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video transfer Panasonic GF1 to Mac?

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by chasm, May 17, 2010.

  1. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    None of the software that Panasonic supply with the GF1 seems to allow transfer of HD video files to Mac computers. Am I missing something? How does everybody else manage? :confused: 
  2. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    you can try to copy the video directly from SD card, then view it using a media player (I'm not a mac user). Alternatively you can encode the video using handbrake for mac first.
  3. Activator

    Activator Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 30, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    The easiest way is to download the free Handbrake program.

    1. Mount the GF1 SD card.
    2. Open Handbrake. On my Mac, Handbrake automatically looks for and finds the GF1/GH1 video file(s) on the SD card.

    If it doesn't automatically find the .MTS file(s), then click the "Source" icon and navigate to the video file(s) on your SD card.


    3. Select the video(s) you want to transcode.
    4. In the "Destination" section of the Handbrake interface, navigate to where you want the video to be SAVED.
    5. Select a "Preset" (Apple TV, iPod, MP4, etc.) or make your own.
    6. Click "Start".

    HUGE NOTE: The reason this all works when you're taking the files directly from the SD card, is that there are files and a file structure on the card that MUST be kept intact. If you simply save the .MTS video file to your hard drive, it will NOT open in ANY program!

    You must save the WHOLE "AVCHD" folder (NO NAME/PRIVATE/AVCHD) to your hard drive.

    Hope this helps!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Iconindustries

    Iconindustries Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Hey Chasm, it took me a little while to work out how to do it as well. As Activator said you have to do it directly from the card without touching it. I don't even fiddle with the pictures before i have the video off and on my HDD.

    So heres how i do it. Simply connect your camera or card to the computer. Open up imovie and click on 'file' on the top left and scroll down to 'import from camera' A window will come up allowing you to select or deselect your movie files. When you done that press 'import' and then a prompt window will come up. This is where you can add it to an existing event or make a new one. You can also analyze it for stabilisation (although this is good it takes a really long time if your movies are large) normally this is already deselected. Then you simply press 'import'

    It really is easy once you do it a few times. I do this and then edit the move and then export it through quicktime. Quicktime is the best because i can change it to any format i choose.

    Also if you didn't want to edit the movies they are in the movie folder (in finder) and in the sub folder named 'imovie Events'

    This works for me anyway and i've found it do it before i import the photos and it works first time. I use imovie 09

    Hope you get it to work, i can agree with you and it gets a bit like this sometimes:horse: Haha, although i would never bash my macbook pro:smile:

  5. chasm

    chasm Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    Thanks Iconindustries & Activator! I'll have a go at this later. CM
  6. sinophilia

    sinophilia Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2010
    Verona, Italy
    As Iconindustries, I simply import AVCHD video into iMovie '09... no getarounds or third-party apps required, it just works. If I shoot mpeg HD video I import it first into iPhoto, just to have it there, and then to iMovie if I need to edit it.
  7. sinjin

    sinjin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada

    I didn't have iMovie '09 so I had a look around at the additional options before laying out the cash: Toast ($$), VoltaicHD ($) and Handbrake (0).

    Nutshell: VoltaicHD won, and I recommend it despite its looks.

    The strength of VoltaicHD (+ iMovie '09, '08 or iMovieHD) over only iMovie '09 is that you can keep all those highly compressed .MTS files (= AVCHD including AVCHDlite) as-is on your hard drive any way you like and uncompress for editing in iMovie as needed. Like having negatives. iMovie '09 requires that you import from your camera (or that your "fake" the directory structure of your camera) and decompresses everything so movie files take up to 10X more disk space than the original MTS file. I'll likely pick up the next incarnation of iMovie ('11?), but for now I'm happy with '08 and VoltaicHD. It requires a workflow to manage my MTS files + iMovie projects, but I save heaps of space by deleting unused portions of video in iMovie with reckless abandon knowing everything is in the MTS files I've saved. Naturally, conversions take some time. I usually set-up all AVCHD clips I shot in a day for batch conversion, go tend to some other business, and invariably they are done before I remember to check on them again.

    Handbrake lost because despite the bazillion possible configurations, none produced as good decompressions as VoltaicHD's basic mpeg-4 setting. No fussing, no guessing. Oh, and batch conversions. I'll repeat that: batch conversion. Batch, batch, batchitty batch-batch. Batch. :wink:. The developer of Handbrake (at the time I looked into all this, may have changed since) was dead-set against implementing batch conversions. He had spent a considerable time in the user forums abusing people who requested this simple feature. He couldn't wrap his head around the idea that there was a growing army of Mums and Dads each with hundreds of 30sec AVCHD clips sitting on SD cards in need of conversion. They didn't want to spend as much time clicking through settings for converting each clip individually as they did filming the damn things. However, you could always suffer through the command line interface and wrap a batch routine around your favorite settings if you are into that sort of thing. I'd be interested in hearing such success stories ('cause I am into that sort of thing). But hey, Handbrake is free and is useful in other ways, so there's that.

    Toast? It was just awful.
  8. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    Hi Sinjin,

    Last time I check, HandBrake has a batch processing, but its just you have to manually add the file one by one, then press the processing button and leave it to sleep :smile:
    Its on PC though, I dont own a Mac. Quality wise its also equal to the original.
  9. sinjin

    sinjin Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 15, 2010
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks for clarifying that, Hanzo. That's what I meant to say: you need to individually queue-up each file and then batch the lot (in Handbrake) as opposed to being able to select a whole pile of files in one action (as is the case for VoltaicHD and most Mac applications I'm aware of). It got on my nerves something fierce!
  10. paulmcguirk

    paulmcguirk New to Mu-43

    Feb 25, 2010
    Redding CT
    Import the files to imovie which converts the HD files to quicktime files.
    You will then locate the converted files in the imovie events folder.
  11. Streetshooter

    Streetshooter Administrator Emeritus

    Dec 15, 2009
    Phila, Pa USA
    Thanks Paul
  12. Activator

    Activator Mu-43 Rookie

    Apr 30, 2010
    Brooklyn, NY
    I initially tried using iMovie, but the sound played at the wrong speed... the GF1 videos are recorded at 60fps. The image plays back at 30pfs but the sound plays too fast in iMovie.

    I was able to get it working it in Final Cut Pro, but it's a very long and convoluted workflow. Handbrake was the only solution I found (for free) that transcoded and adjusted the video/sound sync with no fuss.
  13. Krang

    Krang Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    I use Final Cut Pro and I think it's a very simple procedure. Log and Transfer automatically converts the files without any loss in quality, and it's even quite fast.

    Do you have an intel or older mac?
  14. SamSam

    SamSam Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 21, 2010
    Hi Krang, I also use Final Cut Pro. Can you tell me the workflow when you work directly from the sd card, as I don't have the cord that connects to the camera with me.
  15. michaelfinch

    michaelfinch Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 24, 2010
    Lancashire, England
    Hi all. I came across this thread when I started to look at the video on my GF1. I use iMac with OSX 10.4 and have had no problems opening and replaying videos in Quicktime. I select Motion jpeg in record mode and whatever format in record quality. Haven't hit any snags. HD appears to work too.
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