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.
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.
- Format Factory, a free audio and video file format converter.
- 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
- Open Format Factory.
- Click “All to AVI” on the left side, under “Video”.
- In the new window that opens, click “Add File”, then select your file.
- After selecting the AVCHD Lite file you wish to convert, click on “Output Setting”.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the main Format Factory window, click “Start” to begin the file format conversion.
- 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
- Open VirtualDub.
- Open your video file by going to the “File” menu, then “Open video file”.
- 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.
- Use the commands in the “Go” menu to move back and forth through the video’s timeline.
Use the commands in the “Edit” menu to delete and re-position sections of the video.
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.
- 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
» VirtualDubMOD – Free Video Editor (an alternative to VirtualDub)