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How Do I Know Which Video File Formats Are Compatible With iMovie?

Need to buy digital cameras for middle school filmmaking class I teach. Running iMovie v.10.1.2. Looking at the Sony – DSC-W800 20.1-Megapixel. Students will take pics and shoot video; video output on this camera is listed as: MOV. Is that the same as .mov? Would MOV work in iMovie?
Lisa Ann

Comments: One Response to “How Do I Know Which Video File Formats Are Compatible With iMovie?”

    2 years ago

    There should be more detailed information listed than just “MOV.” I assume this refers to the file extension .mov. But that is just a file extension. A file with an extension .mov usually holds a video file, but it could use any number of video compression types inside that. Most would be compatible with iMovie, but they could always choose some odd settings that are not. But that is unlikely.

    For instance, a .mov file could hold a h264-compressed video at X bitrate and Y audio bitrate with Z frames per second at A by B width and height. Or, it could use another compression type with all different numbers.

    Think of the file type, .mov, as an envelope, and the video as the contents of that envelope. There could be a handwritten note in French on parchment inside, or printed letter in English. The envelope doesn’t necessarily tell you what is inside.

    Most likely it IS compatible with iMovie. It would be weird if Sony saved the file as a .mov file and then it wasn’t compatible. That said, Sony used to do exactly this many years ago by using an odd format, and people complained about it all the time. But that was a while back.

    You may be able to find a review or two at Amazon where someone says they are using it with iMovie. You can search all reviews and questions on Amazon product pages. You can also email Sony to find out, though I’m not sure how responsive they are to such questions.

    Apple also has a list of cameras that have been checked to work with iMovie. It has been updated this year, but I don’t see the W800 on it, though lots of cameras with similar names are on the list so it may work fine. iMovie supported cameras .

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