Canon Vixia HF M31

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by littlec7821, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. littlec7821 macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    My mom just bought this camera and I'm supposed to help her edit all her clips on my macbook. I just tried testing it, taking some random clips and I'm trying to upload them onto my computer now and I'm having a lot of trouble...

    I have a Macbook pro so I can use the memory card reader. I tried doing that first (after making sure I recorded it onto the card, which I did) but when I put it into my computer I couldn't upload it anywhere... like if I opened iMovie there wasn't any kind of file on the memory card that could be read by my mac i guess.

    I tried using the USB cord but my computer didn't even read anything when that came up, like it didn't recognize that anything was connected at all. I tried both USB ports on my macbook a couple times and it wasn't working.

    Do I need some other program to upload videos from this camera? or is there some way to do it without installing anything else?

    The camera came with a program called Pixela, but it says its for Windows, and when I put the disc into my mac it didn't autostart and none of the icons worked so I'm assuming it only works for PC...

    if you haven't been able to tell I'm a little technologically retarded haha but please help!!
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ

    According to Canon, that camera is supposed to work with iMovie right out of the box. When connecting the camera to your Mac, are you sure that the "computer" mode switch is selected on the camera itself? If not, the camera won't know to mount to the computer and thus iMovie will see nothing.

    It appears that the camera records video to an H.264 codec, so another method would be this:

    1. Physically copy the files from the SD card to the computer using Finder.

    2. Use MPEG Streamclip (it's free) to convert the H.264 files to AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec). Note that iMovie doesn't edit H.264 natively and will automatically transcode to AIC if you were importing straight from the camera.

    3. Import the new video files (they will have Quicktime .mov file containers) into iMovie.

    Since the video would need to be transcoded (AIC files are much larger) with either method, it's wise to consider purchasing an external FW hard drive to use for editing.
  3. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    I have an hf 20, from a couple years back. It records to AVCHD. First, be sure that the record source is the card you're sticking into the Mac and not internal memory. Second, when plugging the camera in over USB you MUST Plug the cameras power cord in and then open the LCD to see the option that shows up. Choose the computer option, not DVD.

    Imove will read these files no problem.
  4. Flyer1 macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2010
    I just got the HF M31....I can't find how to change the setting to computer and not DVD. Any help would be very helpful.
  5. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    It shows up when you plug the camcorder into your computer over USB. Open the LCD screen and it'll be there if the camera power is plugged in and you have turned power to on. Otherwise, it doesn't show up.
  6. Rhawkin4 macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2010
    Uploading struggles

    I plugged my canon vixia hf m31 into its power source, turned on the camera, and connected it to my mac OS X and nothing happened, not even a faulty icon.

    Can anyone rationalize my problem?

    potential pc advocate & mac opponent
  7. xStep, Nov 24, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010

    xStep macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2003
    Less lost in L.A.
    The first thing to do is to confirm that the Mac is seeing the inserted USB device. Open System Profiler in the Utilities folder after inserting the device, camera powered up of course. Under Hardware click the USB entry for a list of connected devices. Note: View-->Refresh is available to renew the list.
  8. foshizzle macrumors regular

    Oct 17, 2007
    After you turned the camera on, did you open the LCD and select connect to computer? It's usually the simple step that most people miss.
  9. jackrumorz macrumors newbie

    Nov 26, 2010

    Alright guys, here's how I made it to work right out of the box. I just purchased a CANON Vixia HF M31 with 32gb internal memory. I have a Macbook Pro (mid 2010) with latest software updates (10.6.5 OS X).

    There are two ways this camcorder connects to the mac.

    *You MUST connect external power to the camcorder.
    *Then connect USB from camcorder to MAC.
    *Open the LCD on camcorder, Power ON the camcorder.
    *Press the round button next to (DISP Button) on the camcorder. (There are only two round buttons on the body, its the one on the right hand side when you are looking in to the camcorder body)
    *It will ask you if you want to connect to a printer or computer.
    *Click "Computer" on the display touchscreen.
    *iPhoto and iMovie will automatically open and detect photos and videos.

    *Connect USB from camcorder to MAC (DO NOT CONNECT POWER TO CAMCORDER)
    *Open the LCD on camcorder, Power ON the camcorder.
    *Press the round button next to (DISP Button) on the camcorder. (There are only two round buttons on the body, its the one on the right hand side when you are looking in to the camcorder body)
    *It will ask you if you want to connect to a printer or computer.
    *Click "Computer" on the display touchscreen.
    *Open "FINDER" and you will see the Internal Memory and SD Card (If inserted into the camcorder).
    *You can ONLY VIEW the files in this mode. It will not let you delete it from the camcorder. You can copy it to your mac.

    Hope this helps.
  10. littlec7821 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2009
    ok... i need help again

    i definitely got this to work after reading the responses... once i selected computer or whatever it could read it fine. and everything uploaded and i had no problems.

    now im trying again and doing everything right but i cant get it to upload... i selected computer and my computer is reading the camera, but only iphoto is opening automatically. so when i open imovie manually after the computer is able to read the camera, i cant find out how to import anything.
    im really really confused and this is so frustrating, please help
  11. nanette0269 macrumors newbie

    Dec 21, 2010
    thanks! i dont know why the documentation completely ignores this really helped!
  12. JerseyLightning macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2011
    Also having trouble uploading

    Hi! I'm new to this forum and am having the same problems as some other users. I found the information posted here extremely helpful and managed to get a few steps closer to my goal of uploading videos from a Canon HF M31.

