Copy files from camera to Mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DevNull0, Sep 22, 2015.

  1. DevNull0 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    #1
    A friend of mine wants me to copy the video files from his Canon HF R50 video camera to a DVD for him.

    I can't seem to get the mac to recognize the camera at all except that it pops out Photos and tries to import the files. Apparently "Import" means convert the AVCHD files to some other format that Apple likes better and hide the files within the Photos database.

    Is there some way to copy the native files from the camera to my hard drive without modifying them? I also don't want them in any sort of photo library, I just want the files.

    Thanks.
     
  2. wgnoyes macrumors 6502

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    #2
    If there's a card in the camera, can you just take the card out and pop it into the mac and copy over the files that way with finder?
     
  3. monokakata, Sep 23, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015

    monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #3
    I was going to suggest the same thing, but I looked up the camera and although it has a card slot, it also has internal storage. I'm betting that it uses the internal storage first, unless instructed not to.

    It also may be that the camera has a command buried in its menus that says something like "copy from internal storage to the removable card."

    OP, can you see anything at all using Finder?

    Another possibility would be to download a trial copy of FCP X and use it to import the video files. Maybe iMovie can do this; I don't know.

    I have a Canon XA10 and FCP X immediately found the video -- no problem at all. Then all you do is poke around to find the (transcoded) files themselves, and you're done.
     
  4. DevNull0 thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    There is no memory card in the camera. I don't see any option to copy the internal memory to card, but I could be missing it or it may only show up with a card installed.

    The camera does not show up at all in finder.

    I don't currently have iMovie installed (I assume I can download it for free, I did buy a mac mini recently). I'm reluctant to download a large app though, my MBP only has so much storage and I don't want to clutter it with apps I won't use. Photos does immediately find the videos, but importing also converts them. From what I've read, iMovies and FCP X probably will as well because Apple doesn't like the AVCHD format and assumes you want to edit the files with their software.
     
  5. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #5
    It's not so much that Apple doesn't like AVCHD. It's that AVCHD isn't considered an editing format, so most or all editing software will want to convert it to something else, for editing. Most camcorders "hide" the actual AVCHD files by keeping them in a container -- the container has all kinds of metadata that get lost if you just find the actual AVCHD files and download them.

    This has nothing to do with Apple -- it's just the way it is. Somewhere in the Digital Video forum there's a really good, clear explanation of AVCHD and the others. It won't solve your problem but it might clarity the AVCHD issues for you.

    I understand what you're saying about storage, but I still think that grabbing FCP X is your best bet. If you have enough space to install it, and to handle the files it makes, you'll be fine. Once you know you've pulled what you need from the camcorder, you can just delete FCP X, freeing up that space again. I'm pushing the FCP X method because I know it works in precisely the circumstances you're in. Thus you should have the easiest possible time doing what you need to do. No wondering "will this work?"

    edit: hang on . . . I'll connect my XA10 and see what happens with Photos. If Photos converts the AVCHD that's on my XA10 into an editing format -- well, that's all your friend needs.
     
  6. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #6
    Well, Photos on my iMac isn't able to find the XA10.

    I started FCP X and, as expected, it immediately found the camcorder and the Import dialog worked precisely as expected.

    I really urge you to use FCP X, then delete it.
     
  7. Dc2006ster, Sep 24, 2015
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2015

    Dc2006ster macrumors regular

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  8. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

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    #8
    There is no need to convert files to copy them onto your computer. A file is a file is a file. With the camera on and attached in, launch the application "Image Capture". It is there, part of the default install. If the camera conforms to any reasonable standards it should show up and give you access to the file structure of any included storage.
     
  9. Dc2006ster macrumors regular

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    #9

    Yes. The Help menu has a section on transferring files and you can also use this app to prevent Photos or any other app from opening automatically.
     
  10. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #10
    Pretty sure you have to pay for it these days. The latest version of iMovie will import AVCHD.
     
  11. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

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    #11
    Yes, that's certainly true. But it's also true that unless you understand not to get into the camcorder and extract only the .mts files, thinking that they are all that matters, you're going to have a problem.

    In other words, if he goes in and grabs the .mts files but not their container(s), and burns a DVD with just the .mts files, his friend is not likely to be pleased.

    But if he uses some piece of software that understands how to take the "AVCHD" package and extract the .mts files with their metadata and then convert them to something like ProRes QT files, he'll have no problem at all (except that the files will be big). So that's why I've been suggesting he let something like FCP X do that for him.
     
  12. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    Australia
    #12
    Copy them to a DVD, or create a DVD he can play on a DVD player? If it's the latter, you'll need something to create a DVD for playback. Something like iMovie. It's only 2 GB and the Canon HF R50 is 'iMovie-compatible', according to Apple. Have a go.
     
  13. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Redondo Beach, California
    #13
    Yes it does. But pg 110 explains how to save the camera memory to a USB hard drive without using a computer. You can connect the drive directly to the camera. Then you plug the drive to the computer.
     

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