Panasonic HDC-SD9 and Final Cut Pro: Perian to The Rescue

UPDATE 2008.06.11:

QuickTime 7.5 adds support for Panasonic HDC-SD9 and other newer AVCHD camcorders.

Hans Eklundh left a comment and confirmed that the 25p PAL version (Europe) also works with QuickTime 7.5

“Good news, everyone! We finally can use Panasonic HDC-SD9 and Final Cut Pro.”

AVCHD Final Cut Pro Icon

So far, I have not been able to import 1080p/24p clip from HDC-SD9 into iMovie correctly. I’m still looking into it. I don’t have Final Cut Express 4 to test the import.

Good news, indeed. After 6 weeks, I finally get to import 1080p/24p clip from Panasonic HDC-SD9 correctly. The audio and video are in complete sync. The remedy is none other than Perian 1.1. Previously, Perian QuickTime Component was conflicting with Final Cut Pro.

Numbers of people raised the concern regarding Panasonic HDC-SD9 compatibility with Mac OS X applications (iMovie ’08, Final Cut Pro 6, and Final Cut Express 4). I was exploring this issue because I want to use my Panasonic HDC-SD9 in 1080p/24 mode.

Panasonic HDC-SD9 AVCHD Camcorder

I asked some Apple employees regarding this problem, and the non-answer I got is that Apple is working on camera compatibility issues. I’m hoping that Apple would update their applications to support Panasonic HDC-SD9 in particular and newer 1080p/24p camcorders in general.

On Thursday (2008.04.10), Apple released Pro Applications Update 2008-001 and brought Final Cut Pro to version 6.0.3. I was hoping that Apple would have resolved the issues with HDC-SD9 camcorder. Unfortunately, the issue persisted.

I decided to spend some times for trial-and-error in making Final Cut Pro playing nice with HDC-SD9. It was 03:00 hour, and I had an epiphany. Previously, some people were recommending ShedWorx’s VoltaicHD Converter to import AVCHD clip in Mac OS X. I went to ShedWorx’s site and read the System Requirements for the VoltaicHD Converter:

System Requirements for the VoltaicHD Converter:

  1. OSX 10.4 or 10.5 (Intel and PowerPC)
  2. QuickTime 7.3
  3. Apple Intermediate Codec (AIC)
  4. iMovie (HD or 08) or Final Cut Express/Pro
  5. Perian if you are using Final Cut

VoltaicHD requires Perian QuickTime Component!

I checked Perian site, and compared the version I previously had installed on my MacBook Pro. The current version 1.1 and I had version 1.0 installed on my MacBook Pro. I downloaded the latest version and installed it. This time Final Cut Pro converts the 1080p/24p clip from HDC-SD9 correctly.

I will test if I could import HDC-SD9 1080p/24p video using iMovie ’08 and Final Cut express with Perian 1.1 installed.

Video sample from Panasonic HDC-SD9, 1080p/24p, audio and video in complete sync.


  • 15-inch MacBook Pro Core Duo 2.0GHz 2GB RAM
  • Mac OS X Leopard 10.5.2
  • Final Cut Pro 6.0.3 (with Pro Applications Update 2008-001)

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