Today, I forgot to bring my camera to work. Normally, I remember all my school supplies (mainly because I keep them in the briefcase out of which I live), but this morning I left my Canon PowerShot A95 on the kitchen table.
Since I had two interviews this morning — with Vince Ford, who’s seeking Kay Patterson’s Senate seat, and Rep. Joe Neal, defending House District 70 — I had to stoop to a desperate measure: I used the Sony Model DCR-SR40 camcorder that the nice folks at thestate.com gave me awhile back.
This is a pretty cool video camera, with a built-in 30-gig hard drive. It shoots pretty nice video, with MUCH higher resolution than my little Canon, which is actually intended to shoot still pictures.
There’s just one little drawback — its format is (as near as I can tell) MPEG-4, and I do not have any software that can edit MPEG-4 video. Nor can I convert these files into a format that I CAN use. That means the only way I can share video with you is if I keep it really, really short and load it onto the blog unedited, as in the clip you see above, which as short as it is, almost crashed our VMIX thingie when I loaded it.
That’s not terribly helpful when I want to share video with you from interviews that last 30 or 45 minutes or more.
This, I suspect, is the reason why the nice folks gave me this camera — they couldn’t figure out what to do with the files, either.
Anyway, I’ve wasted absurd amounts of time searching the Web for help with this problem, looking for codecs and such. Apparently, I am the first person in the history of the world to have this problem, because I’m not running into any helpful support out there.
I even got desperate enough to e-mail Sony for help, and did so, after getting through all the barriers manufacturers erect to letting you ask a direct question. Here’s the only answer I’ve received so far:
Thank you for contacting Sony.
This message confirms that your e-mail has been received and your request is currently under review. Thank you for your patience as we strive to provide you with the best service and support possible.
Your Sony Online Support Team
… which leads me to suspect that Sony has fallen into the hands of the Sirius Cybernetic Corporation. Next, I’m going to ask them if they can provide me with a drink that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.
But while I’m waiting for my tea, I thought I’d check to see if Y’ALL have any suggestions for me. Helpful ones, I mean…