There is a lot of confusion about MP4 and AVCHD video formats. Some say since they are both AVC (H.264) and on most camcorders and cameras MP4 has a higher bitrate, then MP4 must be better (fewer artifacts).
This is false. Yes, both use AVC compression, but this comes in different profiles. And the profiles differ as to the degree of sophisticated compression.
AVCHD (at least the 108060p version) uses a "High" profile and uses CABAC. What is CABAC? Here is a quote from Wikipedia: "It is a lossless compression technique. It is notable for providing much better compression than most other entropy encoding algorithms used in video encoding, and is one of the primary advantages of the H.264/AVC encoding scheme."
On my camera, the higher bitrate MP4 (for the same resolution and frame rate) is 'Baseline' profile and does not use CABAC. Thus, because there is less compression, a higher bitrate is needed to achieve the same quality. Why not use CABAC? Wikipedia goes on to say: "CABAC is only supported in Main and higher profiles and requires a large amount of processing to decode compared to similar algorithms."
This is one reason why MP4 is "easier to edit" and why on some cameras with low powered processors AVCHD is not offered. And why many viewing devices (including computers) have trouble even playing AVCHD.
And, CABAC is not the only difference between 'High" and 'Baseline' - there is the number of B-slices, and number and variability of macro blocks.
So do not be fooled by bitrates; that is only one criterion for judging the quality of the codec used. For the exact same compression scheme higher bitrates are better. But MP4 and AVCHD are not just different wrappers of the same scheme; AVCHD is a far more sophisticated and efficient compression scheme than the usual MP4 version. It is possible on some cameras MP4 uses a more sophisticated scheme than AVCHD, but I have not encountered this.
I have, as have many, compared even 145Mbps well-known compression schemes (e.g., Pro Res) to 28Mbps AVCHD and found no difference (both sampling at 8-bit 4:2:0) in quality from the same camera.
So, what about .mov?....