Over at the Yahoo Canon S1iS discussion group, Akif Muhtar reports:
Canon movie files are encoded with Motion JPEG codec. After installing the codec, you will be able to open them with Animtion Shop. Link is provided below, Codec is free.
I think other movie editors will also work after instaltation of this codec.
Mr Muhtar's tip is a much better reply than one from Canon Canada, who didn't answer a question from William Render asking why Canon does not include software to compress the movies created by the S1:
"Thank you for your E-mail inquiry. To access the movie edit option within Canon ZoomBrowser, you may select View & Modify from the task area on the left, then select Edit Movies. Should you require further assistance, please feel free to email us or visit our customer support website at www.canon.ca ."
I wonder if Canon doesn't provide better software because that means licensing it, and that costs money. (They could write their own, but that also costs money).
I checked out their video software; the only changes it does are to frame size and fps. Again, I suspect no compression technologies are included because of licensing costs, I am guessing. Or, because that would make the software more complex -- ie, which compression does the hapless customer select?
In addition to the cost, there is the product positioning aspect. This is a priced like a consumer camera, and so comes with fewer features than a pro camera. (Also missing: hot shoe, lowlight focus, more megapixels, etc.) Also, Canon may not want to step on the toes of software providers.
Mr Williams wrote me:
Canon's latest version of software has not allowed for AVI manipulation. They refer to it as compression, but in the end no actual compression has occurred. But they do provide software that can save in 2 different formats and with 3 levels of compression (expansion) for each format. Most, if not all Canon cameras, use video today, the S1is is at the top of the heap, but that does not mean that all users could not benefit from a correction in the software allowing compression of there files.
I'm not sure how software licensing works, but I assume if they are already license to use both AVI and MOV formats the compression algorithm must be a very small price to pay as they are all standards. I have no problem downloading file converters with a 15-day trial and total cost of $15 that has the ability to compress or expand and can output to almost any standard on the planet. To me this seems like Canon simply over looked it.
Hopefully now that I have added my two cents and maybe a few others have as well, they will correct it in the next release of there software.
Here are some of my theories and findings:
I wonder if the S1 does not do compression because that would take too much computing horsepower. It is already a feat to take 640x480x30fps video with sound, zoom, and automatic exposure compensation. In contrast, my three-year-old G1 takes 320x240x15fps movies with no zoom and no exposure correction.
Perhaps Canon will add an MPEG-compression CPU to the "S2".
I tested an AVI movie file produced by the S1 with several movie software packages:
* muvee autoProducer Cobalt - works
* JASC Animator Pro 6 - does not load
* MGI VideoWave 5 - works
* Pinnacle Studio 8 - works