The Official Sony HDR-CX550V Owners thread - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 10:40 AM
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Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

That's incorrect. XR series definitely has an EIS component (that's what the "Active" mode is). The only thing that the 2009 XR line didn't have is the "lateral-roll shake" fix, which is an enhanced version of the EIS algorithm(all software improvements). I have hundreds of shots proving that the XR series is also using EIS in the Active mode if you're interested to see.

In other words:

CX 2009 -> CX 2010 should not have any stabilization improvements.
XR 2009 -> XR 2010 should gain the "lateral-roll shake" improvements it didn't have.

No, it's correct. We're using the same words for different things. You're reading my use of "enhanced EIS" as "any EIS" where I meant "3-Way Shake Canceling", which both Sony documentation and Dave Blackhurst's tests of the two cams show is only in the CX series in 2009. From a menu standpoint, both the XR's EIS and the CX's EIS are probably what Sony calls "Active" mode. But the EIS in the two cams is NOT the same. They both use EIS, but that in the CXs was enhanced over the XRs in 2009. Since it is computer algorithms, both series should have the enhanced EIS in 2010.
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post #92 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

From what I read, they can say this when compared to the last year's XR line. But I haven't seen them spelling out that it's improved over the CX OIS system. I'm sure they're working on the EIS algorithm to fix bugs, which you could probably count this as improvements. And the lens change, how unpopular it currently is, will bring more stable shots on the wide spectrum of the zoom, since wider lens require less stabilization. But other than that, can you point me to a Sony press announcement that actually spells out that their OIS system will improve over the CX500 model?

That's my read on it, too. I just checked the SonyStyle site and 3-Way Shake Canceling is now listed in the Features area for both the CX550 and XR550. Last year, it was new in the CX specs and features (and called "revolutionary", by the way ).

And if they can make significant improvements on the CX stabilization in six months, my hat is off to their software engineers! I haven't used a tripod since October.
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post #93 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

...since wider lens require less stabilization.

Interesting question from a software standpoint: does it make a difference to the "shake canceling" algorithm whether a frame was shot in tele or wide? My guess is that your statement is operationally correct and it is what we all believe, pretty much. But in computing terms, if there are recognizable edges or other artifacts in the frames being stabilized, I suspect the algorithm is no more efficient on wide shots than tele shots. Data is data.

I think people tend to overcorrect for their movements when zoomed in because they can see they're off more easily - that is, the content of the frame changes more and it's easier to see that, so you do more sharp movements to correct this, and overall, you get lots more movement out of the human when zoomed in. I think that if a human had really tight movement control zoomed in, the algorithm would have no efficiency loss over the same human's filming at wide angle. Conversely, if someone makes big jerky movements filming wide angle, the algorithm will be no better at suppressing that than at suppressing big jerky movements zoomed in. If the algorithm can grab something in the content to use as a reference area for stabilization, it's good. People still have to avoid jerkiness regardless of their zoom level.

That said, the implication is that if you're filming something discrete that the algorithm can use to compare against all the time, it seems to be great at damping down your twisting motions. I suspect that if you film something so bland there's nothing discrete to grab onto, the algorithm gets defeated altogether. So that could be something to keep in mind when choosing your subject. If it has identifiable objects, a horizon line, or something similar, the EIS will be more effective.
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post #94 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

Interesting question from a software standpoint: does it make a difference to the "shake canceling" algorithm whether a frame was shot in tele or wide? My guess is that your statement is operationally correct and it is what we all believe, pretty much. But in computing terms, if there are recognizable edges or other artifacts in the frames being stabilized, I suspect the algorithm is no more efficient on wide shots than tele shots. Data is data.

