Getting HDD camcorder footage into iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Fergus1948, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Fergus1948 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Hi there, I have bought a Panasonic SDR-H250 SD/HDD camcorder which (obviously) records to hard-disk but I cannot get the footage into iMovie HD 5 or Final Cut Express 1.0 on my iMac (Power PC.) Both apps tell me I need to import using a firewire cable but the camcorder has only a USB cable.
    Would getting iLife 08 answer my problems? (Please don't tell me I'll need an Intel mac!?)
    Any advice gratefully received
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #2
    Your software should handle just about any mini DV or HDV camcorder with a FireWire connection. The latest versions support a select number of nontape-based camcorders. The list of supported nontape-based camcorders is available on Apple's website. If you camcorder is not supported, then you will need intermediary hardware such as Elgato's EyeTV to accept video from your camcorder and send it to your computer.
     
  3. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    HDD Footage

    Thanks MisterMe, I'll check out the list of supported cams on the Apple site. The main problem though seems to be that there is no firewire option on the Panasonic camcorder; it is USB only and iMovie doesn't seem to like that, or is that just because I have an earlier version (5?)
     
  4. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #4
    iMovie'08 should be the solution to your problem. However, many folks do not like the new interface of iMovie'08. Your mileage may vary.

    Be sure to check to see if your camcorder is on the list of supported devices. It should be, but you never know.
     
  5. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #5
    I'm afraid you are going to need the lastest version of FCX or iMovie.

    You can use the USB because you are actually only transferring files from the HDD or SD (you could actually transfer the footage to an SD card and pop the SD card into a card reader.) I think there is a conversion process in the transfer somewhere. (I'm doing research before purchasing an SDHC camcorder myself.)

    As for having to have an Intel Mac, you don't want to try to edit HD footage on a non-Intel machine. Whether you can or not, I'm not sure. However you may be able to edit Non-HD footage shot on the same camcorder on a G4 or G5. (did you say what CPU you are using? PowerPC iMac could mean G3.)
     
  6. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    HDD Footage

    ftaok...
    Thanks for responding. Unfortunately the Panasonic SDR-H250 is not on the list of compatible machines.

    rjphoto...
    Thanks for your input.
    I've got a 2.1 ghz G5 iMac (but PowerPC.) The camera is hard disk drive but is SD not HD so hopefully no problem there.

    I didn't particularly want to go down the SD card route as the 30Gb hard drive would have been ample, though if SD turns out to be the route then so be it.

    The camera did appear as a drive on the desktop but the files appear as .MOD/.MOI? and iMovie and FCX won't touch them.

    If iLife/iMovie 08 is the answer I'll happily go with that, I just don't want to buy it and then find out it doesn't work. Waddaya think?

    thanks to all for your help
     
  7. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #7
    I just checked the Apple support page and it seems as though the Panny SDR-H200 has been tested and is supported. They even tested it for PAL.

    Is the SDR-H250 pretty much the same as the H200? If so, then it should probably work.

    You might want to take your camcorder into an Apple Store, if possible to test it out.

    ft
     
  8. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #8

    Beat me to it.

    Anyway, I agree. if you can get to an Apple store or dealer to test before you buy, or if you have a friend who has the new software you can test with, that's what I would do.

    Anyway, good luck and keep us informed. Inquiring minds want to know...
     
  9. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #9
    Sounds to me like all you need is a conversion program to get you from .mod files to .mov or .dv files. Give Google a try. After that, just copy files from the HD using USB to your local machine (or scratch disk) and convert. You should then be able to import into whatever version of iMovie/FCE you like.

    Apple's own Quicktime MPEG-2 converter may be what you need. Have a look at that first.
     
  10. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    HDD Footage

    Thanks FT and RJPhoto, great suggestion about going to the Apple store and trying it out there. They're not that plentiful in the UK but fortunately there are two very close to me.

    Thanks also to GauchGolfer. TheQuicktime MPEG-2 converter should be worth a try.

    I am so grateful to all you guys and will let you know what happens as soon as progress is made.
     
  11. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
    HDD Footage update

    Hi Gauchogolfer, check this out... (I've copied this from a customer review of Apple's Mpeg 2 Playback...)

    "I bought this so I could 'see' the .MOD files that the Panasonic SDR-H20 camera uses... .MOD is an mpeg 2 variant. However, once this plug was installed... QuickTime opened the file... GREAT PICTURE, NO SOUND! So... if you have .MOD files, drop them into TOAST TITANIUM and choose 'Disc/Export Video'... shame I didn't work that out before wasting my hard earned cash!"
     
  12. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #12
    Check out this thread here at Macrumors.
     
  13. Miniboon macrumors newbie

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    Feb 21, 2008
    #13
    Have a look what I posted on Whirlpool. I also have a panasonic sdr-h250 and had similar dramas. Check out what lengths i went to to get it to work...well, it still hasn't to tell you the truth...

    http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=918749

    Let me know what you think.
     
