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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

Switcher having issues with importing video from camcorder


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Rhedik

 
Member Since: Aug 11, 2010
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I did some searches on this and tons of googling but still have yet to find a solution that seems to work.

Bought new MBP, i5, 4G RAM, 17" etc and have a Sony DCR-SR42 HDD camcorder. It comes with software to import the the footage into Windows ONLY. I looked up the camcorder model on the Sony site and they say that iMovie on the Mac will import the footage. When I try it, it doesn't work. It goes through the import process but after it's finished I get an error message saying unrecognizable format or something along those lines. The camera stores the files as MPEG2 on a hard drive. Apple wants me to buy an MPEG2 add-on for $20 or 30 buck of course but this doesn't guarantee iMovie will still be able to import the footage off the camera.

Currently, I'm having to import the footage from my camera in Windows using the Sony software, copying the files to my Mac partition, and then converting all of the files to MPEG-4 using Handbrake before I can import them into iMovie. Handbrake doesn't seem to have a batch feature so I have to open each file (hundreds of them) individually, put them all in the queue on by one, render them into new format then import into iMovie.

Am I missing something? What have you other switchers done to import video from your camcorders? Surely there is something obvious that I'm missing but I just don't understand why importing video into my mac is such a big issue.

This is the only thing that is keeping me in the Windows world and I need to delete the boot camp partition now as I need the space and I really want to be rid of windows completely.

Thanks for any advice or experiences that you switchers have come across or from any of you experienced mac guys.
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chscag

 
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Moved to "Movies and Video". Maybe you'll get an answer in this forum a bit faster. This is where your post belongs anyway.
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Rhedik

 
Member Since: Aug 11, 2010
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So nobody has issues with importing video from their camcorder into their mac? So much for "it just works" I guess. As crappy as Windows is, at least I can plug in my camcorder and import the footage and begin editing.

Does anyone know why I have to use handbrake to convert the mpg2 video from the camera to mpg4 before I can edit it with iMovie? Why is it the PC can handle mpg2 without converting it to something else but the mac can't when the mac is more of a video editing platform than windows?
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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
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Even if iMovie won't import the footage directly, doing a search on google for your camera model + iMovie 09 pulls up a lot of topics on this as well as work arounds. Including using mpegstreamclip or a tool like this: VideoPier - The mising link between your MPEG2 / HDV / AVCHD camcorder and your mac that specifically states support for converting footage from your camcorder into an iMovie friendly format.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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Rhedik

 
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Nice. Thanks for the link for the VideoPier app. That looks like exactly what I need. I was googling my camera model and mac software from sony and importing video into mac. I hadn't thought about googling iMovie for the same reason I use the Image Capture app and not iPhoto to import pics. I figured there were other ways to import the footage.

Thanks again for the help!
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Rhedik

 
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I also checked out the mpegstreamclip but it requires the $20 MPEG 2 quicktime feature you have to buy from Apple. I also didn't see a batch feature. Because of this, I'll still have to use Handbrake (since it's free and at least has a queue) to convert each file to MPEG 4.

I think my only option to be able to import from camera directly into the mac without having to switch over to Windows is to use VideoPier and spend the $50. It's worth it for the time I'd save.

Still surprised that this is even an issue though with Macs. Guess I should really think about shelling out some cash for a camcorder that's compatible.

Thanks again bud!
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Nethfel

 
Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
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Well, mpeg2 camcorders are an interesting beast. You may want to look into getting the plugin anyway as you never know when you may need to do some sort of conversion that requires it.

And, actually, you're not wholey correct on mpegstreamclip - it has a batch mode - the listing is under the List drop down. It's also covered in the manual - here's the section of the manual that covers it:

Quote:

USING BATCH PROCESSING
If you want to use batch processing, please open the batch list using the List menu. The batch list shows a queue of tasks that will be executed when you click the Go button.

If you have many files you want to convert, you can click the "Add Files" button, or drag & drop the files into the batch list. You will be asked to choose a task and a destination directory. You have the option to fix timecode breaks and join selected files. For export, you will also need to enter the export settings, unless you enable the option "Use previous folder and settings": this option is available only if you previously used "Add Files" at least once.
PIDs for the conversion will be chosen automatically for each file.
Loading all files in the batch list may take time: you can stop the process with Command-. or Esc, if necessary.

But there is another way to fill the batch list. In fact, while the batch list is open (even when hidden behind other windows) every conversion you choose in the File menu will be added to the batch list instead of being performed immediately (so remember to close it when you want to do an immediate conversion). This includes Save As, Export to, Convert to, Demux to; and even Download and Upload from/to supported PVR devices. The source stream used is of course, the one shown in the player.
If you add tasks this way, all editing, trimming, In/Out points, and chosen PIDs, will be saved in the batch list; thus a batched conversion gives the same results as an immediate conversion. If you then make further changes to the source stream in the player, these changes do not affect editing, trimming, In/Out points, and PIDs stored in the batch list. And you can even close the stream and open another stream in the player if you want; all conversion data will remain in the batch list until you delete the task or quit the application.

You can start batch processing with the "Go" button. The button's name will change to "Stop", if you click it again, processing of further tasks will be stopped but the currently running task will continue till completion. To stop the running task and all subsequent tasks, you can use the "Stop" button in the progress window.
If you enable "Automatic start", batch processing will automatically start as soon as you add a new task to the batch list.
If you set the number of "Simultaneous tasks" to more than 1, several tasks will be performed at the same time. The progress window shows the status of only one task: click on a particular task in the batch list to watch its progress. But if you click "Stop" in the progress window, all running tasks will be stopped at once. Not all tasks can be performed simultaneously.

The initial status of a task is "Waiting". If you click the "Hold" button you can change the status to "Held" and then back to "Waiting". When a task is "Held" it will be skipped during batch processing, but it remains in the batch list.
Once executed, the status of a task changes to "Completed"; if unsuccessful, the status reports the error message. To execute the task again, you need to change the status back to "Waiting" by using the "Repeat" button.

You can change the processing order of tasks by selecting one task and using the "Up" and "Down" buttons. You can remove a task from the list using the "Delete" button, or all tasks using the "Clear" button.
You can change the destination folder of one or more tasks with the "Redirect" button; and with the "Script" button you can choose a script to be executed when all tasks have been completed.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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My_MAC_MBP

 
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Hello,

No issues importing content from Sony HD camera to 15" MBP. AFAIK, there are some issues if you have SD and HD content on the same storage device (internal flash drive or Sony's Card) When importing, the format must be same for all content on storage device.
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Rhedik

 
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Nethfel, dang..I missed that. I guess I need to learn to slow down bit and read the dang manual That helps a ton and I will be getting that app.

My_Mac_MBP..I don't have a Sony HD camera. It's an MPEG 2 HDD camera so I'm one of the unlucky ones to have a model not completely compatible with the Mac or iMovie. I wasn't sure by your post if you were saying that Sony makes an HD camcorder that is fully compatible or if you were saying that I shouldn't be having issues with my particular camcorder. I have the Sony DCR-SR42 HDD which is NOT HD.
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My_MAC_MBP

 
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Hello,

My apologies for the confusion. Yes, my wife owns a refurbed Sony HD CamCorder that has Flash Memory and a slot for its storage card. When she connects the camera to her MBP, iMovie imports the movie with no issues. Sony does make cameras that work with iMovie. IIRC, Apple's website has a list of compatible cameras for iMovie, and workarounds.
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