I think people tend to overcorrect for their movements when zoomed in because they can see they're off more easily - that is, the content of the frame changes more and it's easier to see that, so you do more sharp movements to correct this, and overall, you get lots more movement out of the human when zoomed in. I think that if a human had really tight movement control zoomed in, the algorithm would have no efficiency loss over the same human's filming at wide angle. Conversely, if someone makes big jerky movements filming wide angle, the algorithm will be no better at suppressing that than at suppressing big jerky movements zoomed in. If the algorithm can grab something in the content to use as a reference area for stabilization, it's good. People still have to avoid jerkiness regardless of their zoom level.

That said, the implication is that if you're filming something discrete that the algorithm can use to compare against all the time, it seems to be great at damping down your twisting motions. I suspect that if you film something so bland there's nothing discrete to grab onto, the algorithm gets defeated altogether. So that could be something to keep in mind when choosing your subject. If it has identifiable objects, a horizon line, or something similar, the EIS will be more effective.

My comment on the wide lens being easier to stabilize only applied to the OIS component of the stabilization system in the Sony cam. This is a known photography and videography fact that the wider your lens is (or zoomed out) the easier it is to keep your shot steady. I have no clue how it affects the EIS algorithm, other than there will be less shakes to correct.

In other words, with the "Active" mode turned off and at full wide, the CX550 shots will be more stable than the CX500 ones simply because the CX550 is wider. That statement is also true with OIS turned off btw. By how much? Dunno. And how it's going to affect the output with the EIS turned on? Dunno either. But if one would want to really compare the two camcorders' stabilization systems, he/she would have to set the CX550 at a comparable zoom level to the full wide of the CX500. Otherwise, the CX550 has an optical advantage.

And maybe Sony is fully aware that advantage and expecting reviewers to test "full wide" against "full wide", which might reveal better stabilization for the CX550. I guess we'll see when the pro reviews come out.
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post #95 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Gull View Post

Interesting question from a software standpoint: does it make a difference to the "shake canceling" algorithm whether a frame was shot in tele or wide? My guess is that your statement is operationally correct and it is what we all believe, pretty much. But in computing terms, if there are recognizable edges or other artifacts in the frames being stabilized, I suspect the algorithm is no more efficient on wide shots than tele shots. Data is data.

And to answer that question specifically, yes and no. No if the needed correction is exactly the same on both your wide and tele shot. But, yes if you take into account that the shakes perceived on a tele shot are much bigger than the on a wide shot for the same physical "shake" on the camera. EIS, by the nature of its algorithm, is good only to remove smaller shakes. For example, if the crop factor is 10%, you will be able to remove deltas that are within of +/- 5% of the full frame. If you have a delta that goes >20% of the frame width or height (pretty common on a full tele hand held shot), the EIS will give up and you'll get a jerk on the output (in case you're wondering, I worked on a EIS software solution, so I have some clue on how they work ). This should be pretty easy to verify with your CX500. Just hand held it in full wide on a walk about and repeat in full tele. You'll find out that the EIS will give up most of the time in telel and you'll hand up with a pretty crappy output.
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post #96 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 12:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericjut View Post

And to answer that question specifically, yes and no. No if the needed correction is exactly the same on both your wide and tele shot. But, yes if you take into account that the shakes perceived on a tele shot are much bigger than the on a wide shot for the same physical "shake" on the camera. EIS, by the nature of its algorithm, is good only to remove smaller shakes. For example, if the crop factor is 10%, you will be able to remove deltas that are within of +/- 5% of the full frame. If you have a delta that goes >20% of the frame width or height (pretty common on a full tele hand held shot), the EIS will give up and you'll get a jerk on the output (in case you're wondering, I worked on a EIS software solution, so I have some clue on how they work ). This should be pretty easy to verify with your CX500. Just hand held it in full wide on a walk about and repeat in full tele. You'll find out that the EIS will give up most of the time in telel and you'll hand up with a pretty crappy output.

Yeah, I buy that. The question I was asking was: is that only because the tele filming people do is generally jerkier, or is there also some function of the tele picture itself? If the same amount of shake were present in two films, one wide angle and one zoomed in, would the EIS reduce it by the same amount?
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post #97 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 04:55 PM
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The EIS doesn't know nor care if the shot was taken in tele or wide. It's all about the offset between frames that it tries to remove if it's not a pan (hence, a shake).

