Most of my video editing programs simply take the stream (.MTS) files from my camera's AVCHD videos. I can confirm the imported video/audio are exactly the same if the program has access to the whole directory structure or simply the MTS file and nothing else. In fact, no program even touches the other files (my filesystem saves the time the file was last accessed).
But everywhere everyone says that all the other files are important, that by saving only the MTS files i can lose information. What information am i losing?
And if there is any information to be had, is there any way to get rid of AVCHD so my other NLV editing programs do not have to care about it (since they obviously can't handle it anyway)? maybe MTS/AVCHD converted to audio + stills (PNG)? what should i use to do that conversion and not lose all that hidden information that is scattered around?
If the specific AVCHD implementation matters, I'm using mostly panasonic cameras (GH2 to GH4).
tl;dr how do you import AVCHD footage into your workflow for maximum flexibility?