Digital Camcorder Incompatibilities Insanity!

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One of our community members by the name of James sent a very well thought out email to me the other day. He has a rant about the proprietary software that must be used by each different camcorder manufacturer. He has some excellent points that I wanted to expand on.

Hello Chris. I must rant about something for a few moments.

I am extremely annoyed with the fact that corporations like Sony, Canon, and JVC (amongst others) feel the need to restrict users to a certain video editing application by utilizing a proprietary format. What is the point of forcing us to use a certain video editing software over another? Why make users go through the process of rendering out a video to another format only to edit it in yet another video editing package? Does anyone really benefit from this?

If I want to use Sony Vegas — then let me do that! If I want to use Adobe Premiere, then I should have a right to do that as well.This goes for all other video editing software. It is common sense. It does the consumers no good in my opinion, and it has been a problem that I have seen discussed in forums for years. Why do these companies fail to take notice of this?

Do you believe it is possible in the future to have access to a video format that will allow all amatuer and professional videographers alike to edit with any software of their choosing?

I just became an Uncle recently, and I’m really excited about it. I asked my brother if they’re taking videos constantly of Xander, and he said no… just pictures. I was like “WHAT? Why not video?!?!” He replied that it’s just really difficult to manage their camcorder, etc. That’s very telling, right there.

Most digital cameras today have the ability to take movies. It may not be “amazing” quality, but I find that it’s good enough for my needs. Most cams record in an .AVI or .MP4 format. The first universal audio format was .MP3. No matter how hard other developers try to introduce new formats to compete… MP3 will still be there. Anyone can play them, and use that format. The same holds true for video recorders. In my opinion, if a video recorder doesn’t support .MP4, it’s not worth buying.

I agree with James. This proprietary stuff needs to go. We need to be able to just use the hardware and software of our choosing, and be able to do the same thing. Why do companies do this? They want to lock you into their brand or products. History has shown us that this will fortunately not be the “norm” for long. Consumers demand that products be consumer-friendly.


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27 thoughts on “Digital Camcorder Incompatibilities Insanity!”

  1. Just stick to DVCAM… although these AVCHD (is that right?) cameras seem OK for consumers. Good software support & it can be put straight on to Blu-Ray without editing if you wanted to.

  2. Actually AVCHD is used by multiple companies. Like you mentioned Sony, although Panasonic and JVC also use it. Programs like Sony Vegas, Adobe Premier, Apple Final Cut Pro, and the products from Avid that do support HD video, will all take in the AVCHD format. All of those programs will import the avi, mpg, and quicktime format. I don’t really know how it could get any easier then that.

  3. My digital camera records in .mov. It’s okay, except Io had to pay $55 for software to edit it, since Windows Movie Maker won’t accept that format.

  4. Interesting as it may be that the manufacturers need to supply their own software, it doesn’t apply to people like me. I have yet to run across a camera, or camcorder that either iMovie or iPhoto doesn’t immediately import. I love Macs.

  5. today i just bought software for my camera today. i have a jvc everio gz-mg130u and it records in mod files and it was mpeg 2 streamclip is the software and you also need the 20 dollar download of apples mpeg 2 playback and happily it worked! i can now use imovie hd with my camera.

  6. I did, and then had some compatibility issues. I gave up after installing and uninstalling the fourth converter.

    No prob, though. I did get more for my money on this particular software and it was the only other software I paid for. It’s certainly a step up from windows without breaking the bank.

    BTW- the majority of software on my computer was either pre-installed or open source. The video software was only 1 of 2 I personally paid for.

  7. Sorry I didnt mean my comment to sound as though I was talking down to you. Tried to throw my 2 cents out as advice. I do understand the frustration of “compatibility issues”. I’ve had many “learning” experiences with codecs, file formats, filters, etc. etc. etc.

  8. No offense taken. It is difficult to say exactly what you mean in less than 500 characters – unless of course you resort to text messaging format (ugh!). 🙂

    And of course, it’s difficult to know how a person is responding by the sound of text. 😀

  9. I agree with James and you. I hate when camera companies do that. Most of the time, my friends have to do something that’s expensive to convert their video into another format

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