But imagine your camera moves 1/4" vertically as a handheld shake during recording. That probably translate to a ~20 scanlines move on your wide frame, but probably ~240 scanlines on a 12x tele frame. 20 scanlines is easy for a EIS to correct, but 240 is a quarter of the frame and is not possible for EIS to fix.
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post #98 of 2288 Old 02-06-2010, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Dell has it up now for 1199 too
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post #99 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 11:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Wow if you haven't seen this Sony demonstration video yet, you need to see this

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PpE7T0uIxFM
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post #100 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 12:07 PM
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There is this video too, for the japanese speakers:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2j1ao...eature=related
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post #101 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Watching the video, it is interesting to see that 24Mbps recording is not compatible with AVCHD DVD burning, it is Blu-Ray compatible only. That means if you record in 24 mbps you're going to have to downconvert to make AVCHD movies. Interesting.....
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post #102 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 03:38 PM
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Thanks for posting the very informative videos. I sure hope this unit comes down to under 1K in price quickly. I noticed Dell has it now also, maybe they will have a 20% off coupon for it soon?

I also noticed SonyStyle has lowered the price to $1199.00. I guess they figured might as well match Amazon's price. I'm tempted to preorder from them since they have 24 month no interest financing.

So can we burn to dvd using this unit when recording under 24Mbps? Will all video need to be downconverted to burn to dvd? I'm not really sure what these Mbps numbers mean. Can anyone explain to me what the difference is between certain Mbps? And how it might affect video quality?

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post #103 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 05:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

Thanks for posting the very informative videos. I sure hope this unit comes down to under 1K in price quickly. I noticed Dell has it now also, maybe they will have a 20% off coupon for it soon?

I also noticed SonyStyle has lowered the price to $1199.00. I guess they figured might as well match Amazon's price. I'm tempted to preorder from them since they have 24 month no interest financing.

So can we burn to dvd using this unit when recording under 24Mbps? Will all video need to be downconverted to burn to dvd? I'm not really sure what these Mbps numbers mean. Can anyone explain to me what the difference is between certain Mbps? And how it might affect video quality?

1199.00 dollars, are you talking of the new xr550 or of the old xr520 ?
thank you
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post #104 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 08:50 PM
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Originally Posted by marcolisi View Post

1199.00 dollars, are you talking of the new xr550 or of the old xr520 ?
thank you

I think tingham is referring to the CX550. The Sony site has a $1299 price marked out and $1199 listed as the new price.
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post #105 of 2288 Old 02-07-2010, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

Thanks for posting the very informative videos. I sure hope this unit comes down to under 1K in price quickly. I noticed Dell has it now also, maybe they will have a 20% off coupon for it soon?

I also noticed SonyStyle has lowered the price to $1199.00. I guess they figured might as well match Amazon's price. I'm tempted to preorder from them since they have 24 month no interest financing.

So can we burn to dvd using this unit when recording under 24Mbps? Will all video need to be downconverted to burn to dvd? I'm not really sure what these Mbps numbers mean. Can anyone explain to me what the difference is between certain Mbps? And how it might affect video quality?

Sony did not explain accurately in that video.

What is meant, as is with all HD video formating, it will not playback in your DVD player, the HD AVCHD formated discs are only compatible with Blue ray players.

The Sony MC10 camcorder burner advertises a burning 24Mps, so I think this was just a poorly communicated specification.

Rick
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post #106 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 05:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustindu4 View Post

Watching the video, it is interesting to see that 24Mbps recording is not compatible with AVCHD DVD burning, it is Blu-Ray compatible only. That means if you record in 24 mbps you're going to have to downconvert to make AVCHD movies. Interesting.....

