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David, Mac Support Specialist
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 1482
Experience:  BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional
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Recently purchased a Sony Cybershot DXH200V camera. Photos

Customer Question

Recently purchased a Sony Cybershot DXH200V camera. Photos upload to the new iPad with ease, and compliment the retina display beautifully-especially when fine tuning photos with the picture enhancement options using iPhoto. The HX200V takes movies in AVCHD format, which, as you know, is an incompatible format and will not play on any Mac (or IPad) without first going through a conversion process. Sony not too keen on explaining conversion process in their instruction manual, so I am turning to this website seeking help with the conversion process steps and recommended converter applications that work best with Macs (or older MacBooks). I have an older MacBook (Lion- v10.67), running iMovie '09. (Imovie '09 doesn't seem to recognize AVCHD files when camera connected to Macbook) Research online has conflictiing info on the proper procedure and imovie versions needed to convert AVCHD movies properly and efficiently.
If I understand correctly, the MacBook has to be running v10.67 or higher, and AVCHD movies can be uploaded into iMovie, but version must be IMovie '11, in order for Mac to recognize the files. Is this correct? If not please state correct step procedure. Once AVCHD movies are successfully uploaded into imovie'09, must they then go through another conversion process in order for them to be sent to (and played) on the new iPad? If so, can you recommend any converter apps that does the job well and efficiently?! Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX for your help and response.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
Hi, and thanks for using JustAnswer. My name is David, and I will do whatever I possibly can to help answer your questions :)

Voltaic is the best, and has been around since AVCHD files first appeared. You can get it here:

If you have any questions please get back to me.

Kind regards,
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.

I can guide you, the question isn't closed until you are satisfied. I wanted you to try Voltaic, which is in my opinion the best conversion tool, and is used in professional edit suites.

I hope we can continue this question until you are satisfied,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do not have my MacBook with me now, only my iPad. Voltaic must be dowloaded to the Macbook, correct? I will not have access to my MacBook until getting home tomorrow morning. Currently on duty at the firehouse and only have my iPad with me. So, once I download Voltaic converter, I then plug my Sony camera into the MacBook, then open the Voltaic app and the the app should then be able to read and upload the AVCHD movies and convert them, so I can then send them to iPad?
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to help you, and hopefully turn around your poor experience.

Yes you must install Voltaic on your Mac. When you connect the camera, the camera's storage mounts, the same way connecting a USB Flash drive would. Using Finder, you will open the disk image that is the camera's storage. You will drag and drop them from the Finder window, onto your Desktop. You could create a folder in your Movies folder called AVCHD, and transfer the clips from the camera into the AVCHD folder, ready for conversion by Voltaic.

Next you will open Voltaic. The preferences are already set for converting for QuickTime, and you can convert without changing these, and the converted clips will be compatible. You will be putting the converted clips on your iPad, so you will need to add them to iTunes. Therefore you should go to preferences and set Voltaic to automatically add the converted clips to iTunes. Then all you will need to do is connect the iPad and set Movie sync options in the Movies tab when you click the iPad, and sync.

You can compress resolution during conversion, to save space. These options are set in preferences. There are a lot of settings, and custom conversion options if you want them. They are described in the user guide:

I will be online tomorrow so you can get back to me at any stage for any questions or clarification of steps.

Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
Hi David,

I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help?

Let me know,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The Voltaic link you sent me kept repeatedly crashing my system every time I attempted to download it. I eventually gave up on and went to a local Apple store to get the answers I needed. The info provided by JUST ASK not worthy of any price, much less $59.
Expert:  David replied 5 years ago.
The answer is there in the upgrade path, but Voltaic was free for a long time, sorry you didn't try getting iLife sooner...