  14. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Hi Miniboon, well, it sounds like you're as discumknockerated as I am. I want above all to be able to edit in iMovie or FinalCut Express so I don't think I'll go with image mixer. Like you, I'd like to return the camera for a firewire one but once you've removed that shrink-wrap...

    I have been able to get something by dropping the .mod files into Toast Titanium and exporting as DV 16:9. I burnt to a DVD with iDVD and it played OK on my TV except it was letterboxed on all 4 sides as if it wasn't quite big enough for full screen. (Maybe I opted for the wrong format.)

    However, the resulting dv files from Toast are importable and editable in my iMovie 5 app. The pisser for me is that if my iMac was intel, not PowerPC, I could just buy iLife '08 and everything would be hunky dory. Or would that be overoptimistic? Good luck compadre.
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #15
    iLife 08 works on PPC-based Macs.
     
  16. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #16
    Sure...?

    Hi MisterMe,
    According to a lot of stuff I've read on the net, iLife is PPC compatible except for the iMovie component which isn't.

    Anyhoo, as was previously suggested, I downloaded MPEG Streamclip and the Apple MPEG-2 Playback component and have managed to get my footage into iMovie and all seems OK. (As a bit of a video-editing virgin I was guessing about which options to export it to as there are so many variables, even within individual codecs, if that's the right word.) Would it be better to export to DV rather than QT, for example, and interlaced or progressive and so on and so on. Maybe now I'm retired I should go on a course!

    Anyway, a big thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond so helpfully.
     
  17. rjphoto macrumors 6502a

    rjphoto

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    #17
    Don't feel bad, I'm still confused by all the different options...

    Find one that works and stick with it.
     
  18. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Thanks

    Thanks RJ, I'm not downhearted. How could I be with so many people willing to help and support? And I am making progress thanks to you guys.

    In a world where so much bad stuff goes on this tiny inconsequential thing has reminded me how good it is when people cooperate for no personal gain, just wanting to help each other out in some small way.

    That's what gives me hope for the future when so many other signs look bad.
    Didn't mean to be philosophical but thanks again to you all.
     
  19. Lebowski macrumors 6502

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    #19

    because real editors dont use USB connections.

    and its funny that people want to save time by shooting to HDD, then end up having to transcode, reformat and jump through hoops just to get the footage into the editor. seems to me that miniDV caputre is much less of a headache. its 100% supported by ALL current and most older editing systems.
     
  20. killmoms macrumors 68040

    killmoms

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    #20
    It's more that camera manufacturers make up their own formats, and most general editing apps don't bother to support them until you get up into the semi-pro/pro formats. It has very little to do with "USB" and more to do with "the format of one's material."

    Really though, the general rule of thumb for iMovie is: DV, HDV and AVCHD = good. Anything else = you will probably have to jump through hoops.
     
  21. gauchogolfer macrumors 603

    gauchogolfer

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    #21
    So did you take a look at the thread I linked to above? The solution there seemed pretty straightforward.
     
  22. Fergus1948 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #22
    Problem sorted

    Hi Miniboon,
    Yes, I did read the thread you posted and the part about ImageMixer 3 files not being editable in iMovie is what put me off. Anyway, as I mentioned previously, MPEG Streamclip together with the Apple MPEG2 Playback module has solved the problem for me. I worked out the best output option (a DV file at 16:9) and it works perfectly; full widescreen on my LCD TV.
    That's all I wanted really so thanks again to everyone for advice and input.
     
  23. Lebowski macrumors 6502

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    #23
    well, in my many years as an editor & producer, i have NEVER once used a USB transfer for footage.

    and as a general rule of thumb, if you buy a camera that uses proprietary codecs that are not widely used, then you fail.
     
  24. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #24
    While this is generally good advice, the OP (Fergus) bought a consumer camcorder that uses MPEG-2 stored on a hard drive. There's hardly anything proprietary with his set-up.

    Fergus,

    Just to add to some of the stuff that's been stated on this thread. You Panasonic camcorder should work with iMovie'08, as the previous version is listed as compatible. If you can check it at an Apple Store, that would be the best way to go.

    As for iMovie'08 being used on PPC Macs, it does work. The only thing that is not compatible on PPC Macs is AVCHD (and even then, there are work-arounds). You G5 will be able to handle iMovie'08 and the MPEG-2 files with no problems (provided the camcorder is indeed compatible).

    ft
     
  25. maki1985 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    #25
    Import HD content into final cut using annother camera

    I shot a video in a HD camera(mini dv) which isn't mine. Now I am trying to use my old camera(mini dv) that is not HD to import the footage into final cut. The problem is that I can not even see the image when I play it on the camera, it looks like the tape is empty. What should I do?? Is there a way to import ir or I would have to use the same camera??:confused:
     

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