Editing DSLR Videos on a PC – Help!

Yesterday Jasper did perhaps the cutest thing EVER. I’m not going to tell you what, because I don’t want to ruin the surprise, but it was cute enough for me to implore him to WAIT. STOP! LET MOMMY FIND HER CAMERA! change her lens..find a video card..switch to live view..! Ok, now  go ahead and do that cute thing again..please???

See I’m trying to resist the urge to grab my iPhone for these moments – the 5DMark II (and most new DSLRs these days) have awesome video capability.. like MOVIE quality video capability, where as my iPhone has just convenience going for it.

So when Jasper does something desperately adorable, I want to be able to capture it with my Mark II!!

The problem is that for some reason Camera manufacturers assume that all of their customers own macs because the output format of these DSLRs (.mov files) just don’t play nice with PCs.   I have two .mov clips that all I want to do is combine them together with a fade in fade out and maybe trim the beginning of one. This is the sort of easy thing that Windows Movie Maker was made for. Just one tiny problem…it doesn’t support .mov files (duh, it’s an Apple thing!)

So I did a little more research and found this guy’s webpage basically saying this is a pretty tough problem to fix, unless you own Adobe Premiere Pro (very $$) or are willing to fork over $99 on the program he recommends you are out of luck.

So that’s where you all come in..short of switching to Mac (not going to happen, I just bought a brand new PC system that I love!) how the $$%$ do I edit these files? I’m willing to spend some money on software if I have to, but it has to be highly recommended and easy to use.

I know I’m not the only HD video capable DSLR owner out there that has a PC – some of you guys out there have figured this out and can enlighten me right??

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ariana says:

Hi Rocio,
I didn’t get a Mac because I’m chicken :-) Honestly, the idea of re-learning how to use a Mac is very daunting to me!

The Computer I ended up getting was a Dell Studio XPS 8100, but more important than the computer itself is that I loaded it up with the MAX amout of RAM..that’s what you really need if you are going to be working with Photoshop and Lightroom simultaneously.

Rocio says:

Ok, new to your blog and have spent the last couple of days reading and reading. I see in this post that you have a new PC you love. This is one on my biggest obsessions as I start shooting kids and families. I want a MAC to hopefully help me with the color issues I have with my PC (dull), my PC is 3 years old and I know I will be getting a new one soon, so which PC do you have (LOVE) and why didn’t you end up with a Mac?

Shannon says:

I convert for free with http://www.youconvertit.com or http://www.zamzar.com

Each of these converts then emails you a link to your “new” file. Give it a try.


ariana says:

Hi Connie, I have a really old version of premier that screwed up the aspect ratio, but I bet the newer versions have newer codex – downloading the trial is a good idea- thanks!

Connie says:

I’m sure you’ve thought of this, but just in case… how about downloading a trial version of Premiere? Not sure if there are any restrictions to the trial version though, but might be worth a shot!

Amanda says:

I’ve used QuickTime Pro before to change a .mov file from a camera to a file I could edit on a PC and upload to YouTube. It’s only $30. http://store.apple.com/us/product/D3381Z/A

I hope this helps!

ariana says:

Thanks Amanda! I read about that too, but then I got scared when I went there and read all the horrible reviews. Glad to know it worked for you!

Jennifer says:

I’m having this same problem with the video from my Canon T2I files. :( I hope somebody has the answer because I really need to know.

Ava says:

Here’s a link to the app: http://www.anvsoft.com/any-video-converter-free.html
Yeah, the codec settings can be important. I’ll be honest, I’m a bit out of my element on this one, but I try to keep the codec to Original for video, the resolution as high as possible to the original as well.
Also, convert only a short 3-4 sec part at first to check that it 1) looks good; 2) can be imported into WMM. Otherwise you can easily waste an hour waiting for the conversion (these suckers can take awhile) only to find out it didn’t work.

Can’t wait to see the cuteness :)

ariana says:

Thanks Ava, I tried one that made the whole thing look really crappy :( I guess the second part of the equation is what conversion settings to use!

Ava says:

Convert the mov file to an avi file (or mpg, or something else that WMM will understand). You can find conversion apps for free or cheap pretty easily. I like Any to Any Converter.
Then import to WMM and edit.

Remember that if ultimately you’re exporting to Vimeo/YouTube you don’t need extra high resolution, but if your intent is to make DVD quality movies for TV watching you’ll want to export to a final hi-re’s file.

Just make sure that whatever you convert your mov file to is as uncompressed as possible. Otherwise you’re never getting a high quality end output.