AVCHD vs XAVC S a6000

AVCHD or XAVC S is a thought some owners of a Sony Alpha series camera may go through. I know my a6000 has options to shoot in MP4, AVCHD or XAVC S but which one is the best?

XAVC S is a codec (video compression and output), a modern one too. AVCHD is an older format from 2006 used in Sony and Panasonic camcorders.

AVCHD outputs as .MTS and has a somewhat confusing write folder and file structure as per this image

AVCHD file layout
AVCHD file layout

To get to the video files you needed to go PRIVATE->AVCHD->BDMV->STREAM somewhat of an annoyance and inconvenience.

XAVC S on the other hand simply outputs an .MP4 file into a folder.

AVCHD shoots at its highest 1080p 60fps at 28Mbps bit rate. XAVC S shoots 1080p 60fps in 50Mbps, which is the highest bit rate you can attain from the a6000. The MP4 setting shoots at 1440 x 1080 at 12Mbps or in low res VGA 3Mbps, avoid using this.

XAVC S naturally will put more detail into your video, that and being a more modern video container make it an ideal choice.

Higher bit rate means higher (bigger) file sizes, but hey storage is cheap now days and decent SD cards are no longer a rare commodity. Higher bit rate means more detail which makes editing, colour grading and encoding greater than anything with low bit rate such as an action camera.

if you want the best or highest quality video from an a6000 XAVC S is the answer.

Without going into interlacing, PAL and NTSC if you want the best or highest quality video from an a6000 XAVC S is the answer. You get higher bit rate and an MP4 file compared to the lower bit rate and rabbit hole .MTS file from AVCHD.