Question about Panasonic PV-GS500 Camcorder

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Panasonic SDR-H40 video images distorted in Media Player

The Panasonic SDR-H40 is an awesome camera. The videos are wonderfully clear. And the images in the videos are perfectly in proportion as long as you view and work with them in the supplied software, (VideoCam Suite). But when you go to view them in Windows Media Player the images such as people or objects appear stretched vertically and squeezed horizontally. In other words people appear to look like toothpicks. It is the same when you view or try to edit in other software editing programs.

I use Windows Vista. If you copy the videos to your PC using windows the videos save as a Mod file. If you copy using their program they will save as MPEGII. It doesn't make a difference actually. I have tried converting the videos to other formats such as AVI. I have also tried changing the aspect ratio. Nothing works.

I contacted Panasonic. They said it was the internal recording format, (within the camera itself,) and that you have to use their software. I know the images come out balanced if I load to a DVD. But I need to be able to upload to my website and would like to be able to show them on youtube.

Any solutions or suggestions for compatible software?

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  • brettgillsr Dec 31, 2008

    Same exact problem and looking for a solution.

  • woodworkbyst Jan 01, 2009

    Same problem, shoot in 16:9 and image downloads to 4:3 in AVS editing software. It is my experience that this camcorder will not support 16:9, I'm sending it back for a refund. DO NOT BUY.

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The camera does not write the 16:9 code properly in the mpeg so Windows media player does not recognize it properly. There is a little utility called index.zip that you can download which has a file sdcopy.exe which copies the file from the camera and properly writes the code. Then any current video editing software will recognize it and display it properly. It is also a handy utility that I prefer over the software that came with the camera.

Posted on Jan 11, 2009

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You said "I know the images come out balanced if I load to a DVD" . Can you then ripp the dvd back to avi,mpg ect... using different dvd ripper software. Just a thought

Posted on Jan 10, 2009

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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