    I did use the round button to find the option for computer output. However, neither iMovies nor iPhoto automatically start. When I manually start them, they cannot see the camera. When I open the camera files using the Canon software (not Pixela; the Vixia startup disk), I can see files but none of them have extenders that are recognizable (.mpl, .bdm). I can't drag and drop anything into iMovies.

    Also, the LCD display has a message reading: PC Connection (USB symbol) Do not disconnect the USB cable or the power source until you safely end the connection from the computer.

    After some hunting around, I did find information on ejecting but after I do File>Eject Canon, I still get an error message on my computer that the disk was not ejected properly.

    I'm running a Macbook. Any ideas on how to get it see the files and actually open them?

    Thanks for any assistance on this!
  13. JerseyLightning macrumors newbie

    Jan 3, 2011
    Later the same day ...

    Okay, so, after 7 hours of wrestling with the beast, I finally got the Canon HF M31 to download and play videos ... to an Asus Eee PC netbook. The MacBook is a complete washout. I did finally get it to display an error message upon initial point of contact with the camera, the message reading something along the lines of there was no media detected.

    Unfortunately, Canon software is PC only, which makes no sense in my mind, but there you are.

    At least I ascertained that the Canon camera and related software do work -- it is just not happy with the Mac. Which I bought specifically to use for photo and movie work, having always had PCs in the past.

    Any thoughts on making this thing play nice with the MacBook?

    Thank you!
  14. Captainidontno macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
    i just got a m30 and had a similar problem.
    heres how:
    1. connect the camcorder to power supply
    2. turn on the camera and go into the view mode where you see the videos already recorded.
    3. connect the camera to your computer.
    4. on the camera lcd there should be a message asking what your connecting to. Select printer/computer.
    5. once the drive shows up on your desktop, open imovie and go to File> Import from Camera. your camcoder should show up and you will beable to import movies.
  15. uberhoudini macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2011
    Does anyone know a faster way to download from HF M31? Just did first download via USB and it took >12 hours to download 41 minutes :eek: onto my 2010 Mac Mini. iMovie seemed to work fine, but that was really painful.
  16. Captainidontno macrumors newbie

    Aug 25, 2010
  17. ltapd204 macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2007
    West Texas
    Are there any differences in the way the HF M31 uploads vs the HF S11 or HF S200? I have a 2007 MacBook Pro with OSX 10.6.6 and iMovie '09 version 8.0.6 (821) and have no problems uploading video from either camera or directly from the SDHC card via a SDHC card reader.

    Several previous post correctly explain how to attach the camera to the Mac to import the video (Note: I have not been able to upload video from the camera unless the camera was plugged into power).

    To upload from a SDHC card reader first launch iMovie then simply plug your SDHC card into a SDHC compliant card reader (some older SD card readers may not work). If this doesn't work, you can mount the SDHC card first then launch iMovie and from the menu bar choose File>Import from camera or choose the camera icon about mid way down the screen between the Project Library and event Library.

    Hope I explained this in an understandable way. If not let me know and I will create a step by step guide and post it.
  18. nightwolf macrumors member


    Oct 4, 2005
    Ontario, CANADA
    I have used video files that went to iphoto. Once there, compress them to the .mov file. it's all song and dance from there.
  19. hanabee macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2011
    be sure to switch the MODE of the camcorder to Dualshot(AUTO) instead of M or it won't read!
  20. mevans7 macrumors newbie

    Oct 2, 2009
    Try removing sd card

    I recorded video to the camera memory. But when I plugged in the camera, iMovie wouldn't recognize it. WHEN I REMOVED THE SD CARD, IMOVIE *DID* RECOGNIZE THE CAMERA!!

    Of course, you have to plug in the USB cable, press the "playback" button on the camera (little camera icon/triangle icon). I had to quit iPhoto as that came up by default. I ran iMovie, then (with SD card removed), it finally recognized the camera.
  21. Chance-Keeper macrumors newbie

    Jul 12, 2011
    I've read all the replys without problem being addressed

    I've read all the replys. The computer recognizes the camera, I see.mts and .jpg files. The Mac does not seem to recognize the .mts files. I have been using this camera on a PC for over a year, have never been able to use it with a Mac. I can play the files on the Mac using a program called VLC Media Player. I have used the program on a PC to convert file types, but can not find that option. I'm assured that the camera is Mac compatible, but not for me. Can someone help me? I would like to use iMovie, but have had no luck. Thank you for all replys.
  22. nannymoo macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2011
    This connecting business drives me crazy

    I've had a Canon Vixia HFM 30 for years. It would start out downloading just fine when plugged in. Then I had trouble getting the camera to connect to my old iMac, so I took it back to the camera store (a place where they know their cameras) and they sent it back to Canon for fixing. What would happen was that, when I connected, I would get a "thumbnails being created" screen, and then it would warn me about not disconnecting power. And it was frozen at that point.
    When I got it back it worked like normal: plug it in and connect it to the computer and it starts downloading--no problems.

    Then again for some reason it won't do it--doesn't recognize the computer and freezes. Can't turn it off, can't turn it back to camera mode--nothing. Over this year I downloaded a lot of video (several trips) and had no problems. Now it freezes, and none of the series of steps in these posts is helping. And when I click on the camera icon in iMovie, I get the iMac's (new iMac, BTW) built-in camera.Is it something I am doing wrong, or is there a really annoying glitch in this camera?

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