Sony HDR-SR12 + iMovie - how to reduce file size?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Maestro88, Oct 18, 2008.

  1. Maestro88 macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2007
    I'm using the above mentioned camera for importing HD 1080i video into iMovie. On the Sony it is using the highest possible quality setting, so quite large files. It has a 120Gb hard drive and offers about 900 minutes of record time at that setting.

    When I import the movies into iMovie however, my Mac Pro 8 core maxes out and seems to be converting the files. I read on another forum that it does this to convert from Sony's heavily compressed proprietary H.264 files (that the mac can't use) to something more useable. However it says that it will increase the file sizes by around 5X to 10X their original size!!

    That means 40Gb for one hour of video! Not very cool.


    a) Is there any way to have the Mac convert these to a still very high quality but reasonable file size for use in iMovie?

    b) If not does anyone know if iMovie will eventually include better support for this camera, particularly in terms of importing the original files "as is" or at least close to it, so we don't get this enormous use of hard disk space. I have 1000 Gb drive but that's only 25 hours at that rate, and the drive is already half full with other stuff.

    c) Do you need a mac pro to play back these files / import them - what about a new Macbook Pro? Can it play back full HD from an external fw800 drive?
  2. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    a) No. iMovie transcodes to AIC. That's just the way the good lord made it.

    b) Who knows? Eventually, anything might happen. But native AVCHD editing support from Apple doesn't appear to be on the horizon just yet. (Though SJ is really big on USB camcorders, right? So let's see if he puts his money where his mouth is.)

    c) Which files? If you're talking about the Quicktime files that iMovie makes when it transcodes your AVHCD clips, then even a Mac Mini will play them. Well, a C2D Mac Mini.

  3. paradise1man macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2008
    sr-12+imovie how to reduce file size?

    actually i use the same camera,but if you want to reduce the file size you have to work with final cut pro,cuz it's support avchd format and you can export your project by converting it automatically to anything you would like to use this file on,like iphone or youtube or quicktime or 3gp or wmv ,mp4 ,m4v,so try to do so for better results,anyway,i want to ask you if you had this problem before with the sony sr-12,i tried to record the speedo dials on the bugatti veyron while i am accelerating but the problem every time i pass the 140 mph mark the camera display gives me a blue screen with a message that says something about over buffer and after that a retrieving data message appears then the recording stops and i miss all the action,i tried the sony lcd camera and it was fine,but not the same resolution of course,so let me know if anybody had experience the same problem,and what kind of an hd cam can i use which does not do this,thanks and good luck.
  4. Courtaj macrumors 6502a


    Jul 3, 2008
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    It could be the vibrations interfering with the SR12's harddrive. Try recording to a card instead and see if that makes any difference.

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