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Just got a Panasonic SDR-H18

Discussion in 'Digital camcorders' started by Gunman, May 31, 2007.

  1. Gunman

    Gunman Member

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    I've recorded a couple of things and put them on my computer. I got a program to change all my .MOD's to mpg's, and I'm able to view them with VLC just fine. However, I've tried editing stuff in adobe premiere, and it is all messed up and slowed down when I play it in adobe premiere.

    Any suggestions?
     
  2. TPFKAS

    TPFKAS Regular member

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    Premiere does not edit MPEG natively and it needs to be rendered again onece you put it on the timeline. Nevertheless, you should be able to import them and play them in Premiere without any problem. I think it is not a Premiere problem, but a codec problem. See if you can play the files with Windows Media Player without problems. If not, you are for sure having a codec problem.
     
  3. smittyd

    smittyd Member

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    I had the same problem importing the converted .MPG files from my brand new SDR H18 into Premiere Elements 2.0. Premiere was totally confused by these files and thought they were 520x480 dimension (?) I finally tried the obvious which was to read the .MOD files into Premiere directly. So far it appears to work and correctly recognizes the files as 704x480 although I haven't burned a DVD with these yet.

    There is even a menu option to add media files from DVD camera or removable drive, and it seems to work great with the SDR 18 videos from HDD or SD.

    I think Adobe has some MPEG2 problems in general, but we have at least some hope of using Premiere with an SDR H18 or similar.

    By the way, Pinnacle 8.5 seems to read the converted .MPG files just fine. I don't use Pinnacle because it locks up frequently and it's not very powerful, but it does seem more forgiving of the file formats.

    Dave
     
  4. burchis

    burchis Member

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    I would like to rejuvenate this topic, because I'm having the same problems.

    I use Sony Vegas Video (v5.0) for all of my video editing. The file extension 'MOD' is not recognized on the timeline. If I change the extension to 'MPG' only the video is placed on the timeline and there is no audio. Although, this 'mpg' file will play normal using Windows Media Player. This tells me that the audio is embedded within the file but Vegas doesn't know how to handle it.

    I can use my Canopus ADVC-100 conversion unit to import via the firewire port and create an AVI file, and then ultimately place this AVI file on the timeline which Vegas correctly recognizes both video and audio streams. This method is very time consuming.

    My ultimate goal is to transfer all of my camcorder video on to a DVD for archiving, which I can simply do from within Windows Explorer, and then when needed recall this archived footage and edit as needed.

    Problem here is- these 'MOD' files are not user friendly. Am I missing something here? Is there a CODEC that is required for Vegas? Anyone have a work-around for this scenario?
     
  5. scottvan

    scottvan Member

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    I'm having trouble with widescreen.

    I have a Panasonic SDR-H18 hard drive camcorder that I am recording in widescreen. I have the PE4 settings set for NTSC -> Hard disk, flash memory camocrder -> Widescreen 48Hz.

    When I transfer the video to PE4, it compresses the video to 4:3 instead of 16:9. I can use Interpret Footage... and change it to 16:9, but am I losing picture quality by it compressing the original 16:9 to 4:3 and then going from 4:3 back to 16:9? Even if not losing the quality, why is it doing this?

    I am running Windows XP home on an Intel Q6600 (3.6Ghz) with 4Gb RAM installed.
     
  6. smittyd

    smittyd Member

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    I have done widescreen successfully, and the only thing I see that's not quite right is that PE4's wide screen assumes 720x480 but the Panasonic format is 704x480 so there are some black strips no the left and right side (not a big deal really.)

    I wonder if the problem may be in how you transferred the files to Adobe. In my case I had to read the .MOD files directly into PE4 from the camera. If you try to convert them to MPG files first, somehow PE4 gets scrambled when trying to render or maybe even when previewing the videos.

    Good luck!
     
