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iMovie11 compatible with the following specs? (Should I buy this cam?)

660 Views 6 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 5:35 PM by AppleMan1958 RSS
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Jan 25, 2013 10:22 AM

The Sony Camcorder (HDR-PJ790V) I am considering is new.  It won best camcorder at Consumer Electronics Show.  Sony will release it in early Feb.  It does not appear on the compatibility list for iMovie, but that may be due to its being so new.  The specs for this camcorder are (copy/paste right from Sony site):


Video Mode : HD: MPEG4-AVC/H.264 AVCHD 2.0 format.compatible; STD: MPEG2-PS; MP4: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264


Video Resolution : HD:1920x1080/60p(PS),60i(FX,FH), 1440x1080/60i(HQ,LP); STD:720x480/60i; MP4: 1280x720 30p


It appears that iMovie is not friendly to content filmed in 1080-60p.  That's what the Apple compatibility list says about this camcorder's predecessor.  According to the Sony site, this camcorder allows me to record in either AVCHD or MP4.  Both are HD content, correct?  But the MP4 is easier to edit, I hear.


Will I be able to import HD content into my iMAC and work with it in iMovie?  If 1080-60p is not good, what about 60i?  I don't completely get these numbers.


Any help would be much appreciated.



iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    60i will work in iMovie from this camera.

    60P will work in Final Cut Pro X.


    You should not need 60P unless you shoot a lot of slow motion.

    AVCHD will be higher quality than MP4.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    The cameras test for Final Cut Pro X are mostly Pro cameras. I didn's see too many consumer caccorders on the list. But as long as they follow the AVCHD spec, FCPX can handle them.


    When you get your camera, be sure to keep the SDHC card intact. Both iMovie and FCP need the full file structure of the card to import. If you pull individual .mts files off the card, you will need expensive software to import it.


    Both FCPX and iMovie have a Camera Archive function so you can make an exact copy of your card on the hard drive. Then you can erase the card and use it for the next shoot.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    You can use the card or the internal flash. I find the card to be more convenient because you put it in a USB card reader and you can download easily. You can also download from your camera, but you need to connect the camera to AC power - not batteries only.


    The file structure is the same whether you use the card or the internal memory. The file structure tells iMovie or Final Cut Pro what kind of camera it is and how to download.

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 Level 7 (27,335 points)

    As computers get faster and faster, 60P may one day become a standard. Also 4k will become a standard, replacing 1920x1080.


    However, current TVs mostly work with 30P. So if you have 60P, you can either ignore every other frame, or you can play every frame at half speed and have super sharp slow motion. Final Cut Pro and iMovie assume you will be playing your end product on a TV so Timelines must meet a standard...29.97, 25, 24, etc.

    Final Cut Pro allows editing in 60P, but it is mainly useful as an intermediate product. Say you had 60P footage and you wanted to apply a Motion effect on it, or a keyed effect on it, or an Alpha Channel effect on it. You could do that in 60P and then later use it in a final project at 29.97 or 25P.


    60i (a marketing term for 29.97 interlaced video) is quite good at capturing motion, like sports. Most current TVs support this standard, and all broadcast TV is either 1080i (29.97) or 720P.


    QuickTIme Player can play 60P today if you Mac is powerful enough.


    It will take much longer before 60P is useful for internet delivery such as YouTube. 30P takes a really fast internet connection, and it will be a while before many people have internet fast enough to support 60P.


    That is how I understand it. I am sure there are others who understand it better and can correct me.


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