Movies with the SD800


1  Tests using iA (auto) Mode at an Oceanarium

I spent a day at the local oceanarium with my new SD800 to try out some still shots and movie clips.  For these initial tests I simply used the fully automatic iA mode and the cam was just hand-held throughout.  Nearly all of the displays were indoors and often the lighting was quite low.  I was fairly pleased with the results, although I should have switched off the recording light before shooting, as it caused a reflection from the glass which appears in some clips as a bright red spot.  I’ll be careful about that in future!

Still Shots

This is a still shot (click on the image for a larger view):

Blue Seastar

Editing the Clips

As I had previously done when using my SD700, I rewrapped the mts clips using the free program Rewrap2M4V, then I imported them into iMovie ’11 on my iMac after setting the framerate to 60 fps.  I prepared two versions the movie: an 1080/60p mp4 version for uploading to Vimeo, and a 1080/60i version using Roxio Toast (for Mac) for burning to a DVD-R which can be viewed on a Blu-Ray player.  I have described these procedures in detail here.

I divided the movie into two parts for convenience.  Part 1 contains 21 short clips of the smaller fishes and when completed it had a length of about 7 min.  Part 2 contains 16 clips of larger fishes and aquatic animals and had a length of about 5 min.  I rearranged and edited the clips with iMovie, usually only using a part of each clip, and in some cases slowing the speed to 1/2.  Because on that day there were groups of rather noisy schoolchildren passing by, I reduced the background sound on most of the clips to nearly zero and I added a music soundtrack via iTunes.  I also added transitions between clips and a title using iMovie.

I have uploaded the completed movies to Vimeo, where they can be viewed and/or downloaded:

Part 1

Part 2

I have also uploaded one of the raw short clips for anyone who wishes to test it on their equipment.  The mts file has only been rewrapped to m4v and there has been no re-encoding.  It can be downloaded here:

Note: Although I live in a “PAL” region, I purchased an NTSC version of the SD800.  If you have a modern large-screen TV it should be able to play either PAL or NTSC with no problems, and of course on a Mac or PC it does not matter whether video is PAL or NTSC.  For that reason I purchased an NTSC version of the SD800 via the internet at a far cheaper price than if I had purchased a PAL version locally.  Not only that, but I received the camcorder long before they became available locally.  The only requirement is to have a suitable power adapter plug, at a cost of a few dollars, so as to be able to plug the battery charger into a household power socket (the charger can handle any voltage from 110-240V).

2  Performance of the SD800 on Trips


In June-July 2011, I took my SD800 with me on a trip to Turkey, and I used it for both stills and video clips.  I edited the 1080/60p video clips as previously described for the SD700 using iMovie on my iMac.  I also imported into iMovie the still shots which I had edited with PSE and/or iPhoto, adding the Ken Burns pan/zoom effect via iMovie.

From the stills and video clips I prepared a total of 27 short movies which cover the entire tour, which started in Istanbul, visited places around the western and southwestern coasts, then Cappadocia, and finally ended at Ankara.

I was pleased with the results, which I have uploaded as 1080/60p movies in MP4 format to Vimeo.  They can be viewed and/or downloaded at:


In July 2013 I travelled to China, and again I took my SD800.  As for the trip to Turkey I made 1080/60p movies from the stills and video clips I took while I was there.  The resulting 21 short movies can be viewed and/or downloaded at:

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