  7. scottvan

    scottvan Member

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    Yes, I have tried having them read straight from the camera into PE4, and also by loading the files to the PC hard drive and importing them into PE4, I get the same result.
     
  8. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    The proprietary format of hard drive video cameras, sucks, plain and simple. That's why it will be some time, before anything beats good old miniDV tape.
     
  9. smittyd

    smittyd Member

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    I agree that the hard drive mpeg2 format is not exactly the easiest to edit and it's not as quality as DV, but it's weird that my PE4 can deal with the SDR H18 format files in widescreen and scottvan's PE4 can't. There must be something configured differently with PE4.

    Is the PE4 video preview window showing up as widescreen to begin with, before you import your videos? I don't think you can change an existing .prel project from normal to widescreen or vice versa without somehow editing the XML file manually outside of PE4. However, if I set the widescreen mode before creating a NEW project then the widescreen format is in effect for that whole project. The same is true with PE4 whether I import files from the SDR H18 or from other sources.
     
  10. scottvan

    scottvan Member

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    I'll show you what I'm doing to see if there is something wrong...

    Open new project - Widescreen 48kHz
    [​IMG]

    Showing the PE4 version I have:
    [​IMG]

    Media Downloader:
    [​IMG]

    Downloading from SDR-H18:
    [​IMG]

    Project Settings:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Here it is, after all that, I get a 4:3 picture:
    [​IMG]

    So I Interpret Footage:
    [​IMG]

    ...as widescreen:
    [​IMG]

    and it comes out properly in PE4:
    [​IMG]

    Try to export:
    [​IMG]

    Settings:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]




    Rendering:
    [​IMG]

    Now this time when I tried viewing this small rendered clip it came out black all the way through. I tried it three times, Deinterlace checked and not checked, it still came out black. Previously, the video came out as squished 4:3.

    Opinion?
     
  11. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    I am not familiar with that software, but the problem is the proprietary .MOD files. Somehow, the widescreen flags are dropped when using the software, which is unfortunate.
     
  12. smittyd

    smittyd Member

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    Wow, great details on your PE4 steps. Other than one key detail you did everything exactly like I did. The one detail is that I only have PE2 (not PE4.) Oops, sorry I can't keep track of all the program versions these days. The screens look mostly like your PE4. I had forgotten about the "interpret footage" trick that I use so we are definitely doing the same steps. For whatever reason I can export things just fine or burn DVD images from PE2.

    I seem to recall someone mention that Adobe may have removed MPEG2 codecs from later versions, so your external codecs might be an issue. Removing codec support from later versions doesn't make sense to me so maybe I heard wrong. I think Microsoft has some type of MPEG2 codec check utility you can run to help diagnose codec issues. That won't help if it turns out to be a PE4 issue. If that is the case I guess I won't upgrade any time soon!

    Sorry, it looks like there isn't an easy answer. The cheapo program that came with the camcorder can probably produce a DVD successfully from files on the camcorder in widescreen, but it's no PE4 for sure.
     
  13. scottvan

    scottvan Member

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    I remember when I first ran PE4 and started to do a download from the camera, PE4 had to get an MPEG2 codec. It seemed to get and install the codec without any problems.

    I've decided to unload the SDR-H18 on ebay and get a Sony DCR-HC96 instead. MiniDV and a better picture. Thanks for everyone's help.
     
  14. GrandpaBW

    GrandpaBW Active member

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    I have the Sony DCR-HC96, and you will love it. Make sure that you get a good quality firewire cable, too, if you don't have one already.

    Also, for your SDR-H18, you can try the free software, in the following URL. I don't know for sure if it will work for your video camera, but it does work for JVC Everio video cameras.

    Scroll down to the bottom, and download the sdcopy V1.997 beta. You just unzip it, click on the .exe file, and it should download the video from your camera. The software has the option to set the widescreen flag for your widescreen video. It won't hurt to try it.

    http://www.camcorderinfo.com/bbs/showthread.php?t=132937&page=2&pp=15
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2008

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