Sunday, January 18, 2009

HOW TO: EDIT Panasonic SDR-SW20 MOD files on a Macintosh

Panasonic SDR-SW20

As part of the Panasonic CES 2009 blogger program I got a Panasonic SDR-SW20 video camera to try.

After shooting the video, I had no idea how to get any video editing program to recognize the files.


The manual doesn't help at all since it's geared to a PC user.

Quick answer:
If you copy the files to your computer and try to get them into iMovie, there's no way I can see to do it.

But if you, plug the SD card in the USB slot, THEN open iMovie 08 on a Mac, it sees the movies. Importing them is easy.
You wouldn't know that based on a Google search. Here's a sampling of one page of search results: - Convert Panasonic SDR-S10 MOD movies
Problem: Connecting the Panasonic SDR-S10 camcorder via USB works fine on the Mac, but you can't use the MOD files in QuickTime Player or in iMovie HD by ...

Thanks Jexus, I just brought the panasonic sdr h250 and having the same issue with .mod’s on mac. ffmpegx works great but if you have lots of ...

How To Convert .MOD Video Files To MPEG-2 On Mac And PCs - Robin ...
MOD video files on your Mac simply rename them as .MPG or . .... such as the JVC Everio, and the Panasonic D-Snap SD-card camcorders, suffer from a ...

Convert Panasonic Mod - convert Panasonic Mod for your player
To convert Panasonic Mod for your players, you can use Mod video conversion ...
With all this talk about conversion, I went down the path prior to figuring out the simple solution above.

I ended up using Handbrake which converts the MOD files to Mac compatible format. It uses .mv4 iTunes format by default.

One other issue I had with the camera is that a bunch of videos I shot were missing. I played them back on the camera, but when I went to import them, they were not there. At the same time the camera displayed a message, Check Card.

A recovered the missing video files with a nice utility called Card Raider.


This utility has saved me many times. Even when I deleted files off a memory card by mistake.

Once I recovered the files, CardRaider saves them as .MPG but QuickTime doesn't recognize them, I ran them thorough Handbrake and opened them up in QuickTime.



I combined them, exported as .mov and opened up in Final Cut Pro. You could probably export from Handbrake to mov but I didn't figure that out.

Here's the video I rescued: The Carol and Steve Show - January Cold.

One more tip:
It is suggested that prior to shooting video with a new SD card, you format the card with the camera. I just did that.

Greg Harper says, "If you just put a new card into the camera first it should automatically add the proper folders. If you put the card into a pc first then it may not get the proper folders"

Do you have any experience with the Panasonic SDR-SW20. I'd love to hear your comments.


  1. Hi Nice site. It's bookmarked now. Love what you find when you are out in the wilds of the internet. Anyway, I was having the same problem with the .MOD files from my SDR-H18, which must be the older version of what you have.

    I simply renamed .MOD to .MPG and then tried in Windows MovieMaker, which is all I have on my PC. Haven't tried it yet in on the G5 with FCP. But a simple rename seems to be OK.

  2. Anonymous6:55 PM

    Just helpful hint for anyone. I just bought a Panasonic HDD. I was looking for mod converters and was thinking of buying adobe premere 7 so I could bring video into windows movie maker on my dell windows vista. Well, I may not be "learned" but I'm determined and figured how to get the files into movie maker w/o conversion. I hooked the camcorder up after recording to my pc with usb. I didn't use the camera program but instead explored my computer to that usb. I selected all files and saved them to my usb flash drive so I could erase them on my camcorder. Then I open the usb flash drive via explore, open the windows movie maker. Choose video in flash drive explorer, right click "copy" go to windows movie maker and right click "paste". I was able to use this method to bring in and edit all videos I wanted from my camera (20 short ones), edit them in movie maker and publish to a movie. Worked great. But I will say if you put them in movie maker to work on later,you will have to have your flash drive in first before opening movie maker project so the files will be there.

  3. Thanks for this information is really useful. This blog is amazing!!!!

  4. Anonymous7:29 PM