HD Camcorders

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Help! Mostly on PC’s. I was down in Kankakee, IL this Saturday for a Day of Discovery and the team of teachers I was working with had all recently been equipped with new Sony hard drive camcorders along with some still cameras. Everything was going along just fine. I was even enjoying just popping one camera after another into the docking station to show each team’s preliminary door scenes from the AFI’s “Lights! Camera! Education!” training program. When we got to the final project only one lady was able to coax Windows Media Maker to import her video files. All the other laptops were lacking a codec. As it turns out she was working on her own personal laptop and everyone else was on a district machine. We couldn’t figure out what her computer had that the others didn’t, so I thought I’d throw it out to you readers. What’s needed to get WMM to work with HD camcorders? And while we’re at it, how about importing video from a DVD camcorder? When asked, I’ve steered people away from both formats, they are not going away though and not dealing with a lot of tapes at school is appealing. There has to be some simple (sic free) solution. Adobe Premiere Elements solved the problem for one team. But as much as I like that program, it seems impractical for a whole lab.

Anyhow, it’s a good thing they seemed to have gotten it from the start judging by their introductory videos which were imaginative and very funny. Those final edits will just have to wait for a good codec solution.

And iMovie isn’t totally above all this either. The newest release will read an HD camcorder, but I’ve had to pull some import and conversion end runs with previous versions.

N.B. NEVER let your students slip a mini-DVD (or mini-CD for that matter) into a slot (rather than tray) reader in a laptop or computer.

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One Comment;

  1. R. Hoffman said:

    I really enjoy having my students shoot and edit their own videos. It helps them to understand and appreciate all the work that goes into the whole process. Thanks for the information!

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