Importing video from Sony HDD Handycam to Mac OS X 10.5.X

It’s 2008, and this is what I have to do to get video files off of my Sony DCR-SR82 HDD Handycam, and into an iMovie-digestible format:

  1. Download video from the camcorder using the Sony-provided HDD Handycam Utility (crap) within a Windows VM.
  2. Move videos from the offload directory to ~/Movies/Sony Handycam/Originals on the host system.
  3. Send the offloaded .mpg files to VisualHub (MP4, highest quality, H.264 encoded), saving to ~/Movies/Sony Handycam/Exports.
  4. Open iMovie and import Exports/* as new iMovie event, allowing iMovie to move files from Exports to ~/Movies/iMovie Events.

Sony: Please stop sucking ass, and produce some useful software for the creative world’s most popular operating system.

Apple: Please stop sucking ass, and build MPEG-2 handling and playback capability into iMovie and Quicktime, respectively.

UPDATE1: About the MPEG-2 component included with iMovie ’08

UPDATE2: After raising a stink, I figured that I’d spend a little more time trying to figure out how to make my Handycam work with native iMovie ’08. Turns out that you have to turn on the camera, wait for OS X pick it up as a USB storage device, and then hang tight for three or four minutes until iMovie detects that your USB storage device is actually a camcorder, and presents the import dialog. I’m glad that I can import native MPEG-2, but am somewhat puzzled by the delay.

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56 thoughts on “Importing video from Sony HDD Handycam to Mac OS X 10.5.X

  1. I have a Sony DCR-SR47. I had similar problems, but ended up getting it figured out. Connect the camera to your Mac >> Open iMovie >> Select the File Tab >> Select Import from Camera >> Wait a few seconds and see if your Mac doesn’t offer to recognize the camera. Mine did and everthing came in fine.

  2. Thanks for all these posts. I have spent hours myself trying to download media from the borrowed Sony Handycam HD SR8. So incredibly frustrating! All these posts and information has helped me, but can I download just one video and not the entire hard disk?

    And that Samsung is looking mighty good.

  3. @ Jurrian thank you!
    View this post, it worked and was super easy. Posted on 08.10.08 at 8:33 AM Able to download about three years worth of video into imovies ’09. Took a little time but worked without a flaw

  4. I hope someone can help. I’ve tried everything posted here to make my Sony DCR-SR87 import video to my Macbook Pro running OS 10.5.8, but nothing works. iMovie ’09 does pop up a window saying it is searching for a camera and even says ‘DCR-SR87′, but after ‘searching’ for about 1 minute, no clips show up to import. I’ve tried opening iMovie then powering the handycam, powering the handycam then opening iMovie, and even chosing ‘DiscBurn’ instead of ‘USBConnect’. No clips. Am I doing something wrong? Did I record in an incorrect format? I have about 7 hrs of SP video in my handycam’s HDD that I can watch straight from my TV. I really want to edit all of it. Please help!!

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