While we wait for AMA support of AVCHD there is an improvement that I found that some may know but I thought I would share it here for those that missed it.
Step one - Convert AVCHD (.mts etc.) file to avi using Cineform Neo Scene. This $100 product is gaining alot of attention because other NLEs are beginning to support the Cineform Codec natively. This works with cameras like the Canon 5D/7D too. It converts the color space to 4:2:2, handles 24p correctly and is considered visually lossless. It is fairly fast too. I know that there are alot of TMPGEnc fans out there (and there are others) but there is another reason for using Cineform.
Step two - Open MetaFuze (a free Avid product - download latest version at www.avid.com/metafuze) and open the avi file created in step one. Yes the Cineform codec is supported in MetaFuze when you have the free Neo Player or the Neo Scene product installed. Choose your flavor of DNxHD and point the output directory it to the Avid MediaFiles directory of choice. Add any pertinent meta data as needed. Then transcode. It allows you to dedicate mutiple CPUs as needed, and group files to batch process.
Step three - Fire up Media Composer, open a project, then use the media tool to locate the files you created in step two. Drag them to a bin. Your files are immediately ready to use. That beats a fast import any day.
When it comes to comparisons with other conversion tools, I just like the output I get with Neo Scene. Pans are smooth with 24p footage, and blacks are deep and colors are saturated. It just seems very accurate. The interface is scary simple.
For training video on MetaFuze:
Very cool. We've been selling NeoScene to our Adobe CS4 and Vegas owners. They LOVE it. It's fast and efficient, and the fooftage looks great.
I was thinking about you're workflow idea but never tried it out. I'm really happy it works. Hopefully we'll see AMA support fro either Cineform, AVCHD or both in the next release of MC4 (pure wishful thinking on my part, no inside knowledge or speculation).