That makes sense. A DVD can't speed fast enough to get 24mbps.
You can force it though, just "burn" the 24mbps bluray to your HDD (is the software allows) and copy the directory structure (all files) to a data DVD.
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post #107 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 10:32 AM
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Hello! My name's Krassimir and I'm from Bulgaria, Europe. In my country the camera HDR CX 550 isn't sell anywhere. I have a friend in America and he can to buy this camera and bring it me. Whether this device can to work well in Europe, because the standarts are different? The prise in USA is more reasonable than Europe. Thank you!
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post #108 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustindu4 View Post

Watching the video, it is interesting to see that 24Mbps recording is not compatible with AVCHD DVD burning, it is Blu-Ray compatible only. That means if you record in 24 mbps you're going to have to downconvert to make AVCHD movies. Interesting.....

The Redbook DVD standard specifies a 16Mbs maximum playback, any faster and your blu-ray player will not spin fast enough leading to stutter or lockup. Anyone ripping Brurays will be familiar with this.

But, the PS3 will play 19Mbs on DVDR.

24Mbs is waaay too fast for AVCHD on DVDR playback, even though AVCHD is currently supported to 25Mbs on BDR.
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post #109 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by krassimir View Post

Hello! My name's Krassimir and I'm from Bulgaria, Europe. In my country the camera HDR CX 550 isn't sell anywhere. I have a friend in America and he can to buy this camera and bring it me. Whether this device can to work well in Europe, because the standarts are different? The prise in USA is more reasonable than Europe. Thank you!

It isn't for sale until March 8th, that is why you cannot find it. Europe uses the PAL standard and we use NTSC standard. I do not know if the camera can do both or not.
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post #110 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 11:17 AM - Thread Starter
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But, the PS3 will play 19Mbs on DVDR.

24Mbs is waaay too fast for AVCHD on DVDR playback, even though AVCHD is currently supported to 25Mbs on BDR.

I just wish that blu-ray burning technology was more prevalent than it is now. It's just not cost effective to actually use yet. There's only a few drives out there and the blank BDRs are like $10 each.

I'll stick to 17 mbps for now so I don't have to downconvert every time I want to burn something to AVCHD DVD
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post #111 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 11:36 AM
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Originally Posted by dustindu4 View Post

I just wish that blu-ray burning technology was more prevalent than it is now. It's just not cost effective to actually use yet. There's only a few drives out there and the blank BDRs are like $10 each.

I'll stick to 17 mbps for now so I don't have to downconvert every time I want to burn something to AVCHD DVD

I have stopped burning discs (except DVDs for the oldies). Use a media player instead (eg the NOONTEC A6, I do, and not the WDTV).

AVSFORUM talk about media players: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39
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Thunderstorm 2/10/09 - From Darwin Harbour, NT Australia
http://www.vimeo.com/6928256

Not my work, but two weeks ago I had dinner on the wharf that this video was shot from.

Video looks noisy to me though. Who was saying that the CX520 had good low light performance ?? Doesn't look like it to me.
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post #113 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

I have stopped burning discs (except DVDs for the oldies). Use a media player instead (eg the NOONTEC A6, I do, and not the WDTV).

AVSFORUM talk about media players: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=39


I don't see any comparison there with the PS3 media player. I watched movies on my PS3 hard drive taken with my CX500 (.mt2s format) and they looked awesome.
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post #114 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Pepster returns View Post

Thunderstorm 2/10/09 - From Darwin Harbour, NT Australia
http://www.vimeo.com/6928256

Not my work, but two weeks ago I had dinner on the wharf that this video was shot from.

Video looks noisy to me though. Who was saying that the CX520 had good low light performance ?? Doesn't look like it to me.

That's because he shot the storm using the noisiest of the Sony low light modes (low lux and nightshot). The low lux mode optmizes to give you extra brightness at the expense of having more noise. Nightshot is actually short-range infrared so I'll be surprised if he really was able to use it (I didn't watch much of the video, seeing "low lux" told me everything I needed to know),.

