Video Cameras forum

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Sony Camcorder

by tgwti / February 6, 2010 6:24 AM PST

Hey! I just bought a $600 Sony camcorder and I am having some trouble with it. I was looking on another thread and it says that if you film in standard definition, it's easier to transfer it to the computer and it will transfer in a "common format" (.wmv and .avi I suppose?). But if I want to film in high definition, how could I get the files into a "common format", preferably .wmv, since I usually edit in .wmv. Also, if I wanted to use a mac, how would I do it? I bought a mac just a few months ago, and I still need to get used to it. But I usually edit on my Dell, since it's easier for me at the moment.
Thanks! -Lowell

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To start with,
by boya84 / February 6, 2010 12:13 PM PST
In reply to: Sony Camcorder

Which Sony camcorder? The model number is best - lacking that, the main media storage type: MiniDV tape, ProDuo or other flash memory card, or Hard disc drive?

Then... Which Mac? Laptop (which one), MacMini, iMac, Tower? And which Dell - and which Operating System versions?

Other information can follow once we know what we're working with.

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answers
by tgwti / February 7, 2010 1:13 AM PST
In reply to: To start with,

It's a Hard Disc Drive.
Model No.: HDR-XR200V
Mac: the latest iMac
Dell: the latest Studio Desktop running Windows Vista.
I usually use the Vista version of Windows Movie Maker, since it offers all the editing tools I need. I want to know about the mac so that when I know how to use iMovie properly enough to edit freely, I could switch over to the mac.
Thanks!

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Alright, then...
by boya84 / February 7, 2010 2:06 AM PST
In reply to: answers

The Sony HDR-XR200 is a hard disc drive camcorder that records using AVCHD to very highly compressed MTS files.

In theory, connecting the camcorder's USB port to the Mac's USB port - and putting the camcorder in Play mode should launch iMovie (if you are on the latest, then iMovie '09) and providing the Import or Log/Capture dialog boxes.

Apple says you should be good to go:
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1793

Apparently, some are more successful that others:
http://discussions.apple.com/search.jspa?threadID=&q=imovie+hdr-xr200&objID=&dateRange=last90days&userID=&numResults=15&rankBy=10001

CPU speed will not be an issue. RAM *should* be at 4 gig.
iMovie can deal with both the standard def MPG files or high definition MTS files - but there should not be different video file types on the camcorder's drive. Capture one or the other to that hard drive. If you have a mix, you will have importing problems.

There is no version of Movie Maker running on Vista or earlier that can deal with AVCHD MTS files of which I am aware.
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Importing-files-into-Windows-Movie-Maker-frequently-asked-questions
Your best option for the Windows machine is to transcode that video to WMV so Movie Maker can deal with those files. There are lots of transcoders available...

Windows7 running MovieMaker Live can - since you are not in that environment, it does not matter.

iMovie '09 is pretty powerful considering it is bundled. There are some quirks as there are with pretty much any application. The integration with iDVD is really useful. The anti-shake feature is a good one. I prefer Final Cut (even FC Express) over iMovie. Multiple video tracks is REALLY handy.

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