I have no real Lion experience so I don't know what it can or cannot do as regards to mpeg-2. I know mpeg-2's the format used with DVDs so I guess Canon are trying to produce something fairly high-end without the horribly memory hungry RAW format.
What are you doing with all this? Your final product? I mean, if you're targeting an online distribution product then at some stage you're going to have to take it to mp4 anyway. If you're doing DVD then obviously you don't want to re-code it too many times or else you're just losing quality each time. On the other hand, it may be tricky trying to edit in mpeg-2. You'd need to post on a high-end editing forum such as final Cut, and browsing the web looking for information about your camera I kept on coming across posts where people were asking about how to use the thing with a Mac.
There was an interesting post on codecs here in case you're doing editing: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3928936?tstart=0
I'm a musician and I'm making a music film clip. One place it will end up is Rage. It will also go onto Youtube, and I expect eventually a DVD. I need to get the process right as I will be doing them regularly. And yes to 2 things: I am converting to Mp4 anyway to put clips into i-movie at the moment, and yes I will be getting Final Cut Pro in the next month or so but I'm not sure I will have enough time to master it before the song release. Therefore it may need to be done in i-movie if it has the appropriate outputs. These are my next little challenges.
At least now I can start editing the footage that was riddled with black lines. That was such a huge help!
I will take a look at the link you posted as I'm sure it will come in handy.
By the way the Canon camcorder puts out great quality, I just wish it was more compatible and friendly toward common programs etc.
If you have any more ideas, I'm very happy to get all the help I can.
As noted in the link I found, there are variants of mp4, some more suitable for editing than others. It looks like the h264 which is one of which Handbrake supplies is not the greatest for editing. h264 provides very good quality for small file size (important for online video) but you also don't want to convert between formats more than absolutely necessary because you lose quality each time. The only winning scenario is to do the editing of the original mpeg-2, then encode as mp4 the final product. That's where I can't help you but maybe the people on the Final Cut forum can.
Does Canon supply any Mac version of their software? I have a Canon compact camera and while their software isn't the greatest it is surprisingly good and rivals at least my older copy of iMovie. What makes it better is while the format of the video produced by my camera is not something iMovie likes, I can edit the video a lot with the Canon software (including fancy transitions such as flip and fade and slide, and adding music, and sticking together multiple videos and stills) and then export the final version as something that will play on pretty much anything. The key thing is, I don't need to convert to mp4 first, just at the very end, minimizing re-coding quality loss.
Yes I will have to do some more trial and error stuff. At this stage I will research as I go and hope I learn new tricks before I release the song.
Unfortunately Canon does not have software that suits Mac. Although i will keep searching. The disks that came with the camera are for Windows apart from the photo download disk. Quite frustrating really for a reputable company like Canon.
I will be overseas for a week so won't be responding to your posts but feel free to share as I really value your support.