What everyone is praising is Sony's low-light low-noise capability in normal filming with Low Lux not invoked. Check out various videos on my YouTube channel (ThomasAlexHD) for comparisons between a CX500V's regular and low lux modes. I only use the latter if I have to have something filmed and it's the only way...
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post #115 of 2288 Old 02-08-2010, 05:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rich121 View Post

Sony did not explain accurately in that video.

What is meant, as is with all HD video formating, it will not playback in your DVD player, the HD AVCHD formated discs are only compatible with Blue ray players.

The Sony MC10 camcorder burner advertises a burning 24Mps, so I think this was just a poorly communicated specification.

Rick

Thank you. I was wondering why Sony would change that feature if the previous models had the ability to burn AVCHD to DVD and play on a BD player.

I have a PS3 so I will have many options to watch my recorded videos. Direct connection, streaming, burning...etc. I doubt I would burn many dvd's, it would mostly be copies for friends and family to watch on their BD players. But it's certainly a feature that I would want.

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post #116 of 2288 Old 02-09-2010, 11:44 AM
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I just checked Sony's website and the camcorder is listed as In Stock with an estimated ship date of tomorrow (February 10).

I do have a question about the GPS capabilities of this camcorder. I know the software shipping with the device is not Mac-compatible, but is there any other way to get the geotagging data off the camcorder? I think iPhoto will recognize the geotagging data on the stills, but what about the video?
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post #117 of 2288 Old 02-09-2010, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dustindu4 View Post

I just wish that blu-ray burning technology was more prevalent than it is now. It's just not cost effective to actually use yet. There's only a few drives out there and the blank BDRs are like $10 each.

Burners are not *that* expensive. Last time I built a computer, a Blu ray burner was only about $50 more than a blu ray reader/DVD burner drive.

As for blanks, you can get them for significantly less than $10 (single layer discs anyway.) I've never used these, but I have had really good results with Ridata DVD blanks. Here's a pack of 25 for a little over $2.50 a disc.

http://www.rima.com/prod/1817.html

That said, I haven't bothered to get a Blu ray burner myself. I play my videos off my network, and for grandparents (that recently jumped into the 90s when they got a DVD player) I re-render and author regular DVDs for them.

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post #118 of 2288 Old 02-09-2010, 01:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Well my problem is that I have a laptop, so the external BD-R selection is limited and expensive. The grandparents have a BD player already that they watch my AVCHD dvds on. If I record in 24 bit on the new camera it would be nice to just burn BDs. Besides if I burned BDs I wouldn't have to store them on an external HD.

I expect that BD technology will catch up within the next year or so
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post #119 of 2288 Old 02-09-2010, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by TheBum View Post

I do have a question about the GPS capabilities of this camcorder. I know the software shipping with the device is not Mac-compatible, but is there any other way to get the geotagging data off the camcorder? I think iPhoto will recognize the geotagging data on the stills, but what about the video?

Unfortunately, avchd files don't appear to support extensible metadata and thus Sony, via its PC-only PMB utility, puts it into a sidecar file (.modd). I bet you're out of luck unless Apple has explicit capabilities, on import, to capture this information and stuff it into a data form it can use.
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post #120 of 2288 Old 02-09-2010, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by bernhtp View Post

Unfortunately, avchd files don't appear to support extensible metadata and thus Sony, via its PC-only PMB utility, puts it into a sidecar file (.modd). I bet you're out of luck unless Apple has explicit capabilities, on import, to capture this information and stuff it into a data form it can use.

Actually, the GPS information is contained within a metadata stream in the AVCHD file (part of the file standard btw), which also contains timestamp and camera information like f-stop, zoom, etc, and every frame has its own GPS information. On a PC, you can use 3rd party tools, like DMVP Pro (http://www.dvmp.co.uk/), to extract the GPS information in a text file (on a per frame basis) or burn it into an output video file if needed. I don't know if there are any Mac-based tools dealing with that extra metadata stream though, but the GPS info is certainly not only contained in the MODD side-car file.
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