Panasonic HDC-SD9: The Trouble with Mac OS X

UPDATE (2008.04.11):
I finally get it to work with Final Cut Pro!!! just search for HDC-SD9 on this blog.

Panasonic HDC-SD9 is capable recording video in 1080p and 24 mode. This is one great feature on a compact camcorder. The quality of the video is amazing.

Unfortunately for Mac users, this camcorder is not fully compatible with iMovie ’08, Final Cut Express 4, and Final Cut Pro 6. The three applications crash during playback or import of videos recorded in non-“24p Digital Cinema” mode. When the “24p Digital Cinema” mode is turned on, iMovie ’08, Final Cut Express 4, and Final Cut Pro 6 can playback and import the recorded video. Even though the three applications can play and import the video, some problems persist.

To illustrate the problems, please check-out the following videos. Both videos were recorded at the same time, one is using Panasonic HDC-SD5 and the other is using Panasonic HDC-SD9. You’ll see how the HDC-SD9 video is playing faster than the actual recording.

Both videos are resized to 960×540 resolutions. This is done due to the sheer monstrosity of the 1920×1080 file size. QuickTime 7 is required for proper playback.

Recorded Using Panasonic HDC-SD5
Panasonic HDC-SD5 Recording (H.264 13.2MB)

Recorded using Panasonic HDC-SD9
Panasonic HDC-SD9 Recording (H.264 9.2MB)

The imported video plays faster while the audio plays at normal speed. Somehow the video and audio go out of sync during the import. By default iMovie ’08 transcoded the AVCHD video to Apple Intermediate Codec, while Final Cut Pro transcoded the AVCHD video to Apple ProRes 422. I will try importing the AVCHD video to another format using Final Cut Pro later.


note: I blame Carrie for making me re-learn “Greensleeves

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