Another freshly fixed problem that had me puzzled for a couple of days is my iMovie 09 crashing when trying to import AVCHD video. This problem hasn’t always existed as I was able to import AVCHD format video from my Canon HF100 in January, but trying again a few days ago resulted in an iMovie crash whenever the Video Camera was connected by USB (or the SDHC card connected via card reader). I’m not sure if this is a new problem with iMovie 09 or if another update caused the issue. Making an image of the card and then mounting it gave the same result, and the problem existed on both the hackintosh and HTPC.
Much searching of insanelymac suggested the problem was fixed by use of a different AppleSMBIOS.kext. I had version 1.1.1 installed to start with, and 1.0.13/1.0.11 didn’t change anything. I eventually came across a post by Andy Vandijck that contained a couple of modified files.The AppleSMBIOS_MacPro.zip file fixed the problem for me, and was easily installed using the OSX86Tools install kext tool.
One way of figuring out the problem with a crashing app is to launch it from the terminal so any error messages are displayed there. To use the example of iMovie, open a terminal window and type
Plugging in the USB card reader and SDHC card gave an error message as iMovie crashed:
Error getting a reference to /options.
This lead to the AppleSMBIOS threads at insanelymac so proved to be a good starting point for getting the problem fixed.
While picking up Mrs Bassheads last few presents yesterday I popped into Jessops to have a look at the special offers. I’ve had my eye on a Canon HF100 for a while now, and intended to order one from Amazon after Christmas. The price on Amazon.co.uk recently dropped from £550 for £450, then shot back over £500 before I had a chance to order one. It’s currently sitting at £476, and Jessops had the HF100 for £499 witha £50 cash back from Canon. Even better, when I paid the system said the price was £489 so the total after cashback is £439. I could order from Amazon and get one for £426 with the cashback but it’s in my hand and I can now shoot HD christmas video to bore the family.
Compared to my last video camera (Sanyo Xacti HD2, soon to be appearing on Ebay) the HF100 is stunning. Easy to use menu’s, responsive screen and an easy to control yet fast zoom make it a pleasure to use. The footage doesn’t disappoint either. I set the camera to 25p mode and used shutter priority at 25 to get amazing low light performance. The Xacti would just go black and fuzzy in low light, and although there is still noise in the Canon’s footage there’s also a lot of detail. Read more…
It’s holiday season again, the time of year when I look at the gadgets and memory cards that will accompany me on my travels. For my recent week in Italy I took a Sanyo Xacti HD2 for photo and video capture, two 4Gb SDHC cards to record to and my Macbook to transfer everything to every night. A 60Gb portable hard drive backup up what was on the Macbook, so I had a fairly bombproof system of storing my holiday snaps.
The Macbook was a bit of a problem though. It’s a large chunk of the hand luggage weight allowance on flights, and the Hotel we stayed in didn’t have large safe boxes. There was only one safe in which you could have an A4 envelope stored. Fine for passports and money, no good for a laptop so the Macbook was hidden in the room every day while we were out. There was no accessible WiFi internet either, so taking the Macbook was a bit of overkill for what it did.
For my next trip to Spain at the start of June I’m debating leaving the Macbook at home, and the deciding factor will be if there is internet access so I can update this site while sitting around the pool. If the Macbook stays at home, my 8Gb of SDHC storage may not be enough for video. So the next question is, how much have memory cards fallen in price? Read more…
Looks like there will finally be another option for tapeless HD camcorders. The Canon Vixia HF10 offers full HD recording (1920×1080 resolution) to 16Gb of internal flash memory and SDHC cards. Quoted battery life of 3 hours standard is pretty good too. Due in April in the US for $1,099 this could be what I’ve been waiting for. My current Sanyo Xacti HD2 is fine outdoors in bright light, but poor in lower light conditions. Sony have some nice HD/Hdd models available that are reported to be a bit better, but don’t bother with JVC’s Everio range. Will the Vixia finally offer good low light performance? More details and video here.