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Ask Max: Sony DCR-SR100 Compatibility

Asked on 07/26/2006:

I am looking to purchase a new iMac, but am concerned my Sony DCR-SR100 Hard Drive camcorder is not compatible.The forums I've read seem to send you in circles.Can you tell me if the camcorder works on a Mac, and if so what additional programs are required? Is there a reduction in quality and lost time?Thank you for your time.


I ran into a similar problem with my wedding video. A family member recorded the movie with a Sony DVD camcorder, and working with it was a painful process. I could not import the video files or edit the recorded files in any way. I ended up recording the video from the analog video ports on to a DV camcorder. Interestingly enough, your hard drive camcorder works almost identically to the DVD camcorder. The largest problem with both these camcorders is that they only have USB 2.0 for importing video. Although that works for copying data, it prevents real time capture from the camera onto a Mac like you get with FireWire. The other drawback is that it records video into MPEG-2 files. MPEG-2 is what DVDs use and is great for storing compressed video, but is lousy to edit with. If you copy your video files over to the computer you will have to re-encode them before you can edit them. There are several shareware programs that will convert your files in a DV video file, which is what you need to edit in iMove. One I have heard recommended was DropDV ( You can alternatively purchase QuickTime Pro and do the conversion directly from iMovie, but QuickTime Pro costs a little more. Whichever way you go, it will take you some extra steps to edit. The good new is that you can do it. I would not have recommended this camera to Mac user looking to buy one but because you already own it you should be able to make it work.Good luck and test the importing first before you go out and shoot important footage.

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