I got the Samsung SC-MX20
for Father's day this year. I had done a little research and had cometo the conclusion that this was the best camera for the money we wereable to spend. Being a Father of a large family, having a video camerais important, especially when grandmas and other extended family livefar away.
So I read the reviews, checked the websites, then went to Wal-Mart
and plunked down the money on a brand new Samsung SC-MX20 and a memory card to go with it.
Unfortunately,my research didn't prepare me for the issues that I would have. I wasdisappointed at first, but I was impressed with the SC-MX20's ease ofuse, breathtakingly long battery life and just general good looks. (Igot the red one, it looks like Iron Man's camera!) But right out of thebox there are three big issues that no one bothered to mention.
So,if you just bought the camera and are facing one of these frustrationswith Samsung's SC-MX20, then hold tight, I have a fix for you.Issue 1: Video doesn't work right away with Windows Movie Maker
The Samsung SC-MX20 comes bundled with Cyberlink Media Show
. This is an issue in and of itself, but I have covered that in other blog posts
. (Conclusion, use the disk as a coaster.) But I have seen many many comments saying the videos from the camera don't work with Windows Movie Maker
This isn't really a bug, it was a choice by the camera makers. The format used is MP4, which you probably know better as Quick Time
. It is a really good format that doesn't cause much distortion.
However,when you plug in your Samsung SC-MX20 and move your files to yourcomputer and try to drop them into Windows Movie Maker, they won'twork. For whatever reason (probably because it's Microsoft) they didnot allow native support for MP4 files.
So, before you can usethe MP4 files from your camera, you will have to convert them to aformat that Windows Movie Maker likes. There are many ways to do this.Do a Google for "convert MP4 to Windows Movie Maker"
and you will get thousands of hits. I have a personal favorite
, but I can't honestly say that one method is better than any other.
However,there are other issues with the videos that come from this camera, andI do have an all-in-one solution, so keep reading.Issue 2: Videos filmed in wide screen (16:9) format do not play that way on my computer
Thisis a bug, but one that is easy to overcome. Here's the issue: Whenfilming with the wide screen option on the camera selected, your videoslook good on the camera, but when you copy them to your computer andplay them with Quick Time, they are squashed and stretched
.(To make matters more confusing, if you do use the Cyberlink MediaShowprogram, they look fine, but then when you save them from there, theyare still squashed and stretched.)
So what happened? I don'tfully understand the issue myself, but my understanding is that theformat has a "flag" that needs to be set in order for your computer toplay it in the right format. The designers of the firmware for theSamsung SC-MX20, for some reason, forgot to have the camera set this"flag", leaving your videos squashed and stretched.
So how tofix it? Well, again, there are many ways to do it. As in the previousissue, you can use just about any converter program to re-format yourvideo. But, again, I do have an all-in-one fix coming up. Keep reading!Issue 3: What's with all these lines? It looks terrible!
When filming in wide-screen format, the Samsung SC-MX20 uses a method called "interlacing
"to keep the file size manageable or something. I don't fully understandit, but for whatever reason, it's what they decided to do. As a result,even if you have it appear in wide-screen (see previous issue), it isfull of lines.
Again, this isn't necessarily a bug, but in theday and age of high-definition displays, interlacing is not onlyunnecessary, it's ugly. I don't know why they chose this method for thevideos, but it's easy to fix.
Which brings us to what you'vebeen waiting for. How does one deal with all these issues withouthaving to convert, re-convert, and generally degrade the image qualityof the videos from the Samsung SC-MX20?The Answer:
(Click here to download)
I created this all-in-one Repairer/Converter for you. It's takes thevideos from your Samsung SC-MX20 and fixes all your problems. The bestpart is, it does it all in one shot!
I have written up a how-to on this post
,so go there for details on how to use it. (The newest version of TheAnswer has an option to re-render your videos in hi-def format too!It's doesn't make your videos hi-def, but it stretches them to thatsize making them more friendly for that format.)