Factory
  3. In the new window that opens, click “Add File”, then select your file.Convert DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with Format Factory
  4. After selecting the AVCHD Lite file you wish to convert, click on “Output Setting”.Convert DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with Format Factory
  5. Under “Profile”, select “High quality and size”. Set “FPS” to “25”. Set “Video Encode” to whichever codec you prefer. “AVC(H264)”, “MPEG(Xvid)”, or “MPEG(DivX)” will all work fine, for example. Although it is not necessary, you may get better results if you also set the Video Stream Bitrate to match the Video Bitrate of the original MTS file, though file conversion may take longer.Convert DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with Format Factory
  6. Return to the main Format Factory window by clicking “OK” to exit the settings window, then clicking “OK” to exit the “All to AVI” windows.Convert DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with Format Factory
  7. In the main Format Factory window, click “Start” to begin the file format conversion.Convert DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with Format Factory
  8. When the conversion is completed, test out the AVI video in any media player. You do not need the original MTS file anymore, but it is recommended that you keep it as a backup.

You can convert to any other file format you like with Format Factory, other than AVI, but just make sure to keep the FPS setting at “25”. For easier editing in the next section, it is recommended to convert to AVI as described above.

Edit Panasonic Lumix ZS3 Video

  1. Open VirtualDub.
  2. Open your video file by going to the “File” menu, then “Open video file”.
  3. In the “Video” menu, click “Direct stream copy”. This will ensure that your video file will not be re-encoded or compressed to a lower quality.Edit DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with VirtualDub
  4. Use the commands in the “Go” menu to move back and forth through the video’s timeline.Edit DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with VirtualDub
    Edit DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with VirtualDub

    Use the commands in the “Edit” menu to delete and re-position sections of the video.

    Edit DMC-ZS3 AVCHD Lite Video for Free with VirtualDub

    For a section of video that you want to delete, move along the timeline to the beginning of the unwanted section, and press the “Home” key on your keyboard to “Set selection start”, as in the “Edit” menu. Then move to the end of the unwanted section, and press the “End” key on your keyboard to “Set selection end”, as in the “Edit” menu. Press the “Delete” key on your keyboard to delete this selection.

    For a section of video that you want to re-position, use the “Home” and “End” keys to mark a selection of the video, as above. Press CTRL+X to cut the selection of video. Move along the timeline to where you want to insert the selection of video. Press CTRL+V to past the selection of video.

  5. When you have finished editing the video, then in the “File” menu, click “Save as AVI” to name and save your video.

Alternatively Use VirtualDubMOD

If you have any issues with audio or video in VirtualDub, you may want to try VirtualDubMOD instead. All of the controls and instructions are the same, so you can use it the same way that you would use VirtualDub.


Free Download Links

» Format Factory – Free Audio/Video File Converter

» VirtualDub – Free Video Editor

» VirtualDubMOD – Free Video Editor (an alternative to VirtualDub)

Related Information

» Reduce Noise in Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3/DMC-TZ7 Photos For Free

» How To: Fix Yellow Spots or Blotches in Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3/DMC-TZ7 Photos

» Sample AVCHD Lite HD Videos: Is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3 A Camcorder Replacement?

» Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3/DMC-TZ7 – Official Site

9 Comments

  1. Brian

    Hi
    Can anyone help please?
    I have been trying to convert my HD video from a Panasonic TZ10 to AV1 to play on my tablet.
    All seems to work OK in the conversion except that only the first few seconds of the clip are converted. I’ve tried several clips but same results. The output screen indicates that the conversion ie 155Mb 41 seconds long has been recognised but only the first few seconds have been stored.
    Any ideas?
    Many Tks
    Brian

  2. Pingback: Drôles de vidéos | La page à Pageau

  3. Josh

    Another solution is to use the latest version of Avidemux (which is free, open-source, and cross-platform). I have a DMC-ZS3, and I was able to edit, transcode, and even losslessly remux the MTS files directly from the camera into several different formats.

  4. Gil

    I’ve tried this conversion using a couple of different input files, one from my ZS3 and one from the samples in “Related Information” above. In both cases the first 6-8 seconds of the converted file come out green, then the rest is OK. The first few frames are totally scrambled. Any idea what I’m missing? My system is Windows 7, 64-bit.
    BTW, shouldn’t the frame rate be 30 for the ZS3 and 25 for the TZ7?

    1. I think the frame rate for either the ZS3 or TZ7, will depend on the region that you buy the camera in. It’s not based on the model, either ZS3 or TZ7, as far as I know.

      So the first 6-8 seconds of footage is green, but the video is the correct length?

      Have you tried converting using the “other” frame rate? I mean, if you tried converting with 30 fps, did you also try it with 25 fps, with the same result?

      1. Gil

        @Friendly User … thanks for the reply. Yes, I tried both frame rates. I also tried letting it default. Same results. The video is the correct length, though.
        You are correct about the frame rate being dependent on region. I think most places that use PAL (25 fps) sell the TZ7. I’m in Canada and have the ZS3 (30 fps).

  5. paul

    when i try to import the file into Virtualdub \ after converting from mts to avi using Format Factory i get error message:

    “Couldn’t locate decompressor for format XVID. (unknown) Virtualdub requires a video for windows (VFW)compatible codec to decompress video. Directshow codecs, such as those used by windows media player are not suitable.”

    I need some free video editing software that is capable of editing HD Video 720 X 1080 format.

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